Family Fun Idea: StoryWalk

No arm-twisting is necessary to get our kids out the door to the park or to pick up a book (and coincidentally, we’ve had a peaceful, satisfying summer!) So here’s what I find so cool about the StoryWalk program, which unites these classic indoor-outdoor summer activities: it turns us on to new (to us) authors and takes us to parks not normally on our radar.

Hidden Falls Regional Park, for instance, hosted the bilingual Perros! Perros! Dogs! Dogs! by Ginger Fogleson Guy several years ago. Colorful pages from the story were mounted along a path in the park. Kids are free to read along (or be read to) at their own pace. Because I knew our children would want plenty of time to romp around the park, we packed a picnic dinner and made an evening of it. We’ve discovered that this park’s namesake falls are a secret retreat that can lend the feeling of being far from the confines of the city.

Learn more about StoryWalk history from the Kellogg-Hubbard Library in Vermont, where it was first developed by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT.

StoryWalk at Westwood Hills Nature Center in St. Louis Park, MN.
Walking a story path at Westwood Nature Center

Where to Find StoryWalk and Other Strolling Picture Book Events in 2024

Since Anne wrote this article in 2013, the StoryWalk idea has exploded (although sometimes they go by other names). These events are usually drop-in style and can be left in place for multiple days. This can sometimes make it difficult to add these events to our calendar.

Burnsville StoryWalk

Day Park & Earley Lake Trail, 14625 Co Rd 5, Burnsville, MN 55306
Three single morning events from 9am-noon during the summer of 2024.

  • Thursday, June 6: We are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom
  • Thursday, July 11: One Day in the Eucalyptus Tree by Daniel Bernstrom
  • Wednesday, Aug. 14: The Hike by Alison Farrell

Richfield Storybook Hikes

Augsburg Adventure Park, 7000 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55423
Part of Friday Fun at Augsburg Adventure Park, walk the Storybook Hike (offered in both English & Spanish) and play on the playground. Bring your stroller, the trail is paved and accessible and less than a half mile. June 14, 2024; June 28, 2024 and July 26, 2024.

Picture Books on Parade

Midtown Farmers Market, 2225 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407
Featuring picture books by local authors. Saturdays May through October. More 2024 Details TBA.

Three Rivers Parks 

Three Rivers Parks often offer story walks for self-guided Free Family Fun days.  For Families with older kids, The Landing often offers “Step Into the Story” programs – which is a little like a Story Walk for chapter books. Explore a classic story deeper while exploring the park. Find both by searching keyword: Story.

Washington County Story Stroll

Big Marine Park Reserve, 17495 Manning Trail N, Marine on St Croix, MN 55047
Washington County Parks and Libraries have collaborated to offer a permanent Story Stroll along a Big Marine Park Reserve walking path that loops by the playground and picnic shelter. Learn more here.

About the Author: Anne Kingston is a co-founder of Family Fun Twin Cities. 

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