Story times are starting to come back fully, but we are still waiting on a few of our favorites. Online story times may be a fun addition that we get to keep in our back pockets for on demand family fun. 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!
1225 Estabrook Dr, St Paul, MN 55103
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.
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. We’re waiting for 2023 dates to be announced.
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.
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 & Thursday mornings at 10:30am. Learn more here.
Locations in Coon Rapids, Golden Valley & Woodbury
Rescue Readers is very popular and fills quickly and is geared toward kids of reading age (6+). The 45-minute program includes the chance for kids to read to a rescue animal. Required: call 763-489-2221 to reserve a spot. An orientation session MUST be completed prior to booking. $10 per session.
Online Story Times
A virtual Spanish/English bilingual story time with bookseller Leigh! Sing songs in Spanish and read Spanish/bilingual picture book favorites. Online.
The library’s YouTube page offers great materials for parents of babies to do their own DIY story times, as well as children’s story time programming. Find all of Dakota County’s playlists here.
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.
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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