“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss
Story times are one of my favorite things to do to get out of the house with my kids. They’ve learned so many songs and games at story times, and it allows them to interact with kids his age. It’s also a great way for kids who don’t go to preschool or daycare to learn appropriate social interaction with others. Learning to sit still during stories and instilling a love of books are a bonus. Many of the locations have evening and/or Saturday story times, so even if you work a full-time job, there may be times that work for you.
Even if you can’t make it to story time very often, you can have a set story time at home at a time or day that is convenient to you. Your kids will look forward to reading their favorite books and discovering new ones, and you’ll be setting them up to have great reading and comprehension skills at a young age.
“There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.” – Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
Library Story Times
Columbus Metropolitan Library Systems: Find story times at all branches nearly every day of the week! With so many branches, there are unlimited story time opportunities.
Delaware County District Libraries: Story times for all ages are offered at all 4 branches. Check the calendar here.
Pataskala Public Library: They offer several ages of story time, plus other special family events. See event calendar here.
Westerville Public Library: Check out their full schedule of story times and reading programs, including Tail Waggin’ Tutors, where new and learning readers can read aloud to certified therapy dogs for 10 minute practice sessions.
Worthington Libraries: They offer multiple story times at the various branches nearly every day, and the Hard Rd. location gets RAVE reviews for the kids’ area, so it’s definitely worth going out of your way.
Upper Arlington Public Library: The three branches have lots of story times and fun events. See calendar here.
Southwest Public Libraries: The Grove City and Westland locations offer plenty of story times, game nights, and other fun themed events. See schedule here.
Bexley Public Library: There are lots of story times, events for all ages, and family events. See calendar here.
Marysville Public Library: The two branches host story times for all ages, including Toddler Gym, Play Cafe, and Pages and Paws with therapy dogs.
Licking County Library System: You’ll find lots of fun between the 7 branches in Licking County. See calendar here.
“Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.” – Margaret Fuller
ProMusica Storytime at Libraries
Bring your youngest music lovers to your neighborhood library for Storytimes, free programs tailored to preschoolers at branches around the city. Each ProMusica Storytime features a unique theme uniting story and song, and our musicians serve as co-hosts along with the librarians. Music, books, and interactive activities offer an energizing and engaging learning experience.
- Tuesday, January 29 @ 9:30 AM – CML Driving Park Branch
- Thursday, February 7 @ 10:00 AM – CML Franklinton Branch
*Features performance by Play Us Forward violin students.
- Thursday, February 21 @ 10:00 AM – CML Whetstone Branch
*Features performance by Play Us Forward violin students.
- Monday, February 25 @ 9:30 AM – CML Gahanna Branch
- Tuesday, March 5 @ 10:30 AM – CML South High Branch
- Wednesday, March 6 @ 10:00 AM – CML Dublin Branch
- Wednesday, March 20 @ 10:30 AM – CML MLK Branch
- Tuesday, April 16 @ 10:00 AM – CML Shepard Branch
- Monday, April 22 @ 10:30 AM – CML Linden Branch
- Wednesday, May 1 @ 11:00 AM – CML Northern Lights Branch
Stories at Book Stores
Barnes & Noble Stores: All Barnes & Noble host weekly story times, as well as lots of special events. At Saturday story times, get a coupon from our Café for a grilled cheese sandwich with milk or juice for $4!
- Barnes & Noble Sawmill: Saturdays at 11 am
- Barnes & Noble Upper Arlington: Saturdays at 11 am
- Barnes & Noble Lennox: Saturdays at 11 am
- Barnes & Noble Polaris: Saturdays at 11 am
- Barnes & Noble Easton: Wednesdays at 11 am with stories, snacks, and coloring. Special event Saturday story times are also on select Saturdays.
- Barnes & Noble Pickerington: Tuesdays at 10 am with stories and crafts and select Saturdays for special events at 11 am.
Cover to Cover: Books for Young Readers (2116 Arlington Avenue). This store focuses specifically on children, parents and teachers for classic children’s literature and the best of what’s new. They host story times and author visits on select Saturdays, and Storytime and Kids Yoga on some Sundays at 9 am.
Half Price Books Northpointe Plaza (100 Meadow Park Ave, Lewis Center). Last Sunday of each month from 2-3 pm. Pack up your half-pint readers and come to your Lewis Center HPB for Storytime Sundays. Sit down and enjoy a good tale with us at 2 p.m. on the last Sunday of each month. All young readers and listeners are welcome!
“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.” – Walt Disney
Story Time in Nature
Wild Story Time at Ohio Wildlife Center (6131 Cook Rd. Powell): On the first Wednesday of each month from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m., preschoolers will have a blast at the Wild Story Time at Ohio Wildlife Center. In addition to story time, they’ll meet an Animal Ambassador, and enjoy a themed craft. You can stick around after the story to visit with other Animal Ambassadors too. The cost is $5 per person, kids ages 5 and under are free.
Grange Audubon Insurance Center (505 W. Whittier St.) Each Thursday and Saturday morning at 10:00 am, where we’ll enjoy some nature-themed, read-alouds and maybe sing a song or two. Stay after to enjoy some play time in our forest themed playroom equipped with puppets, costumes and a climbing area or our outdoor play space located near our native plant gardens. Registration not required, program is free.
Story Time in the Park at Deer Haven Park (4183 Liberty Road, Delaware): Select Mondays at 10 am. Join staff from the Delaware County District Library as they read about animals in winter, then take part in an activity or craft. A short nature walk will be offered afterward. Free, ages 0-5 with an adult.
Columbus Metro Park Nature Centers: Several of our great metro parks host story times throughout the month, and many of the nature centers at the Metro Parks have things for the kids to explore and interactive exhibits, so it’s definitely checking out all of the ones around you.
Story Time on the Farm at Stratford Ecological Center: Gather the family for farm for a fun storytime hour and a unique hands-on experience based on the seasonal happenings around the farm. Families are invited to pack a picnic to enjoy after the story hour. No registration required – $5 per family 3rd Tuesday of each month, April – October, 10am – 11am
“Books to the ceiling, Books to the sky, My pile of books is a mile high. How I love them! How I need them! I’ll have a long beard by the time I read them.” – Arnold Lobel
Story Time at Museums and Attractions
Story time at Ohio History Center: Kids ages 3-6 will love Storytime at the Museum at Ohio History Center on Second Sundays at 1 p.m. Make history with your family and join us for an afternoon of stories, songs, and exploration! During storytime we will read and play to help your little one develop literacy skills and learn about Ohio.
Nature Story Time at Franklin Park Conservatory: Enjoy stories that celebrate gardens, plants and nature. For ages 3–5 years old who are accompanied by a caregiver on Thursdays at 10:30am. This is a drop-in program; no registration required. From January–March, Nature Storytime is in Palm House. Beginning in April, Nature Storytime will be in the Children’s Garden. Must pay admission to the Conservatory or be a member.
A-Ha Children’s Museum in Lancaster: Go play at this amazing hands-on children’s museum and join Story Time on Thursdays in the lunch room from 10:30-11 am, included with admission. Check the calendar to make sure they are having the story time. It’s worth the drive – stop by The Well just a few miles away in downtown Lancaster for an amazing breakfast or lunch and let the kids play on the fun indoor play house!
Preschool Storybook Science at Dawes Arboretum in Newark: Designed for children ages 3 to 5, story time at The Dawes Arboretum entertains your child with age-appropriate stories, crafts, songs, and indoor and outdoor exploration. Adults are invited to stay and participate in the program. The 45-minute sessions are free and held the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month from September through May from 10 – 10:45am. For the full schedule of programs, please download: Preschool Storybook Science 2018-2019. Unfortunately, the Arboretum has decided to start charging admission in Spring 2019, despite the original intent of the arboretum to be free for all to enjoy as long as possible, and the director’s blog stating that the arboretum is in the best financial position ever. Starting in Spring of 2019, admission will be $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 5 and older, with younger children admitted free. Arboretum members would not pay an entry fee. Individual memberships start at $40 a year; family would be $60. This place is an amazing place to go for a nature walk, take the self-guided driving tour, or enjoy the children’s Discovery Center in the basement of the Nature Center, so we highly encourage you to make the trip to visit before they start charging admission, if you wish to visit for free.
“Oh, magic hour, when a child first knows she can read printed words!” – Betty Smith
Stories at other places
River Road Coffeehouse On The Square in Newark: Every third Friday of the month they host a fun story time with the Licking County Library at the River Road Coffeehouse On The Square. Buy a 16oz beverage of your choice and receive a free kids size hot or iced beverage free. Enter from the back entrance off of Church Street by Christy’s Pizza for easy access parking.
Cub Shrub: If you’ve been to Tigertree in the Short North, Cub Shrub is the kids’ version! They offer events just for kids, like musical storytimes, sing-a-longs, meetups, and more – plus SO much cute stuff! Check the schedule for current events.
lilylimes at the Shops at Worthington Place: Enjoy Storytime lilylimes every Tuesday morning at 10:30 am. Come with your little one to our book nook to hear Miss Becky read the “story of the week.”
Cheryl’s Cookies: The kids will love this sweet story time on Wednesdays from 11 am – 12 pm at the Westerville location for kids ages 3-6. They’ll enjoy songs, books and a craft, plus a free mini Cheryl’s cookie. (begins in January after the holiday season)
Pottery Barn Kids in Polaris: Story times on Tuesday at 11 am, and other special events through the year. Plus there are toys for kids to play with.
Mommy & Me Play Day at The Shops at Worthington Place, 2nd Thursday of each month from 10 am – noon. Moms, dad, or other special adult can bring kids to a free play day each month at the playland near lilylimes. Fun events features Balloon Twisting, Storytime, Music, FREE Mini Kid’s Yoga Class (signup required for yoga)
“Show me a family of readers, and I will show you the people who move the world.” – Napoléon Bonaparte
Family Reading Festival at Shops at Worthington Place on January 27, 2019 from 2:00pm – 4:00pm. Attention: parents, caregivers and teachers! Looking for ways to get kids excited about reading? Don’t miss this event that will be packed with pointers, plus crafts, stories and costumed storybook characters. You can also connect with community agencies serving children and families. The Family Reading Festival celebrates reading and the important role it can play in the lives of young children and families. Studies show that reading to children from birth through age five (and beyond) has a tremendous impact on their early development and ability to learn.
Big Book Sale at Columbus Main Library: The Columbus Metropolitan Library holds the Big Book Sale April 5-6, 2019, with the clearance sale on Sunday, April 7. Shop early on Thursday by joining Friends of the Library. Items are just $1-$2!
Ohioana Book Festival: Great festival for book lovers on April 27, 2019 at the Columbus Metropolitan Main Library.
“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” – Emilie Buchwald
Seasonal Story times and reading programs
Over 15 Free Summer Reading Programs. There are so any ways to get rewarded for reading with Summer Reading programs, and there are options for all ages.
Free Movie Admission: From Book to Film at Gateway Film Center
The Hanna Andersson Summer Reading Series at Easton: tba