Once upon a time, story time took place at night, right before little bookworms drifted off to sleep. Nowadays, there are story times each and every day of the week in local libraries, bookstores and museums, with enough of a variety and age range to keep their love of reading going strong for years. From Beverly Hills to Manhattan Beach, these are our favorite story hours that bring books to life in every corner of the city.

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photo credit: Meghan Rose

Beverly Hills Public Library
At the modern and inviting Beverly Hills Public Library Children’s Library, there are many, many things to love including the gorgeous space, toy filled Family Room and enchanting Enchanted Reading Room. But tops on the list are the amazing and varied story times led by some of the most enthusiastic librarians in town. There are story hours for everyone from non-walking babies on up through summer and after school reading programs for tweens and teens. All story times take place in the Little Theater in the Children’s Library and parking is available free for two hours. If you end up with a very hungry caterpillar, stop by the nearby (walking distance, we promise) Ice Cream Lab for a special made-before-your-own-eyes treat.

444 North Rexford Dr.
Beverly Hills
310-288-2211
Online: beverlyhills.org/exploring/beverlyhillspubliclibrary

Central Library LAPL

photo credit: Stefani T via yelp

Central Library Los Angeles Public Library
The historical Los Angeles Public Library Central Library not only features beautiful architecture for young scholars to view, but offers reading programs for kids of all ages, almost everyday of the week. There are too many to list, so check their website for a complete listing of what’s going on this month.  One of our favorites is the Family Hour on Saturdays from 2 p.m.-3 p.m. at the KLOS Story Theater, where kids get to explore different themes through stories, songs, poems and musical instruments. Making this a whole day trip is simple as the Library houses many exhibits and Grand Park is nearby.

630 West 5th St.
Downtown
213-228-7000
Online: lapl.org

Vroman's Bookstore

photo credit: courtesy of Vroman’s Bookstore

Vroman’s Bookstore
There’s something special about a bookstore like Vroman’s that has stood the test of time since 1894 (and survived the encroaching internet bookselling behemoths). The Children’s section upstairs is astounding with a selection curated with care. Every Wednesday and Saturday, the very funny and endearing Mr. Steve hosts a story time at 10 a.m. He’s been slinging books at Vroman’s for over 25 years and is consistently amusing, even for the adults. With an entire floor dedicated to young readers, the Children’s department is inviting and playful. Both you and your little ones can spend hours perusing their collection. Parking is available on the streets or in the back lot.  They also host amazing author’s events for kids here, where you’re sure to discover (and meet) a new favorite author.  Be sure to ask them about their upcoming events when you visit.

695 East Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena
626-449-5320
Online: vromansbookstore.com

Children's Book World

photo credit: Judy Park

Children’s Book World
The only bookstore in town dedicated entirely to babies, kids and tweens, Children’s Book World is the best kept secret on the Westside. All their books are perfectly categorized, so if you have a little Bob the Builder, you can head right for an entire shelf section dedicated to construction vehicles. It is literally (pun intended) a dream come true for your little ones. Every Saturday from 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. they have a rotation of storytellers, author readings, musical performers and other entertainment for kids and families. The best part of it is, after the story time or an author reading, your child can get their books autographed or they can stay for hours and browse through the endless collections. Our favorite Saturdays feature the super-librarian Hillary George with her ukulele.

10580 1/2 West Pico Blvd.
West LA
310-559-2665
Online: childrensbookworld.com

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photo credit: Kelly W via yelp

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This quaint little neighborhood gem offers a selection for book lovers of all ages. Children’s Story Time takes place on Mondays at 10:30 a.m., geared towards kids ages 2-6. On certain Saturdays, they also feature special readings and signings by authors of new children’s book releases. This bookstore is right by the pier and has nice boutique shops nearby, not to mention the beach, so you can plan for a full day of fun. Also, you can drop by Manhattan Beach Creamery for a sweet treat after you pick up some summer (or fall, winter or spring) reads.

904 Manhattan Ave.
Manhattan Beach
310-318-0900
Online: pagesabookstore.com

Babies-Talking-Books-And-Cookies-Classphoto courtesy of Chudney Ross

Books and Cookies
Of course we love Books and Cookies—they combine two of everyone’s all time favorite things.  The very best time to sample the scope of what they have to offer is at a story time, and they have plenty to choose from.  Movers & Shakers Story Time is on Mondays & Fridays at 9:30 a.m. and is great for active little ones who can’t sit still. They’ll get to read stories, play games, dance, play musical instruments or play with the parachute. Musical Story Time on Tuesdays & Thursdays at 9:30 a.m. takes your little musicians on a musical literacy adventure as they weave hands-on instrument play into storytelling and dance. Story Time Adventures takes off on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. where not only are the stories brought to life with song and props, lil’ explorers will get to go on adventures that tie into the theme of the books, from dinosaur egg-hunts to wild rumpus dance parties. All story times are 35 minutes and cost $10 at the door on a first-come first-serve basis for the first 12 families; arrive early to ensure you get a space.

2309 Main St.
Santa Monica
310-452-1301
Online: booksandcookiesla.com

Lollipop Dream

photo credit: Lilian K via yelp

Lollipop Dream
Aside from the plethora of princess teas and dress-up parties that Lollipop Dream offers, you can also find some fun, interactive story times on Tuesdays & Fridays from 11 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. Cozy up with your young royals on their soft pillows and wander off to Never-Never Land. Their story time is a walk-in event with no RSVP necessary. It costs $5/child and face painting is included.

14006 Riverside Dr.
Sherman Oaks
818-981-7446
Online: lollipop-dream.com

Boone Gallery LACMA

photo credit: Judy Park

Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Inspire mini Picassos with a trip to the Boone Children’s Gallery at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Story time in the Gallery happens on Mondays & Fridays at 2 p.m. Admission is free with your free NexGen Membership (which is also free!). Get your little artists to do some Korean brush painting and check out current exhibits like the Metropolis II, before or after story time.

5905 Wilshire Blvd.
Miracle Mile
323-857-6010
Online: lacma.org

storytime zimmer

photo credit: Zimmer Children’s Museum

Zimmer Children’s Museum
The Zimmer Children’s Museum is a great place for babies and young toddlers to burn off their energy and practice their crawling and walking skills. But it’s also a great place to cuddle and listen to a book. Story time at the Museum takes place in Bubbie’s Bookstore on the lower level every Thursday (with a few exceptions) at 11 a.m.; check their calendar for the current schedule. Then young adventurers can spend a few hours here going through all the exhibits. There’s even a lunchroom for when you and your little one need to take a little snack break. Admission is $7/person and kids under 1 are free.

6505 Wilshire Blvd.
Miracle Mile
323-761-8984
Online: zimmermuseum.org

Did we miss one of your favorite story times? Tell us in the comments below!

—Judy Park