Okay, it is time to admit that story times have changed and we are not sure when and if they will ever go back to normal. We no longer have a story hour option for every day of the week and many of the current offerings are not free and have limited capacity. 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.
Featured Partner: Music Together in the Valley
Music Together: Exciting, award-winning music and movement classes for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, K-2nd graders—and the grownups who love them! Free demonstration classes anytime at MusicTogetherClasses.org under ‘Demos.’
Live & In Person Story Times
Eden Prairie Art Center, 7650 Equitable Dr, Eden Prairie, MN 55344
Mondays; Sep. 20 – Dec. 20, 2021; 11-11:30am
Stories with corresponding art projects that encourage play and sensory engagement. Drop In, but space is limited to 10 families. FREE!
Park Square Theatre, 20 W 7th Pl, St. Paul, MN 55102
Wednesdays; Sep. 22 – Nov. 10, 2021; 9:30-11:30am
Themed group songs and stories followed by independent play and art stations in a mixed ages setting (ages 2-5). Dress to get messy. $17/class per child. Pre-Register or Pay at the door.
Keg and Case West 7th Market, 928 West Seventh Street, Saint Paul, MN 55102
Every Thursday; 11am
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. FREE!
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.
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. Currently, Eagan is the only participating store, but it changes up. You can check for participating stores here. Ongoing Saturdays, 11am. See individual stores for confirmation – virtual story times also offered each week. FREE!
Online Story Times
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 on Facebook Live, Tuesdays at 2pm.
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. Virtual until further notice.
Moon Palace Books | Minneapolis
Monday Storytime with Mama Ray & Storytime with Sarah & Bruno are still on hold. For now, watch Friend & Neighbor Storytime on Fridays at 9:30am on Zoom. Registration is required.
Wild Rumpus Bilingual Storytime | Minneapolis
A virtual Spanish/English bilingual story time with bookseller Leigh! Sing songs in Spanish and read Spanish/bilingual picture book favorites. Online.
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
This fall, all Washington County Library branches are offering in-person storytimes or early literacy programs. Some are outdoors, some are indoors and require registration, and some are drop-in programs to explore on your own. Visit our calendar to find events near you.
— 9/28/21 October Events for Families Newsletter
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.
Animal Humane Society | Golden Valley
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. On hold.
Animal Humane Society | Woodbury
See above description of Furry Tails Storytime. Call 763-489-2221 to reserve a spot. 10am each 1st Thursday of the month. On hold.
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. 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.
- Find hundreds more things to do in Minneapolis & St Paul with kids!
- Find more activities and indoor games for kids.