If you’re headed to Bellevue this winter, give yourself a little pat on the back. You picked a fun and festive time of year to join us. The holidays are in full swing, of course, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg! It’s also ski season; a peak period for spectator sports, arts events and live performances; and a wonderful time of year to refresh your mind and body.
Your holiday shopping list will meet its match in Bellevue, with numerous retail collections, boutiques and malls ready to help you check it twice.
You’ll find upscale retail at The Bravern; sophisticated shopping at The Bellevue Collection (which includes Bellevue Place, Bellevue Square and Lincoln Square), popular national and discount brands at Marketplace @ Factoria and Crossroads Bellevue; and charming boutiques on Main Street in Old Bellevue. For one-of-a-kind, handcrafted and local gifts, shop the Bellevue Hilltop Holiday Craft Show, Dec. 2-5 at the Northwest Arts Center.
Unleash your spirited side when the Bellevue Downtown Association presents Bellevue Magic Season, six weeks of festive holiday events, including the Magic Season Ice Arena, holiday performances at the Theatre at Meydenbauer, KidsQuest Children’s Museum’s Gingerbread Lane and Garden D’lights at the Bellevue Botanical Garden.
Beginning the day after Thanksgiving, family-favorite Snowflake Lane at The Bellevue Collection lights up the evenings with music, holiday characters and falling snow. After Christmas, the party continues with Celebration Lane, a bright, bubble-filled tribute to New Year’s Eve.
No holiday season is complete without an outing to the Nutcracker, and Bellevue’s Theatre at Meydenbauer Center offers two spectacular interpretations. Evergreen City Ballet’s production runs December 4-6 with full productions and special 1-hour shows for the youngest arts fans. International Ballet Theatre presents its interpretation Dec. 11-13 and 18-23 at Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue.
TEAM SPORTS IN ACTION
It’s game on for sports fans, because the Seattle Seahawks, UW Huskies basketball team and Seattle Thunderbirds hockey team are all filling local stadiums and arenas. Or you can score tickets to the Battle in Seattle, an annual event that brings Spokane’s elite Gonzaga men’s basketball team to Key Arena for a marquee matchup. This year, the Bulldogs take on Tennessee on Dec. 19.
WINE, ARTS & CULTURE
If you’re a wine enthusiast, you’ve come to the right place—at the right time. Dec. 4 through 6, more than 30 Woodinville wineries participate in Saint Nick’s Holiday Wine Tasting Weekend; a wonderful time for wine tasting and festivities. The event is one of the few times each year that many of these award-winning and boutique wineries are open to the public.
If movies and culture are calling your name, you’re in luck. You can catch all the holiday blockbusters and Oscar contenders at Lincoln Square Cinemas and Regal Crossroads Stadium 8. Through Jan. 10, Bellevue Arts Museum is showing the spectacular exhibit, Counter-Couture: Fashioning Identity in the American Counterculture, and beginning Jan. 29, the museum presents the prestigious exhibition, Louis Kahn: The Power of Architecture, the first major retrospective of the American architect in 20 years.
Bellevue in winter is positively bursting with fun, and you can’t possibly see and do everything in just a few days. So we have a suggestion: That holiday wish list you’ve been compiling? At the very top, write, “A trip back to Bellevue.”
From top to bottom: Images courtesy of the City of Bellevue, The Shops at the Bravern, (Snowflake Lane Drummers) George White Location Photography, (IBT The Nutcracker) Rex Tranter, (Seahawks Game) Kaitlyn Brajcich, Novelty Hill Januik Winery, Bellevue Arts Museum