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A Season of Wonder: Holiday Events Around The Woodmark

Woodmark Wonderland Calendar of Events in Kirkland, Washington

From classic holiday traditions like The Nutcracker to family gatherings wrapped in the wintry surroundings of the Pacific Northwest, Washington comes alive with holiday spirit each December.

At The Woodmark, we’ve compiled a spectacular event calendar to brighten up any holiday escape around Lake Washington. Paired with hotel specials like Peppermint Hot Stone Revival Massages at Still Spa and complimentary holiday beverages in our Living Room Bar, here are the events we are most looking forward to this season around The Woodmark, Bellevue, Kirkland, and the nearby Emerald City.

Local Holiday Events

Bellevue Magic Season Ice Arena

 

Ashwood Park in Bellevue | Nov. 25 – Jan. 8

Be it with family or that special someone, there’s something magical about ice-skating in the outdoor rink at Ashwood Park next to the downtown Bellevue Library. The region’s largest open-air ice skating offers festive shelter for all-weather skating, seasonal fare, music, and special events such as a free skating day. Skate rentals are included with the ticket price: $12 per person and $9 for children 8 and younger.

The Nutcracker

 

The Nutcracker at the Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle, WA

Photo: Elise Bakketun

Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle | Nov. 25 – Dec. 28

A spectacular holiday tradition is coming to the Pacific Northwest Ballet in downtown Seattle. George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker follows the classic story of Clara and the Nutcracker as they battle the Mouse King and journey to the Land of Sweets. Balanchine’s renowned touches make the performance truly memorable for all ages. And on opening weekend, Nov. 25 – 27, there will be free festivities with the performance including a Nutcracker dance class, roaming magicians, keepsake crafts, and photo opportunities. Tickets are available online.

Snowflake Lane / Celebration Lane

Downtown Bellevue | Nov. 25 – Dec. 31

Winter nights in Bellevue get even more enchanting with the return of Snowflake Lane. The holiday tradition on Bellevue Way features live toy soldier drummers, animated snow characters, music, and sparkling lights—all beneath falling snow each night. After Christmas Day, the experience becomes Celebration Lane, a festive gathering with colorful lights, dancing drummers, music, and bubbles falling from the sky to celebrate the coming year.

Bellevue Botanical Garden d’Lights

 

Photo: Nicole Smelson

Bellevue Botanical Garden | Nov. 26 – Dec. 31

Illuminated by more than half a million lights, the Bellevue Botanical Garden transforms each holiday season into a blossoming winter wonderland. Beautiful plants and beloved critters—such as Charlotte in her web—are placed throughout the holiday scene, which has expanded this year to feature a magical new route. The Woodmark can arrange complimentary shuttle service to the garden, where a walkthrough is $5 per person and free for children 10 and younger. 

Argosy Cruises Christmas Ship Festival

Lake Washington | Dec. 18 – 23

A Pacific Northwest tradition since 1949, the Argosy Cruises Christmas Ship Festival brings holiday spirit to the region with on-board festivities and choirs that can be heard from shores along the Puget Sound. Enjoy the musical performances from Carillon Point on Dec. 22 and Kirkland on Dec. 23, or climb aboard the ships for a night of caroling, holiday crafts, children’s activities, and visits with Santa as you sail around Lake Washington. Tickets are available online.

Woodmark Holiday Events

Lobby Gingerbread Display 

 

Lobby at The Woodmark | Dec. 15 – 31

In the spirit of winter, a magnificent gingerbread village comes to the lobby at The Woodmark. Created by talented local companies here at Carillon Point, the village embodies this year’s theme of “Quintessentially Kirkland” and takes guests on a journey through the neighborhood’s landmarks in sweet confection form. Vote for your favorite, and keep an eye out for our beloved black lab, Meg, in each display.

Mixology Class

The Woodmark | Dec. 3

Treat yourself and your guests this holiday season with handcrafted cocktails. The Woodmark is hosting our first ever holiday mixology class where our master bartenders will teach you the art of making holiday cocktails. Each guest will also receive a discount bin on the lake. Tickets are $25 per person.

Cookie Decorating with Chef Nichole

  

Living Room Lounge at The Woodmark | Dec. 10

The youngest chefs in the family are invited to a cookie decorating holiday party with Chef Nichole. Parents can assist children in decorating house-made cookies while enjoying a festive atmosphere with cocoa and holiday refreshments. Adults are welcome as well. Take your cookies home or eat them as soon as they are iced. Tickets are $10 per person for six cookies.

Spa-La-La Event

 

Still Spa at The Woodmark| Dec. 20

Holiday relaxation would not be complete without a trip to Still Spa. Pamper yourself with two peppermint express treatments, then enjoy appetizers, a hot cocoa bar, and champagne as you chat with friends and Still Spa partners offering expert skincare and beauty advice. There will be exclusive retail discounts, swag bags, and a holiday gift guide for last-minute ideas. Tickets are $99 per person or $79 per person if purchased prior to Dec. 15.

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Roasted: An Inside Look into Seattle's Coffee Culture

The Pacific Northwest is filled to the brim with coffee (pun intended), with tried and true roasters and quirky-trendy coffeehouses permeating every major city. Seattle, the most famous city for coffee, is said to consume more java than any other American city with 35 coffee shops per 100,000 residents. It’s also home to the original Starbucks, and the social atmosphere throughout favorite local coffeehouses is unlike any other.

There are time-honored outposts like Espresso Vivace, where you can partake in full-bodied espresso shots and chat with true experts, and Victrola Coffee Roasters, a Jazz-era-inspired space that often hosts live music and art shows. Coffee drinkers can also be found in venues like the Tin Umbrella, set in the diverse neighborhood in Hillman City, and the ever-popular Caffè Umbria, where the Italian tradition of blending beans results in more than 15 varietals of coffee in some mixtures. Near The Woodmark in Kirkland, caffeine lovers frequent Urban Coffee Lounge and Zoka Coffee

Dillanos Roasted Coffee in Seattle Washington near The Woodmark

In any locale, it’s clear that the residents of Seattle embrace and encourage our coffee culture. And with the cooler weather forthcoming, we decided to take a look at the coffee roasting process to better understand how to create perfectly refined roast profiles and smooth blends. We checked in with the team at Dillanos Coffee Roasters to give us the inside scoop.

At the Woodmark, we serve local Dillanos coffee because we strive to provide visitors with an experience that is authentic and true to place. The Seattle-based coffee outpost believes in the human element of roasting—relying on sense of smell, touch, and feel to bring out a coffee’s inherent character. As their Director of Coffee, Phil Beattie says, “The art of roasting is developing the flavor; the science of roasting is repeating it.” Their high-quality coffee, with its distinctive, refined flavor, is a pleasure to serve to our guests, and here’s why:

At Dillanos, a batch of coffee takes about 18 minutes to roast, and the drum roasters can accommodate anywhere from 5 to 450 pounds per batch. Each roast is overseen by a roast master who relies on their highly trained senses to make adjustments to the process as they see fit. This is a crucial role, as small changes in temperature or timing can deeply affect the development of the coffee.

Dillanos Roasted Coffee Beans in Seattle Washington near The Woodmark

After 18 minutes, the coffee is transferred to a cooling bin with cold air blowing through the bottom and fins turning the 400- to 500-degree beans. The batch then drops into a vacuum system that is calibrated specifically to suck up the weight of a coffee bean—especially important with green coffee that comes from farms and may have picked up pebbles or other earthy content. Then, it’s off to packaging where employees hand seal every bag.

Throughout the entire process, the coffee is tended by people. And it’s those personal interactions from start to finish that define Dillanos. The company’s award-winning coffee selection is a result of the One Harvest Project, where coffee beans are purchased directly from coffee farmers in Central and South America, East Africa, and the South Pacific, and responsible growing practices are a must. “After receiving green coffee beans from all over the world, we’re sending roasted coffee beans [to other areas] all over the world” says Dillanos National Sales representative Glenn Adams. This favorable exchange allows the company to source great coffee beans while also contributing to opportunities for coffee farmers.

Not to mention, “We believe that when the farmers can count on a customer coming back, they have the freedom and the security to invest in their processes and innovate more,” says Lauren Lyddon, Dillanos Marketing and PR Specialist. “It’s doing good in the world, and we all do better together that way."

Dillanos Roasted Cofee Drip in Seattle Washington near The Woodmark

Dillanos coffee is available in coffee shops around the Seattle area including Drip City Coffee, Cafe Bambino, and Anthem Coffee and Tea in the South Sound. Woodmark guests can find Dillanos coffee in the restaurants, guest rooms, and lobby every morning.

Our particular selected blend, Special Dark, is also Glenn’s personal favorite. “It provides a great flavor profile as a black coffee,” he says. “I don’t need to add anything to it in order to have a great experience. It’s been my favorite for the past 18 years.” Dillanos' other bestselling blends are Dillon’s Blend, Entrepreneur Blend, and La Familia Guzman, a Peru blend.

At your next visit to the Woodmark, make sure you try a cup of Dillanos Special Dark coffee. We recommend taking in the view of the lake with a warm mug by the lobby fire.

 

All images courtesy of Dillanos

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