How your family can get the most out of 72 hours in Central Oregon this winter
Last updated Jan. 10, 2022
So you’re headed to the Bend area for a long weekend in the snow, congrats!
We’re guessing you’ve already scoped out Mt. Bachelor’s alpine and nordic offering, so we’re here to help for the rest of your trip. Here’s some of our favorite activities for families in Bend and Central Oregon as a whole during the colder months!
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 “Carrying Messages: Native Runners, Ancestral Homelands and Awakening” highlighting the historical significance of running in Native cultures in the Western United States; “X-Ray Vision: Fish Inside Out” a visual retelling of the evolution of fish from the Smithsonian’s National Collection of Fishes – the largest collection of its kind in the world; 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.
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.
Skiing may not be for everyone in your family, but it’s impossible not to love sledding, right? Head up Century Drive 15 miles west of Bend and hit Central Oregon’s favorite sled hill. You’ll need a sno-park permit – most outdoor stores sell them – and something to slide on and you’re good to go! Fat bike, nordic skiing and skijoring – skiing with your dog – trails all use Wanoga as a trailhead.
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.
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!