When the Bellevue Botanical Garden's impressive collection of trees and shrubs get festooned with lights, visitors know it's that holiday time of year. The annual Garden d'Lights Festival started on Nov. 25 and will continue through Dec. 31.
Thousands of twinkling lights transform the Botanical Garden, 12001 Main St., into a winter wonderland. The colored lights have been strung on the trees, and shrubs to represent characters, including a swan in a lily pond, Charlotte in her web and the large green frog by his favorite pond. The Garden d'Lights is open daily, 5 to 9:30 p.m., free, with a suggested donation of $1 per person, $3 per family.
There will be a $5 charge for parking at the Botanical Garden during the hours of the Garden d'Lights, but free parking is available at Wilburton Hill Park, the Bellevue School District Headquarters across the street and the Bellevue School District Service Center.
Garden d'Lights is not the only winter event sponsored by the City of Bellevue's Parks & Community Services Department. See the list of activities below:
Hilltop Holiday Craft Show
Craft show featuring thousands of hand-crafted items from more than 80 Northwest crafters. Northwest Arts Center, 9825 NE 24th St. Admission is free.
• Wed., Thurs., Fri., Nov. 29 – Dec. 1: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
• Sat., Dec. 2: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Seattle Civic Christmas Ships
Beach celebrations to welcome the Seattle Civic Christmas Ships to Bellevue. Bonfires and hot cider will be provided at Newcastle and Meydenbauer parks. No bonfires or hot cider at Chism Beach Park. For information, call 425-452-4106.
• Sunday, Dec. 3: 6:50 – 7:10 p.m.
Newcastle Beach Park, 4400 Lake Washington Blvd. SE
• Monday, Dec. 4: 8:50 – 9:10 p.m.
Chism Beach Park, 1175 – 98th Ave SE
• Thursday, Dec. 21: 8:20 – 8:40 p.m.
Meydenbauer Beach Park, 419 – 98th Ave NE
Happy Birthday, South Bellevue Community Center
Bellevue’s newest community center celebrates its first year of existence with free activities for all ages and free sampler classes. South Bellevue Community Center, 14509 SE Newport Way. For information, call 425-452-4240.
• Tuesday, Dec. 5: 5 – 7 p.m.
Babes in Toyland
A classic holiday musical stars toys, animals and many favorite storybook characters. Recommended for ages 4 and older. $10, The Theatre at Meydenbauer, 11100 NE 6th St. For information, call 425-452-7155.
• Friday, Dec. 8: 7 p.m.
• Saturday, Dec. 9: 7 p.m.
• Sunday, Dec. 10: 2 p.m.
Family Fireside Storytelling
Storytellers recount the Eastside’s history by the fireside at the historic Winters House. Historic and modern toys will be on display, as well as a special Santa collection. Visitors can make a toy to take home and tour the house and grounds. Free, Winters House, 2102 Bellevue Way SE. For information, call 425-450-1049
• Saturday, Dec. 9: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Historic Winters House Tour
Winters House, 2102 Bellevue Way SE. Tour this Spanish Eclectic home built in 1929 by Cecilia and Frederick Winters. An Eastside Heritage Center docent will explain the early life and industry of this Mercer Slough family who bought the land in 1917. For more information, call 425-450-1049.
• Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
"Let Freedom Ring"
The annual Martin Luther King Jr. play will highlight the struggles for equality in our country, celebrating the impact of Dr. King’s contributions. This is a free performance at the Bellevue Youth Theatre, 16661 Northup Way, presented by Bellevue youth.
• Friday, Jan. 12: 6 p.m.
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