Edmonds Kind of Play: Lake Ballinger for Families, Summer Reading, Open Swims at Yost Pool

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A view from the Ballinger Lake fishing pier.

A stop at the new Lake Ballinger fishing pier in Mountlake Terrace was the perfect way to decompress after one of the last days of school this week – it was also a decent antidote to the seasonal section of Target replacing the full items beach air by school supplies – Yes already. I had only been to this area once when a rare bird had taken up temporary residence in one of the trees just above the shiny new pier.

We hadn’t planned to go, but the way back took us past MLT Park and Ride and then Lake Ballinger. It was one of the first sunny days in ages and the scene was just too much to pass up. Besides the sparkling water, blue skies and green everywhere, there were adults with children enjoying the sun, little ones scampering on the grass next to blankets spread out on the grass, and someone taking a call working with an open laptop. We walked out to the fishing pier and saw the brave paddleboarders in the water and an even braver swimmer taking off from the floating dock. We entered the parking lot from Lakeview Drive and this lot gives you access to the boat launch, jetty, floating dock and plenty of seating. The new restroom building includes four family restrooms and an outdoor shower. In addition to recent additions, a universally accessible playground will be installed north of the parking lot at Ballinger Park later this year.

While this recent weather has reminded us that school is ending and summer is almost/supposed/meant to be here, one of my sure signs it’s summer is summer playlists at the library.

summer reading for Children and Teens is taking place at Sno-Isle Libraries until 9/11. Children and teenagers who read or are read to for 10 hours during the summer reading will receive a free book! There will also be book recommendations, a summer activity map for kids, mindfulness bingo for teens, and virtual and in-person events.

This year, there are several options for getting your Reading Log. You can go to the library and get a paper journal, or you can use Beanstack by visiting Sno-Isle.Beanstack.org to connect online or to find their application. If your reader uses Beanstack, they can earn badges and follow their friends.

Sno-Isle Summer Reading kicks off with the Zaniac Zoom Show on June 27 from 2-3 p.m. , sight gags and grimaces. Parents are welcome at this “low key and extra silly” virtual event. Registration is mandatory and a Zoom link will be sent 24 hours before the event.

On Friday, Edmonds Library announced it was closed until further notice due to damage from a burst pipe. Library reservations will be available for pickup at Lynnwood Library at this time.

Half Price Books offers its summer reading program, Camp Discovery. Your camper can “explore with individual math and science crafts, coloring pages, activities, and playlists or download the entire package to have the full Camp Discovery experience at your fingertips.” There are crafts and activities inspired by STEM or story time and once they have been completed reading logs you can print out a ‘super reader certificate’. For all information about Camp Discovery, you can visit HalfPriceBooks.com.

Barnes & Noble offers a summer reading program in July and August for students in grades one through six. Participants read the designated amount of books and write about their favorite part in the Barnes & Noble Reading Journal. When they return the diary to any location, they can choose from one of the books listed in their diary. The great thing about this program is that the books are usually big names. This year’s offerings include Pete the cat is going camping, Juana and Lucas, Amari and the Nightbrothersand Bounce. The downside is that once you’re inside the Lynnwood Barnes & Noble, there aren’t just other books, but lots of toys and a refrigerated crate with cookies and cupcakes. For more information and to download a reading log, you can visit BarnesandNoble.com.

Yost pool.

While I was planning on just talking about summer reading I took a little doomscroll break and saw an article detailing the hours of free swimming at the Yost outdoor swimming pool in Edmonds and that looked like a good thing to add to the last week of school. Open Swim will take place weekdays from 1:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. and on weekends there will be three sessions between 12:15 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. Open Swim is first come, first served and anyone entering must pay the entrance. costs. You can find the Open Swim schedule and fares at www.gomotionapp.com/…/schedule/summer-schedule.

— By Jennifer Marx

Jen Marx, a mother of two boys in Edmonds, is always on the lookout for a fun place to take the kids that tires them out enough to go to bed on time.

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