Most parents I know, myself included, have participated in some smug that-won’t-happen-to-me self preservation. With visions of a “cool mom” in a pizza bagel commercial mixed with a laid-back earth mother dancing in my head, I proclaimed, whether audibly or not, that we wouldn’t play with toy guns, give babies pacifiers, or have a minivan with the distinct ‘lost sippy cup of milk’ scent. I have yet to achieve the “cool” or “earth mother” vibes I’d hoped for, but had to walk back a large majority of my proclamations, most notably my now beloved mini-van.
I am currently walking into the another phase of parenting that I had many ideas about: having a tween. The first time I heard the name “tween,” I was covering it as a pop culture kind of story for work and — while the details are fuzzy on what I learned — I clearly remember the 20-something-know-it-all feeling I was having while covering these in be“tween” kids as a new group advertisers were longing to catch.
The exact definition of a tween, who according to Dictionary.com gets its moniker from being “considered too old to be a child and too young to be a teenager,” varies depending on what link you click. Dictionary.com will tell you that ages 10-12 are the tween years, but you can find the range as wide as 9-14. I found out my oldest was a tween after a friend added me to a tween Mom Facebook group and said “you know he’s a tween now, right?” It was just like the way that someone in the movies gets woken up from a happy day-dream, and opens their eyes to a much different reality. All of this really is to say, that while I am just dipping my toe into the tween thing (and trying to delude myself about the actual teenage years), I want to share some fun, local events aimed at tweens and/or teens.
The catalyst for covering upcoming events for the older set was an email I got from Gillian Jones, Director of Programming for the Edmonds Center for the Arts. Gillian told me that they were organizing their first-ever Teen Night with Niyaz featuring Azam Ali playing Middle Eastern music on March 17th and were “eager to start doing more regular programming for teens.” Teen Night is open to teens, their families and friends and starts with complimentary snacks and a pre-show artist talk on “Feminism in the East.” This performance and talk costs $5 for TeenTix members. Jones noted that they will be “honoring the $5 for ALL teens, regardless of RSVPing for TeenTix membership. Adult tickets are priced at $15-$44. Those interested in Teen Night can RSVP to Gillian at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-275-9483.
Here are some other options for both teens and tweens
Nightwaves Teen Night & Pool Party will be held at the Lynnwood Recreation Center this Saturday, March 11 from 8 to 11 p.m.. For this event, “teen” refers to those kids in 7th and 8th grades. Tickets are $5 with a school ID and give you access to, swimming at the Lynnwood Pool, dancing, games, movies, and snacks with your friends. For specific questions about the event, which is strictly enforcing the Edmonds School District dress code, contact Youth/Teen programs at 425-670-5386.
Sno-Isle libraries have many different options aimed specifically at teens. The resources on the snoisle.org/teens includes homework resources, free music downloads, volunteer opportunities, access to the teen librarian, and links to register to vote or prepare for life after high school. Event-wise, the library offers options for both tweens and teens.
On March 16, from 4 to 5 p.m., the Edmonds Library is offering a STEM Bricks 4 Kidz event for those ages 10-18. Students will use Lego bricks, axles, pulleys, gears and motors to explore the “fascinating science of living things and build engaging models of creatures from caterpillars to dinosaurs.”
The Edmonds Library also offers a drop-in Pop-Up Maker Lab, usually once a month. The next event April 6 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. This event for tweens and teens (the age range they list is 8-18) and it allow kids to “make, invent, experiment, play and tinker with our monthly rotating gadgets, electronics, crafts, tools, and more.”
At nearby Sno-Isle libraries, you can find other useful tween/teen events. Mukilteo Library will have a Tiny Art Party on April 18, where 6th to 12th graders can make tiny art on small canvases or even their fingernails. Free EdCC week at the Lynnwood Library starts on March 13. During this time, the $35 application fee is waived and both college and financial aid applications will be available.
Many local Parks and Rec departments offer youth classes that range from toddlers to teenagers. Edmonds, Lynnwood, and Mountlake Terrace feature popular dance, art, and sports programs. Since sports teams and dance classes are often expensive or require a big commitment, I was excited to see that Harbor Square Athletic Club offers classes for kids and tweens from Yoga to Fit Kidz Bootcamp to Jr. Red Hot Dance. These classes, for beginners to experts with ages ranging from 3-12, can be taken on a drop-in basis. Much like their swim lessons, these classes are also available if you are not a member, and classes are $13 each. For more information, you can call Harbor Square Athletic Club at 425-778-3546 and you can find the youth class schedule HERE!
If you are interested in driving a bit, The Seattle Art Museum offers teen events from art workshops to a Teen Night Out, planned by teenagers. These events always look so fun and interesting. I also just saw that there is a Teen Action Fair at the The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on March 18 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This free event, which also features music, allows kids to find out how they “can take action on local and global issues.”
— By Jennifer Marx
Jen Marx, an Edmonds mom of two young boys, is always looking for a fun place to take the kids that makes them tired enough to go to bed on time. You can find her on Twitter trying to make sense of begging kids to ” just eat the mac n cheese” @jen_marx.