Grand Highlights from the Bellevue Downtown Ice Rink
January 13, 2022 - by Sandy Vo
Category Heart of Bellevue
Grand Highlights From the Bellevue Downtown Ice Rink
All good things must come to an end and the Bellevue Downtown Ice Rink presented by Symetra is no exception to that rule. The holiday tradition closed for the season last Sunday, and this year was one for the books! With an itch to get out of the house, over 40,000 skaters visited throughout the season at the largest holiday ice rink in the area.
After being canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic, the 24th annual event made a return to the picturesque Bellevue Downtown Park with new surprises, old fun, and community support like never before. Here are some of the highlights from our 2021-2022 season.
Safety Top of Mind
With the pandemic continuing to loom over us, safety was the utmost priority. To provide a safe and enjoyable environment for everyone, we implemented new health and safety protocols like hand sanitizing stations, increased cleaning of all high-touch surfaces, and a mask requirement for all. We also introduced a new online ticketing system to help manage capacity and minimize wait times. Overall, the new venture turned into a success as families and friends reserved their tickets in advance without worrying about long lines. This was a big improvement for a hassle-free skating trip.
Community Efforts at the Rink
As we saw throughout the season, the ice rink has become a holiday tradition for many families. To make sure everyone got the opportunity to participate in Bellevue's Season of Cheer holiday events, we were thrilled with community support. In partnership with Amazon, KidsQuest Children's Museum and Bellevue Botanical Garden, we were able to donate 1,200 tickets to the 2021 Holiday Adopt-a-Family Program. Kindness continued to spread around Downtown Bellevue as Microsoft also donated skating tickets to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue. We are proud to be part of a community that cares for others and continues to provide a great downtown experience for everyone.
Free Toppings at Molly Moon's
This year, the fun didn't stop outside of the rink! We created a 'sweet skate deal' with Molly Moon's Ice Cream (Bellevue Flagship location). For the first time, skaters could show their skating bracelet and receive a free ice cream topping on any Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday throughout the season. There were also Instagram giveaways and photoshoots at the rink. We look forward to partnering with more small businesses in the 2022 - 2023 season!
New Special Events
Our special events lineup had some new additions this year, including Football Sundays, Ugly Sweater Skate Days, and Apple Cup Skate. Visitors were encouraged to dress up and skate alongside other festive fans throughout the season. There were also free skate lessons offered multiple days a week, courtesy of Microsoft. Private classes were also offered by professional ice skating coach Britt Nhi Sarah.
Tell us about your experience!
Did you skate with us this season? We're always looking for new ideas and feedback to improve our events. Let us know about your ice rink experience and what you’d like to see next season!
Finally, we want to give a big THANK YOU to our partners who helped bring back this beloved holiday tradition. The Bellevue Downtown Ice Rink is generously supported by presenting partner Symetra, and supporting partners Amazon, City of Bellevue, Microsoft, PACCAR and Puget Sound Energy. Media partners include KOMO News Radio, KOMO TV, Star 101.5, The Seattle Times, and 425 Magazine.
The 2022 season is already in the works! Save the dates for November 18, 2022 - January 8, 2023. Be sure to subscribe for updates.
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Thank you to everyone who came out and spent the winter skating with us, we hope to see you again in November!