Non-traditional storytimes in Chicago’s Northwest suburbs

You love storytimes at the library, but maybe you’re looking for a change of scenery every once in a while? Here’s a list of fun, unique storytimes located in Chicago’s northwest suburbs. Grab your little bookworms and a blanket to sit on, and get ready for storytime fun.

Lords Park Zoo

325 Hiawatha Drive, Elgin

The fun: There’s no better place to listen to stories about your favorite animals like bison, cows, pigs than at a zoo! The Dive into Reading program held at Lords Park Zoo promises to be a farm-tastic fun time. Afterwards make a craft, hang out with the animals in the small zoo, then explore the rest of Lords Park including the Elgin Public Museum which showcases Elgin’s history and the kid-friendly Discovery Room for hands-on fun. Find out what else you can do here

Rainy day? Storytime will be moved indoors to the cowshed.

When: Thursdays, June 28, July 12, July 26 and August 9; 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Tip: While you’re in Elgin, check out the hidden gems located nearby including Fanny’s Thai Rolled Ice Cream.

Woodstock Farmer’s Market

121 W. Van Buren Street, Woodstock

The fun: Pack a blanket and head to the charming Woodstock Square for a fun storytime by Miss Mary from Woodstock Public Library. Expect stories, songs and interactive fun. While you’re there, check out the vendors at this Producers Only Market. You can be sure that everything you buy is grown or produced by that vendor. 

Rainy day? Head to Read Between the Lynes, a cool independent bookstore on the Square, as their backup location.

When: Tuesdays until July 24 from 12 p.m.-1 p.m.

Storytime at the Village Hall

2 S. Main Street, Algonquin 

The fun: Storytime with songs, dancing, crafts and other fun activities? Yes, please. The Algonquin Area Public Library hosts the fun storytime with Miss Alexa at The Historic Village Hall. No registration is required.

When: Thursday, July 12 from 10:30 a.m.-11:15 a.m.

Tip: While you’re here, enjoy the all wooden playground Towne Park or Cornish Park right by the Fox River just a short walk away.

Storytime at Riverbottom Ice Cream

301 S. Main Street, Algonquin

The fun: What’s better than a story and ice cream? Kids ages 2 to 6 will delight in a little storytime action with songs and dancing, but the tasty ice cream will no doubt be the highlight. Register here.

When: Wednesday, July 11 from 10 a.m.-11 a.m or 11 a.m.-12 p.m.

Tip: Sugar rush? Park fun awaits at either Towne Park or Cornish Park.

Storytime in the Pantry Garden

1113 Pyott Road, Lake in the Hills

The fun: Head to Lake in the Hills Interfaith Food Pantry’s garden for storytime fun in the sun. Program is cancelled in case of inclement weather. No registration required.

When: Thursday, July 19 from 10:30 a.m.-11: 15 a.m.

Storytime at the Park

Pioneer Park & Frontier Park, Arlington Heights

The fun: The Arlington Heights Memorial Library brings the library to you for a 20 minute storytime. Afterward, peruse the Bookmobile for your next summer read. 

When: Tuesdays at Pioneer Park (corner of Fairview and Fernandez) on July 3,10, 17, 24 and Wednesdays at Frontier Park (NW corner of the parking lot) on July 11, 18, 25. Bookmobile stops from 11 a.m. to noon. Storytime is at 11:15 a.m.

Stories at Palatine Park District sites

Oak Park and Maple Park, Palatine 

The fun: Explore a new park and join the Palatine Public Library for storytime fun under the sun.

When: Oak Park (455 N. Clark Drive) on July 11 at 10 a.m.; Maple Park (316 N. Winston Drive) on July 25

Stories on Twin Lakes Deck

1200 E. Twin Lakes Drive, Palatine

The fun: Drop in to Twin Lakes Recreation Area where you can sit on the deck and enjoy stories and songs. Don’t miss exploring the area with playground, trails, and even paddleboat rentals.

When: Thursdays, July 12 and August 2 from 11-11:30 a.m.

Panera Bread

The fun: Many libraries have partnerships with Panera and what a fun one it is! Not only will kids enjoy a fun story, but afterward they can have a warm chocolate chip cookie with milk.

When: Check with your local library to find out if they participate in the program.   

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