Holiday Happenings2020-12-04T08:17:24-08:00

Enjoy Bend for the Holidays

We heart the holiday season in Central Oregon. And while 2020 will undoubtedly be different than years past, it’s impossible to be in Bend during the holidays and not feel festive.

From fun in the snow at Mt. Bachelor to holiday lights and special meals and gift runs in the Old Mill District, the eggnog flows like wine in this part of Oregon during the holiday months.

North Pole Mailboxes

From Nov. 27 to Dec. 19, two special Christmas mailboxes will be in Bend’s Old Mill District for children to drop off their letters to Santa. One box is by Ben & Jerry’s and the other is near Jimmy John’s. All letters will get a response from the North Pole.

Santa in the Old Mill District

Come see Santa in-person this holiday season when he picks up the letters from the special North Pole mailboxes!

Santa will in the Old Mill District the first three Fridays and Saturdays in December – Dec. 4-5, Dec. 11-12, and Dec. 18-19  at 1 p.m. each day.

Santa schedule in the OMD:

– Friday, Dec. 4, 1 p.m.

– Saturday, Dec. 5, 1 p.m.

– Friday, Dec. 11, 1 p.m.

– Saturday, Dec. 12, 1 p.m.

– Friday, Dec. 18, 1 p.m.

– Saturday, Dec. 19, 1 p.m.

With a little help from his friends in Bend, Santa will be driven through the OMD in the back of a pickup truck, allowing him to wave and interact with everyone in the Old Mill District while he picks up the letters, but in a way that respects the current health and safety guidelines.

The public is encouraged to come down and cheer on Santa as he collects his holiday letters. We do ask that spectators maintain proper distance between one another and Santa and his special helpers.

Menorah Lighting

Rabbi Yitzchok Feldman, of Chabad of Central Oregon hosts the 10th annual Menorah Lighting in the Old Mill District.

This year’s festivities, like many others, will be different due to COVID-19.  The lighting ceremony will be held in the westside parking lot across the river from the shops in the Old Mill District, near the Hampton Inn, where people will be able to view the menorah from their cars at a safe social distance.

After the initial lighting ceremony, which is expected to start around 4:30 p.m., the menorah will be transported across the river to Center Plaza in the Old Mill District, where it will remain lit for the duration of Chanukah.

During the main event there will also be light music, an inflatable dreidel, and a large screen showing Chanukah videos. The Rabbi and his wife will be passing out a Chanukah treat bag to each car.

This event is free to the public and all faiths are welcome.

Tree of Joy

A partnership between the Salvation Army, the Greater Bend Rotary Club and the Old Mill District, the Tree of Joy ensures that every child in Central Oregon experiences the joy of Christmas.

This year, the traditional in-person Tree of Joy with tags is on hold, but we are still asking for your support. If you would like to participate by purchasing a gift for a child, visit the Greater Bend Rotary Club website for children’s names and gift ideas!

Delivery of unwrapped gifts are due back to The Salvation Army in Bend at 515 NE Dekalb near Bend High School by December 16. The Salvation Army is receiving gifts Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Thank you for your continued support of this local outreach!

Spreading Some Christmas Cheer

By Ben Montgomery A Covid Friendly Replacement for SantaLand When Chrissy Hadar’s 3-year-old son dropped a letter to Santa into [...]


Celebrating Halloween Amid a Global Pandemic

by Sheila G. Miller A Twist on a Family Favorite Event in the Old Mill District COVID-19 ruined plenty of [...]


Tree of Joy 2020

A partnership between the Salvation Army, the Rotary Club of Greater Bend and the Old Mill District, the Tree of [...]


Why Red & Gold Flags?

The story behind this month's flag colors on the OMD pedestrian bridge As part of the Ultimate Old Mill District [...]


Nashelle returns for the holidays!

Bend jewelry store to host winter pop-up shop Just in time for the holiday season, the Old Mill District is [...]


Santa in the Old Mill District

Come see Santa in-person pick up Christmas letters Yes, Virginia, Santa Claus will still visit the Old Mill District this [...]


2020 Menorah Lighting

Chanukah celebration now in its 10th year in the Old Mill District Join Rabbi Yitzchok Feldman and the Chabad of [...]


Get Outdoors Together

The couple that rides, skies and paddles together, stays together. In Bend, the perfect day date often includes a little [...]


Winter Activities & Escapes in Bend, Oregon

By Beau Eastes Central Oregon truly is a winter wonderland if you are looking for things to do during the [...]


Winter bike rides in Bend

Warm temperatures in January makes for great riding weather By Beau Eastes We like to ride bikes in Bend. From [...]


Good Tree Hunting

Start a new holiday tradition by cutting down your own tree A great way to kick off the holiday season [...]


Bend’s Winter & Holiday Guide Coming Soon

Read a digital version of our Bend Oregon Winter Guide 2020/2021 is packed full of holiday fun in Bend.

Make Gift Giving Easy this Season with Old Mill Gift Cards — Give the Perfect Present!



Subscribe to get the latest on Bend shops, restaurants, and things to do.