Kids in Queens have no shortage of storytime opportunities with popular library branches, bookstores and playspaces all offering some great choices. We've rounded up the best spots where babies, toddlers and preschoolers can enjoy listening to their favorite books in Jackson Heights, Astoria, Sunnyside and other family-friendly Queens neighborhoods.
A number of these read-along sessions include crafts, music, puppetry, or even yoga, so it's a great way to pass the morning for parent and babe or caregiver and tot. After the stories are put away, peruse the bookshelves or nearby toys. Most are drop-in events, but we've noted if registration is required. Expect all sessions to be FREE or inexpensive. Read on for our insider's take on Queens storytimes with kids.
Many Queens Library branches host storytime sessions, so it's likely your neighborhood one does, too. Some libraries require registration, and many storytimes close during the holidays and take a break for extended periods during the summer. Check with the branch for details. Here are three of our favorites:
Long Island City Library — Long Island City
37-44 21st Street
This branch of the Queens library system is loaded with tons of inventive kid programming, including a PokemonGo Club. Little ones will appreciate its bilingual storytime, complete with storytelling puppets.
Richmond Hill Library — Richmond Hill
118-14 Hillside Avenue
Two weekly storytimes are on tap at this branch. Picture Book Time, including stories, songs, and more runs Wednesdays from 11:30am to 12:30pm for children 5 and younger. A Thursday story read-along, "Mother Goose Time," with rhymes and stories for infants and toddlers takes place 1:15 to 2:15pm. Registration is not required. The Richmond Hill branch also occasionally hosts a "Pajama Story Time," where kids can go in their pajamas for a bedtime story.
Sunnyside Library — Sunnyside
43-06 Greenpoint Avenue
Storytimes are broken into two age groups here: Toddler Time, featuring stories, songs, and rhymes, is Wednesdays from 10 to 10:30am for ages 19 months to 3 years. Registration is required. Mother Goose Time, for ages 6 months to 18 months, is Fridays from 11 to 11:30am; registration is not required.
RELATED: Best Storytimes for Kids and Babies in Manhattan
Alley Pond Environmental Center — Douglaston
228-06 Northern Boulevard
Alley Pond offers a combined yoga and storytime program on select Thursdays from 3-4pm for ages 2-4 with an adult. Cost is $10 for members and $16 for nonmembers. The event is limited to 10 toddler-adult pairs. Advance registration is required.
Astoria Bookshop — Astoria
31-29 31st Street
A volunteer reader selects books during a free storytime session on Thursday mornings from 11am to noon. All ages are welcome, but you'll find loads of babies and toddlers at this popular read-along. Themes vary depending on the reader and time of year. Check its calendar of events for details.
Queens Botanical Garden — Flushing
43-50 Main Street
Enjoy nature-inspired children's stories along with a botanical-themed craft activity on select days. Check this gorgeous Queens green space's website for the latest times. All ages are welcome and storytime is free with admission: $6 per adult; $2 for children ages 4-12.
RELATED: 13 Play Spaces in Queens with Drop-In Hours
Sabrina's Play Studio — Woodside
52-07 Queens Blvd.
All ages are welcome to this new Queens play space, which we recently reviewed. Storytime sometimes includes guest puppet appearances at this spot popular with preschoolers and babies. Storytime begins on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10am. Admission is $12 for walkers and $7 for crawlers and includes story and play session.
Photo by Kelly Sikkema via Flickr.
This post originally published in September 2015.