News • April 03, 2024

Our Favorite Public Libraries for Families in Dallas-Fort Worth

You can, of course, browse all the latest releases in children’s literature at local, kid-friendly independent bookstores in Dallas-Fort Worth—our favorites of which we highlight here—but there’s also something special about the community connections formed and the hours wiled away at your local library branch.

With its wide selection and cozy nooks, public libraries welcome families to hang out for storytime or spend an afternoon browsing books and reading with your little ones. Libraries also beckon kids with its high-tech offering and family fun events that inspire creativity.

Put your local library into rotation for a free family outing or—for many more amenities that further spark excitement—branch out and visit one of these notable libraries in the Dallas-Fort Worth area (listed here from A to Z). Keep reading for why they’re worth a visit.

Note: The libraries on our list with an asterisk (*) are Family Place Libraries, a national initiative that transforms libraries into community centers for early literacy, parent education and family support—meaning these libraries often have large, open play spaces for children and family activities.


With a 400-gallon tank with live fish, the Allen Public Library also has a fish theme on the walls and carpets to keep that under-the-sea feel in its children’s library. One way to get your child to advance their literacy skills is to join the free 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program. For each 100 books read, the child gets a prize, and as the book number increases, the prizes get bigger.

In addition to children’s programming (like sensory playtime and arts and crafts) and storytimes, Allen Public Library offers kits that can be checked out for one to three weeks at a time, including storytime, read-along, Launchpad tablets and STEM kits.

Storytimes at Allen Public Library: Held in the Children’s Program Room, storytimes are free, ticketed events. Tickets are available at the Children’s Desk 30 minutes before the program starts. While the exact schedule changes seasonally, Allen Public Library usually offers storytimes Monday–Thursday, including Pajama Story Time (ages 3 and older), Baby and Me Story Time (ages newborn to 12 months), Together Time Story Time (ages 3 and older) and Fun Ones and Twos Story Time (ages 1–2).
Location: 300 N. Allen Drive, Allen
Contact: 214/509-4900
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RELATED: 12 Tips for Raising a Reader


This library in downtown Arlington serves up plenty of interactive elements, including the Discover Wall. Each letter in the vibrantly colored art installation that spells the word “discover” has a unique design for kids to climb on or sit inside of—the “O,” for example, is a clear, round globe for kids to lounge in, and the “I” is a larger-than-life ruler that lights up and measures kids’ height.

Aside from the interactive décor, the library offers toys, games and other ways to play, from developmentally appropriate toys for babies and toddlers to collaborative gaming systems for older children Plus, the library’s maker space on the second floor is equipped with 3D printers, sewing and embroidery machines and vinyl cutters. Kids under 13 who wish to use this space must be accompanied by a parent and have a library card.

Storytimes at George W. Hawkes Downtown Library: This Arlington library offers a weekly lap-sit storytime that includes reading short books, singing, movement, sign language, and rhymes, along with a weekly Rhymes & Play time for 2 to 4-year-olds.
Location: 100 S. Center St., Arlington
Contact: 817/459-6900
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RELATED: 5 Tips to Keep Kids Reading This Summer


Life gets a little loud with kids around, but you don’t have to worry about your little ones making noise at the Carrollton Public Library at Josey Ranch Lake. This is not a quiet library, so have fun with the kids at the LEGO table, preschoolers’ area and writing areas.

But if your little one has sensory sensitivities, the library offers KultureCity Sensory Bags with noise-canceling headphones, fidget tools and other helpful items. There are signs posted to designate Quiet Areas as well as Headphone Zones (where it might get a little noisier at times). If your kids still have excess energy, meander the paved trails out back to visit the ducks and turtles in Josey Ranch Lake.

Storytimes at Carrollton Public Library at Josey Ranch Lake: This library branch offers a few storytimes for children ages 5 and younger each week, and occasionally on Saturdays. Along with traditional storytimes, Carrollton Public Library at Josey Ranch Lake offers Libros y Amigos / Books and Friends, a Spanish-English bilingual storytime with songs, fingerplays, action rhymes, and movement.
Location: 1700 Keller Springs Road, Carrollton
Contact: 972/466-4800
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Located next to City Hall, the Colleyville Public library is furnished with three interactive play tables for Magna-Tiles, Tinker Toys and LEGO. If your little one is interested in STEAM, the library offers more than 89 STEAM kits that can be checked out, including exploring the anatomy of the human heart, coding a robot or designing a windmill.

In addition to seasonal sessions that require registration, Colleyville Public Library also offers drop-in activities like music and movement classes for tots.

Storytimes at Colleyville Public Library: This DFW-area library offers 12-week storytime sessions in the spring (starts in January) and fall (starts in September), along with a seven-week session in the summer (begins in June). Registration, for the duration of the session, is required for each session.
Location: 110 Main St., Colleyville
Contact: 817/503-1154
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While we love books, books and, oh yeah, more books, Cozby Library shares plenty of other fun for families in the community. Checkout board games or puzzles for a family game night (the library also has Braille games). Explore fun, themed educational games, books and activities with the Discovery Backpacks. And ignite your little one’s love of reading with the Early Literacy Backpacks, which include themed developmentally appropriate manipulatives and books for ages 1–5.

Can’t make it to storytime in person? Cozy Library offers a Virtual Storytime Room featuring a recorded read-aloud along with themed activities you can do at home with your kid.

Storytimes at Cozby Library: Each week, this library branch offers a variety of storytimes, including one for the whole family, for babies and for toddlers. Storytimes are ticketed. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis at the front desk 30 minutes before the start of the storytime, so the library recommends arriving early.
Location: 177 N. Heartz Road, Coppell
Contact: 972/304-3658
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While we all love spending time in the library, you can bring the learning home with North Branch Library’s Discovery Kits packed with books, activities and games all centered around specific themes, like seasons, emotions, dinosaurs and construction vehicles.

Looking for a fun activity to get the kids out of the house? North Branch Library hosts a variety of activities other than storytimes, including Story Walk, crafting classes, scavenger hunts and Maker Mondays for tweens and teens.

Have older kids who like to create or want to make something your little one dreamed up? The Forge, the library’s tech-slash-maker space, features a 3D printer, laser cutter, button makers, programming software and various crafting, electronics and recording equipment.

Storytimes at Denton’s North Branch Library: This branch of Denton’s public libraries offers a variety of storytimes for children, including baby, toddler and preschool for ages 5 and younger. Plus, it hosts special storytimes, including English-Spanish bilingual storytimes, pajama read-alouds and holiday storytimes.
Location: 3020 N. Locust St., Denton
Contact: 940/349-8752
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A must-see feature at the Manske Library is the one-of-a-kind Mike Stilkey book art installation (just be sure to remind your kids that we don’t color or paint on library books!). Read with your littles in the children’s area, which overlooks Rawhide Creek. A portion of the kids’ zone is dedicated to game time, with old-school games like Connect 4, Jenga and puzzles.

Want to bring some extra-fun learning home with you? Check out one of the library’s STEAM kits from the Innovation Lounge, which teach kids about circuits, coding and robotics. If your little ones need to burn off some extra energy after spending some quiet time in the library, head to Fort Rawhide playground, which is right next door.

Storytimes at Manske Library: This Farmers Branch library offers mid-morning storytimes each week for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. Each storytime features a read-aloud, songs and activities.
Location: 13613 Webb Chapel Road, Farmers Branch
Contact: 972/247-2511
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Whenever you visit, the library has a large floor space for kids to spread out, plus puzzle boards, coloring sheets and puppets for kids to play with. The children’s area also has literacy stations, computers with interactive stories and STEM games for preschoolers and early elementary-aged kids. You can also checkout Early Literacy Kits to help develop reading skill at home or STEM Learning Kits for pre-K to second grades and third–fifth grades.

Storytimes: This public library offers plenty of storytimes each week for ages newborn to 5 as part of its Growing a Reader event series. While registration isn’t required for storytimes, attendees must have an entry pass, which is free and available upon request at the Youth Services Desk beginning 30 minutes before the start of the program. Passes are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Location: 3030 Broadmoor Lane, Flower Mound
Contact: 972/874-6200
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Parents be warned: No unaccompanied adults are allowed in this Fort Worth library. The Reby Cary Youth Library, which opened in 2021, features a play space for plenty of imaginary play, a garden space, a lounge area to curl up with your kids and read a good book, and 3D printing.

While you’re visiting, don’t forget to look up to see Only Connect, an interactive art installation by Joe O’Connell Creative Machines made of colored glass spheres and laser-cut stainless steel lacework with LED lights. In addition to hosting storytimes for little book-lovers, Reby Cary Youth Library hosts events like family science time, babysitting for teens, music and movement, crafts and special events.

Storytimes at Reby Cary Youth Library: This kids-only branch hosts regular storytimes for babies, toddlers, preschoolers and the whole family. Keep an eye on the calendar for special themed storytimes, like with Elephant and Piggie or Bluey.
Location: 3851 E. Lancaster Ave., Fort Worth
Contact: 817/392-7260
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This community library, which opened in 2023, has a super cool feature that greets kids who enter the outside play area: Bumpersaurus. With headlights for eyes and rearview mirrors for eyelashes, this 12-foot sculpture invites kids shorter than 54 inches to climb up his tail and slide out of his mouth. But you can come to this library for more than just books and Bumpersaurus; it hosts regular events for kids and families, including family crafts, family science time, and Robotics Club.

Storytimes at Vivian J. Lincoln Library: In addition to storytimes for the littlest book-lovers and their grown-ups, this Fort Worth library also hosts Books Out Loud, a read-aloud book club for middle schoolers.
Location: 8829 McCart Ave., Fort Worth
Contact: 817/392-5820
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If you haven’t been to the new Frisco Public Library, which opened March 2023, it should be added to your list, pronto! Kids will love being greeted by Rexy, a 42-foot-long, 22-foot-tall, life-size replica of a female Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton.

The library features two educational play spaces: Tot’s Town, for ages newborn to 5, and Kid’s Club, for children in kindergarten through fifth grade. Tot’s Town features activities designed to encourage reading, writing, vocabulary, letter and number recognition, and narrative skills, as well as age appropriate hands-on offerings that introduce STEM skills, while Kid’s Club focuses on STEM activities. And older kids, tweens and teens can use the Makerspace’s 3D printer, CNC mill, vinyl cutter, laser cutter and maker kits available for checkout.

Storytimes at Frisco Public Library: Tuesday-Friday, Frisco Public Library typically has two storytimes each day, with an occasional Saturday storytime and special read-aloud events. Regular storytimes include Family, for walkers to 5-year-olds; Baby Lap-Sit, for non-walkers; and monthly bilingual Hindi-English storytimes.
Location: 8000 Dallas Parkway, Frisco
Contact: 972/292-5669
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The library’s Create It Space is a paradise for tech-minded kids. It uses LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Kits, Spheros, Dash and Dot, and CoDrones to teach robotics to kids, tweens and teens. With two 3D printers, kids get a chance to create designs and watch them become real-life objects such as cookie cutters and chess sets.

This community space is also home to Esports Academy, an area with computers, consoles and games, including Minecraft and Super Smash Brothers. While most Esports Academy events are for ages 12 and older, the library occasionally hosts events for ages 12 and younger, as well as open play times.

Storytimes at Grapevine Public Library: Regular storytimes are hosted for toddlers and preschoolers, featuring books, songs and parachute play, along with a pre-bedtime storytime for the whole family with stories and songs.
Location: 1201 Municipal Way, Grapevine
Contact: 817/410-3405
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A train track adorns the ceiling of the children’s area in the Hurst Public Library. Some of the library’s storytimes—dubbed Story Laboratory—are themed around science. Typically held in the early evening on the second Tuesday of the month, kids delve into experiments and listen to stories matching the experiments’ theme.

The library also hosts monthly homeschool family game days, as well as Whatever-Makes-You-Happy Hour on Saturdays, when families can drop in to the Youth Department to play games, build with LEGO, and play with Play-Doh.

Storytimes at Hurst Public Library: This community library hosts ongoing storytimes for little book-lovers. Babytime for ages newborn to 18 months involves songs, rhymes and activities that help with pre-literacy skills, while Toddler Time (ages 1–3) and Story Time (ages 3–6) are more along the lines of a standard read-aloud. Special storytimes include Books and Bricks, where kids listen to a story and build a creation connected to the story out of Duplo bricks, and Y is for Yoga, which pairs stories with movement.
Location: 901 Precinct Line Road, Hurst
Contact: 817/788-7300
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The city of Irving knows how to make a crowd-pleasing kids’ zone. In the middle of the Valley Ranch Library, there’s a two-story pirate ship marking the entrance to the children’s area, surrounded by chairs for kids to cozy up and read.

Meanwhile, the 5-and-under crowd has plenty to keep their hands and minds busy in the Discovery Zone (no, not that Discovery Zone, sorry) at the South Irving Library. The spacious play area has tables for building with blocks and LEGO, among other learning stations.

Storytimes at Irving Public Libraries: Both Irving branches featured offer regular storytimes for babies, toddlers, preschoolers and families. At the Valley Ranch location, the last Thursday of the month is a bilingual storytime for preschoolers, while the first Tuesday is a bilingual storytime for families at the South Irving branch. Some storytimes require free tickets, which can be picked up at the reference desk; check with your location for details.
Locations: Valley Ranch, 401 Cimarron Trail, Irving and South Irving, 601 Schulze Drive, Irving
Contact: Valley Ranch: 972/721-4669; South Irving: 972/721-2606
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What’s now the children’s wing of the Lewisville Public Library used to be the entire library, so it’s not lacking in space. With seating in various colors, the area is perfect for spreading out and spending the afternoon with your brood.

The library’s makerspace, known as the Hive, is jam-packed with creative tech open to all ages (children younger than 9 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian): 3D printers, a laser cutter, embroidering machines, and a sewing machine. Plus, the library offers a Family Read-Aloud Club to encourage parents and caregivers to continue to read books to their school-aged children and earn free chapter books to keep.

Storytimes at Lewisville Public Library: This community library offers 10 weekly storytimes for babies, toddlers, preschoolers and the whole family, including two storytimes that are held in Spanish. Age-appropriate books, songs and activities are incorporated into every class. Because space is limited, free tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis at the Youth Services desk 30 minutes prior to storytime the day of the event.
Location: 1197 W. Main St., Lewisville
Contact: 972/219-3570
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As a designated Family Place Library, the children’s play area includes blocks, games, puzzles and a variety of toys that encourage imaginary play. The library’s STEM kits are a source for learning and play for kids in kindergarten through eighth grades. And if you need to get some computer work done with your little one in tow, the library now has Parent+Child Computer Carrels, which have an adjoining, enclosed LearnPLAY area.

Storytimes at Mansfield Public Library: This library offers four storytimes each week, including sessions for babies, toddlers and preschoolers, all of which feature books, songs, finger-plays and rhymes. There’s also a weekly English-Spanish bilingual storytime.
Location: 104 S. Wisteria, Mansfield
Contact: 817/728-3690
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The McKinney Public Library system consists of two locations: Roy & Helen Hall Memorial Library and John & Judy Gay Library. Both locations offer a variety of activities and events for kids of all ages. Those interested in STEM can build with LEGO bricks, explore science topics that encourage curiosity and problem-solving or learn about and build robots.

Want to get some fresh air and let your kids run off some energy while enjoying a story? Head to Finch Park to enjoy the library’s Story Trail. The story changes around the first of each month, weather permitting. Or bring the storytime home with you by checking out one of the libraries’ storytime kits, which include a handful of books with similar themes (think: dinosaurs, dragons, unicorns or under the sea).

Storytimes at McKinney Public Libraries: The Roy & Helen Hall Memorial Library and the John & Judy Gay Library both host weekly storytimes for babies, toddlers, preschoolers and the whole family. Looking for a special storytime outing? Check out the PJs and Picture Book or Multilingual storytimes at the John & Judy Gay Library.
Location: Roy & Helen Hall Memorial Library, 101 E. Hunt St., McKinney and John & Judy Gay Library, 6861 W. Eldorado Parkway, McKinney
Contact: 972/547-7323
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When you walk into the Harrington Library, stroll under the wall of swirling clouds to be transported to the Family Place, named for the national Family Place Libraries network, which helps libraries promote early literacy. There are a range of toys, LEGO, puzzles, play food, trucks and wooden blocks for all ages—and books of course.

The library also offers STEAM classes for kids, teens and families, along with STEAM Kits that can be checked out for fun learning at home. STEAM Kits are available for preschoolers, elementary-aged kids, teens and adults.

Storytimes at Harrington Library: This branch of the Plano library system hosts storytimes each week for babies, toddlers and preschoolers, along with a family storytime.
Location: 1501 18th St., Plano
Contact: 972/941-7175
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Each week, the library offers STEM programming for all ages, including a session just for preschoolers and a network for home-school families. For more learning opportunities, use the library’s computers with AWE Learning programming to help children boost their early literacy skills. For some at-home fun (other than reading the books your little one checks out), the library also offers to-go craft kits, which typically change on a monthly basis, for kindergarteners through fifth graders.

Storytimes at Prosper Community Library: Bring your little book-lovers to hear read-alouds at storytimes for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. Prosper Community Library also hosts storytimes for children with special needs, complete with a visual schedule, social stories, and a quieter/calmer environment, along with English-Spanish bilingual storytimes.
Location: 200 S. Main St., Prosper
Contact: 972/569-1185
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While the Richardson Public Library’s permanent location is undergoing renovations, it’s temporarily located at 2360 Campbell Creek Blvd. But there’s still plenty of space to visit with your kids to browse books and attend a storytime or other event, like opportunities for kids to read to therapy dogs to practice read-aloud skills, STEM programming and movie screenings.

Storytimes at Richardson Public Library: This community library hosts five weekly storytimes: Baby Booksit for ages 6 weeks to 12 months, Baby Steps for ages 12–24 months, Wiggle Worms for ages 2–3, Storytime Stars for ages 4–7 and Saturday Morning Kids for ages 3–6. All storytimes, except Saturday Morning Kids, require registration because space is limited in the temporary location.
Location: Temporary location: 2360 Campbell Creek Blvd., Suite 500, Richardson
Contact: 972/744-4350
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Kids will love spending time on the kiddie computers, which are equipped with STEAM-related games and activities and reading games. The children’s area has some old-school fun too, with puzzles, blocks and crafts for kids to make in the library or take home. Looking for some family fun at the library? STEAM Station sessions give families opportunities to participate in science and engineering activities together, including MagnaTiles, K’nex, TinkerToys, Keva Planks, Zoobs and Squigz.

Storytimes at University Park Public Library: Each week, storytimes are hosted for babies (ages newborn to 18 months) and toddlers (ages 18 months to 3 years). The library also hosts Tails and Tales, an opportunity for young readers to practice read-aloud skills with therapy dogs.
Location: 8383 Preston Center Plaza, Suite 200, University Park
Contact: 214/363-9095
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