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A Look Back: Celebrating 24 Years of Bellevue's Downtown Ice Rink

December 22, 2021 - by Sandy Vo

A Look Back:
Celebrating 24 Years of Bellevue's Downtown Ice Rink

The Bellevue Downtown Ice Rink presented by Symetra has gone through many changes over the years, but one thing has stayed the same: the goal to bring the Eastside community and beyond together for the holiday season. This year marks the 24th anniversary of the ice rink, a family affair that has gone on each year with exception to 2020. For the first time in its history, the rink was canceled last year due to the health and safety dangers amid the pandemic. 

This year, the ice rink returned to the picturesque Bellevue Downtown Park with a new online ticketing system and additional safety measures to provide an enjoyable environment for guests.

“The ice rink has been a beloved tradition in Downtown Bellevue, and we are excited to provide not only an opportunity for people to go ice skating, but to bring back the holiday joy people have been wanting since the pandemic started,” Patrick Bannon, president of the BDA said.

To continue bettering the experience, the event has evolved in numerous ways. Over its 24-year history, the ice rink has grown in size, inside and outside. Take a look at these past and present photos, taken 21 years apart from 2000 to today. You can see how much the rink has changed. 

The ice rink built in 2000 was only 5,000 square feet. Today, the size has almost doubled, measuring up to 9,000 square feet of real ice. This allows for extra room and distance to ice skate freely.

While styles may change, the holiday event has always provided the Eastside community a place to gather with friends, a spot for date night, or a family-fun outing. In an interview with The Seattle Times, Bannon explained the ice rink has become a long-lasting family holiday tradition for many community members.

“With the generational nature of it, we now have parents who grew up ice skating at the rink introducing their kids to the rink and ice-skating opportunities,” he said.

With the help of presenting partner Symetra and supporting partners Amazon, City of Bellevue, Microsoft, PACCAR, and Puget Sound Energy, the Bellevue Downtown Ice Rink has continued to be a worthwhile holiday destination for everyone to enjoy. Buy your tickets online and make memories that will last for generations.

Here are some of the new amenities you can look forward to on your next visit:

  • Skate guides: For those who are a bit rusty on the ice, skate guides are available to use. 
  • Concession stand: Packed with snacks and hot cocoa, the concession stand will fill you up after a long day of skating. Open all season, their offerings include tea, coffee, cookies, popcorn, cotton candy, ice cream and much more.
  • Lockers: Afraid of losing your personal items? For $3 you can rent a locker to keep your belongings safe.
  • Free viewing area: There’s no rule that says you have to skate to be inside the ice rink! Watch your friends and family skate or give your feet a break at a viewing area complete with tables, chairs and festive lights hanging from above.


This blog is part of the Heart of Bellevue: our campaign to showcase local businesses while connecting you with stories of activity, creativity and recovery. Find out about our campaign and explore more of what’s happening around Downtown.