Cheap Dates for Toddlers – Garden d’lights

[Every Friday, I post a “cheap date” idea for something fun and simple to do with your toddler. The big picture ideas apply to any locale, but the specific examples will be Bellevue-centric.]

dlights

The Bellevue Botanical Gardens is doing their annual holiday lights show, Garden d’lights. www.gardendlights.org/ They’ve got over a half million lights assembled into flowers, trees, ponds, animals, and so on. If you’re a plant person, you’re certain to recognize a wide range of specific flowers done in delicate detail with Christmas lights. If you’re like me, you’ll still be able to identify the most obvious few – the sunflowers, the wisteria… My favorite was the barrel of grapes…
It’s $5 for adults, kids are free. It’s very toddler accessible. It opens at 4:30, so easy to fit it in before an early bedtime. It’s a fairly short loop, which our 3 year old was able to do twice through without tiring (the 80 year old grandparents were content with once through!) It’s probably stroller accessible, but may be easier to walk it. I would guess we were there 45 minutes the time we did the double loop, and 30 minutes on the single loop day?
The lights are quite pretty, even for a baby to enjoy. Toddlers can spot the animals – butterflies, a frog, a bear at a honey tree, a sea serpent. Older kids can do the scavenger hunt and find ALL the animals. We still haven’t found gecko #3, so let us know if you spot it!
It’s almost all out doors – there’s a brief respite where you can go inside for a few minutes of warmth about 1/3 of the way through. There are also hot drinks at that point. So, be sure to BUNDLE UP!
Here’s a list of other options for Christmas light viewing: www.parentmap.com/article/best-holiday-light-displays-in-greater-seattle
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