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The best kid-friendly bookstores in the Hudson Valley



If you haven’t checked out a bookstore with your kids in a while, it’s time to add it to your must-do list.



Keb, 3, of New Paltz, plays in the charming children’s nook at Inquiring Minds in New Paltz.





After years of nightly story times, frequent library visits, and carefully chosen books to encourage interest, the effort has paid off. I am happy to say that I have two enthusiastic little book lovers in my home.

Seeing my daughters’ faces glow with excitement when walking into a bookshop makes my heart melt every time. In their eyes, all the books lining the shelves are countless adventures waiting to be discovered. During our visits together, we explore, we read and we get inspired.

If you haven’t checked out a bookstore with your kids in a while, it’s time to add it to your must-do list. There are a number of child-friendly bookstores in the Hudson Valley that provide great adult book selections in addition to their children’s offerings, so everyone in the family can enjoy their visit. Here’s a rundown of some of our local bookstores along with what they provide for their youngest patrons:

 

Oblong Books and Music

6422 Montgomery St., Rhinebeck

26 Main St., Millerton

Each of the two Oblong locations boasts a bright and cheery children’s section dubbed “Oblong, Junior.” In addition to a wide selection of children’s books, they also sell a variety of unique and educational toys and gifts that you won’t find in mainstream stores. Regarding the selection of kids’ products, owner Dick Hermans is proud of his motto: “If you saw it advertised on TV, you won’t find it here.”

Oblong also hosts a number of children’s events as well as the successful Hudson Valley YA Society, a monthly author event series for young adults.

 

The Golden Notebook

29 Tinker St., Woodstock

This charming bookshop offers a welcoming children’s nook and friendly, helpful staff who clearly have a soft spot in their heart for kids.

Their collection of toys and gifts for little ones is irresistible and includes shirts and onesies with famous story characters. This little shop also does big things for Hudson Valley schools through their book fairs, which provide school PTAs with 20% of sales.


They always try to bring local children’s authors in to the school book fairs to share with students their latest stories and discuss with them the creative writing process.

 

Lucas, 5, loves to visit The Golden Notebook in Woodstock.



Merritt Books

57 Front St., Millbrook

In addition to offering a lovely children’s section complete with a game table, train set and toys, Merritt Books sponsors a number of children’s events throughout the year for their small patrons. Some of these events include book releases, children’s author visits and workshops, Brain Quest challenges, reading challenges, the Millbrook Literary Festival and the annual Where’s Waldo event in which the entire community participates.

 

Barner Books

3 Church St., New Paltz

Barner Books is a quaint, happy shop located in the heart of New Paltz. It offers plenty of great selections for children, and since they specialize in used books, it’s a great place to buy if you’re on a budget. There is a cozy corner for kids and animal statues throughout the store that are sure to intrigue any child that walks in. Barner also boasts one of the largest selections of handmade journals in the Hudson Valley.

 

Inquiring Minds

6 Church St., New Paltz

200 Main St., Saugerties

Each of the Inquiring Minds locations invites your family to stay a while by offering comfortable seating and a welcoming atmosphere. In New Paltz, your child can explore a fort-like alcove made just for them with toys to play with. The Saugerties location offers a train table and other toys to entertain the little ones, as well as a café and tables throughout the shop for reading, writing, chess and more. All of these perks are above and beyond their large book selection.

Eliana, 6, of Port Ewen, gets comfy while reading at Inquiring Minds in Saugerties.


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Ye Olde Warwick Book Shoppe

31 Main St., Warwick

On a corner of Main Street in Warwick lies this warm and inviting book shop with an old-time feel. The newly expanded children’s section boasts a wide selection of stories separated by grade level as well as activity and interactive books, educational items and toys. During the holidays they also have children’s story character stuffed animals available for sale which would make a great gift for any young book-lover.

 

The Book Cove

22 Charles Colman Blvd., Pawling

The Book Cove is a sweet, sophisticated shop located in the heart of the village of Pawling. They offer a special reading nook devoted to children as well as children’s author signings and events. Besides books, they also sell toys and an assortment of gifts for children and adults.

 

Barnes and Noble

Kingston, Poughkeepsie and Newburgh

With a café, huge selection of books and toys and nice sized children’s area, your local Barnes & Noble is a no-brainer. Each location offers a train table, Lego table, a children’s stage and little chairs for your little readers. There are also free weekly story times and other family-friendly events such as book release parties, book fairs, chess club and more.

Sarah Coppola lives in Port Ewen with her husband and two daughters. She can also be found at her website familyfriendlyhudsonvalley.com.