Cozy Up with a Good (FREE) Story Time

If you’re looking to get out of the house with your little one, story times offer a great social scene for tots and parents alike. Here are seven local places to listen to a free tale.

Photo courtesy of atikinka/


If you’re looking to get out of the house with your little one, story times offer a great social scene for tots and parents alike.  Here are our favorite local places to listen to a free tale:

Barnes and Noble
Locations throughout Northern Virginia/DC Metro
This big chain of bookstores host story times and performances throughout the week. Each store is unique, but story times frequently include a craft or activity, costumed character, and sometimes even some coffee samples and treats.  Here’s a link to the events calendar of the 21 different metro Barnes & Noble locations in and around Northern Virginia.

Mosaic District
The Mosaic District hosts a weekly story time on Tuesday mornings called “Stories from Strawberry Park.” During the winter season, the story time is moved into the swank Angelika Film Center. Attendees can enjoy a unique, interactive performance told by professional storytellers. Stay afterwards to visit the fun shops and restaurants the Mosaic District has to offer.

Barston’s Child Play
4510 Lee Highway, Arlington, 22207
This award-winning, family-owned toy store has been in business for over 27 years, and the free Friday morning story times have become a staple in the community.  Story times are also held on Saturday mornings at their Rockville, Md. location. 

Kinderhaus Toys
1220 N. Fillmore
, Arlington, 22201
Join the fun with Ms. Laura on Monday and Friday mornings at 10:30 AM for a wonderful story time filled with fun and laughter.  This giant toy store is filled with unique toys and gifts and is located in the metro-accessible and vibrant Clarendon neighborhood.

Pottery Barn Kids
Locations in Tysons Corner Mall and Fair Oaks Mall
Every Tuesday at 11 a.m., the staff at Pottery Barn Kids gathers a crowd for an exciting read aloud.  Children who attend receive a special book club passport and after attending five story times, they get a special gift.  Weekly book selections can be viewed on the store events page.

Udvar-Hazy Center Smithsonian Air and Space Museum
On many mornings, museum staff will read stories for children about famous aviators, hot-air balloon flights, trips to Mars, the night sky, and winged creatures that soar through the skies. Following the story time, children are encouraged to take part in a hands-on art activity.  Visit the calendar of events to find out details about upcoming story times.

Public Libraries
We must pay homage to the robust selection of children’s events at our local public libraries.  All Northern Virginia public library systems have an online calendar that allows users to search by event type and location. Although free, some story times require pre-registration. Head over to your area’s library website and find fun children’s events near you.

Courtesy of Tiffany Brown, Mamaratzy Photography

Micaela Williamson is a co-author of local travel guide, Kid Trips Northern Virginia, an extraordinary resource that provides descriptions, useful information and insider tips for hundreds of local destinations. Micaela is also an award winning blogger who enjoys supporting area businesses and scouting out family-friendly venues with her two young sons.