Edmonds Kind of Play: Free or low-cost ways to engage your kids this summer

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Edmonds, Lynnwood and Mountlake Terrace libraries offer myriad free programs for kids this summer.

Old schoolwork and the random stuff found in the deep,dark corners of school backpacks litter most of the surfaces in our house. The remnants of the past school year join the reading logs and supply lists hopefully acquired when summer was an idea and not another thing to keep track of. Another surefire sign summer has started is when the friend I talk to the most is out of town visiting her in-laws. She does it every year and yet every year I forget — read: pretend it’s not happening. Any time she is out of town, I remember just how much I rely on having a mom friend in a very similar kid situation to check in with all the time.

Before school and sports started, I tried meeting other parents at parks, baby classes, a PEPS group, my then Weight Watchers meeting, and most places I was picking my kids up from, with varying degrees of success. I just learned about an app called “Peanut”  designed so women can “discover and connect with mamas like you, near you.” When I was pregnant with my first, I joined a message board of a now-defunct baby magazine and am still in touch with the women who shared their questions and concerns and supported me in mine. It looks like this free app aims to do just that with chat and group chat options, with the added bonus of the opportunity to meet up.

With school ending and camp starting, I am extra nostalgic about my mom friends because I met so many of them at school and camp and they are often the ones who have the best recommendations. I try to pay forward all the info I get and come across here with “Edmonds Kind of Play.” Between kids, work, responsibilities with aging parents, and all the effort it takes to make meals no one likes, it’s hard to keep up with your friends and all the options you have for kid events — especially those that are free or offer scholarships.

Kids enjoyed Professor Ficklestein’s Physics Phactory presentation at the Edmonds Library June 27. (Photo by Jen Marx)

Today, I want to focus on just that, free summer events and one of our current favorites that has financial aid options. I know I’ve already covered this summer’s Sno-Isle “Explore Summer” events for kids, tweens and teens, but having attended the summer kick-off event at Edmonds library this week, I had to mention it again. We saw Professor Ficklestein’s Physics Phactory and it was one of those fun events that is filled with learning, but doesn’t feel like it. With events like an “Angry Birds Structure Challenge” or “Radical Robots” and the “Build a Better World” theme, kids can have hands-on fun at summer library events. The library also offers some “Explore Summer” events on the weekends which is great if your schedule conflicts with the many mid-afternoon weekday offerings. For more information on the events offered at Sno-Isle libraries you can visit Sno-Isle.org/SummerKids or Sno-Isle.org/SummerTeens.

Each summer, the City of Edmonds offers free weekday and weekend concerts. Tuesdays and Thursdays you can find a range of events at Hazel Miller Plaza, 5th Avenue South and Maple Street. On Sundays, there are concerts at City Park, 3rd Avenue South and Pine Street.

Roberto the Magnificent returns to Hazel Miller Plaza for a show Aug. 8.

The 2017 Hazel Miller Plaza Concert schedule for Tuesdays at 1 p.m., rain or shine, is as follows 

July 18, Leapin’ Louie Cowboy Comedy Show

July 25, Kelly Shirey & Co Acoustic Rock

Aug  1, Arturo Rodriguez and His Rhythm Ambassadors Blues Jazz & World Music

Aug  8, Roberto the Magnificent Juggling and Comedy

Aug 15, Kalani Kahaialii Hawaiian

Aug 22, Ed Hartman Marimba

The 2017 Hazel Miller Plaza Concert Schedule for Thursdays from 5 to 6:30 p.m., also rain or shine, is as follows

July 20, Mark Lewis Jazz Quartet

July 27, CD Woodbury Blues Trio

Aug.  3, African All Stars

Aug. 10, Jessica Lynne Contemporary Country

Aug. 17, Mariachi Fiesta Mexicana

Aug. 24, 20/20 A Capella pop

The city also offers free Sunday concerts at City Park, 3rd Avenue South and Pine Street, from 3 to 4 p.m. These concerts do get cancelled if it is rainy and, while I’ve not been to one, I understand it’s good to get there with some time to lay down your blanket in a good spot. 

Wooden 0 Theater will be at Edmonds City Park July 9 to present “Much Ado About Nothing.” (File photo by Larry Vogel)

July  9, Wooden O | Seattle Shakespeare Co Much Ado About Nothing (performance is 3-5 p.m.)

July 16, East-West International Project

July 23, Good Co Electro Swing Band

July 30, The Music of “Four” Americana Folk Rock

Aug.  6, Steel Magic Northwest  Steel Drum Youth and Adult Bands

Aug. 13, 85th Street Big Band

Aug. 20, The Debutones Folk Country and Bluegrass Band

For more information on Summer Concerts in Edmonds you can click HERE.

Mukilteo YMCA Skate Park, otherwise known as “The Muk,” features a 19,000-square-foot outdoor park and an indoor mini ramp for rainy days. (Photo courtesy Mukilteo YMCA Skate Park Facebook page)

For almost nine years, I worked at a company where a YMCA membership was a perk given to employees, so I was familiar with the Mukilteo YMCA for a while. Now that we have a skateboarder in the house, I am closely acquainted with a portion of the location I hadn’t checked out before — the “Muk.” The “Muk” is a 19,000-square-foot outdoor skate park built in 2004, adding an indoor mini ramp in 2013 to combat the “typical 170 days of inclement weather or rainy days.” After taking a few lessons at the “Muk” and logging some time at the Edmonds Skatepark at Civic Field, we decided to try out the open skate hours at the “Muk” and it was, and continues to be, a great experience for our family. My youngest has learned a lot about taking turns, looking out for others (if someone falls you hear a chorus of, “you OK?”,) and celebrating other people’s accomplishments.

You don’t have to be a member for your child to skate or scoot at the “Muk” and the YMCA is for, as they say, “everybody.” My son is a “program member,” for $25 a year, which gives us access to sign up for lessons and use the skate park. We ended up buying a summer pass to the skate park instead of pay the 5 bucks for a day pass each time we wanted to visit. The year-long EZ pass, which allows unlimited skate park visits all year, is $99 for members, $129 for program members and $12 for those who qualify for financial aid or qualify for free or reduced lunch in the Mukilteo School District. You can find more information on the “Muk,” skate and scooter classes, camps, and skate park hours by clicking HERE.

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.

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