If your kids miss story time with their favorite librarian while staying-at-home, fear not! There are many online offerings hosted by local bookstores, libraries and authors. The diverse array of virtual events and activities will peak even the youngest listener’s interest.

photo: Magical Memories AL


Live Interactions

Princess Parties DC
Join popular storybook characters for a LIVE story time and Q+A with Princess Parties DC on Facebook. Three times a week, little ones can ask Ariel or Elsa what their favorite ice cream flavor is and hear all about their friends and kingdoms! And don’t let the company name fool you; they also feature everyone’s favorite superheros, like Batman, Spider Man and Wonder Woman.

Online: princesspartiesdc.com

Magical Memories
Not local (but definitely worth a mention), Magical Memories features live read-alouds and sing-a-longs with Elsa, Rapunzel, Ariel, Cinderella, Merida, Tinkerbell and Alice in Wonderland every Fri. You can also book video chats where you can interact with your favorite princess one-on-one.

Online: magicalmemoriesal.com

The Alexandria Library
The Alexandria Library hosts several interactive events for kids 2 to 5 years including Yoga Story Time and Virtual Rock and Read. Kids can get moving at home and help Miss Lisa tell picture book stories through yoga and sing along to favorites ! Sign up once for the entire series (via Zoom).

Online: alexlibraryva.org/virtual

The Loudon Literacy Council
The Loudon Literacy Council is a community-based literacy organization. They feature various read-alouds on their Facebook page including this video which might just be the best read/sing-aloud of Pete the Cat’s “I Love My White Shoes” ever with musician and reader Justin Trawick & Lauren LeMunyan.

Online: loudounliteracy.org

The Lane Social Club
The Lane Social Club is a new play space for both moms and kids in DC For owners Rachel and Molly, social distancing doesn’t mean the fun can’t continue. Every week, they lead themed story times, covering anything and everything from friendship and imagination, to animals and food. During this live event (hosted via Zoom), there’ll be songs, interactive activities, and lots of fun! (Ages: 1-6). Sign-ups are free and available here. 

Online: thelanesocialclub.com


photo: Andrea Piacquadio via Pexels


DC Public Library
Every Mon.-Fri. at 10:30 a.m., the DC Public Library hosts live virtual story times for the youngest readers/listeners on their Facebook page. Librarians use puppets and stuffed toys to engage children in sing-a-longs, bilingual stories, and simple crafts.

Online: dclibrary.org

The Library of Congress
The Library of Congress’s doors are closed but that doesn’t mean you can’t still access its many resources, including special virtual appearances by author and illustrator Dav Pilkey. Every Fri., Dav uploads a new video. He reads aloud from his “Dog Man” graphic novel series and engages kids in fun character drawing activities. Check out the LOC website for a host of other fun activities for kids too.

Online: loc.gov

The Fairfax County Library
The Fairfax County Library uploads all their virtual story times to YouTube so you and your little ones can enjoy them at your leisure. From rhymes, fingerplay songs, and writing activities, there’s something for all ages, and you can learn how to make developing early literacy skills fun! Click here for a calendar of upcoming events.

Online: fairfaxcounty.gov

photo: GSCSNJ via Flickr


Ivy Bookshop
While not exactly local, the Ivy Bookshop in Baltimore, MD is featuring Read Local Challenge authors in their “Lift Every Voice Virtual Book Club” series. A different author is featured every Fri. at 10 a.m., including Veronica Bartles who will be reading from her fun picture book, “The Princess And The Frogs” on May 15th. 

Online: theivybookshop.com

Politics and Prose
Popular indy bookstore Politics and Prose continues to host children’s authors virtually. Upcoming featured books include The Yawns Are Coming!  by Christopher Eliopoulos on Apr. 30th and “Lift!” by award-winning picture book writing and illustrating duo Minh Le and Dan Santat on May 6th. Check their schedule for more upcoming author appearances.

Online: politics-prose.com

—Pat Tanumihardja

featured photo: Magical Memories AL


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