The Bellevue Botanical Garden puts a unique twist on the tradition of admiring holiday light displays with its hugely popular Garden d’Lights show. With thousands of hours of help from volunteers, the botanical garden is transformed into an illuminated wonderland of fanciful flora and fauna. The elaborate light show uses more than 500,000 lights and the theme changes each year. Over 150,000 people visit each year, so plan your visit in advance, buy tickets online to save time, and don’t forget the thermos of hot chocolate.
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Outstanding Seattle-Area Botanical Garden
One of my favorite places in the Seattle metro area is the Bellevue Botanical Garden, an oasis from urban bustle and a delight at any season.
Prominent features include large lush perennial borders, a path lined with over 100 varieties of fuchsia, a lovely traditional Japanese Garden, dahlia bed, a small waterfall with a stone bridge and, new this year, a suspension bridge over a ravine. A long loop path through a natural wood is great for walking. The dahlias are at their height in mid-September – see the photo above.
For the holiday season, several hundred volunteers create an extensive display of lights, all in the forms of plants and flowers, truly magical in the night.
The Garden is a partnership between the City of Bellevue and the nonprofit Bellevue Botanical Garden Society. Volunteers are key: the Puget Sound Dahlia Association, Northwest Perennial Alliance, and Eastside Fuchsia Society cultivate their respective beds. The Garden is free and open from dawn to dusk. No dogs or bicycles are allowed.