Find Free Storytimes for Westchester Kids and Toddlers
Getting into a storytime group can be nothing short of cutthroat in some places. While the registration-only programs ensure you a seat on the carpet, drop-in programs can provide some much-needed flexibility. Who hasn’t suddenly found a morning with nothing planned (or plans abruptly canceled) and a burning desire to just get out of the house?
We’ve rounded up 16 places with drop-in storytimes—and, best of all, they’re all FREE! Looking for more things to do with your kids in Westchester and the Lower Hudson Valley? Take a look at our Event Calendar and sign up for our FREE newsletters.
Free Storytimes at Westchester Libraries
Bedford Free Library – Bedford
Stories, Songs & Surprises, a drop-in storytime for preschoolers with an adult, is held twice a week (Tuesdays at 2pm; Thursdays at 11:15am). With two different times, you have a better shot of working it around nap time. Each 30-minute program has a different theme.
Briarcliff Manor Public Library – Briarcliff Manor
Weekly drop-in storytimes include: Baby Storytime Lapsit (Wednesdays at 11:30 am, up to 18 months), and Fun for Older 1s and Young 2s (on Wednesdays at 10:30 am, 15-30 months). A caregiver is required to attend. The library also offers preschool programs, which require registration. The themes change every couple of months, and programs include a story and activity.
The Chappaqua Library holds storytimes five days a week.
Chappaqua Library – Chappaqua
The Chappaqua Library has drop-in storytimes a whopping five days week (Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays), with programs broken up by age. Registration isn’t required, but the library does request you limit attendance to one session per day. Parking is said to often be a problem, so be sure to leave plenty of time.
Croton Free Library – Croton-on-Hudson
The 30-minute Pre-School Storytime (Wednesdays and Fridays at 10:30am) includes stories and songs.
Dobbs Ferry Public Library – Dobbs Ferry
The Dobbs Ferry Public Library holds three different storytimes broken out by ages. The younger set (1- and 2-year-olds) will participate in stories, songs, and finger play, while the older kids will add a craft to the mix.
Eastchester Public Library – Eastchester
Winter 2020 storytimes include: Baby Lap Time (Thursdays at 10:30am, ages 6-24 months and caregiver) featuring nursery rhymes and stories, and Toddler Storytime (Thursdays at 11:15am, ages 24-36 months and caregiver) featuring class favorites. Registration is not required. The library also offers a drop-off preschool storytime (Wednesdays at 1:30pm and Thursdays at 2pm, ages 3-4)—in-person registration starts January 2, 2020.
Harrison Public Library – Harrison
Starting in January 2020, Storytime for Toddlers will take place on Tuesdays at 10am. Children ages 2-4 are welcome. Kids ages 6-12 can check out Kids Unplugged, also held on Tuesdays. Though not strictly a storytime, stories are involved at this weekly event—so are a variety of other activities, including crafts and even circus skills!
Katonah Public Library – Katonah
The library has a variety of drop-in storytimes for infants through age 5. Days and times depend on the programs—they’re broken up by age—so check the schedule. Fun fact: Its Mother Goose program was once named in Westchester Magazine’s Best of Westchester Awards.
Mount Kisco Public Library – Mount Kisco
Mount Kisco Public Library's offerings include Here We Are Together Storytime (Mondays at 11:15 am, all ages); Bilingual Storytime (Wednesdays at 11:15am, 18 months – 5 years); and Family Storytime (Thursdays at 11:15am, 18 months – 5 years).
Mount Pleasant Library – Pleasantville (main library) and Valhalla (branch)
Craving some social interaction? Family Storytime (Thursdays at 4pm, ages 1-4) combines stories and music along with toys and books, and encourages both children and caregivers to talk and have fun. Or check out Pajama Storytime (Tuesdays 6:30-7pm, ages 2-5), which will run from February 4 through March 31, 2020. The library also holds a variety of more traditional drop-in storytimes five days a week at the Pleasantville and Valhalla branches.
North Castle Public Library – Armonk
Mother Goose Storytime (Wednesdays at 11am) features picture books that focus on colors, shapes, letters, etc., and Storytime with Ms. Stephanie (Fridays at 11:30am) is for all ages.
Ruth Keeler Memorial Library – North Salem
Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays
The Ruth Keeler Memorial Library holds storytimes four days a week, two of which (Wednesday and Thursdays) are for kids of all ages. The library also notes that siblings are welcome during all programs.
Rye Free Reading Room – Rye
Mother Goose Monday welcomes babies through preschoolers with a caregiver on Mondays at 10 and 10:45am, and Discovery Storytime (Fridays at 10am) includes stories and songs followed by open playtime with parents and caregivers.
Yonkers Riverfront Library – Yonkers
Bilingual Storytime/Cuentos Bilingues takes place on Mondays at 11am (ages 1-5), Toddler Time takes place on Thursdays at 11am (ages 18 months – 3 years), and Babies and Books happens on Fridays at 11am (up to 18 months).
Free Storytimes at Westchester Bookstores & Shops
Barnes & Noble – White Plains, Eastchester, Yonkers
Barnes & Noble holds drop-in storytime with books, songs, and coloring on Saturdays at its White Plains City Center, Eastchester, and Yonkers locations. The website says first-come first-served because of space limitations, but B&N told us it doesn’t turn people away. The Yonkers location also hosts a Tuesday morning storytime for toddlers.
Join Acorn, the resident bunny at Scattered books, for storytime!
Scattered Books – Chappaqua
Animal-loving kids will get a kick out of the Read with Rabbit storytime on Tuesdays at 11am, where a real live bunny named Acorn joins in on the book fun.
This post was originally published in February 2016 and has been updated since.
Photos courtesy of the libraries/bookstores