Thanks to Barnes & Noble for sponsoring this post!
Barnes & Noble is my happy place.
There’s one near us that has a kids’ storytime every Friday morning, so I take whichever kids are home (and whatever friends are around), and we head over where they hear stories and play at the train table and I sip my coffee and read my own book. It’s delightful. And in a state where it gets cold in the winter, it’s a lifesaver by offering a comfy indoor space to hang out and browse.
Also, we’re big readers around here (in fact, if you’re looking for suggestions — check out our 15 Winter Books for Kids and 14 Children’s Christmas Books lists. They’re a bunch of our favorites). So when I had a chance to preview the Barnes & Noble Discovery Weekend, I jumped at it.
I previewed the cookies as well. Because I’m a giver.
This weekend (as in, starting later today), Barnes & Noble has activities in stores nationwide, to help you start your holiday shopping and crafting and general jollity-making. They begin tonight with a Linkee Trivia Tournament at 7p (I was looking at this game and it looks easy, quick, and loud. So…perfect for the motley crew up in here.)
Saturday, they’re going to teach you to make a book like this. This one is an actual copy of Sense & Sensibility that’s been folded. The Saturday projects aren’t quite this intricate — you’ll be learning to turn a book or card into a heart or similar shape. Also — my advice to you — buy this for decoration but also buy Sense & Sensibility to read. And, while you’re at it, buy the movie with Kate Winslet and Emma Thompson because it’s very close to perfect and Jane Austen and holidays just go together though don’t ask me why. Do it and trust me.
They’re also offering a workshop for kids later on Saturday where you can learn to draw like Mo Willems (author of “Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive the Bus!”). And a puppet-making and holiday sing-along time, which I am totally all over even though my kids wish I would just sit down and stop singing so loud. And Sunday afternoon they’re featuring crafts and activities centered around “Snowmen at Night,” which sounds like a winter book we need to add to our collection.
And now for the browsing. Of course B&N has books. But they also have a great array of stocking stuffers.
We buy each of the kids an ornament every Christmas that symbolizes something in their lives that year…and I’m thinking this one will be excellent to mark my daughter’s current obsession.
And Minecraft for days. I bought the other kids small Minecraft figures as stocking stuffers, but I’m also loving these cookie cutters for a themed birthday party, or just a fun treat. I’ve never seen them before.
And screwdrivers and other memorabilia — fun little presents for the Dr. Who-loving people in your life.
The employees look to match people up with the Perfect Present. I don’t think anything shows you know someone quite like picking a book for them that they end up loving. There’s something so…personal about it, you know? When you get it right, you feel pretty good. The booksellers jumped at the chance to help me locate a book I was trying to find, or suggest one for someone on my list. And for the one book they didn’t have in-store, they were prompt to track it down and offer to get it to me quickly.
And they’re on twitter! If you want gift suggestions, tweet #BNGiftTip, and they’ll help you out.
A few more goodies going on this weekend — you can check out the new Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook. And you can enter to win a $1,000 shopping spree with Nick Jonas at the B&N Store in New York.
For more info on the Barnes & Noble Discovery Weekend, check out their website. And if you’re planning on attending a craft or other event, it’s a good idea to call ahead to make sure they have room for everyone.
Now — go forth and read!
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I was compensated by Barnes & Noble for this post and the content and opinions expressed here are entirely my own.