How your family can get the most out of 72 hours in Central Oregon

(Last updated May 16, 2022)

So you’re headed to the Bend area for a long weekend, congrats!

We’re guessing you’ve already scoped out Mt. Bachelor’s riding options and Closing Party details, so we’re here to help with the rest of your trip. Here’s some of our favorite activities in Bend and Central Oregon as a whole any time of year!

High Desert Museum

Wildlife, art, history, living history – the High Desert Museum has it all! Located five minutes south of Bend, the museum sits on 135 acres and features river otters, porcupines, an authentic homestead and sawmill from 1904 as well as seasonal exhibits. Current museum exhibits include “Vanishing Night: Conserving Dark Skies in the High Desert” an exploration of the changing High Desert skies and the impact of light pollution on wildlife; “Lair: Light and the Art of Stephen Hendee” a look into the spaces in which we live both physically and virtually; and “Imagine a World” an exhibition asking us to consider the ambitions, intentions and outcomes of intentional communities in the High Desert and Western United States over the past half century.

Lair Exhibit at High Desert Museum

Sweet Tooth Candy Shoppe

Is this heaven for an 8-year-old? No, it’s Sweet Tooth. Located in the heart of the Old Mill District, this family-owned and operated candy shop has everything you and your family can image. We invite you to stop in and and check out the epic selection of nostalgic candy, enjoy handcrafted chocolates, Harry Potter treats, chocolate-covered gummy bears, and more! Here is where you’ll find the perfect gifts for any occasion and discover international treats from all over the world, too.

Shevlin Park

10 miles northwest of town is Shevlin Park, a beloved gem of trails and old-growth forest featuring Tumalo Creek and offering  an abundance of beauty. Covering Shevlin Park’s nearly 1,000 acres, featured trails include a 6-mile loop along the canyon rim, the 2.5-mile Tumalo Creek Trail which travels upstream eventually joining with the Deschutes National Forest trail system, and the Mountain Bike Trail which also follows the canyon linking to the Forest Service Mrazek Trail. Remember to be kind to other adventurers and respect the park’s wildlife.

Shevlin-Park-Hiking

Rapa Nui Tiki Lounge

Tiki drinks on the second-story patio of Rapa Nui are a whole new Bend tradition we highly endorse. This traditional tiki bar has fresh pressed cocktails and Asian-inspired tapas plates that are spectacular, too. Grab a table for indoor dining or enjoy your Tahitian Rum punch with a side of Korean BBQ ribblets on the patio overlooking Bend’s Old Mill District.

Rapa Nui Tiki Lounge

Wild Child Toy Store

Bend’s newest toy store is home to a selection of beautifully curated and sustainable toys, games and crafts. We’re also in love with all the gorgeous books and wall hangings owner Keri Travis has stocked her store with. Located next to Regal Cinemas in the Old Mill District, this is the go-to spot for something special while you’re here in Central Oregon.Boys with Stuffed Animals in Wild Child Toy Store

The Tower Theatre

Bend’s historic 466-seat performing arts venue might just have the best tasting popcorn in town, and they offer entertainment options ranging from live theater and film, to comedy and concerts, to acrobats and dance troupes – something for all the varying tastes in your crew!

Confluence Fly Shop

Another experience we love are the casting lessons and fly tying classes at Confluence Fly Shop. Enjoy the scenery along the river while the experts at Confluence Fly Shop teach you how to cast and tie flies. Then laugh about it over a local craft beer at the new indoor-outdoor bar at the shop while planning your next adventure.

Confluence Fly Fishing Casting Class on the River