Edmonds Kind of Play: Planning ahead for holidays, including day camps and classes

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Edmonds, all dressed up for the holidays. (File photo by Bryan Briscoe)

Before Halloween, we got a toy catalog in the mail and they weren’t just read because of the store that they came from, they were 100 percent Christmas toy catalogs. On Nov. 1, I got two more catalogs and saw my very first Christmas car commercial — you know the one: big bow on a luxury SUV parked on a snowy driveway with no tire marks or snow actually on the car.

Target’s Halloween section is now just two rows of 50 percent off items dwarfed by a fully stocked Christmas section on the same shelves that were filled with masks and skulls and bags of candy just a couple of days ago. Christmas seemingly keeps getting earlier and earlier and while I certainly don’t like seeing Christmasy things in October, it feels like Nov. 1st is basically the start the holiday season. In the spirit of a very inconsequential “if you can’t beat them, join them,” I figured it was time to go over some holiday ideas and local, and not-so-local, ways to celebrate.

One of the things I try to do around this time of year is maximize the season in a cost-effective way, which is shorthand for, we DVR holiday movies and seek out free events. Disney Channel, Freeform, and of course, Lifetime and Hallmark, play a ton of holiday movies. We look up the movies we want to watch, or refer to a compilation list like this one, and then set recordings on the DVR — all of my DVR language is so clunky, I just want to say “tape.” Netflix and Hulu have holiday offerings too if you’ve cut the cord and, with some planning, the library could be a good option as well.

As for the free events, besides the Edmonds Tree lighting on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, which we love to do (when it’s not too cold), and watching the Christmas Ships, which we’ve yet to do, most events we’ve gone to have been outside of Edmonds. We’ve enjoyed the Green Lake Pathway of Lights, Swanson’s Reindeer Festival, which starts on Nov. 11, and last year, we went to Bothell to see the Christmas lights at Evergreen Church.

As far as planning ahead is concerned, Edmonds Parks and Recreation has a non-student day camp the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and some holiday themed classes that aren’t full yet. The library also has two free STEM events for tweens and teens that require registration and one puppet show for all ages that does not!

On Tuesday, Dec. 19 at 2 p.m., the Edmonds Library is holding STEM Lab: Magnets, Motors, and Generators, a registration required event for those between the ages of 8 and 18. While these classes aren’t holiday themed, it is a good time to have something to do if you’re home with the kids this week or the older kids are looking for something to do. Participants in this STEM lab will “explore electricity and electromagnetism and discover how electric motors and generators were developed through simple experiments and demonstrations.”  On Thursday, Dec. 21, at 2 p.m., also for those ages 8 to 18 and requiring registration, kids can take STEM Lab: Steam Power — The Engine of the Revolution. Lab participants will “learn the mechanical principles of harnessing energy and converting forms of energy through hands-on activities and presentations.” For more info and registration for these events, you can visit www.Sno-Isle.org and check out the Classes and Events Calendar for the Edmonds Library.

The week after Christmas can be a tricky week for things to do because of the big holiday hangover most people have. Last year we thought we’d breeze right in to see the gingerbread creations at the Sheraton in Downtown Seattle, but there we weren’t even close to the only ones with this idea. On Thursday, Dec. 28, the Edmonds Library has a Puppet Please Marionettes show for your school-ager. This “in-the-round Marionettes Variety Show” features colorful animal characters who sing and dance, roller skate, and chat face to face with the audience! For questions you can always call the library at 425-771-1933.

Since we’re talking about filling the holiday break,I thought I’d make another quick mentions of the two camps Edmonds Parks and Recreation are offering the week before Christmas. They are offering a half-day Gymnastics Camp from Dec. 18th through the 21st for those ages 5 to 12 and a Batman Master Mechanics with Lego Materials camp from Dec. 20-22 with both half- and full-day options.

As for holiday-related classes, Edmonds Parks and Recreation is offering a Custom Holiday Cards class on Nov. 18 for those ages 7 to 12. Kids can “create a fun and original holiday themed drawing that will be made into a set of 10 custom holiday cards. You will bring home the original drawing, 10 customs cards with envelopes and a CD of the image in order to print more of your own. This is one of those great “two birds with one stone” kind of events if you’re a family that does holiday cards.

A different option on Nov. 18 is the Etiquette Holiday Manners & More class for those ages 6 to 12. This class will cover “introductions and conversation skills, gift giving, and gratitude, and table manner while eating cake.” The students will indeed be eating cake in class even though with my kids, manners and cake are not words I typically group together without “do not have” and “when it comes to.” This class is taught by an instructor from Final Touch Finishing School.

When I was looking up holiday classes on RecZone.org, I saw that there will be an Edmonds Discovery Program day camp on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, Nov. 22. This Star Light Star Bright camp is held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for campers ages 6 to 12. As always, this camp is taught by Discovery Programs Staff and weather permitting, a trip to a local park in on the schedule. This camp invites kids to unleash their “inner astronomer to explore the cosmos.” They will explore the universe through games and crafts and find out why constellations were named from mythical stories, agriculture, and maritime navigation.

You can get more information on the classes and camp through Edmonds Parks and Recreation and Edmonds Discovery Programs by calling 425-771-0230 or visiting RecZone.org.

  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”

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