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November 18 – January 8
While I’m no Grinch, it does take some coaxing to get me in the holiday mood. Baking, light displays, and ice skating seem to do the trick. Bellevue’s Downtown Ice Rink, in particular, helps pave my way into the festivities. A 25-year tradition, Bellevue’s rink boasts being the region’s largest open-air rink (at 10,000 square feet). It runs until January 8, rain or shine, and ticket prices include skate rental. (For those too scared to skate, there’s a viewing area where you can sit and snack.)
Open almost every day of the week, with free parking nearby, the rink is the right place to hit for a mid-week happy hour. I recommend getting your hot chocolate at the on-site concession stand, then heading to Snowflake Lane for a free nightly holiday parade. (Held every night at 7 pm with music, lights, dancers, drummers, and falling snow.)
While Bellevue isn’t the only rink around—you can skate at the Kraken Iceplex, Pacific Ice Rink in Everett, and even a 3-day pop-up rink in Occidental Square (December 9 to 11)—this seasonal rink is worth a trip to the Eastside. Get in on its fun events like Ugly Sweater Skates and Free Skating Lessons. Film a Blades of Glory-style TikTok. Go wild.
Tip: Buy tickets online in advance, especially for busy weekends. Hit the nearby Rouge Cocktail Lounge for their Cutty Nog, a drink where orange creamsicle meets boozy eggnog—or splurge on a Spiked Apple Cider.
📸: Courtesy the Bellevue Downtown Association
Patheresa Wells is a Black/Persian, Pansexual, Polyamorous Poet and Writer (so many Ps) living in Seatac. An aspiring comic, you can catch her cracking jokes at open mics around the area. In her free time, she likes to imagine what she'd do with free time and feed her backyard crows cuz they're silly. Follow her on Twitter @PatheresaWells.