Storytime is a wonderful option when looking for an activity that is educational, social and low cost. There are a variety of New York City locations that hold regular storytimes for free or special storytimes that may cost a nominal fee. Another advantage of most storytimes is that you don’t have to plan ahead which so nice when you are trying to work around an unpredictable nap schedule. Go alone or with a friend to one of the storytimes listed below. Be sure to verify times on their website or by calling before heading to one of the storytimes listed below just in case a time has been changed.
Libraries with Storytime
The New York Public Libraries are an amazing resource for NYC parents. Not only do they host storytimes, but they also offer fun educational events, movies and celebrations all for free. In general, you can just show up, but some of the special events may require you to call and register in advance. There are a few story hours that have become so popular that they are first come, first serve so try to arrive a few minute early if possible. On the nypl.org you can search by a specific branch or by program type. At the “main branch” on 5th Avenue and 42nd Street, you can find the Children’s Center at 42nd Street which hosts numerous story hours and special events.
10 River Terrace at Murray St
In the Children’s Room toddlers can enjoy Tiny Poets Time, songs and poetry readings on Thursdays starting at 10am.
53rd Street Library
18 West 53rd Street
Get to know other NYC families in Clinton as they read exciting picture books and classic favorites, participate in singalongs and engage in free play time. The 53rd Street library offers many activities for all ages, including a teen room and various family story hours, for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers, plus a sensory storytime for children age 2-5 with autism spectrum disorders or sensory integration challenges.
Storytimes may be the main attraction or an enjoyable break for the kids from a bigger adventure.
Stores with Storytime
Barnes & Noble
Visit their website and search for ongoing and special storytime events at a Barnes & Noble nearest you. Here are a few of the regularly scheduled story hours
Upper East Side, 150 E. 86th St – Story Time on Sundays at 11am and Wednesdays at 10am for all ages
Tribeca, 97 Warren St. – Story Time on Saturdays at 11am.
Books of Wonder
18 West 18th Street
The selection of books is unbelievable! In addition to numerous special author events, it also hosts regularly scheduled story times on Sundays at noon and Fridays at 4pm.
52 Prince Street
The cozy children’s section is ideal for both the baby story time for ages two and under on Fridays at 4pm and for kids ages 3-8 on Saturdays at 11:30am.
Every Thursday at 3:30pm the staff reads from a favorite book and visit the calendar of events for special Saturday events for kids.
Bank Street Bookstore
2780 Broadway at 107th Street
An Upper West Side neighborhood favorite! They host free storytime at 10:30am Tuesdays–Saturdays and scores popular authors and celebrities for readings like Magic Happens with Neil Patrick Harris.
La Librairie des Enfants
163 East 92nd Street
Upper East Side gem dedicated wants to be a destination you, your children, families go to escape from the busy streets of New York. This spot is a bookstore, library, and community space. The store offers Petites Histoires, a French literary program for children ages 7 months to 15 years.
104 W 14th Street
Yoga moves, songs and even puppets make this a fun storytime for kids up to 6 years old. Join the fun Wednesdays at 11:30am and Fridays at 3pm.
Museums with Storytime
American Museum of Natural History
79th Street and Central Park West
Every Monday morning during the school year (except holidays) at 10:15am and 11:15am preschoolers are invited to visit the Discovery Room for a free storytime. There is a different theme each week and each session kicks off with some free play followed by a story, song and a visit the related Museum Hall.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street
For children ages 3-7, the Met offers a story time followed by a treasure hunt in the galleries every weekday at 10:30am and again at 3pm on Wednesday in the Children’s Reading Room at the Nolen Library. Free with paid museum admission.
The Mount Vernon Hotel and Garden
421 E 61st Street
This quaint museum hosts a story time for ages 2 to 6 at 10:30am on the 3rd Friday of each month (excluding August). During the summer months, it is held outside in the gazebo of their 18th Century garden. Free with museum admission.
58 Park Avenue
This is such a hidden treasure and on the second Saturday of each month at 11am children ages 5 and up are invited to free storytime then on the third Saturday of every month they have a sing-a-long at 1pm for $7.
DiMenna Children’s History Museum
New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West at 79th Street
Macy’s sponsors this weekly storytime on Sunday mornings at 11:30am. Books often correspond to the museum’s exhibitions. Included with museum admission.
Jessica Murphy is the publisher of the Macaroni Kid NYC Downtown newsletter and website. Each week she publishes a list of family-friendly events going on in Manhattan along with articles covering topics such as show reviews, product reviews, recipes and more. She has been living in Manhattan for the last 13 years. Before becoming a parent Jessica and her husband Bill loved walking the streets of NY, running in Central Park, eating out, going to shows and having fun. Once they had children they continued doing these things, but of course, the types of shows, restaurants and distance of each outing had to change. Jessica is excited to publish Macaroni Kid and hopes it enables you to plan some fun-filled family adventures.