Playtime: What to do during winter break? Check out these free events at our local libraries

Jennifer Marx

It is hard to talk about “Betwixtmas,” what Urban Dictionary defines as “the week in-between Christmas and New Years Day,” without sounding like I-need-a-vacation-from-my-vacation guy. But, when Googled, there are survival guides, articles, hashtags and, of course, there is a full week of winter break left in the Edmonds School District. If you’re looking for last-minute care, the City of Lynnwood still has some days left in the Camp Holidaze program, which can be found at If you’re looking for something to do next week or even the week after that, that is not screen-based and isn’t more expensive because it’s holiday-themed, Sno-Isle Libraries has some great options.

During the school year, our local libraries offer a variety of free options, including Ready Readers Storytime, which they usually offer at different times for different ages — baby, toddler, and preschool — though sometimes, like this weekend, they offer a “Family” options that includes all ages. These Storytimes can be as beneficial for the family members as the kids if you are looking to connect with other families with similarly-aged children. On Saturday, Dec. 28, the Edmonds Library is holding an all-ages Ready Readers Family Storytime at 11 a.m. “Funny stories, action songs and creative activities will make you giggle and move while getting your little ones ready to read.” No registration is required though caregivers are required for children in attendance.

The Edmonds Library also has New Year’s Eve covered for the youngest set. Kids 6 and under are invited to New Year’s Eve @ Noon – Special Storytime. The library invites you to help them “read, sing and dance in the new year as we countdown to a 12:00 (noon) balloon drop.” Like Family Storytime, there is no need to register and caregivers are required for children in attendance.

While we’re talking about their calendar, I wanted to include Reading with Rover. On Saturday, Jan. 11 from 11 a.m. to noon, kids can “read aloud to a loving canine listener,” which helps them “strengthen reading skills and improve reading confidence.” This event really used to fit the bill for us when the kids were learning to read and we didn’t have any pets in the house.

I am always impressed with the Lynnwood Library’s youth calendar. Over the years of writing this column, and using the library ourselves, I’ve noticed that they often provide younger children’s programming after the typical work hours. They also have weekly Storytimes, plus, they have a fun event this coming Monday and then an action-packed first week back to school, including an evening preschool science event. On Monday, Dec. 30 there will be an Insect Safari from 2 to 3 p.m. Kids can learn different classifications of arthropods and view the collected of both preserved and living specimens. They can wander among the displays and are encouraged to ask questions. The living specimens may include various stick insects, giant cockroaches, and scorpions.”

On Monday, Jan. 6 you can join the Imagination Band Tropical Island Adventure at the Lynnwood Library from 10 to 10:45 a.m. Sammy the Traveling Racoon and the Imagination Band will introduce you to the local creatures and teach you about their world as you shake along to the music while “dancing and flying over tropical rainbows.” There will be live guitar, ukulele, flute and handheld percussion. The show is aimed at children 18 months through preschool age.

On Wednesday, Jan. 8 from 7:30 to 8 p.m., the Lynnwood Library is partnering with Imagine Children’s Museum to offer Little Science Lab, their weekly science, technology, engineering and math program that encourages preschool-age children to explore the world around them. This program is developmentally appropriate for children 3 to 5 years old and space is limited each week to 30 children per class.

On Thursday, Jan. 9 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., all kids 18 and under are welcome to join the Youth Book Cafe. Kids are invited to chat about their favorite books and enjoy some snacks. Each participant, up to 18 years old, can choose two free books to build their home libraries, courtesy of the Friends of the Lynnwood Library.

The Mountlake Terrace Library offers the Ready Readers Storytime options, like the Lynnwood and Edmonds libraries, they also offer Russian Storytime on Wednesdays from 10 to 11 a.m.  The stories, songs, and activities are in Russian for Russian-speaking children and those interested in the Russian language. The next Russian Storytime will be Wednesday, January 8 at 10 a.m.

Another weekly option at the Mountlake Terrace Library is Play and Learn with the Wonderland Development Center. Tuesdays from 10 to 11 a.m., children ages birth to 5 are invited to join fun activities gross motor play and circle time facilitated by the trained staff from Wonderland Development Center. I know when my youngest was first going to Storytimes and events like this one, I got to learn a lot about him. Besides this being a free resource, I really love that these options don’t add pressure when you just don’t feel like going or they fall asleep on the way there.

— 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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