Hello, there. Today’s “featured outing” is actually in the neighboring city of Bellevue. Don’t worry, non-Seattleites, Bellevue is quite easy to get to from Seattle. Besides, the outdoor ice skating and Snowflake Lane show are worth the small trip.
There aren’t many places around Seattle that you can skate outside. In fact, when I went, it was my first time ever skating outdoors! I must warn you, if you’re used to indoor skating, the ice isn’t quite as nice as the Zamboni-smooth ice you may be used to. And, the skates used at this rink are more hockey skate than figure skate. They’re kind of a crossover, actually. It was difficult for me to get used to because I’ve only ever skated in figure skates. But, it was really quite fun!
Price: $12 for adults, $9 for kids under 8; If you bring personal skates, $9; Mondays are Free Skate for Bank of America/Alaska Airlines Visa Signature debit/credit card holders
Local Trick: For Bank of America debit/credit card holders and Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card holders, Mondays are free skate! Simply show the attendants your card, and the fee is waived.
Location: Bellevue Downtown Park, 10201 NE 4th St, Bellevue 98004
Dates/Times: The schedule is complicated, so here is the link to their website. Scroll down and you’ll find a timetable of days and times.
To make a day out of this outing, head over to Bellevue Square, right across the street. It is probably my favorite mall in the Pacific Northwest. Why, you may ask? Well, it’s quite big (not Mall of America big, but still), and the shoppers are all very elegant. Well, for a girl that loves to have an occasion to dress up, and loves to shop (like me), this place is a dream!
After shopping around a bit and enjoying dinner (I highly recommend Din Tai Fung), step outside to revel in the magic of Snowflake Lane. Every night, the streets fill with music and high-spirits as live toy soldier drummers take their positions and dancers perform for the crowds. Along with the toy soldiers and dancers, there are animated snow characters, the Snow Queen, and glittering lights that all contribute to the wonderful experience. Honestly, one of my favorite parts is watching the toy soldier drummers! They’re all teenagers and their energy is infectious. To end the show, snow flurries appear from the sky, seemingly putting everything in soft focus. Ok, I have to admit, the snow is probably my favorite part. Even though it’s not real (hope I didn’t ruin the secret), seeing snow fall is one of the most wonderful sights in the world, I think.
Local Trick: I only go to Snowflake Lane once a year, to keep it special, so I don’t have any tricks. However, I asked a friend of mine, who watches the show frequently during the holiday season. According to her, the best viewing place is on the top floor of Macy’s. There are floor-to-ceiling windows by the Junior’s section that look directly onto Snowflake Lane. She said you can see and hear everything very well! You won’t have to deal with the crowds before the show or after (they can be nightmarish). There are snow makers outside the window, so you can watch the snowfall from above all the hubbub. You’ll stay nice and toasty warm, plus there is easy access to restrooms at all times (can’t say that about standing outside!).
Location: The Bellevue Collection, Bellevue Square, 575 Bellevue Square, Bellevue, WA 98004. Visit this website for a detailed map and suggestions for parking.
Dates/Times: November 28 – December 24, Nightly at 7:00 pm