Story Times Around the City
THIS POST HAS BEEN UPDATED. PLEASE SEE THE CURRENT LIST OF STORY TIMES HERE.
Story times are a great free activity. Whether it's too hot, too cold or raining, a good story time is just enough to get you out of the house somewhere where you know your kids will be quietly entertained for just long enough for you to get your sanity back. Hosted at bookstores, libraries, toy stores and other fun places, sometimes a story hour can even turn into a whole morning or afternoon of fun if you are looking to stretch it out.
Here's our most up-to date and comprehensive list of story times, collected from various posts we've done. If you know of a story time please add it to the comments.
New York Public Libraries:
The local libraries offer almost daily story hours at different locations and lots of other great activities too that are really under-publicised and under-utilized at many branches. The New York Public Library website has this cool tool that lets you search for activities, not just by your branch, but by borough. I found it's useful to keep the search as broad as possible because when I searched for story hours, it didn't list all the "summer reading hours."
Below are a list of some of the best public libraries that have story times and play spaces for little kids.
The Baby Lap Time at ECRIC (66 Leroy St) is every 1st and 3rd Wednesday at 11am (up to age 18 months).
There is a great baby and toddler story time at Jefferson Market Library every Thursday at 11am.
The Ottendorfer Library in the East Village has a really wonderful children's librarian and a nice little room with toys and books for babies. They have something like 3 Baby story times and 2 toddler story times — check The New York Public Library website.
Also, Mulberry Library in Soho is new and beautiful and has lots of baby and toddler programs. This is the cleanest, most stroller-friendly library and they have a very sweet nice children's librarian.
One of the classic Central Park programs is a story hour under the Hans Christian Anderson Sculpture, but did you know that Brooklyn has it's own version. At Imagination Playground children can hear stories at the Ezra Jack Keats sculpture every Saturday in July and August at 2PM.
This summer there is also Clearing in the Forest, a free multicultural storytelling and performance series every Sunday at 1PM, May 11-September 21 in Central Park near 103rd St on the Great Hill.
Carl Shurz Park also has a summer story time, Tales on Tuesdays, with stories and songs in the playground.
As part of the Bryant Park summer festival, Word for Word Children's Festival has stories on Saturdays in Bryant Park.
Books of Wonder has a regularly scheduled story time on Sundays at 11:45.
The Scholastic Store SoHo (557 Broadway) has story times Tuesday and Thursday at 11am. They also offer craft classes and free events on Saturdays. The newly renovated Scholastic Store is another great hang out place for kids to and can easily turn a story hour into a full afternoon of fun.
McNally Robinson(52 Prince) has a baby story time for little ones aged 0-2 on Fridays at 4pm and another for ages 3-7 on Saturdays at noon. The Saturday Story Times include a themed arts and crafts activity.
Tribeca - Tuesdays at 4pm and Wednesdays at 11am.
86th and 2nd - 11am on Saturdays
Broadway and 66th - 11am on Wednesdays
Union Square - 2:30 on Sundays
Court Street, Brooklyn - 11am on Tuesdays and Saturdays
Park Slope - 3pm on Saturdays
Forest Hills - 3:30pm on Fridays
Interactive storytime at Giggle baby stores in SoHo and the Upper East Side every Tuesday at 4pm. Free.
Giggle SoHo 120 Wooster St 212 334-5817
Giggle Upper East Side 10033 Lexington Avenue (74th St) 212 249-4249
Brooklyn's hot new kid friendly food spot (81 Atlantic Avenue) is now offering free storytimes, not once, not twice, but three times a week. They also have arts and crafts, games and toys all the time. Now you can overdose on stories and mac and cheese!
Mondays 11:30 am
Wednesdays 1:00 pm
Fridays 11:30 am
FREE Weekly Storytime every Monday at 9:30 AM. Ages 3M to 4 years are welcome to participate in songs, stories and general silliness. At 51 Hudson St in Tribeca.