Playtime: Celebrate small-town holiday joy, plus ice skating options nearby

You can find Emily the Elf in Edmonds during the holidays.

The definition of “Christmas movie” is changing at our house. I think the four people in my house agreed for a long period of time that a Christmas movie was something like Elf or Klaus (this movie is on Netflix and we love it). More recently, if I say I want to watch a Christmas movie, I get groans because it is assumed I am talking about the Lifetime/Hallmark variety, which are a staple of this season for me.  Add to that our newest Die Hard viewer who has contributed their “yes” vote to the question, “Is Die Hard a Christmas movie?”

By the way, of course I don’t invite anyone to watch those with me due to apparent genetic peanut gallery tendencies. And I don’t want them to think it is OK for someone, usually a woman, to give up their careers for someone they met back home while preparing the family inn for sale or saving the town bakery/christmas shop/bookstore. Each movie has a big small-town event or contest happening or culminating on Christmas Eve or Day, which is just bonkers, and the stars eat cookies, ice skate, drink cocoa and pretend to be cold while wearing an often-plaid scarf.

While Edmonds isn’t exactly the kind of small town you see in these movies (for one, it doesn’t have a kind of tree in its name), it can have the charm they are portraying, and it definitely has twinkly lights, its own elf, and fun holiday activities — one is even a contest.

Started as a way to celebrate art and the holidays during a pandemic, Art Walk Edmonds created Wreath Walk. Visitors to downtown Edmonds can find “original, artist-designed and decorated wreaths” in selected storefronts during the holiday season. These wreaths are available via an online auction, which is open until Dec. 16. There is a map of the downtown wreath locations, as well as a chance to see each wreath on the auction page if you are unable to visit each location, at

Wreath Walk is definitely something that can be wrapped into a day of holiday fun in downtown Edmonds with the Holiday Trolley. Emily the Elf, who is far too entertaining for a manufactured holiday movie, rides the Saturday trolley and the new Sunday option for Edmonds’ Highway 99 neighborhood. First of all, Emily the Elf is a full-on delight, she is funny and entertaining and has a super cute elfish get-up perfect for “eflies,” but also I just saw the trolley last weekend while on a walk and it had protection from the rain that had just picked up. You can find more on Emily the Elf and her weekend transportation at

An oft-used location in all kinds of Christmas movies is an ice skating rink. There are a few different options locally. A couple of weeks ago my youngest and I met up with a friend he hasn’t seen since pre-COVID at Lynnwood Ice Center to ice skate, and it was a nice way to visit in an open space and enjoy the music and get some exercise too. The visit required pre-registration and pre-payment as they are not currently able to accept payment on-site. You can find all the information and the schedule about the public sessions at

There is also an option for public skating at the Kraken Community Iceplex in Northgate. They recommend pre-registration and each person skating needs to be registered in their system ahead of time — we found this out the hard way when our oldest was there skating with friends and hadn’t been registered yet! Not only can you skate where the Seattle Kraken skate, but they also offer the occasional option to skate while a televised Kraken game plays on a large screen. I took the kids to the iceplex one rainy Saturday to take a peek, check out the team store, and walk across the pedestrian bridge that goes over I-5. We didn’t skate that day, there was a youth program going on, but it was fun to see the public portion of the facility and of course check out the view from above the freeway. You can find more information, including how to register with the required system, at

There is an outdoor community ice rink in Everett at Waterfront Place through Jan. 31 – the rink is covered but open air if weather is a concern. This “family-friendly” rink overlooks the Everett Marina and is decked out with holiday lights, music and a firepit. You can buy concessions while you are there, but tickets must be bought online. For more information and to buy tickets, you can visit

While I guess this event counts more as winter than Christmas, the deadline is in mid-December so I’m counting it! Edmonds Center for the Arts Presents WE SPEAK: Annual Youth Poetry Slam Competition. Residents in the Puget Sound region from ages 13 to 21 are invited to submit their original work for a chance to perform at the WE SPEAK Festival. Artists should use the theme of “Connection” to submit video samples five minutes and under of up to two original spoken-word performances by the deadline of Dec. 17. Three finalists will be selected to perform at the WE SPEAK Festival on Thursday, Jan. 27 and will receive a 30-minute virtual mentorship session with Hawaiian slam poet Kealoha in the week prior to the festival. For more information, you can visit or contact

— 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.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Real first and last names — as well as city of residence — are required for all commenters.
This is so we can verify your identity before approving your comment.