Playtime: More holiday events to enjoy through the weekend

Emily the Elf is back as conductor, greeter, guide on the Edmonds Holiday Trolley.

Last week, on social media I saw an article about how “Holiday Magic” takes its toll on women. It immediately made me think of the Lifetime Christmas Movie I saw  this month called On Strike For Christmas with Daphne Zuniga, who you likely either remember as Jo Reynolds, resident of Melrose Place or Princess Vespa, resident of Druidia from Spaceballs. Her kids, and particularly dense husband, kept asking more and more of her as she was busy running her knit shop and she finally went on strike. As in most of these movies, things were tied in a neat bow when the main character gives up something important to her by Christmas Eve. Like all of the movies I’ve seen in the genre, this one is a cartoon version of a premise chock full of privileged people. Saturday Night Live hit the nail on the head last weekend with its Hallmark Dating Show sketch. But if my Google search on the topic is any indication, there are lots of reasons that women are overwhelmed by the holidays.

Enjoy holiday lights during the Kruckeberg Garden tour.

With that in mind, and adding the financial stress that comes along with the season, I have some fun and free to low-cost events to celebrate the season.

Dec. 21 and 22 from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m., there is a Solstice Stroll at the Kruckeberg Botanic Garden in Richmond Beach. You can join in bringing light and cheer to some of the darkest nights of the year and you walk the garden while it is aglow with whimsical light displays. This rain-or-shine event is free, though there is a suggested donation of $10. Parking for the event is off site at Richmond Beach Congregational Church, 1512 N.W. 195th St., Shoreline, with a free shuttle about every 15 minutes. For more information on the event, you can head to

Rabbi Paltiel at the annual Menorah lighting. (File photo by David Carlos)

For those of us who celebrate Chanukah, the Chabad of Snohomish County is holding the 8th Annual Unity Menorah Lighting. You can join city and county officials at Lynnwood City Hall, Dec. 22 at 4 p.m. for the lighting of the “giant” Menorah featuring the Klez Katz Klezmer Band, face painting, holiday treats, and light-up Chanukah glasses for the kids. The Menorah lighting is at 4 p.m. followed by “traditional Chanukah songs in good style.” Our family has attended this event and we all had a really wonderful time. From the prayer to the singing, and for two of us, the face painting were all so great. For more information, including directions, you can visit the Facebook Events page.

There are two weekends left for the free Edmonds Holiday Trolley, featuring local entertainment by Emily the Elf. On Dec. 21 and 28, you can catch the trolley at any of the seven stops about every half an hour between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. You can find more information on the stops, which include the Log Cabin Visitor’s Center and Hazel Miller Plaza, on

EWHS Jazz Band members will perform outside Rogue Sunday.

The Log Cabin Visitor’s Center is the stop you would use to go to the Holiday Market, held on 5th Avenue between City Hall and the Edmonds Historical Museum. Dec. 21 will be the last Holiday Market of the season and it runs between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. The market can be a fun place to mill around, or if you are still looking for presents or items for your holiday dinner, you can find more than 50 vendors bringing everything from cured meats, preserved foods and cheeses, to baked goods and sweets plus, wine, jewelry, pottery, and gifts.

If you’re walking in downtown Sunday, Dec. 22 from noon to 1:30 p.m., you can catch members of the EWHS Jazz Band performing in front of Rogue, 524 Main St. The big band performance is free and happens right out front of the store.

Even though we’re still about a month out from the next activity, I love the events put on by the Edmonds Ranger-Naturalists. On Jan. 21 at 7 p.m., you can join Discovery Programs staff and the WSU Snohomish County Extension Beach Watchers at the Olympic Beach Visitor Station for an evening of winter discovery under the stars during the Starlight Beach Walk. The low tide will allow you to really explore the beach before you head back to the Visitor Station to enjoy hot beverages. It is recommended that you bring a flashlight and “sturdy footwear or rubber boots” while dressing for what will definitely be cold weather. All ages are welcome to enjoy this free event, which is open to the public. For more information on the Starlight Beach Walk, you can call 425-771-0227.

— 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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