I’m now 34 weeks pregnant, and it's not getting much cooler outside. Outdoor play for my kids is still very limited thanks to the summer heat combined with my biggie-pregnant state. This is part two of a three part series about creative and affordable indoor activities in our area, and this week I’m taking you to Barnes & Noble for their free story time.
When Barnes & Noble came to the Central Park shopping center in Fredericksburg a couple of short years ago, my children and I were there on opening day. We not only love books, but we love to play in the kid’s area at other Barnes & Noble locations. I was thrilled to have one right here in my town, and the store has not disappointed! Not only do they have a train table, lego table, and fun chairs and tables for little people, but they also offer a free story time every Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. Weekday story times are at 11 am and weekend special events range in time, so please check the store’s website or call for more information. I should mention that one of the highlight’s of my daughter’s life was when Olivia appeared at Barnes & Noble on a weekend and led a parade around the store. Maggie was an enormous fan of Olivia at age two, and, at the time, it was better than taking her to Disney World!
Story time is usually led by Miss Allison, a friendly staffer who is great with children, and after she reads she leads the group in a simple craft. Sometimes treats are provided by the café, but not always. My children and I invited friends to a Wednesday morning story time recently. I’m always so proud when they sit quietly and listen to the book, even though it’s only a brief story. (Small victories are to be celebrated!). After the book, both Maggie and Brendan enjoyed the craft, which was a very age-appropriate coloring and cutting activity for my five and three-year-old.
After story time, we always stay to play with the train table. Even though we have one at home, there is something about a “fresh” toy that makes it so much more interesting. And of course, the sale tables and racks of toys provide inspiration for future occasions. With friends there to play with as well, we read, played and ate for about two hours after story time ended. It was SO nice to be in the air-conditioning! Thank you, Barnes & Noble, for providing fun, free, educational and enriching entertainment for my children! See you next week!