What I Love About Bellevue

Bellevue Downtown Park canal 8-2017I moved to Bellevue 30 years ago and have lived downtown for the past ten years. I love living here and one of the things I love most are the beautiful and diverse parks throughout the city. I’m lucky enough to live within walking distance of ten parks which I visit frequently with my two pups. Did you know . . .

  • Bellevue has 2,700 acres of parks and open space with 80+ miles of multi-use trails
  • 45 parks have playgrounds
  • 6 waterfront parks have seasonal lifeguards
  • 17 parks have reservable picnic areas
  • 16 have tennis courts and six have pickleball courts (3 indoor and 3 outdoor)
  • Bellevue has an aquatic center, a tennis center and two golf courses (Bellevue Golf Course and the Crossroads Par 3 golf course)
  • Kelsey Creek Farm is home to ponies, sheep, goats, chickens, pigs and more

There are nearly 100 city maintained parks. The Dowtown Park, the city’s crown jewel, recently reopened after a one year closure for a major upgrade. The park is a 21 acre oasis in the heart of downtown Bellevue offering views of Mt. Rainier and the downtown skyline. A 1/2 mile groomed promenade circles a canal which is bordered by trees and dozens of benches and a 240’waterfall. The expanded Inspiration Playground provides innovative play space for children of all ages and abilities plus a fun water play space which was very popular this summer.

Nearly every community throughout the city has walk-able access to at least one park and many of the downtown office buildings have intimate public courtyards that offer a quiet respite in the city. I appreciate the time, care and maintenance city employees put into keeping our parks groomed, clean and planted with seasonal landscaping. Parks are a huge asset and contribute to the livability of a city and our local parks are a big part of what makes Bellevue s special place to live.

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New City of Bellevue Website

City of BEllevue logoI visit the City of Bellevue website frequently. Its a great resource for finding out what’s going on in the city. The City recently launched its new website (https://bellevuewa.gov/). Its more interactive, easier to navigate and mobile friendly. The new site makes it easy to search for just about anything you need to know about Bellevue:

  • demographic information
  • events and news releases
  • parks & recreation
  • traffic
  • jobs
  • doing business in Bellevue
  • public safety
  • resident resources
  • city government  – City Council meeting schedules, agendas and information
  • emergency/extreme weather information
  • MyBellevue customer service app for reporting issues and requesting service/repairs

    The website is translated into the five top languages spoken in Bellevue and there’s real time information about emergency and severe weather issues. Take a look at the new site. A few bugs are still being worked out  –  the City would love to have your input.

What to Do in Bellevue this Weekend

The Memorial Day holiday weekend marks the beginning of summer and outdoor activities. After the brutal winter and spring weather, any opportunity for outdoor activity will be welcome. While many people have holiday plans to visit ocean or mountain destinations, don’t forget there’s a lot to do in town. If you’re looking for some local activities here’s a partial list of what’s available in Bellevue.

  • With nearly 100 parks and recreation facilities, Bellevue offers plenty of green space. The city maintains 96 miles of trails and six beachfront parks.
  • Bellevue Aquatic Center has a lap pool, warm water pool and party room
  • Robinswood Tennis center offers programs and lessons for all ages
  • Crossroads water spray playground is a favorite destination for the younger set
  • Explore the lake  –  the SE 40th Street boat launch provides boat access to Lake Washington
  • Tune up your golf game  –  the Crossroads 9 hole/par 3 chip and putt course is great for beginners and the Bellevue Golf Course offers a more challenging       18 hole/par 7 course plus a 46 stall driving range
  • Visit the Mercer Slough – take a guided nature walk or canoe tour
  • Bellevue Botanical Gardens has 17 acres of display gardens, natural wetlands and woodland trails
  • Bellevue Arts Museum – visiting and permanent exhibits cover a wide range of arts and crafts and design elements
  • Shop til you drop at Bellevue Square, Lincoln Square, Old Main Street or The Bravern. You’ll find world class shopping, dozens and dozens of fine and casual dining options offering indoor and patio opportunities for lunch, dinner sweets, snacks and libations, cinemas, comedy and bowling.

There’s no need to leave town to find something fun and interesting to do during the next 3 days – just make it a safe holiday weekend.

Downtown Bellevue’s Awesome Parks

We are fortunate to live in an area where there are so many local parks. The cities of Bellevue and Kirkland have both done an amazing job of retaining land and creating waterfront and urban parks for residents and visitors to enjoy. I live on the north end of downtown Bellevue, so McCormick Park is one of my favorites (and my dogs). Every fall I look forward to the amazing display of color that comes from this little maple tree in McCormick Park. mccormick-park.

Magic Season Skating Rink

skatersReady or  not, the year end holidays and 2017 are just around the corner. That means Snowflake Lane, lighted wreaths on Main Street and the Bellevue Magic Season events are just a month away. One of the season’s favorite events, the outdoor skating rink, will temporarily be relocated to Ashwood Park this year due to construction at the Downtown Park.

The skating rink will be open November 25th through January 8th with food and beverage concessions, music and special events. More information about transportation and parking is available from the City of Bellevue or Bellevue Downtown Association. The library will provide complimentary parking n its garage. Admission is $12 for ages 9+ and $9 under age 8 which includes skate rental. Cash, credit and debit cards accepted.

 

Spooky Fall Events in Bellevue

Rain or shine or full moon, there are plenty of fall and Halloween events for kids of all ages. Just some of the local events . . .

SPOOKFEST ZIP SCARE – South Bellevue Community Center – OCTOBER 14-29
Suspension bridge and 3 zip lines in the dark! Riders and platforms will be decorated in glow sticks. Must be 12 or over. For more information/reservations 425/452-4240 or parksreg.bellevuewa.gov

GREAT PUMPKIN RACE & PUMPKIN JUMP – South Bellevue Community Center
October 22nd 10:00 – noon. Bring your decorated pumpkin to compete in Bellevue’s 5th annual pumpkin race and first annual pumpkin jump. (Purchase ($25) or rent ($10) a Pumpkin Racer Kit with hardware for 1 pumpkin).  Information: 425/452-4240

HALLOWEEN FUN FEST – Bellevue Square
October 31st 5:00 – 7:00. Trick or Treat at Bellevue Square. Select stores will be ready with treats and goblin goodies at 5:00

MALLOWEEN – Crossroads Mall
October 31st 4:00 – 6:00. Costumed characters, souvenir photos and live music. (Pet food donations will be collected for the Seattle Humane Society)

HALLOWEEN SPOOKTACULAR – KidsQuest Children’s Museum/Factoria Mall
October 24th 5:00 – 8:00. Wear your favorite costume, funny or scary, and enjoy hands on fun in the spooky kooky laboratory, creepy cake walk, eerie art and magic. Pre-registration recommended. Information @425/637-8100.

DRACULA – Meydenbauer Center
October 29th & 30th. International Ballet Theatre’s annual performance of Dracula. For tickets/information 425/822-7694.

mini-pumpkins

Flickr/JLS Photography