Even though we’ve lived in the Seattle area for many years now, we haven’t experienced many of the holiday seasonal activities that happen every year around the city. This year, however, we finally visited Snowflake Lane in Bellevue, WA. We had a fabulous time on our overnight getaway and I highly recommend it as a must-do if you’re looking to celebrate Christmas in Seattle! Thank you to the Bellevue Collection for hosting us for our weekend getaway. (Affiliate links included).
What is Snowflake Lane?
During the holiday season, Bellevue Way NE becomes Snowflake Lane every night at 7 pm. Yes, that’s right, EVERY night. Visitors line the four-block parade route to watch the nightly show. When the show starts, dancers and holiday characters march out to the street to put on a show. It’s twenty minutes of Christmas songs, dance performers, parade floats, and musicians. At one point it even snows, or should I say soaps? :)
Tips for Snowflake Lane
- Plan to arrive early! The traffic alone was a headache around the area started as early as 4 pm. Bellevue Way NE gets closed around 630 pm. People started lining the parade route a good 30-45 minutes before the parade began.
- Stay overnight! Our overnight at the Westin was really convenient since we walked out from our room 15 minutes before the parade began and got a spot. The crosswalk area at the Westin will open up for standing spots just before the parade begins. We walked down and were able to just grab a spot in the crosswalk.
- You can meet some of the characters, like the Snow Queen, as they walk around the parade route before the show. If you have a kiddo who loves characters, plan to arrive early and keep your eyes open on the sidewalks. You can also see the dancers just outside the Westin front doors, and see the parade floats along 6th Street.
- Expect waits at local restaurants. We were attending a Friday night event and planned to have dinner after the show…seems everyone else had that same plan. Most places had a 30-60 minute wait after the parade, so make a reservation or be ready to wait if you’re eating after the parade.
- It’s free!
- The parade can be affected by the weather. Our night had crazy strong winds so they, unfortunately, couldn’t bring the floats out. But the show still went on, just a modified version. Gives us a reason to return again next year!
Overnight Getaway at the Westin Bellevue
Snowflake Lane was the main attraction for our getaway, but Bellevue has a lot more to offer on a weekend getaway. Our stay at the Westin Bellevue was fabulous and the perfect spot for enjoying Snowflake Lane. We were actually given the Presidential Suite to stay in and had a whole wall of windows that looked over Snowflake Lane! This was the first time any of us have experienced a hotel premium suite and it was quite a treat for the girls. Mia had to take a bath in the jacuzzi tub and spent most of Saturday morning cuddled up in a hotel robe!
The Westin is located directly across from Bellevue Square, one of the best shopping malls in the city. The girls and I headed over there after our Saturday morning breakfast buffet at the hotel to do a little holiday shopping. Some of our favorite stores in the mall were Amazon Books, PINK, Aveda Experience Center, and Happy Lemon. If I didn’t have the girls with me I would have been heading to give Drybar a try! Bellevue Square is my girls’ favorite local mall and I have to say that I love window shopping in some of their premium stores. And if you’re looking to visit with Santa, he’s there and ready to hear wish lists!
After we checked out of the hotel we headed over to the holiday ice rink that’s set up at Bellevue Park during the winter season. We had limited time so had to skip skating since there was a bit of a wait. But, we’re planning on heading back because all of us feel like ice skating is a winter seasonal must-do!
Our Bellevue holiday getaway was one for the memory books and the girls are already dreaming of our next visit!