We recently gave away two Bellevue holiday getaways and the lucky winners will be coming to visit our fair city this month! ‘Tis the season for skating, lights, and shopping, so we thought it only appropriate that both prize packages include all of the above… plus a little more. To help you plan your own trip to Bellevue, we’re sharing the inside scoop on what we have in store for our winners! (Traveling with kids? Look for family-friendly activities that we’ve marked with the orange star).
Celebrate the Holidays the Bellevue Way
It’s no question that Bellevue knows how to do the holidays. Here are some local activities sure to leave you feeling merry and bright:
Strap on your skates and whirl around on the ice at the region’s largest open-air holiday skating experience, Chaplin’s Bellevue Subaru Ice Arena in Bellevue Downtown Park. This beloved Magic Season tradition is the perfect memory making activity for family and friends.
- When the skies darken, don’t fret! Instead, head over to Garden d’Lights at the Bellevue Botanical Garden, featuring over ½ million lights which transform the into a blossoming winter wonderland.
- The evening festivities continue every night at 7pm with Snowflake Lane at The Bellevue Collection. This free holiday spectacle includes live toy soldier drummers, glittering lights, animated music, falling snow, and more. A trip to Snowflake Lane is guaranteed to serve you up a good dose of holiday cheer.
But Wait… There’s More!
In addition to the holiday festivities, you won’t want to miss out on some of the other great activities Bellevue has to offer this time of year.
- “A World of Paper, A World of Fashion” at the Bellevue Arts Museum features a collection of Mariano Fortuny-inspired dresses made completely from paper. The exhibit is sure to leave you marveling at the intricate craftsmanship of Belgian artist Isabelle De Borchgrave.
- Of course, no trip to Bellevue would be complete without shopping at The Bellevue Collection. With over 250 stores, plus a handful of vibrant dining and nightlife options there’s something to please everyone.
- For the more adventuresome crowd, a visit to Stone Gardens climbing gym is the way to go. With over 21,000 square feet of climbing terrain with a tilting wall, belay and rappel ledges, kids area, and more, an afternoon at Stone Gardens is sure to excite.
- Who says you have to limit your stay to the east side of the lake? Make sure to explore one of the nearby gems of the region, Woodland Park Zoo, home to nearly 1,100 animals—from tiny insects to the largest land mammal on the planet, the African elephant.
Eat & Drink
With all this activity, you are sure to work up quite the appetite. Here are some of our favorite spots to refuel after a busy day out on the town.
For a leisurely meal and brew, head to Tap House Grill. The restaurant offers a unique menu full of northwest favorites plus over 160 beers on tap.
- Speaking of hops, make sure to stop in for a fresh local brew at Bellevue Brewing Company. If you can’t make up your mind, not a problem, get a taste of it all with a beer flight.
- Looking for some ethnic eats? Experience the incredible food and culture of the eastern Pacific Rim at Wild Ginger. Start the day at dim sum on weekends or end the day with late night happy hour.
- Enjoy a casual lunch or dinner at Purple Café and Wine Bar . Order a wine flight for yourself and if you have kids in tow, let them join in the fun with a “milk flight”!
- Prefer more of a gastro-pub environment? Step next door to Lot No. 3, an upscale restaurant that combines comfort food favorites, classic cocktails, and craft brews in a vintage-industrial inspired space.
After a full day, we know you will be ready for a good night’s rest at one of Bellevue’s premier hotels.
- You will feel an air of elegant tranquility wash over you as you step into the sophisticated and luxurious Hyatt Regency Bellevue. Located in the heart of downtown Bellevue, the Hyatt Regency provides a convenient location for shopping, dining, and holiday activities.
- The Hilton Bellevue Hotel is another great option for a weekend stay in Bellevue. With accommodations that include all the comforts of home surrounding a seven-story atrium filled with trees and beautiful foliage, the Hilton Bellevue Hotel is the perfect setting to relax after a full day’s fun.
For more information on where to stay, play, and eat in Bellevue, check out www.visitbellevuewashington.com.