Edmonds Kind of Play: Cool options for hotter weather

During the 2018 Edmonds sand castle-building contest, a group of daycampers decorated their castle with the symbol for the video game character Zelda. (My Edmonds News file photo)

The hot weather has been all over the news even though locally it hasn’t been the same sweltering forecasts. Looks like next week will be a little different! Last weekend had some gray skies and summer drizzle, which is changing up with next week’s forecast of high 80s. It makes me think of what there is to do outside, especially after I caught a breeze off Lake Union this week while waiting outside a saxophone lesson. I would like to recreate that as many times as possible this summer, and there are a lot of good options for fun outside coming up in Edmonds.

This Tuesday, July, 26 the annual sand-sculpting contest sponsored by the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce Foundation will be at Edmonds’ Marina Beach from noon to 2:30 pm. Sign-ups start at 10 a.m., building starts at noon, and the judging begins at 2 pm with awards to follow. This “fun, amatuer” contest is open to all ages and there will be different categories for judging. Awards will go to the best sculptures for Adults (age 15-plus), Families (all ages), Children (up to age 14) and Day Camps/Organizations (all ages). Each team needs to bring their own buckets and shovels and can use found objects on the beach. For more information on the contest, you can call the chamber office at 425-670-1496.

A City of Edmonds ranger-naturalist with kids on a beach walk in 2016.

While checking out the low tide this past weekend, I found out that this summer you can find Nature in Edmonds Interpretative Tables run by Discovery Programs ranger naturalists. There are four more chances left to find one this summer either at the Olympic Beach Visitor Station or at Edmonds City Park. Saturday, July 30 from noon to 2 p.m., you can learn about Zonation (the distribution of plants or animals into specific zones) at the Olympic Visitor Station. There will be Forest Crafts in City Park on Wednesday, Aug. 3 from noon to 3, which is a great place to make an afternoon of it with crafts and the Hazel Miller Spray Park. On Saturday, Aug. 13 there are two ways to enjoy the low tide with Edmonds Discovery Programs. First there is the Pacific Giant Octopus Interpretative Table at the Olympic Visitors Station from noon to 2 p.m., but there is also a Low Tide Beach Walk from noon to 1. This walk, which requires pre-registration at RecZone.org and a small fee, is led by a Discovery Programs Naturalist who will help you “explore the plants and animals that call our parks home.” The final table of the summer, which features Neighborhood Birds, will be held Wednesday, Aug. 17 from 1 to 3 p.m. at Mathay Ballinger Park. For more information on Discovery Program events that require registration, you can visit RecZone.org, then choose Programs and Nature.

While I was on RecZone.org, I saw that there are a couple of other programs still available this summer. The first one I saw, Tots Outside: Seashore Scavenger Hunt at Marina Beach for 2 and 3 year olds, is set for July 26 from 10 to 11 a.m. Little ones can join “ranger-naturalists for hands-on exploration” as they “experience the forests and beaches of Edmonds through outdoor stories, games and more!” Each child needs an adult and registration is required. The next program is  INVEST: Salish Scientists, a camp for kids ages 9 to 12 held at Willow Creek Salmon & Watershed. “INVEST” stands for Implementing Nature’s Values Empowers Stewards of Tomorrow and will have students from fourth to sixth grade diving into the realm of scientific inquiry and using professional tools to complete their own research of freshwater, marsh, and coastal ecosystems. Their vision is to “work with local youth to create viable interworking communities of empowerment and stewardship for the surrounding world.” This camp, led by Sound Salmon Solutions Education and Hatchery Staff, will be Aug. 1-5 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Yost Park

While this next Interpretive Forest Walk in Yost Park isn’t until Aug. 16, I feel like it’s a good time to say that it feels a few degrees cooler in the park, especially just off Main Street and Olympic Avenue while standing on the bridge over the water and under the trees. The walk will be Tuesday, Aug. 16 from 10 to 11 a.m. for anyone 8 and up, with registration. The hour will be spent “learning about native forest plants with a focus on understanding how plants shaped the settlement of Edmonds.” Walk-goers will also learn how to identify the local plants. These walks happen “rain or shine” so “sturdy” shoes and weather appropriate gear is recommended.

— 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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