Playtime: Fun ahead for families– Wilderness school, Pokémon Go, Girls on the Run

We first talked about Pokémon Go, the mobile Augmented Reality game involving Pokémon characters popularized on cards of the same name, in 2016 — just after the app was released. Throngs of users crowded Pokéstops, where you gather supplies and catch the characters, at the Edmonds Waterfront playing the game. About two weeks ago, the talk of the app picked back up at our house and it seems that we’re not the only one. According to, during the first week of the Coronavirus outbreak, Pokémon Go had a 67% revenue increase.

Since we stopped paying a lot of attention to the game, there have been a lot of updates. There are more characters and options including the ability to connect with friends and make trades. We visit a lot of local hot spots, places with Pokéstops and gyms for battles (I am sure I am not using all the correct terminology there.) If you’re looking for areas with lots of Poké-options you can head to the Edmonds Waterfront, the Edmonds Library, Meadowdale Playfields, Lynndale Park, and all of the Lynnwood City buildings off 44th Avenue West — Rec Center, Library, City Hall.

Playing the game together has been a nice way for us to connect and enjoy the same activity especially since our early quarantine daily lunches together filled with different free options of online entertainment like drawing sessions or storytimes with our favorite authors have devolved to sometimes lunches with a lot of “make yourself a sandwich.” It can be a good reason to get outside and walk, movement/distance is incentivized, or even for a drive, which we’ve been doing at night. It has been a nice way to break up some of the days where we’re focused on work and preparing the house for another round of distance learning. The app is available on Android and iOS devices and it seems that they offer “Community Days” about once a month where one Pokémon shows up much more frequently. Often, I am the one logging the most screen time on the app, though that is likely because my devices don’t have any limits on game time.

On a recent trip to the Meadowdale Playfields for Pokémon, I saw that there are Pedalheads bike camps being held in the parking lot. “Pedalheads is a learn-to-ride bike camp known for taking kids from training wheels to two wheels.” They offer different level camps for riders ages 2 to 12 and still have classes available this summer at the Meadowdale Playfields. The kids I saw were eating their lunches, separately, in the shade and the faces I saw had the look of a kid who had gotten some activity (that their parents didn’t personally usher.) If you are interested in this outdoor camp you can

As we look to fall and ways for our students to socialize and possibly get outside, Girls on the Run Snohomish County has plans for a fall season! While it will look “very different than usual,” they will still provide girls in our community a chance to connect and stay active. They are offering an eight-week virtual Heart & Sole program for 6th – 8th graders and a five-week, in-person Camp GOTR for 3rd to 5th grade participants which plans on meeting every Saturday in October with a limited number of participants. There are also plans for a virtual Girls on the Run program for 3rd to 5th graders. Registration for these events will open on Aug. 15.

Along with adding a fall season, GOTR is now holding their virtual LUNAFEST screening on Aug. 14, rescheduled from International Women’s Day. “2020’s LUNAFEST features seven short films by and about women.” Tickets to the event are $10, with proceeds benefiting GOTR, and you can view the films for 24 hours. They have also made their 2020 Sneaker Soirée full virtual and on Saturday, Oct. 24, you can join their virtual online auction. The pandemic has “caused a lot of financial hardship” for their organization, but they are determined to continue to provide “programming that gives girls the social emotional life-skills they need to navigate these challenging times.” For more information on the Sneaker Soirée you can visit

Photo courtesy Quiet Heart Wilderness School

Quiet Heart Wilderness School is having a “very exciting summer” with their campers. The email I got letting me know that fall registration was open says they’ve “had to implement a lot of changes to protect our community from the coronavirus,” but explained that much has stayed the same! Campers have been “connecting with nature, exploring the woods, learning new skills, and having loads of fun” adding “Who knew pool noodle tag would be such a hit?” Their “re-invented” programs will continue into the fall as they offer traditional day-long Friday and Saturday programs as well as some new weekday options for students in remote learning. If you would like to register for classes, for age groups from 4 to 7 all the way to 13-plus, you can visit

— 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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