Okay, it is time to admit that story times have changed and we are not sure when and if they will ever go back to normal. We no longer have a story hour option for every day of the week and many of the current offerings are not free and have limited capacity. We have broken story times into four categories: (1) live and in person events, (2) online events, (3) library story times and (4) all the rest of our favorites that we hope to see return soon.
As always, if you know of a story time that we have missed, please leave it in the comments and we’ll share with the community.
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Live & In Person Story Times
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. You can check for participating stores here. Ongoing Saturdays, 11am. FREE!
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. Reservations are currently required.
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum | Chaska
3675 Arboretum Drive, Chaska, MN 55318
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. Meet in the Andersen Horticultural Library. Final Friday of each Month April through October in 2022.
Moon Palace Books | Minneapolis
3032 Minnehaha Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55406
Monday Storytime with Mama Ray & Storytime with Sarah & Bruno are still on hold. However, Picture Books on Parade are offered on Saturday mornings during the Midtown Farmers Market from 8am-1pm during the summer of 2022.
Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center, 12805 St Croix Trail S, Hastings, MN 55033
Monthly Friday Story Times, 10am-11am
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.
Westwood Hills Nature Center, 8300 W. Franklin Ave., St. Louis Park, MN 55426
Monthly Monday & Friday Story Times, 10am-11:30am
Stories about a different nature theme each month told by the Westwood puppets. There is a fee of $4-$5/pp for this program which includes a story, naturalist-led activities. Registration is required.
Red Balloon Bookshop | St Paul
891 Grand Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55105
Themed stories, songs, puppets and other preschool pleasures. Red Balloon also hosts many weekend family events celebrating local authors. Wednesday Mornings at 10:30am – outdoors, weather permitting. Learn more here.
Park Square Theatre, 20 W 7th Pl, St. Paul, MN 55102
Watch for new dates in the fall of 2022.
Themed group songs and stories followed by independent play and art stations in a mixed ages setting (ages 2-5). Dress to get messy. Pay As You Are Able ($17/class covers the cost of one family). Pre-Register or Pay at the door.
Online Story Times
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.
Library Storytimes – Baby, Family & Preschool Storytimes
Most of the libraries are offering virtual story hours; some have brought back in person events.
- St Paul Public Library Storytimes – Get 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.
Story Hours Currently On Hold
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.
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.
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.
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.
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