Playtime: Paper sculptures at Demo Garden, kid-friendly ECA matinees, Easter bowl and skate

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As another spring arrived bringing summer and spring break camp registrations, so has arrived the devil on one shoulder, angel on the other scenario. One one hand, wouldn’t it be fun to have NO plans all summer and just be together waking up lazily and enjoying our free time together. On the other hand, all I can picture is the answers to the infinite loop of questions: No, you can’t play video games at 8 a.m.. Yes, we’re out of Trader Joe’s granola bars. Yes, calling PetSmart the “mini-zoo” was slightly misleading. Nope, still can’t play video games. To be fair, it is nice to have down-time and no schedule and we do our best to build some of that into summer with no current plans to go on a “vacation.” Planning on camps for the kids for the majority of summer is, as my pediatrician would say, “meeting them where they’re at.” It is just the best fit for us, our work schedules and our personalities.

Striking that balance of time on and time off on the weekend also proves tricky for us too! Meeting the primary needs of four people, two of whom would nap for two hours each weekend afternoon if possible (the adults,) isn’t always possible. As sports slow down for us with the end of hockey season and after a fun night out catching half of Steel Magic Northwest’s “Blast Into Spring” concert this week, we had to leave early to finish homework, I’ve turned my attention more to the fun, local weekend activities.

When I was at Bird Fest, I signed up for an email list after there was mention of a spider-related workshop that made my kids excited. From the looks of the emails (roughly one a month), they’re from the Edmonds Wildlife Habitat Native Plant Demonstration Center. This week, they sent information about their “Making Paper Sculptures Workshop” with artist April Richardson this weekend. Saturday and Sunday, March 24 and 25, from 1-3 p.m. participants of all ages will have the opportunity to make paper sculptures of the birds, plants and wildlife of the Demo Garden. You can make birds, animals, plants or flowers, using paper, string, masking tape, whatever it takes. Then finish with non-toxic paints. Last year, this art was mounted onto bamboo poles and the group marched with them in the Edmonds 4th of July Parade! This workshop is FREE and no pre-registration is required. This workshop will be held at the Edmonds Wildlife Habitat and Demonstration Garden in the Willow Creek Hatchery Education Building, which is located on the Northwest corner of Pine Street and Edmonds Way. If you need to plug an address into your phone they suggest using 95 Pine Street, Edmonds. For more information, you check out the Facebook Events page or call 425-771-8165.

Because we don’t live in the same state as 99 percent of our families, holidays are often one part non-traditional as no one is expecting us. Knowing that it’s not just us who aren’t doing a given holiday like a lot of other people are, I love finding out about options like Lynnwood Bowl and Skate on Easter. On Sunday, April 1, Lynnwood Bowl and Skate will open from noon to 7 p.m. for bowling at regular rates. They will also have two Open Skate sessions — noon to 3 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m.. Not only will they be open, BUT they Easter Bunny will be there for pictures between noon and 3. When I went to their website, BowlandSkate.com, to get their phone number (425-778-3133), I also saw that they are open during spring break for bowling. Monday through Friday, April 2-6, you can start bowling at 1 p.m. and Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday there will be an open skate from 1 to 5 p.m..

The Edmonds Center for the Arts has two Saturday matinees that are comparable to going to the movies and aren’t like anything I’ve seen before. Saturday, March 24 at 11 a.m., Petra & The Wolf will be at the ECA. This show is inspired by the classic Peter and the Wolf and tells this story with “large-scale puppetry” and an instrumental score by acclaimed rock back Mother Falcon. In their description, the ECA calls the show “a stunning piece of visual and musical storytelling on a theatrical scale we don’t typically see on the ECA stage. Tickets are $10, Teen Tix are $5, and Arts For Everyone tickets, available for those on free or reduced lunch in the Edmonds School District, are $2.

Next month, on April 21 at 11 a.m., the ECA Saturday Matinee will feature “Tetris” with the dance company, “Arch8.” This show is inspired by the video game Tetris and brought to you by the “extremely physical quartet, based in the Netherlands.” I was even further intrigued when I read that “Tetris is for the kids who can’t sit still, for the ones that climb the walls, and for those who can imagine further than they can see.” Having a set of kids who can’t sit still, this is a double exciting prospect! This matinee has the same pricing as Petra and the Wolf. If you are interested in either show, you can purchase tickets online at ECA4Arts.org, by calling 425-275-9595, or in person at 410 4th Ave. N. If you are interested in Arts for Everyone tickets, contact Gillian Jones, Director of Programming, at 425-275-9483 for more information.

By Jennifer Marx

Jen Marx, a mom of two young boys, is always looking for a fun place to take the kids that makes them tired enough to go to bed on time. You can find her on Twitter trying to make sense of begging kids to ”just eat the mac n cheese.”

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