September is National Literacy Month, and while reading at home is strongly encouraged, sometimes you need to get out of the house. We mapped out a week’s worth of storytimes—most of which are free. Read up to get the inside story on where they are telling tales every day of the week.

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MONDAY:

Vinings Library Toddler Storytime
Think there’s nothing to do on Mondays? Head up to the Vinings Cobb County library for toddler storytime. The 10:30 start time should give you plenty of time to get your kids out the door, but if you miss it, no worries — they’ll be reading the same books again on Tuesday and Wednesday. Get there early if you can, since parking is limited.

Address: 4290 Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta, GA 30339
Phone: 770-801-5330 
Ages: 18-36 months 
Time: 10:30 am
Activities: stories and songs

TUESDAY: 

East Atlanta Branch Library Toddler Storytime
Tuesday’s storytime is geared for toddlers, and there’s a second event at this location on Wednesdays for preschoolers (the biggest difference is the Wednesday craft). There’s plenty of parking at the library, and you can park on the street if the lot is full. Storytime is in the meeting room (just inside the front door to the left). If you’ve got time afterward, stay a while and visit the children’s section of the library, where you can cuddle on a cushioned window seat with your toddler and a big pile of board books.

Address: 400 Flat Shoals Ave. SE, Atlanta, GA 30316
Phone: 404-730-5438
Ages: 18-36 months 
Time: 10:30 am 
Activities: stories and songs

Storytime

WEDNESDAY:

Buckhead Barnes & Noble Preschool Storytime
Where better to discover the latest and greatest in children’s books than at a bookstore storytime? Arrive early, as the event is popular and gets crowded fast. But if your kids think going to the bookstore means playing with the Thomas train table, be prepared: the small children’s section here has no play area and no trains or Legos. On the bright side, there’s a full Starbucks store (not just a B&N cafe) attached.

Address: 2900 Peachtree Road NE Suite 310, Atlanta, GA 30305
Phone: 404-261-7747
Ages:18 months – 5 years  
Time: 11 am 
Activities: stories, songs and crafts 

Atlanta Botanical Gardens Children’s Storytime
It’s not exactly free, but the only cost is museum admission, and it’s worth trying at least once this summer. It’s hard to go wrong with a garden-themed outdoor storytime that takes place in the biggest garden in the city.

Address: 1345 Piedmont Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA 30309
Phone: 404-876-5859 
Ages: 18 months – 5 years
Time: 10:30 am 
Activities: garden-themed stories

THURSDAY:

Little Shop of Stories Bedtime Stories
Having trouble getting your kids out the door for all these morning events? How about an evening storytime? Treat yourself with an early dinner in Decatur, then stroll to the bookstore for a few bedtime stories. Milk and cookies are included, and pajamas are encouraged. If you’re lucky, your kids might even fall asleep on the way home.

Address: 133A East Court Square, Decatur, GA 30030 
Phone: 404-373-6300
Ages: all 
Time: 7 pm 
Activities: stories, songs and dessert 

Storytime

FRIDAY:

Free Kids App Friday 
Okay, so this isn’t exactly a storytime. But do you really want to drag your kids out to an event in Friday traffic? It’s been a long week of reading—stay home in your pajamas and let your iPhone do the reading for you. Every Friday, the Best Apps for Kids site lists apps (for iPhone, iPad and Nook) that are free to download for one day only. There’s a whole category just for story apps, so hit the download button, hand over your phone, and relax for a while.

Imagine It! Children’s Museum Storytime
Or, if you’ve just got to hear more stories in person, how about a visit to Imagine It! Children’s Museum? You may think of it more as a giant indoor playground than a storytelling spot, but the Imaginators put on a storytelling performance every Friday at 3. The performance is free, but admission to the museum is $12.75 for adults and kids over one (babies are free).

Address: 275 Centennial Olympic Park Drive NW, Atlanta, GA 30313-1827
Phone: 404-659-5437
Ages: 0-8 years 
Time: 3 pm 
Activities: story performance, museum activities

SATURDAY:

Edgewood Barnes & Noble Storytime
Perk up your Saturday morning with a visit to the Barnes & Noble at Edgewood for storytime and crafts. This location does have a Thomas train table and a Lego table, so feel free to stay and play for a while, as long as you’re cool with having to constantly remind your toddler to share the Thomas train at the crowded table.

Address: 1217 Caroline Street, Atlanta, GA 30307
Phone: 404-522-0212
Ages: 2-5 years 
Time: 11 am 
Activities: stories and crafts

The Wren’s Nest Storytelling
Although it’s not free ($6 for kids, $9 for adults), The Wren’s Nest storytime is well worth a visit. The Wren’s Nest is a nonprofit dedicated to preserving the legacy of Joel Chandler Harris, author of the Uncle Remus Tales. The storytellers here aren’t your average bookseller or librarian—they’re professional storytellers who will captivate you as much as your kids.

Address: 1050 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd, SW, Atlanta, GA 30310
Phone: 404-753-7735  
Ages: 2 years – adult
Time: 1 pm 
Activities: professionally narrated story 

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SUNDAY:

Little Shop of Stories Storytime
There’s only one place to get stories on Sunday, so head back to the Little Shop of Stories in Decatur. This post-naptime storytime doesn’t have milk and cookies, but it does have a great selection and bookselling staff who know their stuff.

Address: 133A East Court Square, Decatur, GA 30030 
Phone: 404-373-6300
Ages: all 
Time: 3 pm 
Activities: stories 

Where’s your favorite place to hear a tall tale in Atlanta? Tell us your story below!

—Lisa Baker

Photos courtesy of Creative Commons via Flickr and Little Shop of Stories via Facebook