Playtime: Events for building holiday memories, benefiting good causes

The skating rink in Winthrop

The weekend after Thanksgiving, three quarters of my family packed up and headed to Winthrop, Washington for an outdoor hockey tournament. Winthrop is roughly 250 miles northeast of Edmonds in the Methow Valley. Before I go on to explain the Christmas movie magic that was our surroundings, I feel that it is important to add that the only reason the three of us were there is that the other member was sick with COVID and isolating, which included having Thanksgiving dinner over Microsoft Teams.

In Winthrop, the rink is outside and amongst foothills and the Methow River, which is home to salmon viewed from a footbridge straight out of a movie with “Bridge” in the title. The tournament took place during Winthrop’s Christmas At The End Of The Road which included ice skating with Santa, hot chocolate at Town Hall, and was capped off by fireworks. It is the exact kind of event a big developer would be threatening in a Hallmark/Lifetime movie.

While this trip was fun and made for so many amazing pictures that I could use for a holiday card — if I still had the juice to send holiday cards — locally we have so many of the same options without going over either mountain pass.

Emily the Elf

Let’s start with Emily the Edmonds Elf! You can find Emily the first three Saturdays of December on the Edmonds Holiday Trolley, which travels from the waterfront to downtown every half hour. From 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. you can catch the trolley at any of the stops: Walnut Street Coffee, Hazel Miller Plaza, Slate Salon & Spa, Thai Cottage, Calypso Restaurant and Salish Crossing. Not many towns have their own adorable elf (ours is found on Instagram @emily_the_edmonds_elf). On top of adding fun to the trolley, sharing “tidbits of history and local lore,” she can also be found on “the big red fire truck” tooling around town a few times during the holiday season. For more information on this and all of the Edmonds holiday options you can visit

While Lynnwood High School’s Vendor Splendor happened last weekend, there are a few ways to celebrate while supporting local students during the holidays. For the next two weekends — Dec. 10 and 17 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. — the Edmonds-Woodway High School Class of 2023 is hosting a gift-wrapping fundraiser at Rogue, 112 5th Ave. S. in downtown Edmonds. The proceeds from the gift wrapping, which ranges from $3 to $7, benefit Safe and Sober Graduation Night.

Mountlake Terrace High School groups are sponsoring two holiday events next weekend. On Saturday, Dec. 10 from 8 a.m. to noon, the MTHS Music Boosters are holding the annual breakfast in Santa’s Workshop which includes “a pancake breakfast ($6 for kids/seniors, $8 for teens/adults, $25/family), kids activities, Santa pictures and holiday gift shop — plus music from high school, middle school and elementary school bands and choirs.” The proceeds from this program benefit the nonprofit Mountlake Terrace High School Music Boosters, which supports music education. You can find more information on the event HERE.

The following day, the Mountlake Terrace High School Holiday Bazaar will be Sunday, Dec. 11 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Local and student vendors will be selling their goods and services at the high school, located at 21801 44th Ave W., in Mountlake Terrace.

Last year we added Holiday on the Docks to our tradition list, taking a walk in the pouring rain on Christmas Eve. I am so glad we did! From now through Jan. 2, “the guest moorage at the Port of Edmonds Marina, 458 Admiral Way, will be filled with boats decked out in holiday decorations.” While it is free and open to the public, on Thursday, Dec. 15 it will be Holiday Night at the Marina held at the Public Plaza, behind Anthony’s. The Port of Edmonds will be providing hot apple cider, Puget Sound Express is having an open house and the band One Love Bridge will be performing live music. Plus Santa will be stopping by from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. to hand out candy canes and take pictures. You can find more information at

— 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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