The Ho! Ho! Ho! holidays are all over Edmonds.
So much to explore and enjoy, best shared with family. Where to start?
Tree Lighting Ceremony returns!
The annual Tree Lighting Ceremony (yes, it’s back on!) kicks off the festivities in style Sat., Nov. 27, 3 p.m.-5:30 p.m., at Centennial Plaza, 5th Ave. N. and Bell St. My Edmonds News publisher Teresa Wippel emcees the event, with the traditional appearance of Santa (and Emily the Elf, 1:30-3:30 pm, at nearby Edmonds Historical Museum), lots of treats and beverages, and donation drives.
Look for Bench and Board artist/owner Jill Hall and her evergreen wreaths. Part of the proceeds of sales will go to the Edmonds Food Bank. If you can’t make the tree lighting, you can pre-order them online.
Title sponsor: Certa Law Group, PS.
Afterwards, head to the Masonic Lodge, 515 Dayton St., for the after-party, 5:15 p.m.-7 p.m., and take a picture with Santa.
Bug out a little early for a quick bite at The MAR•KET on 508 Main St. before it closes at 8 p.m. Sourdough bread bowl chowder and fish and chips will hit the spot.
Venture out of downtown for a spell.
Take a ferry ride to Kingston and catch a rainbow, and an orca or two surfacing in the glistening sea. Say hi to Wesley, the resident Anna's Hummingbird of Edmonds Marsh, a well-known wildlife sanctuary. Head down to the Pier and maybe spy a bald eagle (Edmonds boasts three nesting pairs) swooping down to steal fish straight out of a seagull's mouth.
See Murphy, the Mbu Puffer Fish mascot at Aquarium Co-Op (9661 Firdale Ave.). Grab a pair of binoculars and spot the actual bald eagles' nests high above the chimney tops of hillside homes nearby. Do some trainspotting by Marina Beach, while your children build driftwood forts, skip rocks, and pretend to be astronauts, rocketing off into space from the comfort of the playground.
Slurp Yua Ramen noodles (99 Ranch Market, 22511 Hwy. 99), share a giant Milkie Milkie (23830 Hwy. 99) bingsoo (Korean shave ice), team up to beat the clock in the Entangled Escape Rooms (21300 68th Ave. W.), and challenge each other on arcade games, like Super Mario Bros., at Another Castle Video Games (23303 Hwy. 99) — all in Edmonds’ International District (the Holiday Trolley will visit Uptown for two Sundays in December...more below).
Serious shopping begins in downtown Edmonds.
A suggestion before doing any serious holiday shopping. Go over to the Edmonds Downtown Alliance (Ed!) website and study the “2021 Edmonds Holiday Gift Guide” for super-great finds.
Okay, two suggestions. Do a family gift exchange and spread out, starting at The Wishing Stone, everyone’s go-to store for crystals, gems, and fossilized treasures.
Then, make a weekend of it every weekend.
Holiday Market and Trolley make shopping fun and easy.
Arrive early every Sat. morning in time for the annual open-air Holiday Market and Holiday Trolley to get you where you wanna go.
The next Holiday Market is Dec. 4, and every Sat. before Christmas, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., at the same general location as the Tree Lighting Ceremony. Browse, snack, and load up on artisan gifts. Over 60 vendors to choose from, for everyone on your list.
After you’ve had your fill at the Holiday Market, hop on the Holiday Trolley, which starts rockin’ and rollin’ at 11 a.m., and meet Emily the Elf in all her cheerful glory. In its 7th season, the trolley makes several stops throughout downtown Edmonds and the waterfront, as Emily the Elf plays tour guide. Hop off and stroll around, there are plenty of boutiques, shops, galleries, and restaurants to check out...or linger awhile longer. Your call.
This year, the trolley will also visit various points in the Uptown area for two Sundays (Dec. 12, 19), starting and ending at the Hwy. 99 Safeway parking lot.
Trolley runs every 30 minutes.
Schedule: Downtown Edmonds, Sat., Dec. 4, 11, 18, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., and Uptown Edmonds, Sun. Dec. 12, 19, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
But wait, there's more!
Take part in Ed!’s Ornament Stroll Shopping Event — new this year. Spend $40+ at any one of the 21 participating businesses and receive a festive, unique ornament. (Limit one ornament per person, while supplies last.) Collect them all and share on social media with #edmondsholidays. It’s the local merchants’ way of saying thanks for your business. Ed! has all the info, including a list of those participating local businesses.
Take everyone to Santa Fe Mexican Grill & Cantina, btw, for tacos, burritos, and chicken strips, and snag an ornament. They’re on the list!
All that shopping works up an appetite, doesn’t it?
Kids can grab delicious Canarino Gelato for dessert and say hi to Santa in his workshop behind the plexiglass, 203 5th Ave. S. #4, Nov. 27-Dec. 19, Thurs.-Sun., and Dec. 20-23, every day, 4 p.m.-8 p.m. Book early to guarantee a session, appointments only. (He’ll also be behind the window of Sound Styles, 100 5th Ave. N., Dec. 11 and 18, noon-2 p.m. Safely wave and pose for pics with him from outside.)
Visit Edmonds also has “Dining for the Whole Family,” featuring plenty of other kid-friendly options (brunch, Italian, poke, burgers), if you’re still undecided.
Break up all that shopping and dining with a few other holiday attractions:
- Art Walk Edmonds’ Wreath Walk Edmonds, Nov. 18-Dec. 16, gives artistic types a chance to shine, decorating and hanging wreaths on storefronts with care. Bid on your favorites for a chance to win your very own in an online auction going on through Dec. 16, 8 p.m. Proceeds benefit AWE.
- Ed! sponsors the Holiday Scavenger Hunt Dec. 3-31, fun for the entire family. Pick up forms at Edmonds Bookshop, 111 5th Ave. S., and Walnut Street Coffee, 410 Walnut St., or print your own copy from home. Check with Ed! for more info, as it comes in. Forms should be available by early Dec.
- Dive into freshly made popcorn and some holiday classics with Free Holiday Movies two days in Dec., 3:30 p.m.-7 p.m., at the historic Edmonds Theater, 415 Main St. Christmas Classics cartoons, 3:30 p.m. Feature movies — “Elf,” Dec. 3, and “A Christmas Story,” Dec. 10 — 5 p.m. Sponsor: Cline Jewelers.
- While you’re out there shopping to your heart’s content, be sure to look for holiday buddies to take selfies with, and share on your social media. Holiday Selfie Stations are located throughout town.
- Make wreaths and garlands while noshing on Megan and Kelsey’s Sugar Belle Bakery treats, Anne Farrens’ Retreat Drinks hot cocoa, Conor O’Neill’s The Cottage, Community Bakery’s breads and pastries, and Chef Kyle Marty’s Flyin’ Tacos at Meghan’s Twisted Bramble Holiday Workshop Dec. 4, 9 a.m.-9 p.m., at The Red Barn, 228 5th Ave. S. Matthew Kennelly of Fort Vanity offers 15-minute photo sessions for special needs/foster/adoptive families. Sign up soon.
- Holiday shows abound at Edmonds Center for the Arts (ECA), from The Gothard Sisters’ heartwarming Celtic Christmas and James & Jamesy’s hilarious “O Christmas Tea,” to Cascade Symphony Orchestra’s Holiday Pops and Olympic Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” — returning live and in person, with safe Covid protocols in place. More holiday celebrations at Visit Edmonds. Always book early. Many shows sell out weeks in advance.
- Help raise money for the Edmonds Police Foundation (EPF) and Support 7 at their annual Virtual 5k Holiday Dash, Nov. 27-Dec. 31. Register asap, wear your ugliest Christmas sweaters with pride, and run or walk the 5k at your leisure. Go in groups, families and friends, keep track, and submit your finish times and images to EPF.
And hey, if you’ve bought a lot, and you will, save some time…take all your packages to Rogue and let the holiday elves wrap them for you nice and pretty. For a good cause, too — Edmonds-Woodway Class of 2022 Safe and Sober Grad Night. $2-$5 per item donation. The gift-wrapping fundraiser happens Saturdays, Dec. 4, 11, 18, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Rogue is located on 112 5th Ave. S.
Before you leave for the day, be sure to drop off your Letters to Santa at the big red-and-white mailbox in front of the log cabin Visitor Center, 120 5th Ave. N. You have till Dec. 16, 5 p.m., for a reply from St. Nick himself. Sponsor: Bench and Board.
Find more festive things to do with your family at Edmonds Holidays’ Holiday Events Calendar.
Feature photo, Sugg Family: Matt Hulbert
Additional photos by Matt Hulbert and Carol Banks Weber: Emily the Elf, more of the Sugg Family enjoying the holidays in Edmonds, Santa’s Mailbox, Susan Babcock’s 2012 “Winter Walk” mural, Teri’s Toybox, Little Bipsy, Cline Jewelers, Garden Gear & Gallery, crow, Cole Gallery’s Nov. exhibit, “A Gathering of Friends” by Michelle Waldele, Bench & Board.