Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

9 don't-miss kids' storytimes around Seattle

Seattle is alive with storytimes every day across the city; here are nine you don’t want to miss.

Editor's note: Many events are being canceled, postponed or adjusted in response to concerns over the spread of the new coronavirus in the Puget Sound area. Before heading out, it's wise to confirm that your event is still taking place.

Whether you’ve got an avid bookworm or a reluctant reader, unusual characters or settings at story time can get kids excited about reading. Here are nine of the most unusual and fun storytimes in the Seattle area. Bonus: eight of them are free! 

A boatload of stories aboard the Arthur Foss

Tugboat Storytime aboard the 130-year-old Arthur Foss, the world’s oldest wooden tugboat, has been a favorite among preschoolers for more than 20 years. 11 am on second and fourth Thursdays year-round, except for second Thursdays in November and December; Historic Ships Wharf at Lake Union Park, 1010 Valley St.; pre-registration encouraged; free

Paws for a good book with Rover

He’s a good listener who doesn’t mind if your beginner reader trips over a few words. For kids who are hesitant to read to other humans, a pooch may be the perfect book buddy. Reading with Rover is a program that brings therapy dogs to read with kids in libraries and bookstores throughout King County. Locations and times vary; free. (Related: One family's experience with Reading with Rover.)

Chocolate and stories at Theo

Theo Chocolate Factory’s Kids’ Chocolate Story Time offers a 45-minute tour sprinkled with treats like raspberry chocolate and the storytelling of Molly and the Chocolate Tree! Saturdays and Sundays at 3 pm; ages 2-6 with adult chaperone. 3400 Phinney Ave. N., booking available online or by calling 206-632-5100; $8 per person; under 1 free

Experience the art of storytelling at the Frye

CANCELED FOR MARCH – Professional teaching artists from Seattle Children’s Theatre invite kids ages 3 to 5 to "Small Frye,” a dramatic storytelling experience followed by an art project related to the tale’s theme. First Fridays, monthly; 10:30 am drop-in story time and 11:15 art (online registration required for project); Frye Art Museum, 704 Terry Ave.; free

Libraries offer stories in diverse languages

CANCELED FOR MARCH – Drop into one of Seattle Public Library’s or King County Library System's story times offered in Somali, Spanish or Mandarin. Even if they don’t understand the words, kids can follow the rhythm of the sounds, and book illustrations are universal. Plus, it’s a chance to meet new friends from other parts of the world. Various times and locations; free

Storytime with Joshua at Snapdoodle Toys

Greenwood’s favorite toy store hosts its weekly Storytime with Joshua, the store’s animated assistant manager. His 15 years of teaching experience comes into play as he engages preschoolers to explore book themes through storytelling, song, movement and music making while they go on adventures throughout the store. Wednesdays at 11 am.; 120 N. 85th St.; free

Nordic Museum story time

Take advantage of free admission to Ballard’s National Nordic Museum during Free First Thursday, when the museum holds its Nordic Series, a monthly reading of tales featuring Nordic countries like Iceland and Norway, followed by craft making. First Thursdays, monthly; 10-11 am; 2655 N.W. Market St.; free

Baby Story Time at the library

CANCELED FOR MARCH: “Start ’em young” definitely is the goal for Baby Story Time, hosted by local librarians who read and lead in songs and rhymes for babies up to a year old. Got an older babe? Check out Waddler Story Time, geared towards older babies and new walkers. These first-come, first-served events fill up quickly, so be sure to arrive early. Locations and times vary; free 

PJ Library Song & Story Time

Song & Story Time, open to all and featuring books from PJ Library’s array of beautifully illustrated, Jewish-themed children’s books aimed at ages 6 months to 8 years, is jam-packed with 30 minutes of storytelling, singing and activities. Ask the guest reader about signing up your child for a free monthly subscription of PJ Library books. Locations and times vary; free 

Meet Phinney Books’ sister, Madison Books

Madison Books, the tiny bookstore that could in the Madison Park neighborhood, offers a weekly story time of new book releases and seasonal titles, with a mix of classic favorites for babes-in-arms to preschoolers. See calendar of events for future author readings. Tuesdays at 10:30 am; 4118 E. Madison St.; free

Family Reading Time at Paper Boat

See why Family Reading Time at West Seattle’s Paper Boat Booksellers is growing in popularity. While guest readers narrating picture books is the norm, sometimes there’s seasonal craft making or a local librarian leading participants in sign language and dancing. Saturdays at 11 am; ages 1-6; 6040 California Ave. SW, Suite A; free