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 gardendlights.org. 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

OnRedmond is hosting the World’s Largest Simon game from Sept. 13-14 at the Downtown Park. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo
Redmond community invited to participate in attempt for world’s largest Simon tournament

The goal is for the tournament to be listed in the Guinness Book of World Record as the first world’s largest digital memory game.

Eastside Welcoming Week will be hosting over 30 events to support diverse communities and build relationships among neighbors. File photo
Eastside cities join together to celebrate Welcoming Week

Eastside Welcoming Week to take place Sept. 13-22.

Bond to speak at Redmond Historical Society event Saturday

Are salmon doomed? Nick Bond will examine this question.

John Flemming’s Erratic art installation will be moved from its current site at the southwest corner of 166th Avenue Northeast and Cleveland Street by March 31, 2020. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo
Redmond’s ‘Erratic’ art installation to be relocated

The installation will be relocating to Gilman Landing.

Ellen Boyer, CFO of Logic 20/20, will be FOY’s board chair. Photo courtesy of FOY.
Friends of Youth welcomes Boyer as board chair

Ellen Boyer, CFO of Logic 20/20, is FOY founder Iva Matsen’s granddaughter.

Resident Julia Hardwick and educator Lucy Nesse all smiles as they plant a daisy flower in the mobile garden. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photos
Eldergrow offers Overlake Terrace residents a therapeutic connection to nature

Their indoor therapy gardens help stimulate residents’ five senses, memory and improves motor skills.

Photo courtesy of Jeff Barryman 
                                Sugartime Trio will be performing at a private home in Redmond this Saturday. From left: Kim Maguire, Caitlin Frances and Meg McLynn.
Sugartime Trio to perform at Redmond house party

Sugartime Trio is a dynamic pop/jazz three-part harmony group.

Coffee with a Cop and King County Councilmember

Redmond residents gathered Aug. 9 at Cypress Coffee for King County’s Coffee… Continue reading

A night out with Redmond cops

This year’s annual National Night Out event saw dozens of block parties throughout Redmond.

Redmond chiropractor publishes book

Andrew “Dr. Andy” Marrone, D.C., is the author of “America’s Health Crisis.”

APex July meeting at SoulFood CoffeeHouse. Photo courtesy of Marko Coady
APex serves as safe haven for Redmond-area artists

APex is a place for inspiration, collaboration and community building for local artists.

Applying mindfulness into your daily life

Being mindful is the act of staying present, being aware of your surroundings and noticing new things without judgment.