Drop-In Storytimes For Book-Lovers Big and Small
Let’s face it – this gloomy winter time weather makes playing outside more of a chore than a good time with the kids. If you’ve had your full of splashing in puddles and cleaning up wet spots made by tiny feet, consider adding a cozy storytime to your routine. Storytimes are always a great indoor activity and it turns out, they’re not just available at the library. This guide gives you the scoop on where to catch a great story for the little ones outside of the library box. Not only can you get in some storytime entertainment, a lot of these hot spots have plenty of other distractions to keep the kids occupied.
San Francisco Botanical Gardens Storytime & Family Walk
Head over to The San Francisco Botanical Garden Library on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of every month at 10:30 am for a 30-minute storytime for kids ages 4-8. You’ll find a cozy kids nook with comfy kid-sized cushions, stuffed animals to cuddle, and a great collection of books about plants, natural history, general science, and nature-related myths and stories. After storytime, join a special docent-led children’s tour of the garden – if you’re lucky and the sun’s out, bring a picnic lunch to round out the morning!
9th Avenue at Lincoln Way
Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
Storytime is an interactive affair at this stylish children’s boutique. Catch it on Tuesdays at 4:00 pm. And of course, stick around to check out the impressive collections of baby gear for your little ones.
2110 Chestnut Street
(between Steiner and Pierce) San Francisco
Asian Art Museum
Art comes to life in the myths and folktales from Asia told in this storytelling program for kids 5 and up Sundays from 1:00 pm – 1:45 pm (check calendar). Storytime is free with museum admission (children under 12 are always free).
200 Larkin Street
The Reading Bug
There’s a lot going on at this family-owned independent bookstore which has quickly become a neighborhood favorite. The Reading Bug has no fewer than five story times, all for different ages and all at 11:00 am on different days of the week; Pre-K on Tuesdays and Thursdays, babies and toddlers on Wednesdays, newborns on Fridays, all ages on Saturdays. Ages 3 and up on Sundays (there are free crafts on this day!).
785 Laurel Street
Home to not just one, but two storytimes, we don’t know why more families don’t stop in for this fantastic half hour of stories, games, songs, and play time. Sure, it’s on the smaller side as far as libraries go, but we think that just adds to the charm. Toddler story time (good for ages 18-36 months) is held every Wednesday at 12:30 pm and the Preschool story time is held on Mondays at 1:00 pm.
250 Visitacion Avenue
Their Palo Alto location invites kids ages 3-8 to “2nd Saturday Story Time” at 2:00 pm every Saturday afternoon. Listen to some wonderful stories, enjoy a yummy treat, and do some fun crafts as well.
74 Town & Country Village
Barnes and Noble
Their Emeryville store has “Toddler Time with Tori” on Wednesdays for ages 0-3 at 11:00 am. Tori is a super talented storyteller who believes it’s never too early to start reading with your little ones. Stop in and let Tori take you on an imaginative journey through some of her favorite books.
5604 Bay Street, Emeryville
Bay Area Discovery Museum
As part of their current exhibit, Once Upon a Time…Exploring the World of Fairy Tales, listen to some classic fairy tales and and fairy tale-inspired stories from all over the globe. The museum itself has been transformed into a fairytale wonderland that will make you feel like you’ve stepped into the pages of a book. The story times take place Wednesdays at 1:30 pm, Thursdays at 3:00 pm, and Fridays at 2:00 pm. The exhibit is only here until May 2013, so check it out before the museum turns back into a pumpkin (we couldn’t resist).
557 McReynolds Rd
Barnes and Noble
The children’s section at this store is a favorite space for kids with its cute Lego table and kid-sized chairs and tables. Join other families there for storytime every Wednesday and Saturday at 11:00 am.
313 Corte Madera Town Center
Every Sunday at 11:00 am, kindergarten teacher Christopher Smith reads picture books from the shelves of this much-loved independent bookstore. He even sings his own hugely popular songs and plays his guitar, mandolin, or banjo. This wonderful program takes place every week (except holiday weekends).
51 Tamal Vista Boulevard
We know there are a bunch more places that host story times. Where do you stop in for story time with your little bookworms?
– Annie Sheldon