W Bellevue insider: 12 holiday tips

W Bellevue’s Insider, Julia Amodt, offers her top seasonal tips for those living in or visiting the Puget Sound region. As the insider for W Bellevue, Amodt makes it her mission to keep guests informed on what’s new and next in Bellevue and the surrounding area. She’s a local expert on where to shop, visit, eat and drink. Read on to get the inside scoop on what’s hot for Bellevue this holiday season.

Julia Amodt’s holiday recommendations:

Where to go to see the holiday classics on the big screen:

“We have a brand new 21-plus cinema, Cinemark Reserve, that opened right across from W Bellevue so I say bring your besties, order a couple cocktails, and laugh your way through ‘Bad Moms.’ “

When you need a break from all the holiday overindulgence?

“Pop by Jujubeet or Juice & Glow in downtown Bellevue to grab a fresh pressed juice. It’ll help give you a healthy burst of energy before you dive right back in to those holiday treats.”

Get into the spirit of giving – Ways to give back this year:

“Oxfam has a great section of their site dedicated to giving gifts. You can gift things like a goat, a pig, books for kids, and water purifiers. But you know you want to give someone a goat.”

Catch a show:

“Obviously, ‘The Nutcracker’ at the Pacific Northwest Ballet. It’s always gorgeous and magical. “

Best cocktail or holiday drink:

“While I’m good with a couple bottles of bubbly, I’d do a twist on a mimosa by adding clementine juice and a touch of limoncello. Gotta brighten up those gray winter days!”

Favorite local stores to check off your holiday gift list:

“Aritzia is my go-to for luxe essentials; think a cream blouse for Mom. Also, Fireworks has the funniest retro style socks for stocking stuffers with phrases like, ‘Carpe The F*** Out Of This Diem.’ “

Get outside with a PNW adventure:

“Ice Skating at the Winterfest Ice Rink in Seattle Center.”

Escape the city for a day – Best day trip:

“Take the train up to the Bavarian town of Leavenworth for snow and Christmas lights! There are Christmas carols heard throughout the town, St Nick in the gazebo, and the Lighting Ceremony on Saturday and Sunday evenings.”

Your Xmas lights and décor bucket list:

“Head over to the Bellevue Botanical Gardens for the annual Garden d’Lights. Bundle up and wander through the gardens, lit by over half a million lights, with your significant other and a cup of hot chocolate.”

Most Instagramable spots:

“Post up by the fireplace with an Irish coffee at W Bellevue.”

Your most unusual/favorite locally-inspired tradition:

“Tree cutting! Take your friends up to one of the tree farms in Snohomish and walk around the property until you find the perfect tree. Bonus: go to a place that has free hot apple cider.”

When you need a break from it all…Best place to get pampered:

“Book a massage at Yuan Spa and spend the rest of the day enjoying their hydrotherapy circuit which includes a hot pool, cold salt water pool, steam room with salt scrub bar, and sauna.”

More in Life

Photos courtesy of Celeste Gracey
                                Bellevue’s Chris Adam’s, right, was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease 32 years ago. He’s now using his experiences to help people with this chronic illness through the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. It’s hosting an education event at the Meydenbauer Center Sept. 15.
Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation event on Sept. 15

From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Meydenbauer Center.

Photo by Nityia Photography
                                Dora Gyarmati.
Redefine goals based on virtues to find joy | Health column

A monthly column about mindfulness and wellbeing.

From left, Kaavya Manam, Emerson Schrider and Ellen Chang of Happy Bubbles sold handmade bath and body products at the Children’s Business Fair in Bellevue on Aug. 31. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo
Eastside youth entrepreneurs set up shop at Children’s Business Fair

Youth entrepreneurs donate a portion of their proceeds to charity of choice.

After 70 years of serving, Grace Lutheran Church in Bellevue is permanently closed. The church donated $3.6 million to homeless services on the Eastside. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo
Local church closes, donates assets to nonprofits

Grace Lutheran Church donates $3.6 million to homeless services on the Eastside.

Mindful goal setting | Health Column

What are the roots of you life goals?

Nityia Photography
Happy Fourth — Do we have freedom? What is freedom anyway?

A column about mindfulness and mental well being.

Celebrating the Fourth on the Eastside

Events around the Eastside.

Celebrating the Fourth on the Eastside

Americans all over the country including the Eastside region will gather on… Continue reading

Customer buys green leaves from Foothills Farms at the opening market day in Bellevue on May 16. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo
It’s officially market season

Bellevue Farmers Market will run every Thursday through October.

Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo
                                Bellevue resident and blind cyclist Clark Roberts will be riding his tenth 206-mile Seattle to Portland bicycle ride in June.
The gift of sight loss

Bellevue’s Clark Roberts to ride his 10th Seattle-to-Portland bicycle ride