Playtime: Drawing classes for all ages, plus spring sports registration and free swim lessons

Audubon Magazine article featuring “Learn to Draw Birds with David Sibley.”

In an effort to fill the time while I sit in the car waiting for a kid to do their outdoor sports practice in a spot that’s too far away to come home for (with something other than doomscrolling), I sought out some options. I tried reading, and also an audiobook but then I needed something to do with my hands, which led to updating my schedule, which led to me missing most of what was being read. My hobby of choice is birding, but due to the locale and the weather, that hasn’t been a realistic option so I figured I’d try something birding adjacent — drawing birds.

I started with a #2 Ticonderoga and a pad of paper I got at Freddy’s coupled with an link to some videos titled Learn to Draw Birds with David Sibley. I was able to watch these on my phone, thankfully I had a backup battery to charge my phone or it wouldn’t have lasted, and goof around for most of the practice. It worked out and the 90 minute practice flew by, so I was determined to get a couple of pencils not on a Back To School list and try out a book or two. I got two books from the Edmonds Library and then went to Edmonds Art Spot, where I have received so much help picking out a thing or two for birthday presents, my youngest’s drawing interest, my artist niece, and now myself. Each time, the staff answers my questions or helps us sharpen my son’s new pencil in a fancy way I didn’t know about, and the nice person who helped me yesterday was even encouraging. So for roughly 10 bucks, I got a few pencils and a pin (with a bird on it) and am ready to head back to practice with some new gear.

Book found at the Edmonds Library.

It’s worth mentioning that I am not an artist and I’m not moving over from a natural talent in watercolors to doodling in the car. I really just need something to pass the time in a way that feels better. Plus, I don’t want to move on from my birding hobby because A. I love it and B. one can bird almost anywhere. My best example of this is the Lynnwood Target parking lot, where I can almost always find Brewer’s Blackbirds and more recently the cell phone tower behind the store has been a resting spot for a bald eagle.

I looked around for local drawing classes for adults and was able to find a few through Edmonds and Lynnwood Parks departments with a bonus of each of them including teenagers. When I called Edmonds Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services, I was able to speak with Recreation Supervisor Todd Cort. While he did tell me about the current available classes and that the Frances Anderson Center (FAC) would be reopening on March 15, I would be absolutely burying the lede if I didn’t share that he told me Day Camp was coming back to Edmonds this summer for elementary school age campers! The exact specifics have not been sent out yet, but the summer offerings are slated to make their debut online on March 1 with registration available on April 4. I will definitely link to the specifics when they are available, but what an exciting thing to learn!

Cort told me that the two upcoming drawing classes at FAC would be in person. Those 12-plus can register for Zentangle: A Dash of Color, which takes place on Wednesday, March 29 from 6:15 to 8:15 p.m. Zentangle is a meditative art form and “is an easy way of creating beautiful images by drawing structured patterns.” This class will be making colorful bookmarks. On Wednesday, April 20 from 6:15 to 8:15 p.m. there will be Zentangle: Renaissance Tiles. In this class, attendees “will “play with ‘tan paper’, black and brown pens; colors that are reminiscent of the masters of the Renaissance.” For more information and registration, you can visit

The City of Lynnwood is offering a new session of Painting with Colored Pencils for all level artists ages 13-plus,which takes place on Thursdays from 4 to 6 p.m. Feb. 24 to March 24. Textures and strokes will be practiced using layering, brushing and more techniques, plus, all you need is colored pencils, paper, and a few tools from the supply list you’ll get from the teacher. This next session only has one spot left, so it must be popular! For more information and registration, you can visit links to local offerings with a mix of online and in-person options for adults. also has a ton of options for a larger age range for children, their search options top out at 18.

It is almost time to move from waiting in the car during winter sports to waiting in the car during spring sports. The Boys and Girls Club of Edmonds is currently registering kids for their spring sports: flag football, volleyball and soccer. Each of these sports is co-ed and practices start in about a month. Flag football has teams for players starting at age 3 all the way up to their senior year of high school. Soccer is available for players ages 3 years old to those in the 6th grade. Volleyball players can start in the first grade and teams are offered up until 12th grade. My youngest has done a few sports through the Boys and Girls Club and it has been a great experience. He was able to try out sports through the Boys and Girls Club that were more affordable and had a positive community feel to them. You can find more information and registration at

Swimmers at the Lynnwood Recreation Center pool.

We’ve already talked about summer camp and the tulips aren’t up yet, so it feels safe to discuss swim lessons. I always hate to skip seasons, but stuff fills up! Last month, vouchers for free swim lessons were sent home with every Edmonds School District third grader. The vouchers are good for three sessions of lessons and can be redeemed at the Lynnwood Pool, the Mountlake Terrace Pool, Yost (Edmonds) Pool, and YMCA Dale Turner Pool. For those K-12 students who need to learn to swim, they can contact the City of Lynnwood’s Recreation Center, the Recreation Pavilion in Mountlake Terrace, and Dale Turner YMCA/Yost Pool for a beginning voucher. Also, 2021 vouchers will still be accepted this school year. For more information you can visit the district’s swim lesson page HERE.

— 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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