With the kids back in school, a week-long family vacay will have to wait. But why not plan the next best thing—a fun-filled fall staycation just minutes away from the city? Located smack dab in the middle of Bellevue, the Hyatt Regency Bellevue offers upscale rooms with sweeping views of the city, kid-friendly amenities and a huge shopping and dining district right outside its doors. The best part? The hotel is in close proximity to an abundance of indoor and outdoor family attractions. Keep reading to find out more.
Located just a hop, skip and a jump over the bridge, the Hyatt Regency Bellevue is centrally located in downtown Bellevue directly across from The Bellevue Collection on the corner of Bellevue Way and 8th St. Whether you’re looking for a cozy room with a view of Bellevue’s skyline, a room with fabulous views of Lake Washington or a huge suite with separate living and dining areas, the Hyatt Regency Bellevue offers a variety of accommodations for all sizes of families. Upgrade to a Regency Club room and enjoy hotel extras like plush robes, turndown service and exclusive access to the Regency Club lounge on the 23rd floor. This rooftop hot spot is where you and your kids can hang on the outdoor deck and take in the amazing views, nosh on delicious evening hors d’oeuvres and desserts and even enjoy continental breakfast each morning of your stay.
In addition to 732 rooms (including 39 deluxe suites), the hotel boasts amazing customer service, free underground parking, a kids’ concierge (to help make the littlest of guests feel welcome) and two 55-inch interactive touchscreen coffee tables in the lobby with games to entertain both kids and adults alike. The four-star hotel also offers an updated indoor pool complete with pool noodles, balls and kickboards and an expansive gym that overlooks Bellevue Way in case you want to work up a sweat during your staycation.
Premier Shopping & Entertainment Just Steps Away
Located just an elevator and skybridge walk away from the Hyatt Regency Bellevue is where you will find The Bellevue Collection made up of Bellevue Square, Lincoln Square and Bellevue Place. From kids’ apparel and home furnishings to handmade gifts and jewelry, this convenient and super kid-friendly shopping plaza is where you will find more than 250 retailers, including dozens of new ones just recently added. After you shop ‘til you drop, take advantage of the entertainment options the Bellevue Collection has to offer. See a movie at the Cinemark Lincoln Square Cinema, throw a few strikes and play more than 70 different arcade games at Lucky Strike or take the kiddies to Kid’s Cove inside Bellevue Square to run around the maritime-themed play area.
Within Bellevue’s Hyatt Regency you will find several kid-friendly dining options to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. Eques, a modern décor breakfast restaurant, is open from 6:30 a.m.-10 a.m. on weekdays (open until noon on Saturdays and 1:30 p.m on Sundays) and serves a delicious buffet with all your fave breakfast foods (think: made-to-order omelets, homemade pastries, bagels and locks and fresh fruits) along with specialty dishes like Ice Cream Cone Waffles complete with a chocolate and vanilla drizzle and cherry on top and Cherry Pie Waffles piled high with cherries and a pie crumble.
For lunch and dinner options, the variety is stunning. Inside the hotel you have an old-school classic, 13 Coins. With huge dark booths, 13 Coins is open 24 hours and has a great kid’s menu. (Psst…you can also order room service from 13 Coins). If you’re feeling fancy, Daniel’s Broiler is located on the 21st floor and is known for its scrumptious steaks and Northwest-inspired dishes. Din Tai Fung (just a quick walk over the skybridge) is where you can introduce your kid crew to some of the best dim sum in town. Psst…arrive early in the day and avoid the huge dinnertime crowds; this is a popular spot!
For quick and easy grab-and-go options, Fonte’s Coffee Roaster and Needs Deli are both within the hotel compound. Beyond the hotel’s walls, there’s a plethora of kid-friendly faves, including Red Robin and Maggiano’s Little Italy along with other family hot spots like Palomino , Cactus Southwest Kitchen & Bar, Tavern Hall and the Nordstrom Marketplace Café (inside the mall). Wild Ginger (located three blocks south of the Hyatt on Bellevue Way) and McCormick & Schmick’s are also great options. Or go big, by heading to The Sugar Factory (located at The Shops at The Bravern) or VIVO 53 to indulge in extreme milkshakes and sundaes slathered with candy, brownies, cookies, whipped cream, chocolate and more. If all else fails and you simply can’t decide where to dine, head to the new Lincoln South Food Hall where you’ll find seven fast-casual eateries (all under one roof) offering everything from poké and street tacos, to ramen and burgers.
Parks & Playgrounds
With more than 100 urban playgrounds, the city of Bellevue is often referred to as The City of Parks which means you’ll have no problem finding a place to swing, slide and climb during your staycation. To help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite Eastside parks and playgrounds here. One of the city’s more well-known parks (just down the street from the Hyatt Regency Bellevue) should definitely be on your family’s to-do list. The Bellevue Downtown Park features two different play areas (one for munchkins ages 2-5 and another for older kids ages 5-12) along with a climbing wall and climbing vine, swings, a rockin’ music area and much more.
Kelsey Creek Farm Park
If you’ve got a crew of animal lovers, you’ll definitely want to put Kelsey Creek Farm Park on your Bellevue staycation agenda. In operation since the 1930s, Kelsey Creek Farm Park is free to visit and open year-round from 9:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. Stroll past the farm’s iconic barns to meet the ponies, sheep, goats, chickens, pigs, rabbits and waterfowl who call Kelsey Creek home. The Farm Park also offers a fantastic playground that is always a hit with the minis as well as picnic tables and a picnic shelter that are free to use and open every day from dawn ’til dusk. Make your visit extra special by scheduling a farm tour with Farmer Jayne (gather your neighbors, PEPS group or friends to make the adventure even more fun) or join a farm class designed for ages 2-10.
Lake to Lake Greenway Trail
Bellevue’s Lake to Lake Greenway Trail goes right along Kelsey Creek Farm Park, so if your family is feeling a bit adventurous or is in need of some energy burnin’ fun, hop on your bike and hit the trail. The Lake to Lake Greenway Trail connects Lake Sammamish to Lake Washington and routes by the Bellevue Botanical Garden and the Mercer Slough Nature Park, two additional fun stops for outdoor adventure.
KidsQuest Children’s Museum
If you’re looking for indoor fun, the KidsQuest Children’s Museum should definitely be at the top of your must-do staycation list. This awesome hands-on, interactive children’s museum is where kids ages birth to 10 can explore and experience over a dozen exhibits. The best part? KidsQuest encourages creativity, problem solving and learning through play with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM). Visit exciting exhibits like the Art Studio, Recycle Rebuild, Bellevue Mercantile, Atrium Climber and everyone’s favorite: Water! Visit their online calendar for monthly programs and special events.
Bellevue Arts Museum
Want to expose your kids to art and culture during your staycation? Take your crew to the Bellevue Arts Museum (BAM). BAM is one of the few museums nationwide that focuses on art, craft and design, working with artists and audiences to build and enhance community. Regardless of the current exhibit on display, BAM hosts Imagination Stations strategically located throughout the facility. These all-ages activity stations are open daily and free with admission. Psst…if you’re planning a Saturday visit, don’t miss Get Crafty Saturdays where your budding artist can channel his or her creative energy into a fun project.
photo: Jennifer B. Davis
Good ol’ fashioned play does the body, mind and spirit good – a lot of good! At Funtastic Playtorium, kids ages one to 10 are encouraged to run amok and push the boundaries of their imagination by running, jumping, climbing, swinging, laughing and smiling. If you kids need active play time during your staycation, Funtastic Playtorium is a fun, safe environment for wild ones to exercise and interact with peers.
Whatever you decide to do during your staycation, the city of Bellevue has got you covered. Psst…book a hotel and/or dinner reservation at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue during the holiday season and enjoy Bellevue’s Snowflake Lane, a nightly holiday parade and show that takes place along Bellevue Way. Complete with “snow showers,” music and lights and even Santa Claus, it’s another fantastic reason to return to the Hyatt Regency Bellevue for a holiday staycation.
—Kristina Moy (all photos courtesy of the writer unless otherwise noted)
This trip was paid for by the Hyatt Regency Bellevue, but all opinions expressed here belong to the writer.