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. And, with a couple noted exceptions, each program is completely free entertainment for your young ones. (These times were verified and updated on 7/1/19).
- Wild Rumpus Tale Time | Wild Rumpus Books, Minneapolis. Time: 10:30am ongoing Mondays. Details: Three cheers for Tale 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!
- Storytime with Mama Ray / Storytime with Sarah & Bruno | Moon Palace Books, Minneapolis. Time: These currently run alternating Mondays, 10:30-11am. We recommend calling ahead or checking the link above to verify. Details: Cozy up on the colorful shag rug for stories by local authors, songs, poems and fingerplays. Best for preschool-aged kids and their caregivers.
- Story Time with Engineer Paul | Choo Choo Bob’s Train Store, St Paul. Time: 10am most Tuesdays – please check the link first. 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 (we recommend calling the individual store to verify). 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.
- Tent Tales for Tykes | L.L. Bean at the Mall of America. Time: 12:30-1:30pm ongoing Tuesdays. Details:Storytime in a tent. Nature stories, activities, games and crafts. (Toddler Tuesdays are also at the MOA from 10 am to 12pm). We highly recommend clicking the link to verify this story time.
- BookHounds Storytime Family Book Club | GoodKids, White Bear Lake. Time: Currently 10:30am ongoing Wednesdays. Details: We’re probably a little biased, but we think the BookHounds Storytime is the BEST storytime in the Twin Cities. Gianna and GoodKids Toy Store have worked hard to bring families great stories and special appearances.
- Preschool Storytime | Red Balloon Bookshop, St Paul. Time: Currently 10:30am ongoing Wednesdays; please check for the most recent schedule. 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. Time: 10am each 2nd Wednesday of the month. Details: Call 763-489-2221 to reserve a spot – these fill very quickly! The 45-minute program includes a story, craft and time with an animal.
- Theatre Explorers Storytime | Steppingstone Theatre, St Paul. Time: 10am. These sessions run on the same schedule as classes and break for summer. Check the link for current schedule. Details: $10.00/family. Drop in program. Pay at the door.
- Lil Explorer Thursdays Storytime | Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, St Paul. Time: The free program runs 10am – noon, ongoing Thursdays. 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. Time: 10am each 1st Thursday of the month. Details: Call 763-489-2221 to reserve a spot – again, these fill very quickly. The 45-minute program includes a story, craft and time with an animal.
- Preschool Storytime | Red Balloon Bookshop, 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.
- Sensory Friendly Story Time | Wild Rumpus Books, Minneapolis. Time: 9:30am second Thursdays. Details: A calmer, less busy storytime.
- Storytime at the Arborteum | Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Chaska. Time: 10:30am Details: Adults will still need to pay admission ($15), unless you are a member.
- Preschool Story Time | Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center, 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.
- Barnes and Noble Themed Storytimes | Various Barnes & Noble Stores. Time: 11am ongoing Saturdays. Details: 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.
- Author or Themed Storytimes | Red Balloon Bookshop, St Paul. Time: These events are not necessarily weekly or at a set time, but you kind find upcoming special story times here.
- Magical Story Time | Boneshaker Books, Minneapolis. Time: 11am-noon Details: It’s storytime with a mission – to address a need for greater diversity in kid lit and encourage empathy in the youngest book lovers.
- 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.