Find all the holiday cheer your family needs at these Bellevue Christmas events
Holiday celebrations abound around the Emerald City during the Christmas season, and the Eastside is no exception. Whatever reason you and your crew are heading over to the Eastside (who else can’t wait for Snowflake Lane?), these Bellevue Christmas events are sure to put you in the holiday spirit. From finding bright lights and falling snow (no, really) to seeing The Nutcracker and meeting actual reindeer, these fabulous festive events taking place on Seattle’s Eastside are totally worth the trip over the bridge.
1. Snowflake Lane
If you really want to delight your kid crew this season, head to this Bellevue Christmas event to celebrate with lights, music, and dancing at the annual holiday spectacular Snowflake Lane. With the expansion of the Bellevue Collection comes an expanded party complete with an extended parade route going from N.E. 4th to N.E. 8th Streets, falling snow, and all your favorite holiday characters. And best of all, Santa joins the fun every night during the parade to help spread the cheer. Plus, all season long, Santa will be available for photos inside Bellevue Square Mall at the Snowflake Lane Factory.
Insider Tip: Expect crowds each night, so arrive early and plan accordingly. Early dinner reservations at one of the numerous restaurants will get you parked and near the action early. And be sure to take advantage of free parking at The Bellevue Collection, Bellevue Square, Lincoln Center, and Bellevue Place.
Dates: Nov. 25-Dec. 24
Between Bellevue Square & Lincoln Square
From N.E. 4th to N.E. 8th Streets
2. The Bellevue Downtown Ice Rink presented by Symetra
Bellevue’s popular ice rink is back and in full effect at Downtown Bellevue Park. Boasting our region’s largest open-air ice rink (over 9,000 square feet of real ice), this prime skating spot is covered and open for skating, rain or shine. Remember to book your tickets in advance for this Eastside holiday event. With skate rentals, concessions, rockin’ holiday tunes, and a variety of special events throughout the season, including free lessons, Ugly Sweater Skating, and Football Sunday Skates—this is the place to practice your triple toe loop.
Insider Tip: Free three-hour parking is available while visiting Bellevue Downtown Park. The parking lots are located adjacent to the ice rink—one in the southwest corner next to Inspiration Playground and one on the west side of the park (north of the playground).
Dates: Nov. 18, 2022-Jan. 8, 2023
Downtown Bellevue Park
100 100th Ave. N.E.
3. Redmond Lights
Redmond Lights celebrates the city of Redmond's diverse holiday traditions, cultures, and faiths. This year the festival lasts all month long and it's free to experience. Explore the various art and light installations at Downtown Park. Remember to download the STQRY app to take a self-guided tour of the installations, then follow the lights down Cleveland Street to 164th Ave. N.E. to reach Redmond Town Center, where the festivities continue.
Dates: Dec. 1, 2022-Jan. 4, 2023
Times: 5-11 p.m.
16101 N.E. Redmond Way
4. Evergreen City Ballet's The Nutcracker
Families will love this dazzling production of a cherished family favorite by Evergreen City Ballet, and the dancers and guest performers are eager to bring this wonderful holiday classic to the Puget Sound region. And again this year, you can opt for the super kid-friendly, one-hour performance (Dec. 10 or 17) or go for the full-length, two-hour production—either way, you’re in for a treat.
Dates: Dec. 9-11 & Dec. 16-18
Auburn Performing Arts Center
702 4th St. N.E.
Renton IKEA Performing Arts Center
400 S. Second St.
5. Garden d’Lights
Each year, over half a million twinkly, sparking, wow-worthy lights transform Bellevue’s Botanical Garden into a magical, winter wonderland for one of the Eastside's brightest holiday events. The 2022 season will d’light even the youngest of visitors with lighted shapes of plants, animals, flowers, birds—and even a cascading waterfall. Remember to purchase your tickets online and well in advance. Tickets are date and time specific, so keep your fingers crossed for a dry night when you visit!
Insider Tip: Premium parking in the Garden’s lot is available for $5/car (cash only) or free parking is available at Wilburton Hill Park, located east of the Garden on the south side of Main Street. Event parking is not allowed on Main Street and no dogs are allowed in the garden, so you'll have to leave Fido at home.
Dates: Nov. 26-Dec. 31 (Closed on Christmas Day)
Time: 4:30-9 p.m.
Cost: $8/person; Free, 10 & under
Bellevue Botanical Garden
12001 Main St.
6. Issaquah Reindeer Festival
This season, experience something totally new at the annual Issaquah Reindeer Festival at Cougar Mountain Zoo. This up-close and personal zoo not only features the unique sights of Santa’s reindeer but a chance to sit in Santa's sleigh and take a picture with him in his house. During this month-long Eastside holiday event, kids can hear a story from one of Santa's elves and drop their Christmas wish lists in Santa's personal mailbox, plus feed treats to Santa’s other animals and meet his kittens and his Candy Cane makers.
Good to Know: Santa returns to the North Pole after December 25, but you can still see his reindeer through December 30.
Dates: Dec. 1-23 & 26-30
Cost: $17/adult; $14/kids, 2-12; Free, kids 2 & under
Cougar Mountain Zoo
19525 S.E. 54th St.
7. Renton City Lights
Enjoy the lovely light displays at Gene Coulon Memorial Park in Renton. This dazzling display, designed for the whole fam, covers a mile-long loop around the park. The flat, walkable path is perfect for little feet or strollers and showcases professionally decorated trees and shrubs for maximum holiday wattage. There will be an opening night lighting and celebration on Dec. 2 at 6 p.m. with photos with Santa, a singalong, Rainier Yacht Club's "Parade of Boats," and the Argosy Christmas Ship.
Dates: Dec. 2, 2022-Jan. 1, 2023
Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park
1201 Lake Washington Blvd. N.
8. Argosy Cruises Christmas Ship Festival
There’s just something about the Christmas Ship and Parade of Boats that really makes the Eastside holiday season sing. Join onboard choirs, twinkling lights, and lots of holiday cheer or listen and enjoy from the shoreline at Gene Coulon Beach Park, Madrona Park, Houghton Beach, Meydenbauer Bay Park, or Juanita Beach throughout the festival. Parade routes, choirs, and songs vary nightly, but the watery spectacle is always a festive holiday favorite.
Dates: Nov. 25-Dec. 23
Cost: Free to watch from shore; $40-$72 to ride
9. Candy Science Workshop at KidsQuest Children's Museum
Editor's note: This event is sold out for 2022, but you can still enjoy Candytopia! at the museum when you visit
This sweet, special Bellevue Christmas event for children ages 5 and up at KidsQuest Children's Museum teams your little up with educators for a lesson on using polymers. They'll create taffy-like peppermint sticks, engineer structures from goofy gumdrops, and explore how heat can help create candy-coated stained-glass windows. That's right—education and festive treats in one activity—a win-win in our book.
Date: Dec. 9
1116 108 Ave. NE
10. Winter Wonderland at Kelsey Creek Farm
The Pacific Northwest doesn't get a whole lot of snow, so sometimes we all have to get creative to make our own snowy fun. Kelsey Creek Farm will do just that when you and your kids stop by for its Winter Wonderland activity. Expect to make wonderfully wintery crafts, visit some furry animals who know how to keep warm in the snow, and then warm up with some hot cocoa. There are two date and times families can participate in this activity, depending on your kid's age. Registration is required, and Bellevue residents get a discount.
Dates: Dec. 10, 2022 & Jan. 21, 2023
410 130th Pl. SE