Top 5 Kid-Friendly Bookstores in Houston
Get your little bookworm’s next favorite read at one of these local bookshops.
Like Doctor Who’s TARDIS, books are bigger on the inside. The stories they contain can let you visit far-off places, battle imaginary creatures, or learn something totally new. It’s no wonder, then, that while technology has provided ever-new and exciting toys, reading continues to be a favorite childhood pastime.
Sure, you could get your books on Amazon or at a big-box store like Barnes & Noble. But with so many great independent bookstores in and around Houston, you have plenty of options if you’d prefer to shop local. Parents, babysitters, and nannies looking to snag the perfect story for Christmas, birthdays, or any special occasion should start their search at one of these five area shops.
Address: 2421 Bissonnet St., Houston, TX 77005
Hours: Monday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. | Sunday, noon - 6 p.m.
Known for its reputation as one of the best curated bookshops in the area, Brazos Bookstore in West University offers a wide array of good-quality books for all ages. The highly knowledgeable staff routinely shares their favorites, and can even make personalized suggestions based on your child’s age and interests. Swing by every Saturday at 10:30 a.m. for story hour, and then spend some time perusing their latest picks in the kids section. An entire room in the back of the store is solely dedicated to children’s literature, and there’s always something new to see.
Address: 14532 Memorial Drive, Houston, TX 77079
Hours: Monday - Friday, 9:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. | Saturday, 9:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Blue Willow Bookshop in the West Memorial area has a devoted fan base — and for good reason. The store’s vast children’s section is well organized based on age and topic, making it easy to find exactly what you need. In addition to its weekly storytime on Thursdays at 10 a.m., the shop also has several book clubs, including one just for middle school-age girls that typically meets the third Saturday of the month. The store also hosts kid-geared book-signing events, featuring authors of popular children’s books and young adult novels.
Address: 5555 Hermann Park Drive, Houston,TX 77030
Hours: Open daily, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Amid a variety of plastic T. rexes and foam butterfly masks, the gift shop at the Houston Museum of Natural Science has one of the best selections of science-themed books in the city. Peruse board books about robots, stories of mischievous dinosaurs, or more detailed volumes on rock formations — whatever science theme your kid is into, it’s almost certain this shop will have a book on it. What’s more, 100 percent of the profits go to the museum’s educational programs and events, so you can nurture your child’s love of science while helping other kids explore it, too.
Pro tip: The shop is fully accessible without visiting any of the exhibitions, and you don’t need a paid ticket stub to enter.
Address: 4844 Beechnut St., Houston, TX 77096
Hours: Monday - Wednesday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. | Thursday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. | Sunday, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
In addition to being one of Houston’s best independent toy stores, Tomfoolery Toys & Books also has a ton of great children’s books. The community-centered shop hosts 20-minute storytime for kids 2.5 to 5 years old every Thursday at 11:15 a.m. The interactive session led by early childhood literacy program Literacy Enrichment and Play (LEAP) includes songs, rhymes, and dancing that constructively channel the energy of wiggly toddlers — all while cultivating a love of books and reading.
Address: 2450 Fry Road, Houston, TX 77084
Hours: Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. | Saturday, 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. | Sunday, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
For books on a budget, Katy Budget Books offers a wide selection of both new and used reads in store and online. This shop has been in business for more than 30 years and has become a great go-to for families on the west side of town. Its storytime for preschoolers every Wednesday from 10 to 11 a.m. includes snacks and hands-on activities, and the shop has multiple book clubs, including one specifically for moms where kids are welcome, too. The staff also tries to keep local schools’ reading lists on hand and the corresponding books in stock.
Pro tip: Bring in your gently used books, and get store credit to use toward future purchases.