5 Things to Try Outdoors in Bellevue this Week

Bellevue Botanical Garden Dahlias - Credit Flickr user Sea Turtle

 Dahlias at the Bellevue Botanical Garden. Photo via Flickr / Sea Turtle

Spring has sprung and it’s predicted to get up to 70 degrees this weekend! Why not spend some time getting out and enjoying some of the beautiful nature that surrounds us here in Bellevue? If you’re not sure what to do, here are some suggestions on great outdoor activities and events this weekend.

1.) Play putt putt at the Golf Club at Newcastle

Rusty-Putter-Course-at-Newcastle-November3b-052

If you’re looking for a fun, family friendly course, then you need to come out to The Golf Club at Newcastle. The Rusty Putter course is an 18-hole putting course great for family, friends or even work events. With natural grass, water features, bunkers and amazing views of Lake Washington, Seattle’s skyline and the Olympic Mountains, Rusty Putter is the perfect way to spend a sunny day in Bellevue.

 

 

 

 2.) See spring blooms at the Bellevue Botanical Garden

With 53 acres of cultivated gardens, restored woodlands, and natural wetlands, Bellevue Botanical Garden makes for a beautiful and relaxing afternoon stroll. If you’re not sure where to begin, join the group tour that starts at 2pm at the Visitor Center every Saturday and Sunday, or check out the map to get a lay of the land.

 

 

 

3.) Celebrate Earth Day at Cougar Mountain Zoo on Saturday, April 18th

Cougar Mountain Zoo Photo Gallery

In honor of Earth Day and the 8th birthday of the tigers, Taj and Almos, Cougar Mountain Zoo is throwing a party for the planet! With activities scheduled throughout the day, kids can learn about their favorite animals while seeing them up close and personal, and get their faces painted, do crafts and catch Tobias the Magician.

 

 

 

4.) Take a walk in the woods at Weowna Park

Weowana-Park-edit-Credit-Sharon-Linton

Did you know there was a 90-acre forest waiting for you to discover off of West Lake Sammamish Parkway? Weowna Park is home to trails and loops and 2.5 miles of Bellevue’s Lake to Lake Trail System. The trails are perfectly suited for intense running and training circuits or a leisurely (but hilly) walk. Come explore the forest and catch beautiful views of Lake Sammamish and the Cascade Mountains.

 

 

 

5.) Watch the sunset at Meydenbauer Beach Park

Meydenbauer-Beach-Park-Panorama---Credit-Flickr-User-KurtClarkSunsets in the Pacific Northwest are truly a sight to behold, so stop by this local hidden gem as the sun sets over Lake Washington. Bring the family for a fun picnic dinner in the large grassy areas and let the kids play in the playground area. There’s even a fishing dock if you want to bring out your poles and try to catch some Rainbow Trout, Bass, Perch and more!

 

 

 

Looking for more fun ideas? Check out our Events Calendar for all the fun things happening around Bellevue this week.

 

Photo credits: Rusty Putter Course at Newcastle, Courtesy of The Golf Club at Newcastle |  Spring blooms at Bellevue Botanical Garden, Photo via Flickr / MissLydia | Tiger and child, Courtesy of Cougar Mountain Zoo | Meydenbauer Beach Park, via Flickr / KurtClark.
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Weekly Round-Up: 6 Exciting Events Around Bellevue

This week in Bellevue, your favorite restaurants are offering special menus, there are outdoor activities you and the family can enjoy, a special movie screening, and musical entertainment! Liven up your week with these exciting events around the city.

1.) Seattle Restaurant Week

Sunday, April 12-Thursday, April 16
& Sunday, April 19-Thursday, April 23

Treat yourself to tastes across Seattle and the eastside. With more than 165 restaurants to choose from and 3-course meals at just $30, you’ll find more than one reason to dine out this week! With some lunch options available, and vegan and gluten-free dishes, everyone can enjoy these restaurants’ rich local flavors. Thirteen Bellevue restaurants are participating, so don’t miss this opportunity to try something new. See menus and all restaurants participating in Seattle Restaurant Week.

2.) Free Advance Movie Screening: The Water Diviner

Wednesday, April 15

Catch an advance screening of The Water Diviner, free at Bellevue’s Lincoln Square Cinemas. Russell Crowe plays an Australian farmer in the early 1900s who goes to Turkey in search of his three sons. The Water Diviner doesn’t hit theaters April 24, so you’ll have a sneak peek at Crowe’s dramatic performance. Rated R. Find out more info and how to get your passes now.

 

3.) 2nd Saturday Presents Family Music Performer Johnny Bregar

Saturday, April 11

Finally, music you and your young ones will both love! Musician Johnny Bregar is a Bainbridge Island performer known for family-friendly music that takes its cues from influences like blues and jazz. Get ready to have fun at this lively show designed to appeal to kids! At the Crossroads Bellevue Market Stage from 6-7 p.m. Free. Learn about this and other Crossroads Bellevue events.

 

 

4.) Free Bellevue Botanical Garden Tours

Saturdays & Sundays

Now that spring is in swing, stop by to see the budding plants and flowers! Bellevue Botanical Garden Tours are open for the season every Saturday & Sunday. These free tours are led by volunteer docents and start at 2 p.m. Wind your way through the flowers and fresh air as you explore the Rock Garden, Rhododendron Glen, and other areas of natural beauty.

 

 

 

5.) Owl Prowl

Friday, April 10

You’ll need to bring a light for this after-dark adventure! You’ll learn about owls that live in the area and join a Ranger-led night hike in Bellevue’s Lewis Creek Park. Recommended for adults and children 5 and older; participants encouraged to wear shoes suitable for hiking. From 7:30-9 p.m. Cost is $5/residents and $6/non-residents. Register online or by calling 425-452-6885 and referencing course 90892.

 

6.) Lakemont Highlands Hike

Saturday, April 11

This ranger-led hike covers 3.5 miles in Lakemont Highlands. You’ll traverse trails, open spaces, and friendly neighborhoods. Pack water and plan to wear shoes and clothes that you can comfortably hike in. From 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Free; no registration required. Group meets at the Lewis Creek Visitor Center.

 

 

 

OTHER UPCOMING BELLEVUE EVENTS

Click on the events below for more information

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Weekly Round-Up: 9 Enticing Events around Bellevue This Week

March Madness is drawing to a close, baseball is back and the zip line tour is reopening, which means spring is in full bloom and it’s time to get out and enjoy it! There are sports, art, theatre, comedy, dance and more to experience this weekend, so read our Weekly Round-up to learn about all the festivities around Bellevue.

 1.) Bellevue Zip Tour Season Opening

Saturday, April 4

It’s time to come see Bellevue from a different perspective! The Bellevue Zip Tour is reopening for the season this weekend and you’ll want to experience the 6.5 zip lines with family and friends, or use it a great teambuilding activity! Zip up to 35 mph across Huckleberry Alley, Cathedral Platform, Bellevue View, the Maple Grove, and Lightning Tree all guided by a skilled staff member.  Click here for more information or here to find out about scheduling and registering.

 

 2.) NCAA Tournament Semifinals and Championship Game

Saturday, April 4 & Monday, April 6

March Madness is heating up as we’re down to the final 4! Come cheer on your picks as they try to make it to the Championship Game, then head out for fantastic happy hours before the final game on Monday. Looking for a place to catch either game? Then take a peek at some of our picks to watch the game around town.

 

 

 

 3.) Opening Day for the Seattle Mariners

Image Courtesy of Kaitlyn Brajcich

Image Courtesy of Kaitlyn Brajcich

Monday, April 6

Baseball is back! The Mariners have been heating things up down in spring training and now they’re back to kick off what looks to be a fantastic season. Come out to Safeco Field and support the M’s as they battle the Los Angeles Angels at opening game. The game starts at 1:10pm but the gates will open 2 hours before first pitch, so get there early to enjoy the great food and beverage options. Click here for more information.

 

 4.) Bellevue Brewing Company launches new Session IPA

Wednesday, April 1 

Bellevue Brewing Company is at it again with the launch of their new Session IPA (“SIPA”)! They released the beer in the taproom yesterday (No April Fool’s joke there!) and will be distributing it as a draught-only beer starting tomorrow, April 3rd. They describe the beer as “the aroma is bright, like a sunny day, with hints of juicy Rainier cherries, fresh-cut mangos, and sweet spring blossoms. On the palate, you’ll enjoy some bitter-sweet orange notes with the maltiness faintly echoing cookie dough.” Stop by the taproom today to taste it for yourself!

 

 

 

 

 

5.)  Live Comedy: Kevin McDonald

Thursday, April 2 – Saturday, April 4

Most well-known for his many roles on the popular TV series “Kids in the Hall,” Kevin McDonald is bringing his own brand of comedy to the Parlor this weekend. He’s been in films such as “Lilo & Stitch,” “Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness,” “The True Meaning of Christmas Specials” and “Boy Meets Girl.” You may also recognize him from appearances on “That 70s Show,” “Ellen” the TV series, “Catscratch,” “Invader Zim” and “Comedy Bang! Bang!” Click here for more information or to purchase tickets.

 

 6.) Northwest Belly Dance Company Arabesque Tour

Saturday, April 4

Meydenbauer Center will be buzzing this Saturday as the Northwest BellyDance Company brings its show on the road for the first time! An annual event in Spokane since 2010, the Arabesque Tour combines ancient dances, modern production and a dose of imagination in the troupe’s signature blend of entertainment. This all ages show blends bellydance, tribal fusion and more, so don’t miss their first visit to Bellevue! Click here for more information or to purchase tickets.

 

 

 7.) LA LA LA: Group Exhibit at Hall Spassov

Wednesday, April 1 – Sunday, May 31

You have 2 months to catch this great exhibit at Hall Spassov Gallery that brings together the work of a few Los Angeles based artists. Don’t miss pieces by Ellwood Risk, Cheryl Ekstrom, Jeff Peters and more! Click here to learn more information and plan your visit to the Hall Spassov Gallery.

 

 

8.) Easter Swing Dance Convention

Thursday, April 2 – Sunday, April 5

West Coast Swing is about to take Bellevue by storm! Hundreds of dancers from around the world will gather to enjoy workshops, competitions and social West Coast Swing dancing at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue for the annual Seattle’s Easter Swing. There will be great trophies, private lessons with top pros, tops DJs and MCs, hours of dancing and more! Click here for more information or here to look through the schedule.

 

 

 

 

 

  9.) Shen Yun 2015

Friday, April 3 – Sunday, April 5

The incredible Shen Yun Performing Arts is bringing classical Chinese dance and music to Seattle for 4 shows. Come experience a journey to the lost land of the ancient Middle Kingdom thought music, dance, beautiful costumes and animated backdrops. Be transported by the legends brought to life by ethnic and folk dances. Click here for more information or here to purchase tickets.

 

OTHER UPCOMING BELLEVUE EVENTS

Click on the events below for more information

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BELLEVUE’S BEST BITES

By Chelsea Lin |  This article originally appeared in the 2015 Bellevue Visitor Guide
Lot 3-Jar Cake Lot No. 3’s Spiced Jar Cake

Don’t miss these top tastes around town

Whether it’s the density of affluent, globally minded locals or the draw of tourists to the Pacific Northwest, Bellevue’s restaurant scene is booming. Here are seven must-try meals in the city:

The most hotly anticipated restaurant opening in 2014 was 99 Park, the farm-to-table restaurant with culinary wunderkind Quinton Stewart at the executive chef helm. Grab a seat on a heated patio overlooking the lush lawns and picturesque fountains of Downtown Park and order the veggie tempura—perfectly crisped maitake mushrooms, shishito peppers, Japanese pumpkin, okra, and cauliflower—as the ideal bar snack.

Bis-on-Main-CrispyGarlicChicken

Bis on Main’s Crispy Garlic Chicken

Little more than a block away, Bis on Main has developed a legacy built on classic, well-executed Americana fare and consistently outstanding service. For a taste of what the kitchen’s capable of, try the crispy garlic chicken: a crisp-skinned half chicken served with garlic mashed potatoes and a vegetable side.

Another exciting take on chicken comes in the form of the farmer’s dish at Mediterranean Kitchen. A meal generous enough for two, this is a Lebanese family recipe: garlicky, brightly flavored chicken wings are piled high on saffron-hued rice and served with hummus, pita, and lentil soup.

Part of Bellevue’s appeal among locals and visitors alike is the availability of authentic ethnic food, like Mediterranean Kitchen and neighboring Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, a Japanese import. The food comes out quickly, which is a surprise given the effort behind it: Take, for example, the tsukemen with its ramen noodles you dip into an umami-rich, 20-hour broth.

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka's Shoyu Ramen

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka’s Shoyu Ramen

Across town, another eatery has made waves among Asian food fans hungry for real-deal dim sum. Din Tai Fung has long been Bellevue’s go-to for xiao long bao—a soup-filled dumpling from Shanghai—and the Dim Sum Factory arrived across town in 2014. In addition to serving dumplings all day—10am until 10pm—the restaurant also dishes up congee, noodles, and Asian tea drinks.

There’s a valid argument for naming John Howie Steak’s 60/40 Prime Juicy Lucy burger as the city’s best, but the experience—and old-school, no-fuss eats—at Wibbley’s Gourmet Hamburgers give it a run for its money. Located in a strip mall, Wibbley’s is a beloved Bellevue staple; get the charbroiled cheeseburger with a side of fries and blackberry shake.

An evening’s perfect nightcap can be found at Lot No. 3, where there’s a full bar and a dessert menu that shouldn’t be missed. Don’t forget the spice cake served warm in a mason jar—a standard one, not one of those dainty four-ouncers. Make sure to add the optional homemade vanilla ice cream for a real treat.

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To discover more places to eat in Bellevue, go to visitbellevuewashington.com/restaurants.

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Weekly Round-Up: 7 Fun Bellevue Events This Weekend!

What will you do this weekend in Bellevue? How about a comedy show, an Easter egg hunt, or a jazz night that will dazzle everyone in the family? Make sure to invite a friend or two!

1.) Comedian Bert Kreischer Live

Friday, March 27-Saturday, March 28
Watch Bert Kreishcer regale Bellevue’s Parlor Live audience with his humor! Bert’s notorious background includes a wild college life that resulted in “The National Lampoon’s Van Wilder” and stints on both FX and Comedy Central shows. Learn more about Bert or purchase tickets to one of the 4 evening events here.

 

 

 

2.) NCAA Tournaments: March Madness at Bellevue Bars

Now-Monday, April 6
March Madness is still going strong. Check out the tournament schedule, then find a sports-friendly bar in Bellevue to take in the game with friends. Keep the competition friendly with drinks and dining at local destinations like Tap House Grill and Blue Martini.

 

 

 

 

3.) VILLAGE THEATRE PRESENTS: NO WAY TO TREAT A LADY

Village Theatre's No Way to Treat a Lady
Image Courtesy of Village Theatre

Now-Sunday, April 26
Music, laughs, thrills, and one performance that will fully capture your attention and imagination: see Village Theatre’s production of No Way to Treat a Lady for a night of performing arts you won’t forget. No Way to Treat a Lady has been a novel, movie, and then became a musical in 1999. Learn more about this production with a plot of murder, humor, and romance and see the excitement for yourself!

 

 

4.) Dinner & Dancing Family Workshop

Saturday, March 28
Enjoy this opportunity to introduce kids to jazz while everyone enjoys dinner with a jazz performance and workshop! The KidsQuest Children’s Museum will host a night of dinner and dancing from 5:45 p.m.-8 p.m. led by Seattle choreographer Xaviera Vandermay’s dance company 3rd Shift Dance. Advance registration is recommended; ticket prices range from $8-$13. Get the details on this event and jazz up your evening!

 

5.) Community Easter Egg Hunt

Saturday, March 28
Easter egg hunts are a springtime tradition for many. Get in on the hunt at the Lake Hills Elementary School in Bellevue on Saturday afternoon from 3 p.m.-5:30 p.m. LOVE Bellevue and Essential Church present this event featuring inflatables, hot dogs, face painting, Easter Bunny photos, and 20,000 Easter eggs that need to be found! The best part? The Community Easter Egg Hunt is completely free. See more information.

 

6.) Beat the Bunny 5K Run & Walk

Beat the Bunny 5K

Image Courtesy of City of Redmond, Washington

Saturday, March 28
You’ll run like a bunny during this festive 5K in nearby Redmond! Both kids and adults are encouraged to walk or run, and children under age 15 will be able to join the Scrambled Egg Kids Dash before the race. One more reason to race: gift certificates courtesy of local running store Super Jock N’ Jill will be given to the fastest three male and female racers! From 9 a.m.-11:30 a.m.; cost to run is $30 (Kids Dash free). Buy tickets and see the full schedule here.

7.) Kiln-Glass Portraits Class for Kids

Saturday, March 28
The Bellevue Arts Museum presents a special class inspired by the museum’s current Emerge/Evolve exhibit. Artists aged 7-10 years will learn artistic methods and craft a kiln-glass portrait to keep. Make it a full day of art: after the class, explore the Bellevue Arts Museum’s other exhibits.

 

 

 

OTHER UPCOMING BELLEVUE EVENTS

Click on the events below for more information

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Weekly Round-Up: 9 Events to Celebrate Spring in Bellevue This Week

Tomorrow is the first day of spring, so get out and enjoy the weather and the great events Bellevue has to offer! Delight your senses this weekend with basketball, music, dance, art, comedy, live theatre and more. Read our Weekly Round-up to learn about all the festivities around Bellevue.

1.)  NCAA Tournament at Key Arena

Thursday, March 19-Monday, April 6

March Madness is upon us and we’re especially fortunate to be hosting multiple games at Key Arena this year! If you can’t make it down to Seattle Center, then come out to one of Bellevue’s great bars to cheer on your bracket picks!

 

 

 

 

2.) Village Theatre presents: No Way to Treat a Lady

Thursday, March 19-Sunday, April 26

It’s opening weekend at Village Theatre for the new musical comedy thriller No Way to Treat a Lady. Created by Douglas J. Cohen, this fun-packed cat-and-mouse detective drama is based on the best-selling novel by William Goldman, author of “The Princess Bride.” Come watch as the lives of a charming detective, a glamorous socialite, and a pair of meddling mothers become entwined in the schemes of actor-turned murdered Christopher “Kit” Gill. Click here for more information or here for tickets.

 

3.) Live Comedy: Jimmy Dunn

Thursday, March 19- Friday, March 20

You have 3 chances to see comedian Jimmy Dunn as he brings the laughs to Parlor Live this week. You’ve probably seen Jimmy on the CBS hit “The McCarthys” but he’s also performed at some of the most prestigious comedy events such as Denis Leary’s Comics Come Home, Montreal’s International Just for Laughs Comedy Festival and on “The Lake Show.”  Click here for more information or here to purchase tickets.

 

4.) Read My Pins: The Madeleine Albright Collection at Bellevue Arts Museum

Friday, March 13-Sunday, June 7

Madeleine Albright will go down is history as more than just the first female Secretary of State and now is your chance to learn a little more about this dynamic woman and how she used jewelry as a form of nonverbal communication. With over 200 pins to peruse, you’ll see why Madeleine put her own spin on George H.W. Bush’s famous phrase and told colleagues and reporters to “Read my pins.” Click here to learn more information and plan your visit to BAM.

 

 

5.) Bellevue Youth Theatre Presents: Oblio and the Pointless Forest

Friday, March 20 – Sunday, March 29

The new Bellevue Youth Theatre (BYT) season is upon us and it’s the first year at the new BYT theatre building! Come out and support the first show of the season at the new building. This play, based on the story “The Point” by Harry Nilsson, includes all of the classic songs, such as “Me and My Arrow.” Click here for more information or here to purchase tickets.

 

 

6.) Ballet Bellevue presents Opera Ballet in the City

 

Saturday, March 21-Sunday, March 22

Opera aficionados and balletomanes alike won’t want to miss “Opera Ballet in the City” featuring Bellevue City Opera and Ballet Bellevue. Come indulge your senses with arias from Faure, Mascagni and Debussy, classical ballet from Paquita, contemporary ballet by Jennifer Port to music of Philip Glass, highlights of The Fairy Queen, and a preview of the company’s first opera, The Marriage of Figaro, which doesn’t open until August. Live music will be performed by Orchestra Bellevue (Music Director/Conductor: Philip Tschopp). Click here for more information.

 

7.)  Mick Foley: Tales from Wrestling Past

Saturday, March 21

Three-time WWE champion, Mick Foley, is unleashing his trademark blend of wit and wisdom, wildness and warmth into a one-man spoken-word stage show for one night only at the Parlor Live. He’s written 5 New York Times best sellers and draws from his 28 years of travel as a legend and member of the WWE Hall of Fame to show you that you can find humor in the unlikeliest of places. Click here for more information or here to purchase tickets.

 

8.)    Washington Wind Symphony presents Don’t Try This at Home!

Sunday, March 22

The Washington Wind Symphony is celebrating their 29th season by performing pieces that are so difficult, they feel they might even be dangerous! Watch and listen as the 45-piece wind ensemble performs Tchaikovsky’s Dance of the Jesters, Huntingtower: Ballad for Band by Ottorino Respighi, Suite Française by Darius Milhaud, First Suite in E Flat for Military Band bu Gustav Holst, Dionysiaques by Florent Schmitt and Lincolnshire Posy by Percy Grainger. Click here for more information or to purchase tickets.

 

 

 

 

9.) Brightwater World Water Day Celebration

Saturday, March 21

March 21 is World Water Day 2015! Come out to the Brightwater Education Center in Woodinville to spend the day learning more about the human connection to water and how to protect the water both locally and around the world. There will be activities for all ages including art projects, outdoor explorations, science experiments and tours of Brightwater’s public art collection.  Click here for more information.

 

 

 

OTHER UPCOMING BELLEVUE EVENTS

Click on the events below for more information

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WHAT TO ASK A CVB WHEN CONSIDERING A DESTINATION

Article source: DMAI / empowerMINT.comBellevue Skyline from East-Heston cropped
 Downtown Bellevue lights. Photo by Marv Heston.

So you’ve been shopping for destinations to host your meeting and have finally narrowed your selections down to a definitive group of cities with just the right amount of hotel rooms, meeting spaces and great things for your attendees to see and do. But now comes the hard part – choosing just one! That’s when it’s time to dig deeper by asking Convention and Visitors Bureaus (or Destination Marketing Organizations-DMOs) more targeted questions. This will help you whittle down your choices even more and get you further on track for selecting that perfect city. Here are some key questions to ask a CVB/DMO when considering a destination for your next meeting or event.

What services do you provide?

This may seem like a no-brainer but make sure you ask the CVB about the menu of services available to you, your attendees and your exhibitors, as most of them are probably complimentary or extremely low cost. Keep in mind that every CVB will vary in its  offerings, as well as whether or not they can offer their services to if you didn’t use them to generate your lead.

“That should definitely be one of your considerations when you’re looking and comparing
destinations,” says Tammi Runzler, senior vice president of convention sales and services at Visit Orlando. “You want to see what support and services are in place in the event you do select that city.”

What’s new in town?

A lot of second and third-tier cities have been adding their fair share of new, quality amenities to better compete with first-tier destinations, so if you’ve never experienced the destination or haven’t visited in a while, ask what the city has done to improve its offerings – you might be surprised!

How safe is your destination?

Besides asking about the safety of the city overall, inquire about the areas surrounding the hotels and convention facility. Make sure to find out which hotels have plans in place in case of an emergency or natural disaster.

How flexible are your hotels and convention center?

Many properties and facilities are willing to work with planners to earn their business, so find out what is or isn’t negotiable for them.

“Sometimes you might have a scenario where a hotel doesn’t have a lot of upgraded rooms but they can offer you something else instead,” says Patricia Zollman, senior director of global accounts at HelmsBriscoe. “Look at your wish list and decide which things you have to have and which things you can forgo.”

Do you offer FAM trips or customized site visits?

Ask about CVB-sponsored trips that allow you to experience a destination and customized site visits that offer a more in-depth look at the hotels and amenities you’re most interested in.

What is your relationship with the convention center?

If you’re planning on using the city’s convention facility, ask about the nature of its partnership with the CVB. Does the CVB represent the facility, how is it managed and is it tax-based, privately or publicly owned?

“The more information planners know, the more equipped they are to negotiate,” says Craig Davis, vice president of sales and marketing at VisitPittsburgh. “If the CVB controls the revenue of the convention center then the facility may be more apt to give some stuff away.”

What are your business cycle and need times?

If you can be flexible with dates, find out what that will mean to the city. Ask about the peaks and valleys of their business cycle so you have a more broad, comprehensive overview of their busiest and slowest times. Keep in mind that if you’re able to book dates in a period or weekday pattern that helps the city, you’ll most likely leverage a much better deal.

What will be happening in the destination during my event?

Ask about any large events and development projects that could potentially impact your event as well as your attendees’ ability to get in, around and out of the city while you’re there.

“If you’re coming in over the same time as the Democratic Convention or a G2 Summit, you may want to rethink your dates or destination because it may not be the best place for you to be,” says Zollman. “Construction and renovation projects can (also) dynamically affect your program.”

What other events will be taking place in the hotel and/or convention center at the same time?

You probably don’t want a marching band event next door to your HR meeting, so find out who will be sharing the hotel blocks, meeting spaces and/or convention facility as well as who will be moving in and out during your event.

Can you send out my RFP to a narrow list?

There may be some hotels in a destination that don’t fit your parameters, so if you’d prefer that the CVB only send out your lead to a select list of properties, make sure to speak up so they can help you keep things simple.

Can you offer creative options and ideas?

Ask about creative, non-obvious activities or experiences that work well in the destination and could provide a more unique experience for your attendees.

Will you provide references?

Ask to speak to other groups that have held similar-sized meetings in the destination so you can talk to them about their experiences and get their feedback.

“Definitely get references from other events,” says Donella Evoniuk, senior director of
conference services for the International Society for Technology In Education (ISTE). “Ask
them questions such as how the CVB works with the hotel community. You want to know that in the event of a problem the CVB will have your back.”

To learn more about planning a meeting in Bellevue and how Visit Bellevue Washington can help you along the way, visit visitbellevuewashington.com/meetings.

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NEW IN THE ‘VUE: SPRING 2015

Bellevue, Washington is a vibrant, rapidly-growing city with new options for visitors and groups constantly popping up. From new hotels and revitalized meeting spaces to additional activities and unique dining experiences, here’s what we’re most excited about.

Hotels-and-Meeting-Venues-Menu

Attractions-and-Activites-Menu Restaurants-and-Private-Dining-Menu

Hotels and Meeting Venues

Hyatt-Lobby
The newly renovated lobby at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue features 55-inch touch screen table units.
  • Meydenbauer Convention Center Renovation Bellevue’s convention center is scheduled to complete a $12.5 million renovation over the summer months. The project includes interior enhancements to meeting rooms, lobbies, restrooms, and the theatre; various technological upgrades, and a refresh of the building exterior. For more information, visit meydenbauer.com.
  • Hampton Inn & Suites This 128 room hotel recently opened in Bellevue and is conveniently located just off Interstate-405. The hotel has a 623 square-foot conference room ideal for holding meetings or training events for up to 50 people. For more information, visit hamptoninn.com.
  • Seattle Marriott Bellevue Marriott is getting ready to open a full service, 384 room hotel in downtown Bellevue. The hotel’s location provides an ideal venue for meetings and events with 21,000 square feet of meeting space, including its largest room, the 6,200 square foot ballroom. The hotel is scheduled to open in May. For more information, visit marriott.com.
  • Hyatt Regency Bellevue Renovation The Hyatt Regency Bellevue just completed a $5.2 million renovation which includes upgrades to guestrooms in the 381-room Cascade Tower, a renovated high tech lobby featuring two interactive Microsoft Windows touch tables, and redesigned prefunction and meeting space. For more information, visit bellevue.hyatt.com.
  • Hilton Bellevue Renovation The Hilton Bellevue has completed two of the three phases of their $9 million renovation. All 353 guestrooms as well as the meeting space has been fully renovated. The final phase, including renovation of the lobby, front desk, and restaurant is currently underway and slated for completion this spring. For more information, visit bellevuehilton.com.
  • Embassy Suites Renovation In the upcoming months, Embassy Suites will undergo a full-service renovation project. Upon completion, the hotel will offer all new guest suites, a revitalized breakfast and dining area, and renewed event space. For updates on the renovation, visit embassysuitesbellevue.com.
  • Sheraton Bellevue Renovation The hotel is currently undergoing a considerable renovation that includes the lobby, guest rooms and corridors, club lounge, select meeting rooms and the restaurant. For more details visit sheratonbellevue.com.
  • Residence Inn New Restaurant and Renovation Guests at the Residence Inn in downtown Bellevue don’t have to go far to grab a bite with the opening of the hotel’s new restaurant, RIVUE Bar and Grill. The property is also currently undergoing a $3 million renovation of all guest rooms, meeting space, and public space. For more information, visit marriott.com.
  • HYATT house Mascot Program Bellevue’s HYATT house has launched a new mascot program at the hotel. Guests may request to meet one of the hotel’s on-site canine companions and are also welcome to bring the own four-legged friends with them so that no member of the family is left at home! For more information, visit bellevue.house.hyatt.com.
  • Future Hotels: New hotels scheduled to open by the end of 2016 will add another 700+ rooms to downtown Bellevue. In addition to the Marriott hotel mentioned above, the roster of hotels includes a 234 room AC Marriott hotel as well as a luxury hotel with over 244 rooms and 20,000 square feet of flexible meeting space as part of The Bellevue Collection’s expansion.

For more information about Bellevue meeting facilities, click here.

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Attractions and Activities

Mox Boarding House Games

Mox Boarding House brings together board games, food and beer in one unique space.
  • Mox Boarding House This 10,000-square-foot mega-gaming store / restaurant recently opened in Bellevue. Mox offers guests the best of everything with artisanal dining, an extensive game library to purchase games or check them out for in-store play, and a huge tournament room for daily events. The space also includes three uniquely designed private rooms that groups can reserve – the Apothecary, the Library, or the Speak Easy. For more information, visit moxboardinghouse.com.
  • FootGolf at Crossroads Par 3 Golf Course The Crossroads Par 3 Golf Course is now open for the season with a new offering, FootGolf. The game is similar to golf but is played using a soccer ball instead of clubs and the goal is to kick the ball into 21-inch diameter cups using the least amount of kicks as possible. The golf course is a great option for groups, friends, and families. For more information, visit bellevuepgc.com/-crossroads-par-3.
  • 99 Park’s Cocktail Masterclasses Wish you knew what goes into making creative cocktails? Learn from the masters and craft your own cocktail at 99 Park’s cocktail masterclasses. The cocktail masterclasses are a fun, interactive (and tasty!) experience for small or large groups. To book a class visit 99park-restaurant.com.
  • Driving Range at the Bellevue Golf Course A new driving range will open this Spring at the Bellevue Municipal Golf Course. The new range will have double the number of hitting stalls and all the new stalls will be fully heated and lighted for year round comfort. The Bellevue Golf Course also has an 18-hole course and offers group outings. For more information visit bellevuepgc.com.
  • Bellevue Youth Theatre Grand Opening The student-run theatre just unveiled its new home at Crossroads Park. The building is built directly into a hillside and features unique architectural features such as circular shaped building with an indoor and outdoor theatre. Shows begin March 20. For more information, visit bytfoundation.org.
  • Bellevue Botanical Garden Classes and Lectures The Bellevue Botanical Garden’s newest building, The Aaron Education Building, has made it possible for the garden to offer high quality lectures and classes onsite. Attendees will learn how to grow beautiful gardens that contribute to a healthy local ecosystem. To view the upcoming class schedule visit bellevuebotanical.org.
  • The Bellevue Collection Expansion Ground has broken on the $1.2 Billion mixed-use expansion of Bellevue’s popular “live, work, play” shopping destination. The expansion plans include two hotels, premium retail, chef-inspired restaurants and upscale entertainment venues. For more information visit, lincolnsquareexpansion.com.

For more information about things to do and activities in Bellevue, click here.

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Restaurants, Private Dining and Nightlife

Tavern-Hall-Photo-Geoffrey-SmithFull

Tavern Hall’s 9,500 square-foot space at Bellevue Square. Photo by Geoffrey Smith.
  • Tavern Hall Now open at Bellevue Square, this 9,500 square-foot restaurant and event space offers a relaxed, social atmosphere making it a great place to gather pre- or post-convention. In addition to tasty burgers, brick oven pretzels, and flatbreads, Tavern Hall also boasts 20 beers on draught, four shuffleboard tables and 30 flat screen TVs. The restaurant has three areas that can be rented out separately or combined into one private event space, accommodating groups from 30-400. For more information, visit tavern-hall.com.
  • Stone Karaoke & Lounge Your group is sure to feel like VIPs at downtown Bellevue’s newest nightlife spot, Stone Karaoke & Lounge. The upscale karaoke bar features 11 private rooms decked out with everything from flat screen TVs and state of the art karaoke systems to leather couches and disco balls. Fancy a craft cocktail or one of Stone’s small plates? No problem, simply use the interactive screens to call for room service. The rooms can accommodate party sizes ranging from 5 to 20 guests and can be booked online at stonekaraokebellevue.com.
  • Lunchbox Laboratory Event Lab Lunchbox Laboratory’s recently opened Event Lab is the perfect space for concocting private events. The room can accommodate 20-60 guests for sit-down dinner service or up to 100 guests for cocktail-style receptions. Guests are sure to love the private full-service bar, brand new 100″ screen/projector, and unlimited game play of fun retro arcade games! For more information, visit lunchboxlaboratory.com.
  • Bellevue Food Truck Pod There’s a new quick, cheap, and delicious dining option for your event attendees. Every Monday – Friday from 11am-2pm, a rotating lineup of food trucks brings everything from New Orleans street food to Ethiopian cuisine to downtown Bellevue. To find out which trucks will be around when you are in town, check out the schedule on seattlefoodtruck.com.
  • 13 Coins The iconic Northwest staple, 13 Coins, is slated to open in April at Bellevue Place near the Hyatt Regency Bellevue. The restaurant features a 24 hour menu and night owl drink specials, making it the perfect place for satisfying those late night munchies. For more information, visit 13coins.com.
  • Wild Ginger Large Group Dim Sum Reception Large groups can now experience the Cantonese culinary tradition of dim sum at Bellevue’s Wild Ginger. Your group will get to explore Wild Ginger’s house-made Cantonese dim sum and other specialties from throughout Southeast Asia. Wild Ginger’s large group reception areas can accommodate 50-100 guests. For more information, visit wildginger.net.
  • Tutta Bella This authentic Neapolitan pizzeria opened their Bellevue location in the Crossroads neighborhood just over a year ago. In addition to their extensive pizza menu, Tutta Bella also serves up Italian wines, Italian Attibassi espresso, and classic Italian fried cuisine. Tutta Bella’s private dining space can accommodate groups up to 100 in the banquet room and 30 on the four-seasons patio. For more information, visit TuttaBella.com.
  • Blue Martini Lounge Banquet Space This trendy, upscale lounge is known for their over 42 savory signature martinis and crafted cocktails, so it should come as no surprise that throwing parties is a Blue Martini specialty! Blue Martini is currently converting their indoor patio area into a banquet room that can hold 80 comfortably, making it an ideal location for private parties. For an extra dose of entertainment, Blue Martini hosts free salsa dance lessons on Tuesday nights or Beat the Geek Trivia on Monday nights. For more information, visit bluemartinilounge.com.
  • Monsoon East Semi-Private Dining Space Your guests will be delighted with the custom Vietnamese menus and cocktail lists at Monsoon East in Bellevue. The locally-owned restaurant is now offering one of their most popular spaces, the Lounge, for groups to reserve for a standing cocktail reception or sit-down dinner. The area is semi-private and can accommodate up to 40 guests. For more information or to learn about Monsoon East’s other group dining spaces, visit monsoonrestaurants.com.

For more information about private and group dining options in Bellevue, click here.

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Posted in Conventions and Meetings, Culinary and Wine, Downtown Bellevue, Hidden Gems / Local Picks, Outdoors, Things To Do | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

TAKE YOUR GROUP TO NEW HEIGHTS ON THE BELLEVUE CHALLENGE COURSE AND ZIP TOUR

Insidevue - Microsoft

A group from Microsoft takes on the course. Photo courtesy of Northwest Teambuilding.

Are you looking for a way to get your group out into nature? Do you want to help strengthen the bonds of your team or give your convention attendees a chance to figure out how to tackle a kind of challenge that’s different than their usual? The Bellevue Challenge Course and Zip Tour might just be the thing for you.

Nestled on a wooded hillside at Bellevue’s Eastgate Park and surrounded by the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, the Bellevue Challenge Course and Zip Tour offers a world of potential, challenge, choice, and adventure. A walk into the Broadleaf Maples and Douglas Firs of the park reveals an intriguing assortment of items: wooden poles, ropes, cables, suspension bridges, and platforms. The course is comprised of a Low Course, High Course, Vertical Playpen, and 6 ½ line Zip Tour.  Skilled staff from Northwest Teambuilding operate the course, guiding techies, adventurer-seekers, teenagers, hipsters and businessmen alike through various teambuilding exercises to strengthen group self-esteem and improve cohesiveness.

“We’ve enjoyed working and playing with Microsoft, REI, and Outerwall among others,” says Mandy Stewart of Northwest Teambuilding. Insidevue - Microsoft Trio“Bringing a team to an environment like this levels the playing field and helps give everyone a fresh perspective.”

The onsite program options are diverse and Northwest Teambuilding works with you to accommodate your individual group’s needs. Many factors are considered when designing each client’s customized program or event.  For example, does your team want an outing or an outcome?  How much time do you have?  What is the comfort level of your team regarding heights and physicality?  What are the challenges you’re facing right now that need to be addressed from a new angle?

“Not everyone wants to get off the ground or be extremely physical, and we build programs where not everyone has to,” says Stewart.  “Actively exploring how your team capitalizes on different strengths in different situations will help make you a more effective team back at the office, too.”

Of course there is the perennial question, “is it safe?”  The Bellevue Challenge Course and Zip Tour is built, inspected and operated in accordance with the internationally recognized standards of the Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT).  Additionally, Northwest Teambuilding is an Accredited Professional Vendor Member of the ACCT.  This means they not only hold themselves to the best standard, they also help others do the same by providing professional challenge course services and trainings throughout the western US including Alaska.

Insidevue - AccentureThe planning team for the course focuses on developing events that are the right fit for each team, from those looking for a full day experience to those who have a definitive window of time.  Teams can also start or end their day with an experience on the challenge course as just one part of their overall agenda.  If going to the course doesn’t work in your program, portable team building programs can even be brought to you at your meeting venue or office

“It’s a powerful way to spend a couple of hours,” says Northwest Teambuilding owner and challenge course veteran Scott Andrews. “I think each of us needs to have some wild, some adventure, and some play in our lives to stay fresh and renewed and to tackle those challenges that come to us every day.”

For more information on the Bellevue Challenge Course and Zip Tour, or to check availability, contact Northwest Teambuilding at program@nwteambuilding.com or call 206-348-3941.  You can also visit bellevuewa.gov/sbcc-challenge-course.htm.

If you’d like to learn about additional group teambuilding ideas for your meeting or convention in Bellevue, we invite you to contact one of our Visit Bellevue Washington convention sales team members.

Posted in Bellevue Parks, Conventions and Meetings, Outdoors, Things To Do | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Weekly Round-Up: 11 Lucky Events in Bellevue This Week

Get into the St. Patrick’s Day spirit with activities that will have you feeling lucky to be in Bellevue this week! Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Celtic music and your favorite local pubs, make time for a quick game of golf, and treat yourself to delicious dishes from local restaurants at special prices! Which exciting events will appear at the end of your rainbow?

1.) Magical Strings

Magical Strings 2014 - Credit Ally Davis

Image Courtesy of Ally Davis via Magical Strings

Tuesday, March 17
Magical Strings is presenting a special St. Patrick’s Day show with authentic Celtic music on the Celtic harp, hammered dulcimer, and other traditional instruments at Crossroads Bellevue’s Market Stage. The show starts at 7 p.m. and will also include talent from the Tara Academy of Irish Dance. This is a great family-friendly event that will help you end your holiday on the right note! See more about Magical Strings.

 

 

2.) Read My Pins: The Madeleine Albright Collection at Bellevue Arts Museum

Friday, March 13-Sunday, June 7
The Bellevue Arts Museum gives you an opportunity to peek into the jewelry box of former Secretary of State and US Ambassador Madeleine Albright. Albright used brooches to infuse her views with fashion. More than 200 pins and learn more about how Albright used these small pieces of jewelry to express her stances. Learn about admission to the Bellevue Arts Museum.

 

 

 

 

3.) Geoffrey Castle’s St. Patrick’s Celebration

Saturday, March 14
Celebrate violinist Geoffrey Castle’s return to the Kirkland Performance Center with a 10th anniversary performance right before St. Patrick’s Day. Enjoy the rich melodies of Celtic sound as Castle and special guests delight the audience. Families of all ages will enjoy this evening of Celtic magic. Show starts at 8 p.m.; tickets $25 for adults, with special senior and youth pricing. Find out more.

 

 

 

4.) St. Patrick’s Day Celebration at Bellevue Brewing Company

Bellevue Brewing Company scotch aleFriday, March 13
The Emerald Isle festivities continue at the Bellevue Brewing Company’s St. Patrick’s Day Celebration! Starting at 11:30 a.m., you’ll be able to enjoy great deals on beer and order off an Irish-themed menu. At 8 p.m. Kindred Folk will provide live music to keep the party going. Learn more about the Bellevue Brewing Company.

 

 

5.) Dine Around Seattle

Thursday, March 12-Tuesday, March 31
Hungry for new flavors? Restaurants throughout Seattle and the eastside are offering three-course prix-fixe dinner and lunch menus Sunday-Thursday during March! Make sure to stop by Bellevue’s own Cantinetta Bellevue, MōkSHA, and Monsoon East. All three Bellevue restaurants will be offering a prix-fixe dinner menu for $33, with MōkSHA and Monsoon East also serving up a lunch menu at $18. See all the restaurants participating in Dine Around Seattle.

 

6.) Alice in Wonderland Ballet

Alice and Wonderland by International Ballet TheatreSaturday, March 14-Sunday, March 15
Even the tiniest audience members will be delighted by this whimsical ballet production. Watch as Alice and the magical characters she meets express Lewis Carol’s timeless story through the medium of dance. With an hour length, this performance from the International Ballet Theatre is a perfect opportunity to introduce children ages 5-12 to the arts. At Bellevue’s Theatre at Meydenbauer Center with performance times to pick from. Learn more about the event.

7.) Bellevue Youth Theatre Opening Celebration

New Bellevue Youth Theatre

Image Courtesy of City of Bellevue, Washington

Saturday, March 14
Get a first look at the new Bellevue Youth Theatre this Saturday! Be present for the official ribbon cutting, then watch demonstrations and a special performance. You’ll also enjoy refreshments at this event happening from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. The new Bellevue Youth Theatre is an expansive 12,000-square-foot venue that evokes the excitement of theatre with indoor and outdoor performance spaces. Click here for the venue address and more information.

 

8.) King County Firefighters Pipes & Drums 2015 St. Patrick’s Day Pub Crawl

Tuesday, March 17
Pair traditional music with your favorite drinks and toast St. Patrick’s Day 2015 in style! The King County Firefighters Pipes and Drums bagpipers will be doing a pub crawl at participating pubs across the eastside, including Bellevue’s Paddy Coynes and McCormick & Schmick’s. Check the schedule to see when the pipers will play your favorite pub this St. Patrick’s Day. Take it one step further and customize your night by hitting the best Bellevue bars along the way: see all the hot spots you need to know here.

 

9.) Golf and FootGolf at Crossroads Par-3 Golf Course

Boy teeing off at Crossroads Par-3 in Bellevue

Image Courtesy of Crossroads Par-3 Golf Course

Ongoing
You might not have heard of FootGolf, but you’ll soon want to try it! This golf-soccer hybrid game is perfect for practicing your kicks, and just having fun on the course. Players kick a soccer ball to holes instead of putting, trying to reach holes in just a few kicks. If you’d rather take a swing at a classic game, try the family-friendly 9-hole golf course that can be completed in around an hour. Learn more about Crossroad’s Par-3 Golf Course and FootGolf in Bellevue.

 

 

10.) Remembering the Past, Looking to the Future: Personal Time Capsules

Thursday, March 19
The Eastside Heritage Center and KidsQuest Children’s Museum present a special activity for children that helps them look to the future. Kids will choose the objects they’d like to preserve for the future and bring them to this event, where the items will be placed in a personal time capsule and sealed. Admission costs just $1, and the event happens at Factoria Mall’s KidsQuest Children’s Museum. See details.

 

 

 

11.) Lucky Leprechauns Kids’ Event

Saturday, March 14
Even the smallest revelers can participate in St. Patrick’s Day festivities at this event! Children ages 2-5 will take part in art, games, and music themed around the favorite Irish holiday. From 10-11:30 a.m. at Bellevue’s Northwest Arts Center. Cost is $25 for residents and $30 for non-residents. Call 425-452-4106 for information or to register. Mention course 90610. Don’t forget to have your little leprechaun wear a bit o’ green!

 

 

OTHER UPCOMING BELLEVUE EVENTS

Click on the events below for more information

Posted in Arts and Culture, Events, Family, Things To Do, Weekly Round-Up | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment