Unique Story Times in Pittsburgh

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Before having a kid, I had no idea that story time offers so much more than just sitting and listening to stories.  Most story time programs sing songs and do dances to get the kids moving. And several offer crafts or other fun activities at the end.  With so many different story times available in Pittsburgh, you’re sure to find something out there to match your children’s age and interest almost every day of the week.  The best part is that many are free, and they offer both parents and kids an opportunity to get out and connect with other families during the week.

Updated 7/19/23

Munchkin Mondays at the Carnegie Science Center

Mondays at the Carnegie Science Center are all about the littlest scientists. Story time is typically held in the Buhl Planetarium, which gives kids a chance to view the stars, moon and changing colors of the ceiling while listening to science-themed stories. There are also various activities and demonstrations for little kids throughout the museum that change weekly. Tip: Be sure to spend time on the 4th floor Little Learner’s Clubhouse while you’re there. It’s one of our favorite indoor play areas in Pittsburgh!

  • Location: Carnegie Science Center, located at 1 Allegheny Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15212
  • Day/Time(s): Mondays 10am- 1pm
  • Recommended Age: 2-6 years old (although children of any age are welcome)
  • Registration: Not required
  • Cost: Included with general admission

Soergel Orchards’ Story Time

Story time at Soergel Orchards is really interactive from the minute it starts, and it includes a number of songs/ dances to get kids moving and engaged. This story followed by activities and a craft, all of which are typically themed for the week. If weather permits, spend some time playing outside on Soergel’s grounds after story time and be sure to visit the animals. The cafe also has great options for kids if you want to have lunch afterwards, and there’s a train running around the ceiling of the store.

  • Location: The Macintosh room at Soergel Orchards, 2573 Brandt School Road, Wexford, PA
  • Day/Time(s): Every other Wednesday from 10:30-11:00am (check Soergel’s events page for dates and info)
  • Recommended Age: Children of all ages are welcome
  • Registration: Not required
  • Cost: FREE

Story Time at the Pittsburgh Zoo

Story time at the Zoo means everything is animal themed from the stories to the songs and dances. The best part about the Zoo’s story time is that kids have a chance to meet animals up close throughout story time. While you’re there be sure to spend time at Children’s Zoo. It has a small animal petting area, kangaroos, a playground and more. Read more on visiting the Pittsburgh Zoo with kids.

  • Location: Education Complex at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, located at 7370 Baker Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15206
  • Day/Time(s): Dates vary, and they sell out quickly. There are also virtual story times available.
  • Recommended Age:   Infants to 5 years old
  • Registration: Registration is required here.
  • Cost: Ages 2+ are $10 per child and adult for non-members; members are $5 each

Story Time Wednesdays at Phipps

The story time at Phipps probably has one of the prettiest settings of any of the Pittsburgh story times available, as it takes place in the Tropical Rainforest exhibit. In addition to reading stories that are often themed around plants and other topics children can learn more about at Phipps, each story time also offers some type of craft or activity. Tip: Once your child attends 6 story time sessions, he or she will receive a children’s book for free.

  • Location: Tropical Rainforest at thePhipps Conservatory, located at 1 Schenly Park Drive, Pittsburgh, PA (Note: Story time is typically held outdoors in the warmer months)
  • Day/Time(s): Wednesdays at 10:30am and 1pm
  • Recommended Age: Children of all ages are welcomed
  • Registration: Advanced registration is required. See here for more info.
  • Cost: Included with admission

Riverstone Bookstore

This locally owned, independent bookstore is our personal favorite for unique, themed story times and they offer several thought the week. On Saturdays, they usually read a story followed by songs and crafts. During the week, there are toddler focused story times including yoga story time (our favorite), art classes and more. They also have special holiday themed story times, including Polar Express and Elf story time that have taken place in the past.

  • Location: McCandless Crossing & Squirrel Hill
  • Day/Time(s): Saturday Story Time at McCandless Crossing is at 9:30am. Toddler story times vary during the week. See Riverstone’s events page for additional information on story times.
  • Recommended Age: Saturday story times are recommended for kids ages 4-6, however, kids of all ages can attend. Toddler story times are recommended for ages 1-4.
  • Registration: Advanced registration is required on the events page.
  • Cost: FREE

Fit4Mom North Hill’s Stroller Exercise Classes

If you read my post on exercising with your baby or toddler, you already know that Fit4Mom is more than just a workout. While Fit4Mom stroller workouts technically aren’t a story time, they offer many activities to keep the kiddos entertained throughout class in addition to being a great way to exercise while connecting with other moms. (Although let’s be honest, looking at their moms do crazy moves is usually enough!) At our local North Hills Fit4Mom, the instructors typically read a book to the kids throughout the class as the moms stop to complete various exercises.

Fit4Mom North Hills also does a story time with Riverstone Books periodically.

  • Locations: The Block of Northway, North Park, Knob Hill, McCandless Crossing & Cranberry Twp
  • Day/Time(s): Classes are typically held Monday- Friday, with a different location each day
  • Recommended Age: Any age as long as they can be in a stroller.
  • Registration: Required by signing up at https://northhills.fit4mom.com
  • Cost: First Fit4Mom class is free. Individual classes are $15, however, the cost per class is less if you purchase a package.

Story Time at the Children’s Museum

The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh is one of our favorite things to do in Pittsburgh with toddlers, and it has several programs for early learners. Story time at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh includes activities and songs as well as stories. In addition to story time on Thursdays, they also have sensory play on Tuesdays and little gardeners’ days on Wednesdays. Additional early childhood learning activities can be found on their website here.

  • Location: The Nursery at the Children’s Museum, located at 10 Children’s Way, Allegheny Square, Pittsburgh, PA 15212
  • Day/Time(s): Thursdays from 11- 11:45am (see calendar of events here)
  • Recommended Age: Children under 5
  • Registration: Not required
  • Cost: Included with admission

Barnes & Noble Toddler Story Time

The Barnes and Noble at the Waterworks was a favorite of ours when we lived in the area, and they have one of the best children’s sections. The story time activities are typically themed based on a specific book and main character each week. Search here for Barnes & Noble story time events.

  • Locations: Various Barnes & Nobles in Pittsburgh (Cranberry, Settlers Ridge & Waterworks)
  • Day/Time(s): Saturdays at 11:00am or 11:30am depending on the location
  • Recommended Age: Most story times at Barns & Noble are for all ages, but there are some that are toddler specific.
  • Registration: Not required
  • Cost: FREE

Allegheny County & Carnegie Public Library Story Times

While you may be thinking that library story times aren’t necessarily unique (and you’re partially correct, since they’re a “go-to” for most parents) I’ve been so impressed with the story time programs at our local library, Northern Tier Library, in Gibsonia that I can’t go without mentioning them. Story times vary by library, but ours usually starts with open play, followed by several songs and dances as well as a couple stories throughout. It ends with bubbles and parachute play that the kiddos go crazy for and then a craft that goes with the story theme for the day.

Tip: Most library story times have open play for up to 30 minutes before they start, which is a great way for your kids to interact with others and get access to toys they don’t have at home.

Search here for your closest Allegheny County Library and story time options or here for Carnegie Library options. Most libraries have multiple story times available for different age groups and they’re all FREE. Be sure to check the websites beforehand, as many prefer that you preregister.

Please share if you have any favorite story time programs in the Pittsburgh area that I haven’t mentioned above! And if you haven’t already, be sure to check out our page on children’s book inspiration if you’re looking for new book ideas to inspire travel and adventures.

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