Edmonds Kind of Play: Rock climbing gym in Lynnwood, plus art and cooking classes

Vertical World North in Lynnwood.

Thanks to a new zero period and lack of previously expected transportation, we’re adjusting to a new back-to-school routine. With more moving parts, there are more days of the week where we repeatedly call out things like “homework,” “PE clothes,” and “turn that off now” as if we’re auctioneers or playing some sort of parents of t(w)eenagers Bingo. As we started to adjust to the new schedule and plan accordingly, my youngest came home and asked to do a bi-weekly after-school activity that isn’t something that was even offered when I was a kid, and while originally disorienting, the realization that it is less than a mile from my house soothed the “how will this work” nerves.

In the spirit of finding fun but maybe unexpected activities, this week I have cooking and rock-climbing classes for a wide range of ages and some low-commitment art activities at Edmonds’ Frances Anderson Center.

The way we use the Edmonds PCC the most is to grab some pizza and get a free piece of kids fruit –though only one qualifies now — and sit in the space they use to teach their classes to eat said pizza. I have yet in my parenting experience been ahead of the curve enough to remember a PCC cooking class before it was full, though I have arrived to get the kids their slices and found the room busy with something that looked fun. If this happens to you, there is some counter seating in the produce section. I just checked the “PCC Kids Cook” page on PCCMarkets.com and see that many of their upcoming Edmonds location classes are still available, though some like the Yule Log Cake Workshop, are already amassing a waitlist. They offer classes from “age 2 to teens,” saying that it is “always the right time to welcome kids into the kitchen.” They offer hands-on classes like; “Holiday Kids Camp: Global New Year Traditions,” Ghastly Goodies,” and “Creative Holiday Cookies.” Some are just dessert based and others are to make vegetables more enticing. The classes for kids 7 and up are mostly drop off and the classes for the younger kids require an adult. You can find all the classes, including their dates, times, and fees — which are higher if you aren’t a member — at PCCMarkets.com.

Vertical World North, a climbing gym on Beverly Park Road in Lynnwood, has climbing options for kids starting at 3 years old. When my youngest was a toddler, we looked for a location like this, but we didn’t have anything nearby, and while we’ve yet to check it out, their website shows a ton of options for classes from 3 to 14+. Classes for beginners, with cute names like Rockin’ Tots and Little Rockers, teach the kids “gym rules, harness use, and body awareness” with group activities and climbing games saying the emphasis is on “climbing, social play, and FUN!” They offer after-school and home-school programs and school year day camps for three or six hours depending on the climber’s age. They also offer a “Climb and Dine” on Friday nights from 6 to 8 p.m. This “pizza party” is for new students and experienced climbers, ages 3 to 12 alike. You can find more info, including class times and fees at VerticalWorld.com.

Adventures in Anime workshop

This week, my youngest also came home and asked to go to Edmonds Art Spot because his table-mate has the perfect pen for art and that is the only place to get this magical instrument. In looking around RecZone.org for classes to share, I saw the listing for Adventures in Anime, a “ fun two-hour workshop” that I thought I’d send to this student’s mom — you know, since he has the magical pen and all — and then figured I’d share it with you too. On Oct. 12 or Dec. 7, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., kids ages 7 to 11 at any level of experience can “create a special Anime character” in this workshop “designed to enhance your drawing skills as well as your imagination with a different project for each class.”

While on RecZone.org, I found a Custom Holiday Cards workshop by the same instructor, Jessica Carlson, who teaches the Anime workshop. On Nov. 16, kids ages 7 to 12 can “Create a fun holiday themed drawing that will be made into a set of 10 custom holiday cards.” Kids will keep the 11 x 16 original, plus a digital copy, and be provided with 10 custom holiday cards with the original image. Much like the PCC classes, these typically fill up way ahead of the time we get into any holiday spirit. So while I hate to jump the line into months ahead, this is one of those low-commitment events that is sure to fill up. For more information and registration, you can call 425-771-0230 or visit RecZone.org.

— 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.

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