Bookmark It is one of the best bookstores in Orlando for kids and bookworms of all ages. (Photo: Courtesy Bookmark It)
Does your little reader zip through books in the blink of an eye? Check out the Orlando bookstores on a mission to keep your children’s book shelves well-stocked. Not only will your family find a wealth of good reads, but interactive story times and kid-centric activities help spark the imaginations of wee ones.
Most folks understandably associate Orlando’s popular East End Market with food and drink — the popular marketplace in Audubon Park is home to a number of artisan food purveyors. But tucked inside its walls lies an outlier — Bookmark It. The tiny gem of a bookstore focuses on local writers and sells books for all ages; its children’s section is rich with texts on subjects that will stretch your child’s mind and imagination, like gardening for kids, cooking for little ones, children’s poetry, and even biographies of remarkable children. Bookmark It is even launching an 8-week summer program, Camp Little Locals, with activities that feature local authors and artists, as well as “mommy and me” yoga.
In a world of chain stores, it’s always refreshing to stumble upon independent shops. Tote your kids to Orlando’s charming Winter Park neighborhood and support the recently opened Writer’s Block Bookstore. The shop focuses on all readers, and its children’s section is a standout. You’ll find kids’ classics like the Little Golden Books collection and Dr. Seuss, as well as plush toys that complement favorite stories, like “Guess How Much I Love You?” bunnies. Plan to arrive on a Friday morning for story time. The weekly, hour-long meet up has grown into the shop’s most popular event. Parents are free to wander the store while a bookseller reads stories to their little ones — giggles and good times are guaranteed.
Shoppers flocking to Orlando Fashion Mall near downtown Orlando can take a family-friendly detour to the Barnes & Noble Colonial Plaza, where kids dive into a children’s section jam-packed with books and toys. Not surprisingly, the store’s shelves are stacked with popular titles, like Eric Carle’s classics, as well as “Pat the Bunny,” “Goodnight Moon,” and the “Harry Potter” series. The store keeps kids and parents entertained thanks to an interactive series of special events, like Mother’s and Father’s Day story times, which features readings geared toward kids and their parents. Other unique events include Saturday morning story time, and even a special musical story time with local personality and musician, Mr. Richard.