There’s nothing quite like cozying up with a great book that gets both kids and parents to relax after a busy day. These independent bookstores in Boston have shelves full of all our favorite books for kids, story times to keep them interested and even cafes for tired parents. These independent bookstores are institutions in our community and need to be supported!

Children's Book Shop, Brookline

This shop wins awards as the top kids' bookstore in the area and it's no surprise why. This shop is Boston's oldest independent children’s bookstore and it has been committed to providing customers with the best in children’s literature since 1977. They offer online and in-person shopping and their helpful staff is always ready to help you find what you need. 

237 Washington Street
Brookline, MA
Online: thechildrensbookshop.indielite.org

photo: istock

COOP for Kids at The Harvard COOP, Cambridge

Inside this mecca of academia, parents will find a hidden gem just for kids: The COOP for Kids features an entire department of children's books, collections and activities. You can enjoy story times and parents will be happy to know that not only are there public restrooms (ask for the key) but both the men's and women's restrooms have diaper changing tables. 

1400 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge
Online: store.thecoop.com

Andover Bookstore

This gem is America's oldest bookstore and has been in business since 1809. Families enjoy author events and story times at this popular gathering spot (during non-COVID times) and events like Where's Waldo hunts through town are a local favorite.

74 Main St.
Andover
Online: andoverbookstore.com

Buttonwood Books & Toys, Cohasset

In these days of uncertainty, books can be a wondrous source of knowledge and solace. Buttonwood Books & Toys offers reading material for the whole family plus a whole lot more. Their story times have gone virtual so head to their Facebook page on Fridays to join in the fun. 

747 Chief Justice Cushing Hwy
Cohasset, MA
Online: buttonwoodbooksandtoys.com

The Blue Bunny Bookstore, Dedham

Located in the renovated historic Dedham Square in Dedham, this bookstore was founded in 2003 by children’s book author and illustrator Peter H. Reynolds. The shop offers books, toys and art supplies, as well as signed copies of Peter’s books, prints, posters and cards. 

577 High St.
Dedham
Online: bluebunnybooks.com

Henry Bear's Park, Multiple Locations

Serving communities in the greater Boston area for over 40 years, Henry Bear’s Park specializes in products that encourage kids of all ages to “unplug and play” and in doing so learn more about themselves and the world around them. You'll find a large selection of children's books along with toys for all ages. 

Locations in Brookline, Cambridge, Arlington, Newton and Deham
Online: henrybear.com

An Unlikely Story Bookstore and Café, Plainville

Beloved children's book author Jeff Kinney and his wife Julie own this expansive indie bookstore and cafe in Plainville and we love taking our kids there. Jeff is often around to sign the newest Wimpy Kid book or make recommendations. An Unlikely Story Bookstore and Café is a beautiful new community gathering place where you can meet amazing authors, enjoy breakfast or lunch, or relax with your new book and a beer (or glass of wine).  

111 South Street
Plainville, MA
Online: anunlikelystory.com

—Kate Loweth

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