Barnes & Noble (B&N) is a national chain bookstore with several Twin Cities locations. The stores offer story times and family-friendly events and carry books for all ages, games and toys. Sign your kids up for their summer reading programs and their birthday freebies. Two prominent stores are the Galleria "Concept Store" and the Woodbury "Prototype Store.” B&N built both of these stores based on the preferences of the communities they serve.
Barnes & Noble Events And Activities
Many Barnes & Noble locations have story hours and family-friendly events. Unless they have a visiting local author, most story hours are nationally selected, and we have learned that some locations are better at consistently providing these events than others. If you are visiting a location for the first time, you may want to call ahead to verify events so as not to be disappointed. When we visited the Galleria store in 2017, we asked why they sometimes have more than one story hour scheduled for the same time. In these cases, they do their best to read all the stories during the story time. For instance, they will often have a nationally selected book in combination with a local author.
Barnes & Noble Kids Toys
Some locations - like the Galleria - have chosen to minimize the toys offered in order to emphasize the books. Others, like Woodbury offer a large variety of toys and games. Both of these stores offer LEGOs and a LEGO activity area for visiting children.
12 Barnes & Noble Twin Cities Locations:
It is always a good idea to verify a location is open at the Barnes & Noble website HERE, because new stores open while others close on a semi-regular basis. (I still miss the downtown store.) However, as of December 2020, we have 12 Twin Cities locations.
- Blaine at Northtown, 763-786-0686
- Bloomington at Mall of America, 952-854-1455
- Burnsville at Burnhaven Shopping Center, 952-892-9280
- Eagan at Promenade, 651-683-1955
- Eden Prairie at Eden Prairie Center, 952-944-5683
- Edina at the Galleria, 952-920-2124
- Maple Grove, 763-420-4517
- Maplewood at Maplewood Mall, 651-779-9999
- Minneapolis at Greenway Lakes Commons, 612-922-3238
- Minnetonka at Ridgehaven Mall, 952-546-2006
- Roseville at HarMar Mall, 651-639-9256
- Woodbury at City Place Shopping Center, 763-204-7344
Barnes & Noble Galleria
Updated in 2017, the Edina Galleria location is one of a handful of "concept stores" in the United States. Some of the family-friendly concepts B&N has introduced at this location include:
- A return to a book-centered children's area. They have reduced the toys to mainly LEGOs. It, however, does offer a good-size LEGO play table for visiting children to try out.
- Library-like study tables in the Teen & Tween areas.
- Quiet nooks scattered all over the store where patrons can sit and read or relax.
- An emphasis on vinyl over digital in their music section.
- Family-Style restrooms.
- Roomy booths in B&N Kitchen - Our family of six sat comfortably with no elbow knocking.
- Associates with handheld devices who can quickly help customers locate and/or order books. They can also help recommend books.
B&N Kitchen at the Galleria Store
Also, part of the concept store is a full restaurant with breakfast, lunch and dinner options, B&N Kitchen. We had a recent chance to test out the offerings. The food is amazing. The prices will appear high if you are expecting a typical bookstore coffee shop. However, this is not bookstore coffee shop food. Chef Seamus Feeley has turned it into a food experience.
Barnes & Noble Woodbury Store
In 2019, a new Barnes & Noble store moved into CityPlace Shopping Center in Woodbury. This prototype store was built with a clean, contemporary design and welcoming social areas throughout the store. For customer convenience, the worktables by the café offer charging stations with easily accessible USB/AC outlets. There is comfortable seating toward the back of the store. Independent shoppers can help themselves at one of two kiosks (similar to library catalog computers). Employees carry tablets so they can help customers locate books on the floor. They can even check out the customer's purchases right where they are, so there is no need to stand in line.
Family Friendly Features of the Woodbury Store
With an eye toward the preferences of the community, this store keeps books as its core, but has a large wall of family games as well as book-related toys and science kits. Like the Galleria store and others, this store encourages LEGO® building with an in-store activity table and sets available for purchase. As with most Barnes & Noble stores, this store offers Saturday story time. It also offers a Sunday Baby & Me Story Time. Both are held in the specially created Story Time space. Look for a section for local children's book authors.
The Café at Woodbury
The Café carries a wide selection of Starbucks® beverages, baked goods, sandwiches, flatbreads, quiches and soup. For those in a hurry, there are also grab-and-go, packaged snacks available.
- The Best Twin Cities Independent Bookstores for Kids
- Top Kids Storytimes in the Twin Cities
- Twin Cities Summer Reading Programs
- Birthday Freebies and Deals for Minnesota Kids
Family Fun Twin Cities was invited to special media events for the openings of the Edina and Woodbury stores and were offered incentives (in the form of food and books) in exchange for media coverage of the openings. Opinions remain our own.