Bergen County Libraries have gone beyond the typical story hours with musical performances and more. And did we mention that most activities are FREE? By Leslie Gracz Weinstein
Please note: most libraries give preference to residents first for these free programs so always call ahead.
• Allendale’s Lee Memorial Library: Holds story times for Babies (6-18mos); Toddlers (18mos-3yrs); and Growing Readers (4-6yrs)-all themed based.
• Bergenfield Library: Offers babies and growing reader story times during the week as well as story times in Spanish!
• Cliffside Park Library: Has an amazing Kid-stuff website with music and sign language programs for babies; chess and art for elementary age kids; and special science programs for older kids.
• Closter Library: Offers story time for little ones through elementary school aged children. They also offer their library space as priority homework time between the hours of 3pm-5pm and have a small recreation room with scheduled activities for kids 5th grade and up.
• Englewood Library: Holds baby playtimes (newborn-2 ½ years) regularly and Story times (3-5 years); they welcome groups but please call ahead.
• Fort Lee Library: Has a cozy reading nook for budding readers and their caregivers. Special programs are rolling out such as poetry readings and art galleries; however, programs are only for Fort Lee residents. Visit the library and walk into town for a snack at a pizzeria or bagel shop after your visit!
• Fairlawn Library: Storytimes range from newborn babies to elementary age kiddos. There are also a bunch of fun activities for February and story times for working parents (love that!).
Registration for these events are for Fairlawn residents only.
• Glen Rock Library: Holds storytimes for itsy bitsy babies to 5 year olds at various times. Check out their amazing space and Paws for Reading program, which allows kids to read 10 minutes to therapy dogs on a monthly basis. Also offers amazing craft projects for after school activities.
• Leonia Library: There are Korean Story times and programs for kids of all ages: We like the small play space with toys for little ones to hang out while older siblings/friends use the computers or check out books or DVDs.
• Mahwah Library: We love the craft space available for tots to tweens here and the small play space for kids before and after story time. Don’t forget to check out their occasional kids concerts and guest appearances, as well.
• Ridgewood Public Library: Probably the most comprehensive library programming we have seen, with a seasonal program of everything from special movie days to special culture workshops in Japanese and Irish Dance. Book clubs by age and Craft workshops are also held and with the healthy cafe on the premises, you can really spend the whole day. The library is free for Ridgewood residents, but non-residents can purchase a annual or seasonal membership.
• Teaneck Library: Check out their site for an extensive list of programs for kids of all ages-ranging from Reading to Dogs, Book Clubs, Gaming Afternoons with a Wii etc. We also love that they offer Saturday story times for families. Teaneck residents are give priority for these free programs.
• Tenafly Library: Has great space for puzzle play and reading and acting out parts of stories with their stuffed animals and puppets. Register in advance for special arts and crafts Saturdays and Reading to the Dogs, which helps build confidence and encourages readers to get comfortable with public speaking.
• Upper Saddle River Library: The chock full schedule includes everything from story hours to musical performances and a separate teen schedule.
**This is not a complete list of all the wonderful public libraries in Bergen County. Take the time to get to know your local library and all the free programs it offers children of all ages. It is the perfect activity for the chilly weather!