Winter in Redmond. The time of the year where community and visitors come together to make magical memories in so many ways. I had the pleasure to experience my first Redmond Lights adventure just last year, and let me tell you, it was wonderful. Being a Washington native I have been around the State to experience everything in the Pacific Northwest when it comes to the Holiday Season, but Redmond Lights stood out as one of the most exciting and eventful holiday celebrations I have ever seen.
I began my journey early in the morning pulling into Redmond on a brisk and sunny Saturday. There was this vibe around the town that really got me excited to be there. Maybe it was the quaintly decorated shops, the bustling streets of morning walkers, or more than likely the festive reminders around town that Redmond Lights was finally here. My destination of choice was the Marriott at Redmond Town Center, and I soon realized how fantastic of a choice that was. Sitting amongst the mall, adjacent to the iPic theater I have heard so much about, was the Marriott. I have stayed in hotels all over the country and world and I truly felt this particular Marriott was a step above the standard. The ground level restaurant, Sear, caught my nose as I entered the large lobby fit with huge flat screens and comfy chairs. The massive right wing included an entire business center called “Workspring” where companies can host large gatherings and sessions. They allowed me to actually choose my room from the available options, so i decided the balcony room would suffice. My decision was more than valid as I entered my room to discover how nice it was. At this point I was getting anxious to go exploring, so i drop my bags and head out.
The Mall was full of people getting an early start to avoid any crowd issues as the time approached closer to 5:30 (Tree Lighting time.) The shops all had fabulous deals and the Winter Market was in full force. I decided to take my time and catch a flick at iPic to see what the fuss was all about. WOW. I have never been to such a theater with reclining leather chairs, pillows, and blankets – be careful not to fall asleep when watching your showing of choice. The itinerary called for Tree Lighting at City Hall so I hopped on one of the convenient greyhound shuttles from the Redmond Town Center. Made it in time to check out all the fun crafts in the Senior Center, cookie decorating, bon fires, and bands performing on the City Steps. The air was full of festivities and wonder.
The time came for everything to begin, the tree in the middle of City Hall lit up as the massive crowd counted down. With cameras flashing and music blasting the community had a moment of joy – celebrating with hugs and kisses. It was then time to head down the Redmond Central Connector Luminary Walk back to Redmond Town Center. Along the way were an unbelievable amount of entertainment, activities, and even refreshments! From carolers to fire dancers, to hot air balloons and hot chocolate stations, the trail was hopping! Reaching my destination I was surprised to see a whole new crowd of people headed in my opposite direction to City Hall from the Redmond Town Center, choosing their own experience. The mall was absolutely CRAZY in how festive it was at this point. Everyone was having a blast riding the Holiday Carrousel, making crafts, shopping, skating in the rink, and taking pictures. I found a seat in the center circle and watched the hustle and bustle, what a spectacle!
As the night began to wind down, I decided to try a few of the many restaurants in the mall to grab some delicious drinks and appetizers. Spazzo Italian Grill & Wine Bar was my favorite, with a fantastic happy hour that landed me “Diablo Prawns” with fresh baked bread. I was in heaven. I ended my night in the outdoor hot tub at the Marriott and enjoyed my wonderful room as the crowds funneled out of the mall. What a treat it was to stay while everyone rushed out to avoid the inevitable traffic. I highly recommend doing the same this year! All-in-all what a fantastic experience, I cannot WAIT to experience yet another Redmond Lights adventure this Saturday.