Turkey Day ideas for things to do in Bend with your family and friends

For some, Thanksgiving is a day for extensive cooking with extended family, for others it’s a day for fun with friends, volunteering in the community or going full-on lounge mode cheering on football from the couch. Whichever adventure you choose, we’ve got a variety of activities, entertainment and side dish ideas to satisfy the cravings for you or the crew.

I Like Pie

Dessert first, always! Cascade Relays’ iconic I Like Pie run returns to the Old Mill District Thanksgiving morning this year starting in Center Plaza. The popular holiday event raises money for the Boys and Girls Club of Central Oregon and participants earn some well-deserved pre-Thanksgiving Pie!  The 1.5-mile or 5K course follows the flat, paved pathways and trails through the Old Mill District along the beautiful Deschutes River. The course is stroller friendly, so bring the whole family out. Individuals and families of all ages and running/walking abilities are encouraged to come run/walk, eat pie and have fun!

Please note, registration is required. Participants can register online in advance here, or day-of between 7:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. in Center Plaza. PLUS, thanks to their sponsor, Horizon Broadcasting, every registrant will be entered for a chance to win two tickets to the Seattle Seahawks vs Pittsburg Steelers game on New Years Day!

I Like Pie Run Thanksgiving Day in the Old Mill District

Volunteer at Family Kitchen

It is Family Kitchen’s mission to serve anyone who needs nutritious meals in a safe and caring environment, and often the need is amplified around the holidays. This Thanksgiving give the gift of your time, and help nourish your neighbors with a warm meal as well as your humor, respect and kindness. Learn more here.

Bend's Family Kitchen

Popcorn and Movie Marathon

A holiday tradition for many includes a bucket of buttery popcorn at the theater to catch the year’s most anticipated blockbusters on the big screen. This year is no different.
Regal Old Mill ScreenX & IMAX will be open on Thanksgiving with a fully-stocked refreshment counter and a few feature films we can’t wait to watch:

Wish: Asha, a sharp-witted idealist, makes a wish so powerful that it is answered by a cosmic force—a little ball of boundless energy called Star. Together, Asha and Star confront a most formidable foe—the ruler of Rosas, King Magnifico—to save her community and prove that when the will of one courageous human connects with the magic of the stars, wondrous things can happen. Rated PG

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes:
64 years before Katniss Everdeen volunteered as tribute, and decades before Coriolanus Snow became the tyrannical President of Panem. THE HUNGER GAMES: THE BALLAD OF SONGBIRDS & SNAKES follows a young Coriolanus (Tom Blyth) who is the last hope for his failing lineage, the once-proud Snow family that has fallen from grace in a post-war Capitol. Battling his instincts for both good and evil, Snow sets out on a race against time to survive and reveal if he will ultimately become a songbird or a snake.  Rated PG-13

The Talk of the Table 

Turkey may be the main event, but these recipes from our friends at Savory Spice will surely give your guests something else to talk about around the table.

Smoked Serrano Cranberry Chutney

A unique alternative to the same ole, same ole cranberry sauce. The fruit, holiday spices and serrano chiles add layers of complex flavors to the traditional sauce found on most holiday feast tables.

Savory Spice Serrano Cranberry Chutney Recipe


1/2 cup water
1/2 cup orange juice
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup minced shallot
4 Serrano chiles, destemmed and deseeded
1/4 cup small diced dried apricots
2 Tbsp. Sliced Crystallized Ginger, minced
1 Tbsp. Crushed Urfa Chiles
1 tsp. Ground Indonesian Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Ground Jamaican Allspice
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

In a small saucepan, bring water and orange juice to a boil. Stir in cranberries and brown sugar. Reduce to a simmer and stir in the remaining ingredients. Continue simmering, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens and heavily coats the back of a spoon, about 15 to 20 min. Delicious served warm, room temperature or chilled.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
This year, let someone else bake the pumpkin pie and instead add variety to your go-to fall dessert with pumpkin cheesecake bars! This recipe features the best flavors and textures of both pumpkin pie and cheesecake for a unique option to bring to the table. Top with whipped cream and an extra dusting of Pumpkin Pie Spice, or better yet, add a scoop of classic vanilla bean ice cream for the sweetest of treats.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars from Savory Spice


For crust:
2 cups crushed graham crackers
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. Mayan Sea Salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

For filling:
3 (8 oz) blocks cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup sour cream
1 tsp. Tahitian Vanilla Extract
3 eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice

½ tsp. Kosher Salt
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
1 tsp. Pure Madagascar Vanilla Extract

Step 1: Make crust.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper and grease well. In a medium bowl, combine crushed graham crackers, sugar, and Mayan Sea Salt. Add melted butter and mix until mixture is consistency of wet sand. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to press graham cracker mixture into bottom of prepared baking dish. Bake for 15 min. until set.

Step 2: Make filling.
Cream together cream cheese and sugar until smooth and creamy. Add sour cream and Tahitian Vanilla Extract and mix until just combined. Add eggs one at a time and mix until just combined. Remove half of mixture to a medium bowl. To the remaining mixture, add pumpkin puree and Pumpkin Pie Spice and mix until combined. 1/4 tsp. Mayan Sea Salt 1 tsp. Tahitian Vanilla Extract 1 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice

Step 3: Layer and bake.
Pour plain cheesecake mixture evenly over par-baked crust. Drop spoonfuls of pumpkin cheesecake mixture over top. Use an offset spatula to spread pumpkin cheesecake mixture over top of plain cheesecake mixture. Use a chopstick or toothpick to swirl cheesecake mixtures together. Bake for 45 min., turning baking dish halfway through to ensure even baking. Edges of cheesecake should be set with a slight wobble in the center when baking dish is moved. Set dish on a wire rack to cool, then refrigerate to chill. Serve cold.

We hope you enjoy it all this Thanksgiving – the food, the friends, the family and the laughter – we’re grateful to be a part of your community!