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).
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As of September 2020, we do not believe that any of these story times are happening live and in person, but some are offered online.
Wild Rumpus Books | Minneapolis – Virtual until further notice
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.
Moon Palace Books | Minneapolis – On hold.
Cozy up on the colorful shag rug Storytime with Mama Ray & Storytime with Sarah & Bruno. Stories by local authors, songs, poems and fingerplays. Best for preschool-aged kids and their caregivers. Select Mondays. Watch our calendar. We’ll try to keep these up to date. 10:30-11am.
Story Time with Boo @ Kiddywampus | Hopkins – On hold.
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)
L.L. Bean at the Mall of America – On hold.
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.
Tadpole Tuesday Story Time | SeaQuest Rosedale – On hold.
Animal-themed storytime, crafts and games, included with admission. This storytime may be best for families with a membership. 10:30-11:30am.
Pottery Barn Kids | Edina & Maple Grove – On hold.
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.
Red Balloon Bookshop | St Paul – Virtual until further notice
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.
Tots and Tales Story | Keg and Case, St Paul – On hold.
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.
Golden Valley Animal Humane Society – On hold.
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.
Steppingstone Theatre | St Paul – On hold
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.
Como Park Zoo & Conservatory | St Paul – On hold
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.
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum | Chaska – Virtual Story Times
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.
Wild Rumpus Books | Minneapolis – On Hold, but see Monday virtual story times.
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.
Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center | Hastings – On hold
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.
Barnes and Noble Themed Storytimes – Some locations are offering 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. 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.
Boneshaker Books | Minneapolis – On hold
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.
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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