6 free storytimes for Chicagoland kids

As much as we parents love reading the same books to our kids 87 times, sometimes you need a change of scenery. Plus, we all know how important social interaction is for kids that aren’t in school yet. Storytime at these local spots is a great way to break up the normal routine and teach your kids just how fun reading can be.

Pottery Barn Kids

Where: 2111 N. Clybourn, Chicago, and Oakbrook Center Mall, Oak Brook

When: 11 a.m. every Tuesday

Details: Out shopping? Stop by PB for a bit for some downtime. Kids will be extra motivated to check out the store’s Book Club Storytime since they can score a free gift once they’ve attended five times. Plus, what’s better than a scenario where parents can browse for home decor while kids are kept entertained? The store also hosts special, holiday-themed story times throughout the year.

Creek Bend Nature Center

Where: 37W700 Dean St., St. Charles

When: Wednesday, March 13, April 17 and May 15, all at 10:30 a.m.

Details: Creek Bend is known for being a gorgeous wedding venue, but the nature center is also extremely family-friendly. Kids can enjoy stories, songs and fingerplays at storytime, then explore the Creek Bend’s hands-on nature exhibits afterward. Registration is a must, so contact (630) 444-3190 or email programs@kaneforest.com.

Volumes Cafe

Where: 1474 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago

When: Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10 a.m.

Details: Don’t have a chance to take your child to a story time during the week? No prob! This Wicker Park bookstore/cafe (and its delightful owner, Miss Kimberly) have you covered. Former preschool teacher Miss Kimberly reads two or three stories, then kids can participate in book-themed sing-along and crafts. Admission is technically free, but a $1 donation is appreciated.

Women & Children First Book Store

Where: 5233 N. Clark, Chicago

When: Every Wednesday morning from 10:30 a.m.-11 a.m.

Details: The store’s co-owner, Lisa Bubon, reads five or more books to little ones at this hip Andersonville spot. Although the storytime is geared towards kids between the ages of 2-5, all are welcome. Like Volumes, a $1 donation is appreciated to help keep this independent bookstore running.

Logan Square Branch of Chicago Public Library

Where: 3030 W. Fullerton Ave., Chicago

When: Every Friday at 9:30 a.m.

Details: Many of the libraries in Chicago feature story time, but this one focuses primarily on infants to 3-year-olds. Mother Goose on the Loose is the theme at Logan Square, and many of the stories have musical instruments incorporated to help hold the attention of your squirmy little one.

The Poetry Foundation Library

Where: 61 W. Superior St., Chicago.

When: Every Wednesday at 10 a.m.

Details: There’s so much more to reading than telling stories. Introduce poetry to your kids in an approachable — and fun! — way at the Poetry Foundation Library. Readings are interactive and there’s often a craft to go along with the the poem.

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