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 1/16/20. We’ve made notes where we are waiting for verification).
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.
Moon Palace Books | Minneapolis
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. These two preschool storytimes are currently running alternating Mondays, 10:30-11am. Moon Palace has informed us that weekly story times are on hiatus through the end of 2019.
The Owl & The Octopus | Wayzata
Reading Time is open to all to come in and listen to stories from the large selection of children’s books that The Owl and the Octopus toy store has in stock. 10am. We have been informed by readers that these times have changed for the winter. I have sent an email to our contact because we could not find the information on their site. We’ll keep you updated.
Choo Choo Bob’s Train Store | St Paul
Story Time with Engineer Paul means 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 (While story time is free; play is $5/child). Monday 10:30am rock-n-roll story time (also Friday at 4:30pm dance party). Events are now listed on Facebook. We recommend double checking before heading out. We’ve been told times will be changing again soon.
L.L. Bean at the Mall of America
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.
Pinwheel Play | Chanhassen
This indoor playground offers stories most Tuesdays as part of the cost of admission, which is $9.95/child. Admission also includes play and access to the craft room for the whole day. 10am.
Pottery Barn Kids | Edina & Maple Grove
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
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.
Golden Valley Animal Humane Society
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
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
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
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.
Red Balloon Bookshop | St Paul.
See above description. Ongoing Thursdays, 10:30am.
Wild Rumpus Books | Minneapolis
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
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
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
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
- 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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