Storytimes for kids in NYC

These storytimes are the perfect way to introduce your little bookworms to the NYC literary scene—and great books
Photograph: Courtesy Bryant Park Corporation

When it comes to literary events, NYC is an open book. From talks and signings to sales and festivals, the city appreciates the power of a good story—and so do its littlest residents. These storytimes for children introduce them to new books and authors while socializing with other children in their age group. If you're looking to turn your youngster into a mini bookworm (or perhaps even a writer down the road) these storytimes in NYC need a spot on your list.  

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to indoor activities for kids in NYC
Looking for more ways to enjoy NYC with your family? Have a look at our roundup of the best things to do in spring or visit these museums for kids. Want to grow your bookshelf? Peruse our roundup of the best books for kids.  

Storytimes for Kids in NYC

Shopping, Bookstores

Word Up Books

icon-location-pin Washington Heights

This volunteer-run nonprofit humbly began as a pop-up and quickly turned into a much-needed venue for the community. The multi-language bookstore offers a variety of events in Spanish and English, including storytimes for kids. Head to the website to see what's on the schedule. 

astoria bookshop.jpg
Photograph: courtesy Astoria Bookshop
Shopping, Toys and games

Astoria Bookshop

Queens' much-needed independent bookstore didn't forget about its neighborhood's youngest residents. Every Thursday at 11am, children and their guardians can drop in for free storytime. Don't forget to browse the shelves when the event is over!

Shopping, Bookstores

Bank Street Book Store Storytimes

icon-location-pin Upper West Side

Bank Street Book Store's claim to fame are awesome puppet shows, but did you know the store also hosts free toddler story hours, too? For the past several years, the venue has opened its doors to bestselling children’s storytellers for fun, interactive readings, which oftentimes feature musical accompaniment. The events are popular, so if you're looking to snag a spot to a free reading—or if you're coming with a large group in tow—reservations are suggested. Thursday—Saturdays at 10am. Ages 06mos–6 years. 

Shopping, Bookstores

Books of Wonder Storytimes

icon-location-pin Flatiron

Books of Wonder knows the value of a classic story. On Saturdays at 11am and Sundays at 11:30am, the store invites neighborhood youngsters to sit on the floor and listen to employees read a good book (picked straight from the shelves). Sweet, simple, these storytimes are a great way to spend the weekend! Don't forget to check out Books of Wonder's newly opened Upper West Side location for additional events. All ages.

Shopping, Bookstores

Greenlight Bookstore's Saturday Author Storytimes

icon-location-pin Fort Greene

This indie gem is a can't-miss venue for New Yorkers who love a good book. The store's Saturday storytimes (11:30am in Fort Greene, 1:30pm in Prospect Leffrets Gardens) are extra special because oftentimes the authors of the illustrated works are the ones conducting the read-alouds. If you have older kids, they're free to join the Young Readers Book Group (ages 9–12) while the youngsters listen in at their own event. Ages 3–8.

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Teich Toys & Books Storytimes

After perusing Teich Toys in search of a new treat for your little one, make sure you stick around for the Thursday storytime at 11:30am. Fun toys and good books—is there a more fabulous combination than that? All ages. 

Attractions, Monuments and memorials

Hans Christian Andersen Storytelling Center Storytimes

icon-location-pin Central Park


Central Park serves as a gorgeous backdrop for outdoor storytimes, so you and your kiddos would be remiss to skip out on these wonderful Saturday mornings. Meet at the Hans Christian Andersen statue "The Ugly Ducklingnear 72nd St and Fifth Ave and great ready to hear some awesome tales. Saturdays from June–Sept, 11am–noon. Ages 6 and up.

Shopping, Toys and games

Housing Works Bookstore Café Storytime and Singalong

icon-location-pin Soho


There isn't a New Yorker (or a visitor) who doesn't make want to make a pit stop to wander the stacks at Housing Works Bookstore. If you get there early, the 30-minute storytime on Wednesdays will completely captivate little ones. Get ready for a good book, a little bit of dancing and a whole lot of fun. Wednesday 10:30am. $5 per family. Ages 3 and under.

Attractions, Libraries, archives and foundations

NYPL Storytimes

icon-location-pin Upper East Side

Looking to introduce your kiddos to the NYC book scene? The New York Public Library is the best place to start. Each branch of the NYPL offers a variety of programs such as storytimes and book groups—which are oftentimes free—for kids of all ages. Check out the offerings in your neighborhood and drop in! 


Attractions, Parks and gardens

The Reading Room at Bryant Park

icon-location-pin Midtown West

Bryant Park's Reading Room offers a variety of activities throughout each season—Saturday-morning storytimes with music, magic acts and even pop-in visits from literature's greatest characters. Read-to-Skate storytimes make the cold weather in the winter all the more bearable. Visit the Bryant Park website to learn more about its Reading Room offerings. 

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