Area children can give thanks a little early this year with the return of Thanksgiving Story Time.

On Tuesday, children ages 8 and younger are invited to the H. Odell Weeks Activities Center at 4 p.m. to listen to volunteers read Thanksgiving-themes stories. 

The City of Aiken Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Department holds Story Time in the Gardens throughout the summer and fall in Hopelands Gardens, as well as Thanksgiving Story Time and Story Time with Mrs. Claus at the H. Odell Weeks Center. Free books are given to children at each story time event.

"We look forward to hosting all our Story Time events to simply encourage a lifelong love of reading," said Recreation Program Coordinator Stephanie Safford in an email. "If the community participates in all the Story Time events that we host throughout the year they have the opportunity to each receive over 20 free books. We have wonderful volunteer readers who make the storytelling fun and interactive and make reading enjoyable for children."

On Tuesday, Story Time attendees will also be able to create Thanksgiving-themed crafts and enjoy snacks and light refreshments.

All children participating must be accompanied by an adult.

This event is free and open to the public.

For more information, call 803-642-7631 or 803-643-2161.

The H. Odell Weeks Activities Center is located at 1700 Whiskey Road.

Kristina Rackley is a general assignment reporter with the Aiken Standard.