16 family storytimes to enjoy in and around Chicago

Introducing reading to your kids at an early age is very important! Why not make it even more exciting with a storytime? Luckily, Chicagoland is filled with storytimes for every day of the week. Here are our top picks of libraries, book cafes and other fun places with some unique storytimes. 

City

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

When: Daily, 11-11:30 am

Where: 2430 N. Cannon Drive, Chicago

Inside the Hands-on Habitat, learn about nature through the power of storytelling. Games and activities are also included in this storytime. Tip: The museum offers free admission to Illinois residents on Thursdays. Kids 3 and under are always free.

Women & Children First 

When: Wednesdays, 10:30-11 a.m.

Where: 5233 N. Clark St. Chicago

This charming bookstore in Andersonville is certainly worth the visit! Plan to go there on a Wednesday morning when they read five or more stories aimed for kids ages 2-5. Admission is free, but they ask for a $1 donation. 

Poetry Foundation Library

When: Wednesdays, 10 a.m.

Where: 61 W. Superior St., Chicago

Yes, we all love storytimes, but what about Poemtime? The Poetry Foundation Library helps introduce poetry to kids ages 2-5 with a fun reading and crafts. Before you know it, your child will be a poet! 

57th Street Books

When: Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, 10:30 a.m.

Where: 1301 E. 57th St., Chicago

One of our favorite storytimes at 57th Street Books is Spanish Storytime with Ms. April. Shake some maracas and listen to stories in Spanish. This class will get your kids moving while they learn another language. 

Merit’s Musical Storytime

When: Every other Saturday at 10 a.m. (Check website for next event)

Where: Time Out Market Chicago, 916 W. Fulton Market, Chicago 

What makes storytime even more fun? When music is involved, of course! Merit School of Music combines music and literature when they host their live musical storytime at the new Time Out Market Chicago. 

North/Northwest Suburbs

Booked

When: Tuesdays (11:30 a.m.-noon), Fridays (9:30-10 a.m.) and Sundays (11-11:30 a.m.)

Where: 506 Main St., Evanston

For working parents, it’s sometimes hard to find storytimes that fit your schedule. Booked in Evanston keeps those parents in mind with a weekly storytime on Sundays for all ages. The bookstore’s two other weekly storytimes are geared for younger age groups. 

Wilmette Public Library

When: Tuesdays (9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.) and Thursdays (10:30 a.m.) 

Where: 1242 Wilmette Ave., Wilmette

Preschoolers can enjoy storytime twice a week, while older kids – ages 4-7 – have their own session with stories, songs and a dramatic play. The library sometimes hosts special storytimes (such as Halloween Storytime and Mandarin-English Bilingual Storytime this fall) on certain dates. Check the website for the complete schedule. 

Algonquin Area Public Library District

When: Check website

Where: 2600 Harnish Drive, Algonquin

This library offers your standard sessions like Baby Storytime and Preschool Storytime. But, if you’re looking for something else to do, keep an eye out for their more unique storytimes including yoga, milk and cookies, and more. 

Dancenter North

When: Wednesdays, 3:45 p.m.

Where: 5410 Grand Ave, Gurnee

Ballet dancers ages 2-5 will get a kick out of this free half-hour storytime! This drop-in class is one you don’t want to miss (especially if you’re still wondering if it’s worth it to sign up your child for a dance class). 

South Suburbs

Homewood Public Library

When: Mondays (10:30-11 a.m. and 2-3 p.m.)

Where: 17917 Dixie Highway, Homewood

We’re all raising readers and we hope that they’ll all fall in love with reading. Homewood Public Library’s Rising Readers class does exactly that with an interactive storytelling session. The library also offers Preschool Storytime at 2 p.m. if you’re looking for a traditional storytime. 

Lake Katherine Nature Center & Botanic Gardens

When: First Thursday of every month, 4-5 p.m.

Where: 7402 Lake Katherine Drive, Palos Heights

Your little explorers will love a natured-themed storytime at Lake Katherine Nature Center & Botanic Gardens. Fun activities are included!

Frankfort Public Library District

When: Check website

Where: 21119 S. Pfeiffer Road, Frankfort

While Frankfort includes great storytimes for babies and toddlers, you don’t want to miss Pajama Storytime when the older kiddos can join in. For children with special needs, the library hosts a Sensory Story Time once a month.

The Children’s Museum in Oak Lawn

When: Tuesdays to Fridays, 11-11:20 a.m. 

Where: 5100 Museum Drive, Oak Lawn

If you stop by this children’s museum on a weekday (it is closed on Mondays), don’t miss a free storytime in the multi-purpose room. Kohl Children’s Museum and DuPage Children’s Museum are other museums that also include storytimes on the schedule. 

Western Suburbs

Trailside Museum of Natural History

When: Check website

Where: 738 Thatcher Ave,, River Forest

If you can’t get enough of nature-themed storytimes, here’s a free one to enjoy with the kiddos. The Trailside Museum of Natural History usually hosts storytimes every other Thursday morning, but check the website for the complete schedule. 

The Morton Arboretum

When: Fridays, 11 a.m. (April-October)

Where: 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle

Plan your next trip to The Morton Arboretum on a Friday when you’ll find a storytime at the Children’s Garden. While you’re there, be sure to save some extra time to explore the Garden where you’ll find some more amazing activities. 

Oak Park Library

When: Mondays-Sundays

Where: Various library locations in Oak Park

The storytime options are endless at the Oak Park Library—and are hosted six days a week! While all are great, if you’re looking for something with a little movement, consider the Shake, Rattle & Read program. Music and books are involved in this energetic storytime for all ages. 

Naperville Public Library

When: Check website.

Where: Various library locations in Naperville

Here’s another great library with so many storytimes for kids. Our favorite on the list? STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) storytime explores these important topics through stories, songs and interactive activities. 


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