I was born in Fresno and grew up here, as did my husband and my parents. I'm thrilled to be raising my young son here too! I've gone away for school and spent brief periods in other parts of California, but have always ended up homesick for my hometown.
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Holiday Storytime Events at Barnes & Noble
Pajamas? Check. “Choo-choo” obsessed toddler? Check.
With that in mind I walked into Barnes & Noble last weekend with my kiddo in tow. They had an official storytime event going on, a pajama party reading of “The Polar Express”.
As soon as we walked through the door, we were greeted by a very enthusiastic train conductor, resplendent in full costume and character. He helpfully directed us to the children’s section in the back of the store.
There were already tons of kids there, engaged in the preliminary and very exciting process of writing their letters to Santa Claus. As soon as they finished, they were given an activity packet complete with a little silver jingle bell, so they could ring it at key points during the story.
It was a really fun and surprisingly low-key evening. Hunter, the employee who does the children’s readings, is very warm, friendly, and animated. She was very much in the spirit of things, even rocking her own Batman onesie pajamas.
To get everyone in the holiday mood, we sang a couple of Christmas songs accompanied by ukulele, and then the story began.
Is anything cuter than seeing a room full of kids in their Christmas PJ’s, completely wrapped up in a story book? If so I don’t want to know about it. The reading was engaging and entertaining, the “train conductor” got to chime in at key points, and the strategic silver jingle bells got quite a workout.
Of course, I’d tempted fate by keeping my son up long past his bedtime, and bribing him with (super Christmassy) bananas and pretzels only got us so far.
In order not to disrupt the festivities, we ended up having to scurry home before the post-story cookies and the snowflake decorating activity. (Pretty sure every parent has been there at some point!) Luckily he was already in his pajamas so bedtime was a snap.
We went back the next day to check out Hunter’s reading of “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas”, because who can resist Dr. Seuss?
I’m not sure if I can claim that my “heart grew three sizes that day”, but it definitely served as a much needed boost for my holiday spirit this year.
Once again, cute activities, a fun listening experience for parents and kids alike, and my tiny “Who” was thrilled to get his own Grinch-themed pin back button and a sticker. Two FresYes thumbs up!
A few hints-
Go early. I know, this is a no-brainer, but- just in case you need extra motivation- there’s not a ton of seating. Also, much of what’s there is kid sized.
Wear comfy clothes/shoes because grownups, you may end up sitting on the floor or leaning against a bookcase for the duration.
Also, you might want to wear layers! I’ve been to B&N, several times over the last few weeks, and every time it’s been on the toasty side. Nobody wants to be desperately sweating or stripping in the middle of a children’s story hour. Hopefully.
Definitely don’t Grinch out because you missed these first two storytime events! Check out these upcoming holiday children’s story readings coming up at Barnes & Noble for the rest of December. Free, fun, local holiday activities- what are you waiting for?
SATURDAY, December 10th:
11 AM: “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” Storytime Special Event.
12 PM -2 PM: Linda Lee Kane Author Event.(Children’s) Book signing of “Cowboy Jack & Buddy Save Christmas”.
SATURDAY, December 17th:
11 AM: “Santa’s Sleigh Is On Its Way” Storytime Special Event
SATURDAY, December 31st:
11 AM: “Hap-Pea All Year” Storytime Special Event.
More info available at the Fresno Barnes & Noble Events Page. Have fun!