Once upon a time, preschool storytimes were an integral part of my weekday routine as a stay-at-home mom with toddlers and preschoolers. The time we spent at bookstores, libraries and other tot spots around town made up a big piece of our social life. We’d see familiar faces, discover new stories, and I would often take away valuable nuggets of parenting advice. The list below of toddler and preschool story times are hosted at highly kid-friendly venues around the Twin Cities. Most of these programs are completely free entertainment for your young ones and drop-in in nature. Where there is a fee or a pre-registration requirement, we have noted this. As always, please call or check the website before coming out! (These times were most recently verified and updated on 2/10/20. We’ve made notes where we are waiting for verification).
Featured Partner: Music Together in the Valley
Music Together: Exciting, award-winning music and movement classes for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, K-2nd graders—and the grownups who love them! Completely online for the Winter 2021 Session.
It’s safe, convenient, engaging, effective, stress relieving, connection building and totally fun. Even though your teacher is on the screen, each class is designed to be an active music-making experience for the whole family. Tuition includes one live 30-minute class each week plus weekly Tuesday evening ‘Musical Play Dates’ and Thursday evening ‘Songs, Stories and Lullabies’ and every other week Saturday night dance parties. FUN!
Free demonstration classes anytime at MusicTogetherClasses.org under ‘Demos.’
As of January 2021, most story times are on hold or online, but Carpenter Nature Center is starting to offer in person story times with restrictions and pre-registration and some Barnes & Noble stores are offering limited story times.
Wild Rumpus Books | Minneapolis
Three cheers for Wild Rumpus Tail Time – the most consistent and dependable story time in the Twin Cities! Arrive early if you want to get a decent spot at this popular story time. Stick around to see how many critters (yes, animal critters) you can spot slinking around the store! 10:30am ongoing Mondays. On Hold – But find virtual story times here.
Story Time with Boo @ Kiddywampus | Hopkins
Weekly storytime with Boo, a seasoned actor and teaching artist, filled with imaginative fun and books for all. Complimentary, ages 2+ (younger sibs always welcome), just turn up for the fun. (An indoor play space is coming, too. Combine your weekly story time with play time. Like Choo Choo Bobs, story time will be free, but pay to play). On hold.
L.L. Bean at the Mall of America
Tent Tales for Tykes presents storytime in a tent. Nature stories, activities, games and crafts. Toddler Tuesdays are also at the MOA from 10 am to 12pm. Ongoing Tuesdays, 12:30-1:30pm. On hold.
Tadpole Tuesday Story Time | SeaQuest Rosedale
Animal-themed storytime, crafts and games, included with admission. This storytime may be best for families with a membership. 10:30-11:30am. On hold, but SeaQuest is open.
Pottery Barn Kids | Edina & Maple Grove
Both Twin Cities locations appear to participate in Book Club Storytime (however, we recommend calling the individual store to verify). Become a book club member and your kid is eligible for a special prize after attending five storytimes. Ongoing Tuesdays, 11-11:30am. On hold.
Red Balloon Bookshop | St Paul
Themed stories, songs, puppets and other preschool pleasures. Red Balloon also hosts many weekend family events celebrating local authors. Currently 10:30am ongoing Wednesdays; please check for the most recent schedule. Virtual until further notice.
Tots and Tales Story | Keg and Case, St Paul
An hour of stories read by local authors of children’s books, along with an interactive learning activity. Special children’s lunch deals from Keg and Case vendors. On hold.
Animal Humane Society | Golden Valley
Furry Tails Storytime is very popular and fills quickly. Required: call 763-489-2221 to reserve a spot. The 45-minute program includes a story, craft and time with an animal. Second Wednesday of each month, 10–10:45 a.m. On hold.
Steppingstone Theatre | St Paul
Theatre Explorers Storytime sessions run on the same schedule as classes and break for summer. Check the link for current schedule. $10.00/family. Drop in program. Pay at the door. On hold.
Como Park Zoo & Conservatory | St Paul
The wonderful Lil Explorer Thursdays program includes two themed storytimes. This is a fantastic free event aimed at preschoolers and includes all kinds of hands-on activities, manipulatives, games and crafts. Meet in the Visitor Center. Ongoing Thursdays, 10am-noon. On hold.
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum | Chaska
The Arb is a beautiful place to spend time year-round. Storytime at the Arborteum is held at the Visitor Center each week. Kids are free, adults will still need to pay admission ($15), unless you are a member. Thursdays, 10:30am. Virtual until further notice.
Wild Rumpus Books | Minneapolis
Sensory Friendly Storytime is a calmer, less busy storytime than the original Tail Time (see above, storytimes on Monday). Second Thurs of the month, 9:30am. This is not currently on the store’s calendar. I have emailed them and will update when I hear back. On hold until further notice.
Animal Humane Society | Woodbury
See above description of Furry Tails Storytime. Call 763-489-2221 to reserve a spot. 10am each 1st Thursday of the month. On hold.
Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center | Hastings
Call ahead to register for Preschool Story Time. There is a fee of $5 per child for this program which includes a story, craft, and nature and animal education. Accompanying adults are free. One Friday each month, 10 – 11am. Registration is required.
Moon Palace Books | Minneapolis
Monday Storytime with Mama Ray & Storytime with Sarah & Bruno are still on hold. For now, watch Zoom Friend & Neighbor Storytime on Fridays at 9:30am. Registration is required.
Storytime with Mama Ray
These story time themes are chosen by corporate headquarters and offered all over the country. Not all Barnes & Noble stores participate, but a good many local locations do. Sometimes there will be more than one national theme and possibly a local author scheduled. We were told by the Galleria store that they’ll just share all the books when this is the case. You can check for participating stores here. Ongoing Saturdays, 11am. See individual stores for confirmation – virtual story times also offered each week.
Wild Rumpus Bilingual Storytime | Minneapolis
A virtual Spanish/English bilingual story time with bookseller Leigh! Sing songs in Spanish and read Spanish/bilingual picture book favorites. Online.
Boneshaker Books | Minneapolis
It’s Magical Story Time with a mission – to address a need for greater diversity in kid lit and encourage empathy in the youngest book lovers. This links to their Facebook page – please check before coming to storytime. 11am-noon. On hold.
Library storytimes – Baby, Family & Preschool Storytimes
On hold or virtual – Check your favorite library.
- St Paul Public Library Storytimes – Download a monthly Early Learning Calendar, which features all the Play & Learn events including storytimes.
- Hennepin County Library Storytimes
- Ramsey County Library Storytimes
- Dakota County Library Storytimes
- Washington County Library Storytimes
- Anoka County Library Storytimes
- Carver County Library Storytimes
- Scott County Library Storytimes
Know of another great gathering spot for stories in your neighborhood? Please drop us a line so we can share your suggestion with other families.
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