Sure, cuddling in bed with your kids and a stack of books is a classic parenting moment—and often the sweetest part of the day. Consider breaking out of your routine (or just having a marathon reading day) and bringing a few library goodies to one of the reading spots listed below. Cuddling still required.
Comfy couches? Check. Coffee to keep you going after middle-of-the-night potty training? Check. Slice of cheesecake as big as your face? Check. Head over to this Adams Morgan fixture and stake out a spot on one of its many couches for an afternoon of foodie treats, people watching, and books, books, books.
2459 18th St., NW (Adams Morgan)
The National Portrait Gallery’s Kogod Courtyard
Nestled in the center of the National Portrait Gallery is the beautiful glass-ceiling Kogod Courtyard. With tons of natural light, trees, tables, benches, and steps from the café, this is a wonderful spot to park yourself for the morning or afternoon. Carry out the theme by reading biographies or art-related books (check out this list for ideas).
8th St NW & F St., NW (Chinatown)
Though the children’s section of one of DC’s best-known bookstores doesn’t have seating, that doesn’t seem to stop kids (and their parents) from crowding the floors on weekends, huddled over classics and new picks alike. Once you’ve made your selections, bring your purchases to the annexed café and enjoy a story or three over breakfast, brunch, lunch, or a decadent slice of Goober Pie.
1517 Connecticut Ave., NW (Dupont Circle)
One More Page
This small, local bookstore boasts a great selection of board books, picture books, readers, graphic novels, YA—you name it! And they often host author events, especially for YA novels. Grab a smoothie from South Block Juice Co. across the street and hunker down at the kid-size table in the back with a stack of picture books. Once you’ve plowed through your selections, the kids can play with puzzles and games while you scope out your next novel.
2200 N. Westmoreland St. #101 (Arlington, Va)
16th Library of Congress National Book Festival
On Saturday, September 24th, bring the tykes to the Washington Convention Center for a literary gathering that will blow their impressionable minds! Renowned children’s authors and illustrators will host Q&As and read and talk about their works (i.e. Callista Gingrich of the “Ellis the Elephant” series and the prolific Jerry Pinkney), and kids can prepare for the festival by downloading an eye spy poster or a design-your-own bookmark template from the festival website. Bring along your favorite books to read at the festival, walk around and listen to author readings, or treat the kids to a new book—possibly signed by the author!
801 Mt. Vernon Pl., NW Washington, DC
Open City at the National Cathedral
With the options of an outdoor patio, large farm table, or cozy couches and chairs, this unassuming coffee shop attached to the National Cathedral is the perfect spot to linger over a few books before or after exploring the grounds. Be sure to save room for one of the café’s deeeeelicious Belgian waffles—we’re partial to the “El Churro” flavor.
3101 Wisconsin Ave., NW (Woodley Park)
The Phillip Collection’s Hunter Courtyard
Access to the public courtyard is free, but you may still want to bookend your literary session with a scavenger hunt throughout the museum’s incredible art collection. Enjoy the fall air at a courtyard table (grab one with one of the generously-size umbrellas if it’s sunny) with a warm, frothy drink from Tryst a couple of blocks away!
1600 21st St., NW, Washington, DC
Where do you go to cozy up to a good book (and your kids)? Tell us in the comments section.