Things to Do with Kids
Bend is full of family-friendly events and activities throughout the year
Last updated April, 28, 2023
Activities and things to do with the kids are endless in Bend, Oregon. From ninja warrior courses and bike rentals to river floats and museums, there’s no slowing down when your in Central Oregon with your family!
Your little ones will release their inner ninja at Free Spirit and their indoor ninja warrior course and climbing wall! Located on the north end of the Old Mill District next to Orangetheory Fitness, Free Spirit offers a variety of open play times and classes for kids. And for adults they host yoga classes and dynamic fitness workouts. Free Spirit’s child care and family-friendly scheduling lets parents workout while kids stay active!
Rent a Surrey that seats 3-9 people and ride through the Old Mill District and along the river trail. Wheel Fun Rentals has surreys, coupes, cruisers and multi-speed bikes, tandem bikes, baby jogger, Norge boards and more.
Visit Wheel Fun Rentals for more information and check out all the bike options. Located at the Riverbend Dog Park on Southwest Columbia Street catty-corner to the Old Mill District.
Catch a live concert with the kids in Bend! And did you know that children two and under get in free at all the Bend summer concerts at the Hayden Homes Amphitheater? With more than 50 concerts happening during the 2023 Les Schwab Tires Concert Season, there’s something for everyone. Take KIDZ BOP Never Stop Live Tour for example! The #1 music brand for kids bring their family-friendly pop concert to Bend Friday, Sept. 8:
Put some history into your future with a visit to the Deschutes Historical Museum in downtown Bend, just a short walk from the Old Mill District. Located in the historic Reid School, the museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m to 4:30 p.m.
Kids will love checking out Ms. Reid’s classroom from 1914, where they can tryout their cursive on the blackboard. Don’t miss seasonal exhibits on baseball in Deschutes County over the past 100 years, the beginnings of ski culture here in Central Oregon, Bend’s old Water Pageant Parade, and Cruisin’ 97, a look a the area’s tourism attractions – think neon signs, drive-ins, and roadside attractions – between 1930 and 1960.
The museum also features permanent exhibits that allow you to explore Deschutes County prehistory; area Native American tribal history; early exploration and fur trapping; homesteading the High Desert; logging and Forest Service history; and life throughout Deschutes County over the years!
Oh, and be sure to check out the museum’s 1906 Holsman car!
Deschutes Public Library
The Deschutes Public Library offers children’s storytimes (Baby Steps, Toddlin’ Tales and Preschool Parade) at the Downtown Bend and East Bend Libraries throughout the year. Visit Deschutes Public Library for a full list of storytimes.
High Desert Museum
Wildlife programs—porcupines, otters, reptiles, a bobcat—meet them all up close. Raptors of the Desert Sky—hawks, owls and other raptors—soar overhead. Living History Step back into 1904 and join the Miller Family tending the garden and working the saw mill. Visit the High Desert Museum for more information.
Balloons Over Bend Returns
The 2023 Balloons Over Bend will launch just after sunrise Friday, July 28-Sunday, July 30 from Jewell Elementary School. Bring the kids down to see the balloons glow brightly against the night sky during the Night Glow Friday, July 28 at dusk at Central Oregon Community College. This year’s festival will benefit COCC Foundation.
The Balloon Blast Kids Race is an obstacle course race for kids ages 3-10 with seven to eight fun and exciting obstacles appropriate for all types of children with a wide range of skill levels. We encourage parents and guardians to come and cheer their little athletes on as they enjoy being part of a supportive, healthy and motivational community event. The race starts Friday, July 28 at 5 p.m.
Deschutes County Fair & Rodeo
The 2023 Deschutes County Fair in Redmond happening August 2-6 offers up family-friendly entertainment including 4-H farm animals, the rodeo, the Family-Fun Zone and carnival rides. Stroll through the barns and see the goats, pigs, bunnies and many more animals raised by local kids.
Birding & Binoculars
The Sunriver Nature Center offers Bird Walks on select dates. During the summer months families will have the chance to see such species as red-winged black birds, Belted Kingfisher, Cedar Waxwings, or even Bald Eagles along the river.
Talks are suitable for kids and adults. All Bird Walks start at the plaza by Sisters Coffee Company.
Regal Theater Summer Movie Express
The Regal Summer Movie Express is a great way to enjoy a morning movie with other families at a great price. This summer enjoy $1 movies on Tuesday and Wednesdays (June -August). Pick a hot day, pack up the kids and watch a kid’s movie in an air conditioned theater at Regal Cinemas with a large tub of popcorn (and even wine and beer for you!). Movies run Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe
Float the river with rentals from Tumalo Creek. They have floaties, SUP boards, kayaks, and canoes available with life vests and all the gear you’ll need to enjoy the Deschutes River.
Drop-in Activities at The Pavilion
There are a wide variety of activities to enjoy including: Ice Skating, Hockey and more. Each Summer and Fall they offer: basketball, pickle ball, badminton, futsal, scootering, skateboarding, rock climbing, ping pong, foosball, cornhole, ladder toss and bocce ball. Look for details, fees and schedule at The Pavilion. The 30,000 square foot Pavilion roof is protected on the south and west sides by translucent panels designed to reduce wind and sun exposure while maintaining an open-air feel.
The Bend Park & Recreation District’s website is packed with information on Open Skate, Skating Lessons, Group Parties, Youth Hockey, Adult Curling and Hockey Leagues, Rentals, Fees, Family Skate, Parent-Tot Skate and FAQs.
Open Play is free and offered during set times for court sports and open spaces for play and recreate.
Discover Nature Festival
Bring the whole family for a free fun day of outdoor activities in Riverbend Park. Nature Arts and Crafts, Wilderness Survival Skills, Stream Exploration, Story Time, Live Birds and reptiles, Games, Food Carts and more. GearFix Outdoor Recreation Zone with canoeing, fly casting practice, archery and bike rodeo. Learn more about Children’s Forest and the Discover Nature Festival.
Bend Science Station
The Bend Science Station offers a wide range of exciting science camps from flying brooms, crime scenes, explosive booms and more! Not your typical science camp, Bend Science Station has something for the scientist in all of you!
Cascade School of Music
Cascade School of Music offers a range of music lessons including Sing & Play, Little Singers, Drums 101, Bandamonium, Chamber Music for Strings, Guitar classes, music camp and more for early child and youth. Adult classes include Intro to Blues, Bluegrass and Ukulele.