The Place


A New Sensory Play Area Unveiled at the Salt Lake City Public Library

Posted at 1:45 AM, May 29, 2017

After months of renovation, the Salt Lake City Downtown Public Library unveiled a fist of its kind play area for kids. The room blurs the lines between a library and museum, featuring interactive examples of local plants and animals. A large tree acts as a stage for anyone who wants to put on a puppet show, and a large oversized stuffed bear creates a comfortable spot for kids to read books.

Chelsea Howlls designed the room and explains what she envisioned for the space. "It's really educational based, there is a part that has 10 different native Utah animals and plants... It's kind of a search and find kind of activity. You see the plants or animals identified then you go find it. " Chelsea says she was looking to build a space that transported the kids out of a city and to a place that will inspire their imaginations.

Before the renovations, the play area featured a crystal cave. Chelsea says it was a great room but lacked any relevance to the community.
"It was really great and all but it did not have anything to do with Utah or the local area. So that was the change we wanted to make. Tie the space into Salt Lake and make a place kids could relate to. "

Visitors can find the play area on the first floor of the Downtown Public Library. It is open during normal operating hours. You can find more information at


  • 210 East 400 South
    Salt Lake City, UT 84111


  • Mon–Thu • 9am–9pm
    Fri–Sat • 9am–6pm
    Sun • 1–5pm

Phone: (801) 524-8200