Once upon a time, story hour was 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. And, with one noted exception, each program is completely free entertainment for your young ones.
- Wild Rumpus Tale Time @ Wild Rumpus Books, 2720 West 43rd Street, Minneapolis. Time: 10:30 am ongoing Mondays. Details: 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!
- Storytime w/ Mama Ray @ Moon Palace Books, 2820 E. 33rd Street, Minneapolis. Time: Currently 11am the first Monday of the month (please check the link for the most current calendar!) Details: Themed stories and songs aimed at kids under five years.
- Story Time with Engineer Paul @ Choo Choo Bob’s Train Store, 2050 Marshall Avenue, St. Paul. Time: 10am ongoing Tuesdays. Details: Wonderful stories, songs and preschool activities with a (no surprise) train slant. Stick around to play at one of the 7 train tables set up at the back of the store.
- Book Club Storytime @ Pottery Barn Kids, find your closest location here. Time: 11-11:30am ongoing Tuesdays. Details: Become a book club member and your kid is eligible for a special prize after attending five storytimes.
- Preschool Storytime @ Red Balloon Bookshop, 891 Grand Avenue, St. Paul. Time: 10:30am ongoing Wednesdays. Details: Themed stories, songs, puppets and other preschool pleasures. Red Balloon also hosts many weekend family events celebrating local authors.
- Furry Tails Storytime @ Golden Valley Animal Humane Society, 845 Meadow Lane N., Golden Valley. Time: 10am each 2nd Wednesday of the month. Details: Call 763-489-2221 to reserve a spot. The 45-minute program includes a story, craft and time with an animal.
- Storytime with Snow White @ Pacifier – North Loop, 219 N. 2nd St., Minneapolis. Time: 11-11:30am ongoing Wednesdays. Details: Bring a favorite tale to share.
- Family Storytime @ Ramsey County Library Roseville, 2180 N. Hamline Avenue, Roseville. Time: 10:30am. Details: Stories, songs, creative movement and more for toddlers and preschoolers. For a complete listing of library story hours in the Ramsey County system, click here.
- Lil Explorer Thursdays Storytime @ Como Park Zoo @ Conservatory, 1225 Estabrook Drive, St. Paul. Time: The free program runs 10am – noon, ongoing Thursdays through April 28, 2016. Two themed storytimes are held during this time. Details: 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.
- Furry Tails Storytime @ Woodbury Animal Humane Society, 845 Meadow Lane N., Golden Valley. Time: 10am each 1st Thursday of the month. Details: Call 763-489-2221 to reserve a spot. The 45-minute program includes a story, craft and time with an animal.
- Preschool Storytime @ Red Balloon Bookshop, 891 Grand Avenue, St. Paul. Time: 10:30am ongoing Thursdays. Details: Themed stories, songs, puppets and other preschool pleasures. Red Balloon also hosts many weekend family events celebrating local authors.
- Barnes and Noble Storytime @ Galleria Shopping Center, 3225 W 69th, Edina. Time: 10am ongoing Fridays (and Wednesdays – at this location). Details: For a listing of all local Barnes and Noble story events, click here.
- Preschool Story Time @ Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center, 12805 St. Croix Trail S., Hastings. Time: One Friday each month, 10 – 11am. Call ahead to register, 651-437-4359. Cost/Details: 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.
- St. Paul Public Library 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.