Given just how expensive summer can be — be it childcare, camps, vacations, or the incidentals at a touristy place — I try to look for fun but free-to-low-cost things to do. This past weekend, the event that fit the bill was Seattle Bot Battles, a free event at the Seattle Center featuring a few people from the TV show “Battlebots” and a lot of robot on robot destruction.
The good news is, there are a lot of fun and free events here in Edmonds. There are family art workshops, a chance to see garter snakes, concerts, outdoor Story Times, and an opportunity to turn a pet into art while donating to PAWS.
This Saturday, July 13 from 11 a.m to 1 p.m., you can head to the Cascadia Art Museum for a free family art workshop led by Tlingit artist Margie Morris. Morris, who has been creating art for over 30 years including form line design, elk hide drums, dance robes, tunics, beading, carving and weaving, will lead participants through the process of preparing cedar as an art medium as well as drawing images of salmon onto the cedar. During this hands-on workshop open to children, parents, grandparents and friends, Morris will discuss the importance of salmon and cedar and other Tlingit arts and traditions. If you wanted to head into the museum, kids up to 18 and students are always free and everyone is free during Art Walk Edmonds, which is on July 18 this month. For more information on the workshop, call 425-336-4809 or visit www.CascadiaArtMuseum.org.
This Sunday, July 14 from 1 to 3 p.m., Thayer Cueter is presenting “Garter Snakes In Your Garden” at the Edmonds Wildlife Habitat Native Plant Demonstration Garden. Everyone is welcome at this workshop, where you’ll learn about these native snakes, their benefits to gardens, and their habitat needs. Several garter snakes live at the Demo Garden and you may be “lucky” enough to see one while you’re there. Cueter, a herpetologist and habitat steward, will also provide information about other snakes of the Pacific Northwest. For more information on this event, you can call 425.771.8165 or visit www.PilchuckAudubon.org
July 9 was the first of four Sno-Isle options for “Storytime in the Park.” Kids and their adults took Storytime outside, taking a seat on a multi-colored parachute at Hickman Park. There will be three more this month, each held on a Tuesday at 11 a.m.: July 16 at Seaview Park, July 23 at Mathay-Ballinger Park, and July 30 at Edmonds City Park. These Storytimes are aimed at kids ages 2 to 7 with a caregiver. For more information, you can visit Sno-Isle.org.
Each summer in July and August there are two different free concert series at Hazel Miller Plaza — Tuesdays 12:30-1:30 p.m. and Thursdays 5-6:30 p.m. The Thursday early evening series is music, like jazz-inspired pop and country music. On Tuesday, the aim is more toward kids. While there will be musical acts, like Miho & Diego and Katrina Ji & Cultural Shakti, there are also acts like Roberto the Magnificent with comedy, juggling and stunts, and the Imagination Band, which has music and storytelling. You can find more info on these concerts at EdmondsWa.Gov/Summer-Concerts.
For the month of July, Waldo will be hiding in 57 businesses around Edmonds, and your family can win prizes by proving you’ve found him. You start by picking up your passport at Edmonds Bookshop and after collecting at least 25 stamps/signatures showing you’ve found Waldo, you can bring your passport back to Edmonds Bookshop to be entered into a drawing for a six-volume deluxe set of Waldo books. You can earn an extra prize by finding all four asterisks or by finding Waldo in all of the locations “+ Odlaw” which is Waldo spelled backwards. On Wednesday, July 31 from 1 to 2 p.m. you can visit the Edmonds Bookshop for Waldo’s Birthday Party and grand prize celebration, though you don’t have to be present to win the prize. Those in attendance will also have a chance to win prizes, plus there will be cake, games and a “take-a-selfie-with-Waldo” booth! You can find more information on the month long event and birthday party at EdmondsBookshop.com.
Ok, I am going to add one thing that isn’t free, but only because the $10 is a donation. Next week, on Thursday, July 18 during Art Walk Edmonds, ARTspot is doing something special for Pet Lovers with their 3rd annual Edmonds Art Walk: “Dog Days of Summer” Pet Portraits to raise money for PAWS. Artists Mike O’Day, Cody French, and Raynaldo Rusi will be available to create keepsake portraits for your pets. You can bring your pet to be drawn or can just provide the artist a picture of them, which is the option we chose last year.
It was not only fun to watch our dogs being drawn, but to see the other pet portraits and meet some of the dogs that were well-behaved enough to come for their own personal sitting. All the proceeds from your $10 recommended donation go directly to PAWS. You can find more information on the Pet Portrait at ARTspotEdmonds.com.
— By Jennifer Marx
Jen Marx, an Edmonds mom of two boys, is always looking for a fun place to take the kids that makes them tired enough to go to bed on time.