Imagine all your favorite books in one place. Then imagine all of your kid’s favorite books in one place.
We finally made our way to the Young Readers Center for the weekly story time and have been back several times since. It honestly became one of our favorite indoor hangouts on long summer days.
Filled with books I remember reading as a kid, as well as a few I’ve been reading on repeat to my toddler, this place made ME excited to read! You can’t check out any books from the Library of Congress, including the Young Readers Center, but you will walk away with plenty of ideas for your next neighborhood library run. The Library of Congress also maintains a list of recommended children’s books to help promote literacy.
Story time is held each Friday morning for infants and toddlers. This works great if you have an easily distracted toddler like me. If you go to story time, be sure to get there somewhat early. The center hands out 50 story time stickers on a first-come-first-served basis. One week we were numbers 14 and 15 (about 25 minutes early) and the next we were 47 and 48 (about five minutes early)!
I also recommend bringing a few snacks if you have a munchy kid like me. While not allowed in the young readers center, they can be enjoyed in the hallway outside. If you’re looking for lunch afterward, check out nearby Good Stuff Eatery, the food court at the adjoining U.S. Capitol Visitor Center (there’s an underground walkway accessible on the Ground Floor), or Union Station is filled with possibilities before catching the metro home.
Young Readers Center
- Library of Congress, Thomas Jefferson Building, Room LJ G29 (Ground Floor); 10 First Street, SE, Washington, DC, 20540
- Open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.; Closed all Federal Holidays.
- Story time is held on Friday mornings at 10:30; The center is limited to 50 participants– stickers are handed out to kids and their caregivers beginning at 10 a.m.
- Nearest Metro Stop: Capitol South (Blue and Orange lines), Union Station (Red line). Limited free 2-hour and metered parking is available.
- Library of Congress Young Readers Center
More Local Fun for Young Ones
- Pack a picnic and plan for a full day at Clemyjontri Park
- Spots, stripes and manes– see how many animals at the National Zoo your toddler can name
- Take a hike, or nature walk, and visit Great Falls Park on a weekday to beat the crowds
- Visit your neighborhood library for a more intimate story time!