At Bellevue Botanical Garden, a half-million lights delight

The well-lit habitat attracts all kinds of creatures.

Amidst the bright butterflies, tropical fish, and peacock lurks the dragon. The radiant green beast with glaring eyes and a hissing tongue has caused thousands of people to pause along the trail of the Bellevue Botanical Garden during the annual Garden d’Lights.

“Everyone loves the dragon,” says communications manager Darcy McInnis of the attraction that brings a parade of visitors to the holiday display that has taken over the Garden every winter for the past 22 years.

There is more to see than the dragon, though. From Nov. 25 through Dec. 31, Garden d’Lights visitors will be treated to a dazzling ecosystem of whimsical creatures—a blue heron, the spider and the web, a golden swan on a radiant blue pond, an owl, and dragonflies. Holiday music will fill the air as they pass by sparkling sunflowers, daffodils, lilies, delphiniums, a poinsettia tree, and a grape arbor.

“Flowers you would find in your own yard or garden,” says Candice McIvor, one of the society’s longtime volunteers who co-leads the Garden d’Lights program with volunteer Cleo Raulerson.

Even those who have seen it before are likely to find something surprising: new elements this year include an expanded butterfly garden and entertainment options. McInnis has already booked several local groups, including Northwest Sound, the Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra Holiday Flute Tour, the Youth Opera Project from the Seattle Opera, Sammamish Symphony Youth Chamber, and a couple of ukulele groups.

While the lights will eventually go out, the event, which is produced by Bellevue Botanical Garden Society in partnership with Bellevue Parks and Community Services, is a year-round effort that employs more than 100 volunteers.

“For a lot of people, it’s part of their holiday tradition,” McInnis says. 12001 Main St., Bellevue

More information Open nightly, 4:30–9 p.m., lights go out at 9:30 p.m. $5 admission, children 10 and under free. Advance tickets available online at Event proceeds will support the Society’s children and adult education programs, and improvements to the Bellevue Botanical Garden. No tickets required on Nov. 27–30 and Dec. 4–7. On-site parking $5 per vehicle (cash only), free with disabled parking permit. Free parking at Wilburton Hill Park.

More in Life

Redmond Historical Society provides walking tours

The walking tours are free but ask for a $10 donation.

Chloe and Daniel Li in front of their first home. Courtesy of Chloe and Daniel Li
First time homebuyers: A whirlwind journey that was ‘totally worth it’ in the end

One Eastside couple shares their experience with buying their first home.

Bear Creek promotes school spirit and the fight against childhood cancer

The Bear Creek School continued its support of Strong Against Cancer to… Continue reading

Eastside Birders participate in the 2017 Karismatic Kestrels Birdathon. Locals spotted and recorder 109 bird species throughout Eastern Washington during a single day in May. Mick Thompson, Eastside Audubon
Eastside Audubon provides an active community for birders

The organization will host itsnext Juanita Bay Park tour on Sunday.

Nature is central for VALA Eastside artist

The natural world is at the heart of VALA Eastside artist Jacqueline… Continue reading

Redmond’s Longo, fellow Eastside Catholic teachers achieve National Board Certification

Redmond’s Amanda Longo was among five Eastside Catholic School teachers who were… Continue reading

Local artist uses craft to bring people together

Colorful works of art with rounded and jagged splotches of color hang… Continue reading

4Culture offers grants for creative projects

4Culture, King County’s cultural funding agency, offers grants to support projects that… Continue reading

December housing market update: Low inventory does not reduce demand | Real Estate Pulse

Courtesy of John L. Scott Real Estate The number of homes available… Continue reading

Real estate market will continue to stay hot in 2018 | Guest Column

By David Floan According to the National Association of Realtors, the sale… Continue reading

Nia is a joyful, healing and empowering movement program for all ages | Guest Column

By Pauline Osborne and Debbie Scally Why choose Nia? I was recently… Continue reading

Trilogy for Kids raises funds for charities

Trilogy for Kids president Georgia Havens puts the finishing touches on the… Continue reading