Tell Us Yours For a Chance to Win a $25 Old Mill District Gift Certificate!

It’s that time again. The time when fond memories mix and mingle with our inclination to create seasonal magic. Do you ever succumb to the pressure of wanting to do more, more, more to celebrate the holidays? May we propose an idea that will transform that feeling into an exhilarating quest?

We suggest creating a list of favorite activities to add cheer to the weeks ahead. Comment below with your favorite thing to do during the holiday season for a chance to win a $25 Old Mill District Gift Certificate! To get things started, we’ve compiled a list of our own seasonal favorites sprinkling in a few new ideas to keep it fresh. 


In SantaLand you can take a photo with the season’s jolliest celebrity. Parents join in the fun by guessing the Celebrity Santa of the day. Karen Cammack Photography is there to document the fun with 5 x7 and jpeg options available on the spot.

SantaLand is open from 11a – 5p on Fridays – Sundays from November 27-December 20 and daily from Monday, December 21 – Wednesday, December 23.

Once arrived, check in at the SantaLand table to make your reservation. Share your mobile phone number and enjoy the festive activities either in the space or on the avenue. Be sure to take time to enjoy the popup library provided through partnership with Deschutes County Public Library.

Tree of Joy

A cherished tradition that carries forth a spirit of giving, the Tree of Joy is also found in SantaLand. In selecting a recipient, one cannot help but appreciate the preciousness of life and the wonderful community in which we live. Tree of Joy hours are Monday – Thursday from 4-7pm and Friday – Sunday 11am-5pm. Gift deliveries unwrapped or in a gift bag can be made until December 13th. After hour deliveries may be made at the Hilton Garden Inn.


Complimentary Carriage Rides in the Old Mill District

Carriage Rides

With a pickup located between Ben & Jerry’s and Francesca’s, complimentary carriage rides are offered with Cowboy Carriage. All ages are bound to enjoy the clippity-clop open air tour through the joyful atmosphere in the Old Mill District. Tips and donations benefit Kid’s Center.

Carriage Rides are from 2-5pm on the select following dates and are weather dependent:

Saturday-Sunday, December 5-6

Saturday-Sunday, December 12-13

Friday-Wednesday, December 18-23

Sunday-Tuesday, December 27-29


Jingle Bell Run

2015 marks the 24th anniversary of the Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis. Participants are encouraged to dress warm and/or dress up in a holiday themed costume as they run to raise funds. 5k and 1mile options are family friendly with pets welcome too. As in years past, the Jingle Bell Run also provides a kickoff for the Bend Christmas parade. This year’s parade starts at noon with the theme “Christmas Scenes That Make You Smile.”



A perennial favorite, the Central Oregon School of Ballet’s production of Nutcracker features our very own talented community members. This year, you can also enjoy the New York City Ballet performance simulcast on the big screen. Fathom events presents the Lincoln Center New York City Ballet performance of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, December 5 at 12:55pm and December 10 at 7pm.


Menorah Lighting

A festive Menorah Lighting is planned for Chanukah on Sunday, December 6 at 4:30pm in Center Plaza by the footbridge in the Old Mill District. Lively music, hot drinks and potato latkes will be part of a celebration that will also include aerial performers from The Bend Circus Center, weather permitting.


Christmas Paddle

On December 11th, Tumalo Creek Kayak and Canoe hosts a moving festival of lights on the Deschutes River and yes, it is every bit as magical as it sounds. All are invited to bring their own watercraft for paddling or simply arrived bundled and ready for a beautiful display of light at the Annual Christmas Lights Kayak. Be sure to bring your camera and do tag us @OldMillDistrict when you post to Instagram.


Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Of course, a Christmas wish will arrive early for those who love the epic saga. Star Wars: The Force Awakens will open on Thursday December 17th with IMAX and 3D screenings. Expect plentiful action, delicious popcorn and a few surprises along the way.


Holiday Shopping & Specials

With extended hours beginning Friday, December 18 – Sunday, December 26, select stores will be open Monday – Saturday from 9am – 9pm and Sunday from 11am- 7pm. Also open late are our many fabulous restaurants throughout the Old Mill District. Please check the link for a complete listing of participating retailers.


Roving Carolers

Provided by choral groups from Central Oregon, holiday favorites are sweetly shared in retailer and restaurant performances throughout the Old Mill District. Plan your shopping visits to coincide with one of the many offerings or simply enjoy a serendipitous performance that will no doubt brighten your spirit. For the complete schedule of performances, please visit the holiday happenings link.


And there you have it, our list of fun holiday events in Bend. Our list continues but for now we’ll call it good. Keep enjoying all of the merry and brightness of this season and do share any additional suggestions in the comments. Every comment is a chance to win a $25 Old Mill District Gift Certificate.