SoCal Families | Storytime at The Frugal Figate

By: Megan McClain

Lately I've been trying to take my youngest on "mommy-son dates." My eldest had a lot of them growing up since it was just the two of us at home, but this guy has earned the right to some special treatment lately.

A great Saturday morning for anyone is time spent with coffee and a book—which for us means a trip to Downtown Redlands. We park near the farmers market and head through it (as I say it, our reconnissance mission) over to Augie's Coffee—a mainstay for my caffeinated years. Redlands holds the original store, which is a cute little shop with original artwork hanging from the walls for sale.

My son's favorite part is spining on the stools until the patrons deem him so cute they can't stand it anymore . . . or are just tired of him saying, "Wheeee!"



Then on our way back we shop the market, and drop off our purchases in the trunk on our way to the next place. This is the important part to remember—park along Sixth Street for best results, or at least aim for this area.



Then a quick one-minute walk brings us to our next desination and the highlight of our Saturday—storytime at The Frugal Frigate!



I grew up with this store; it's been open since 1988. It's absolutely stuffed with children's books for all ages, including young adult and board books. There is a room for parties, a loft with a stuffed animal area, a room for toddler toys and books and a ton of educational books and projects. The staff is great at giving recommendations—both of my sons have read a potty-training book that we got at The Frugal Frigate that, thankfully, does not use potty language.



Storytime at The Frugal Frigate begins at 10:30a.m. and runs for about a half an hour. The readers here are usually employees, though sometimes they have spcial events with authors. Sometimes the original owner of the shop, Katherine Thomerson, comes and reads. She is a vivacious reader!

Here is a secret from a long-time customer—if it's quiet, sometimes you can bribe a story out of someone. My son got a private reading with the book he picked out that morning before we left. There is plenty of seating encouraging parents to sit while kids make their selections, or for readers to try out a new favorite.



My six-year-old will listen enraptured the entire time, but my two-year-old won't. He is not alone in this; many of the other toddlers deferred to the board books and table in the backroom or headed under the stairs for puzzles and a kitchen.



If you're hungry after storytime, check out places like Muffin Top Bakery and Gourmet Pizza Shoppe for good places to eat before heading home.


The Frugal Frigate is located at 9 North Sixth Street. They are open Mondays through Fridays 10a.m.-7p.m., Saturdays from 10a.m.-5p.m. and Sundays from 11a.m.-3p.m. Keep an eye on their Facebook for special events and sales.