For several years now, we’ve made a family tradition of going to Garden D’lights, at the Bellevue Botanical Gardens, and Snowflake Lane in downtown Bellevue on the same night.
The Garden D’lights is a yearly light display in which the gardens are taken over by thousands of tiny lights. Designs get more elaborate each year, and include plants, flowers, animals and other wonderful sights. My favorite is an enormous waterfall made of lights, offset by leaping salmon.
After the peace of the garden, the bustle of Snowflake Lane can take a bit of adjustment, but it’s a fun contrast. The enthusiastic drummers and characters dancing in the streets in holiday-themed costumes are always energetic and full of smiles. Crowds can be intense, though we’ve found that sticking near the edge of the crowd, such as standing on the corner, can make things less intense for the kids.
There are slight changes to both events each year, from new, elaborate lighting displays at the garden to differently-costumed characters parading the streets of downtown Bellevue, but part of their appeal is their consistency. You get the comfort of knowing essentially what you are going to get, while the little surprises sweeten the experience. Together, they’re a fantastic way to get into the holiday spirit.
Tickets for the Garden D’lights are sold for specific dates. To ensure that you will be able to visit the night you wish, you may want to order them online. More information here.
Not surprisingly, Snowflake Lane is always craziest on the weekend, though if you absolutely can’t visit on a weeknight, Sunday is usually notably more relaxed than Saturday. More information about Snowflake Lane and a few new features this year, here.