Is there anywhere more beautiful than the Pacific Northwest in the wintertime? We love this time of year. It’s cold enough to light fires, dark enough to enjoy the twinkly lights and, although skiing and snow abound just a couple hours away, nobody is stuck shoveling snow on a regular basis. The holiday decorations add cheer to every street corner, and the shopping centers are filled with excited revelers.

It’s time to get out there and take advantage of the season and all this area has to offer in terms of holiday traditions and beautiful sights to see. Here are 5 of our favorites.

5 Bellevue Area Holiday Traditions You Won’t Want to Miss

  1. Snowflake Lane. Every single night, from November 27th through January 10th, your family can enjoy beautiful Snowflake Lane (aka the sidewalks of Bellevue Way & NE 8th at The Bellevue Collection). Beginning at 7 pm each evening, snowflakes fall, Santa Claus comes to town and winter characters are brought to life. The show is only 20-minutes long, from start to finish, but there is also live music, shopping and dining to keep you entertained before and after. The light shows are dazzling and if a trip to Snowflake lane doesn’t get you into the holiday spirit, we don’t know what will.
  2. Strap on the ice skates. When’s the last time you went ice skating in an outdoor arena? Just like Snowflake Lane, the Bellevue Downtown Park is transformed from November 27th through January 10th, when it becomes the Magic Season Ice Arena. A $12 admission includes your skates ($9 for kids 9 and under) and Mondays are FREE! The whole family can skate to music played by STAR 101.5 and there are plenty of snacks and hot beverages for sale at the concession stand. Feeling a little shaky? No worries, free ice skating lessons are available.
  3. Make a Gingerbread House. Making gingerbread houses sounds good in theory but the time and energy required (not to mention the mess…) can be a bit prohibitive for busy families, right? Fortunately, the KidsQuest Children’s Museum has Gingerbread Workshops on November 27th and 28th. If you missed those, check out the Candyland Gingerbread House & Pizza Party in December, hosted at Frog Legs Culinary Academy. Both events require pre-registration so hurry up before the spaces fill.
  4. Garden d’Lights. Always wish you had a family that was content to spend a quiet afternoon, strolling the botanical gardens? Here’s a way to make that fantasy a reality. Each year, the Bellevue Botanical Gardens strings thousands of lights, creating a winter wonderland, called the Garden d’Lights, that both kids and adults will love. Admission is only $5 and they also offer a slew of “Free Nights” – Nov 30, Dec 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10. The Garden d’Lights is open November 28, 2015 through January 2, 2016 from 4:30pm to 9:00pm every evening, including holidays.
  5. Celebration Lane. Embrace a new year on Celebration Lane (right next to Snowflake Lane) with a glittery homage to 2016. The shows run December 26th through January 2nd and begins at 7 pm. It includes a display of brilliant lights, dancing drummers, costumed characters and snazzy music you can’t help but tap your feet to. It’s a perfect event for little ones (and big ones) who just can’t stay awake until midnight.

What are some of your favorite holiday traditions in and around Bellevue and the Pacific Northwest? Share some of your favorite “Must-Dos” with our Overlake followers in the comment box below. We wish you and your family a very happy and healthy holiday season, and we look forward to helping you Be Well in 2016.