Playtime: Holiday trolley, Casper Baby Pants, menorah and tree lightings

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The Edmonds Holiday starts Dec. 1

Each holiday season, I try to work in some of our favorite low or no-cost holiday events because the main staples of our holiday season — a play at the Bathhouse Theater on Christmas Eve followed by Chinese food in a nod to my husband’s family tradition, and a movie on Christmas Day in a nod to not being in the house the entirety of Christmas Day — aren’t what would normally be on the menu.

We like to listen to “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” on audio book, which I can safely share because I placed my hold on it at the library already, and head to the Mountlake Terrace Christmas lights display at 228th Street Southwest and 42nd Place West. We made Christmas cookies this weekend, while the other half of the family was at a hockey tournament in Eastern Washington, and I found out that it can be a spendy activity. Who knew what meringue powder was and that it was so expensive? It did give us some nice time together and will likely modulate our commenting level during Holiday Baking Championship viewings, a newer holiday tradition.

Holiday celebrations in December really hit the ground running with free event options on Dec. 1 — with two holiday staples plus a couple of local fun events for kids and families. Starting Dec. 1, you can catch the Edmonds Trolley from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at one of the eight stops through downtown Edmonds. Also, after taking the Thanksgiving weekend off, the Edmonds Holiday Market will be back on Dec. 1 and each Saturday through the 22nd, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The market is on 5th Avenue between City Hall and the Edmonds Historical Museum and carries cured meats, wine, cheese, produce, jewelry, pottery and other gifts. For more information on these and all holiday events in Edmonds, you can visit EdmondsHolidays.com.

Cascadia Art Museum in Edmonds is having a children’s workshop, “Snowflake Flurry,” Saturday, Dec. 1 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. This drop-in event, free to children 7 and over and their accompanying adult, is a chance to celebrate the holidays by making snowflake cards and learning about science and art at the same time. Attendees will be working with artist and educator Mona Fairbanks, “creating snowflake cards based on the scientific structure of water.” In addition to learning about and making snowflake cards, a museum announcement states that children and families “will also enjoy the Vintage Christmas Cards by Northwest Artists exhibit at Cascadia Art Museum featuring handmade cards from the past.” For more information, you can call the museum at 425-336-4809 or visit CascadiaArtMuseum.org.

Visit the model train at the Edmonds Amtrak Station.

While you’re in the area, the Swamp Creek & Western Model Railroad Association will have its annual open house on Dec. 1, featuring a model railroad housed in the old freight room of the Edmonds Amtrak Train station, 210 Railroad Ave. The pictures look great and it’s really just through the parking lot and across the tracks from the Cascadia Art Museum. You can find more information on the free event at SCWRRA.org.((

Also on Dec. 1, Lynnwood’s annual tree lighting ceremony is from 5-7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1 at Silver Creek Family Church, 5326 176th St. S.W., Lynnwood. There will be activities for all ages. including music, a giant slide, food trucks and a special appearance by Santa Claus.

(Mountlake Terrace also has an annual tree lighting ceremony, this year on Dec. 7 at 6:30 p.m. at Evergreen Playfield, 22205 56th Ave. W. The “tree,” which can be seen from miles around, is actually frame constructed with 1,800 LED lights and sits atop the city’s water tower.)

On Sunday, Dec. 2, there will be a Make-and-Take Workshop to create a gift for the bird lover in your life, from 1 to 3 p.m., at the Willow Creek Habitat Demonstration Garden, 95 Pine Street in Edmonds. Cindy Easterson, president of Pilchuck Audubon, is leading this family-friendly workshop, which is geared towards adults, teens and kids at least 8 years old. Pre-registration is not required for this free event, though they welcome voluntary donations to cover costs. For more information you can call 425-771-8165 or visit PilchuckAudobon.org.

The 9-foot Menorah being lit in 2016. (File photo by David Carlos)

Also on Sunday, Dec. 2, Chabad of Snohomish County is celebrating Chanukah. Starting at 4 p.m. at Lynnwood City Hall, the 9-foot menorah will be lit in the group’s seventh annual public menorah lighting. The event will feature a Klezmer band, face painting, menorah kits and Chanukah treats. In fact, one of the group’s recent Facebook posts reads, “Placed order for 240 doughnuts for grand Menorah Lighting.” We’ve attended this event before, which is free and “open to all,” and we enjoyed it on many levels. It was really wonderful as the group sang and the menorah was lit and the kids will tell you all about the face painting, getting to hold a candle of their own, and of course, the doughnuts and Chanukah Gelt. For more information on this event, you can visit the Chabad of Snohomish County Facebook page.

Casper Baby Pants

While we’re talking about free local events, I have to mention that Caspar Babypants is coming to the Edmonds Library on Wednesday, Dec. 5 from 10 to 11 a.m. Doors open 30 minutes before the show and having seen a Caspar Babypants show, I recommend getting there in time to get a good seat! You may recognize Caspar Babypants as Chris Bellew from the band Presidents of the United States of America, which is why the library wants you to “get ready for rocking-fun music that kiddos and parents can enjoy together.” They’re right! The music is great and Bellow does a nice job with the kids —  I say that because he was pretty cool about my then-toddler needing to be extricated from behind the stage. For more information you can call the library at 425-771-1933 or visit the Edmonds Library Facebook page.

— By Jennifer Marx

Jen 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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