Editor’s Note: Story has been updated to reflect the change of day.
Are you looking for a storytime that a little different than your standard library storytime? Maybe in a beautiful location where you can get some exercise in too? You won’t want to miss the Weekly Storytime at the Chicago Botanic Garden Lenhardt Library.
The Lenhardt Library is located inside the Regenstein Center, across the hall from the bathrooms. Don’t worry if you didn’t know it was there, it’s rather unassuming and you wouldn’t expect a library to be hidden back there.
Now, this is not a full-service public library, while it is open to the public its focus is on botany, horticulture, and gardening and only garden members can check out books. While there is a small area of children’s book you won’t find a typical children’s department with bright colors and toys for all ages. In fact, if you have a wild, run around type toddler, this might not be the storytime for you!
We checked out the last storytime of the season last year after taking a run around some of the garden trails. At the time, I had a 2-year-old and 1-year-old and it was definitely better for my 2-year-old. My one-year-old just wanted to pull all the books off the shelf.
Storytime starts with the librarian bring out a pile of pillows to sit on and a box of toys for the kids to play with. It helps them get acquainted with the space and each other and ready to listen. As you would expect everything about this storytime is related to nature and plants.
The storytime itself is a pretty typical storytime wit a mixture of songs/finger play and four stories that are all nature themed. Our storytime was in the spring and was themed around water and fish. After stories, there is a craft at child-sized tables.
The craft was really great! We made paper plate fish bowls and used a technique I hadn’t done before using water to make a watercolor design with tissue paper. Since I had two little ones I appreciated that everything was pre-cut and essentially just required my daughter to color and put them together.
Wednesdays, January 22 – March 20, 2020
See website for exact dates and times
10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Afterward, pick up a bingo activity card at the Information Desk and take a walk through the Garden and in the Greenhouses. Stories and activities are geared for children ages 2 to 5, accompanied by a caregiver.
The Chicago Botanic Gardens is open daily. Admission is free but parking is $25 per vehicle
Disclosure: I am an ambassador for the garden and my family has received membership in exchange for me sharing updates, and events, and activities in the garden. All thoughts and opinions are my own