The library isn’t only open to locals. You need a place to spend some time with the kids or just by yourself that isn’t too costly? Maybe you planned a trip but someone got sick or the weather prevents you from being able to go?
While you need a library card to check out books, there are many things you can do while there for free!
The library often has computers available for use to browse the internet or game. Find a comfy corner to read a book in, there are usually chairs and couches tucked around. Check out a magazine, most libraries keep the current issues on hand.
Often, there will even be classes for kids. Or projects available to do. Sometimes even play rooms so adults can browse while children play. While you still should try to be quiet, a library is anything from boring.
The best part is that even for non-locals most activities are free at the library. If it is your local library, even more benefits can be had! Then of course you can also check out books and see about ongoing programs they offer.
Each one if different and it can make things exciting. My mother used to play a game with us where we would be given clues and need to find books that matched the clues. Then we would take the books we had picked out home and read them. Clues could be ambiguous like “something blue”. It is good to have more specific clues too like “By Author Mark Twain.” Then kids still get to choose, and have to take time to search. Plan a small reward for them if they find something for each clue.
You can also try this list of games as a good place to start teaching your kids about their library and all it has to offer. These even usually work for libraries you just happen to be near.