Winter activities for the whole family in Bend, Oregon

Published Date: January 6, 2023

Bend, Oregon Pond
No matter the season, the town of Bend in Central Oregon is simply bursting with fun activities for visitors of all ages. But there’s something extra special about visiting this town of 100,000 in the peak of winter. Pack your warmest gear and spend some time exploring this outdoor paradise. Here are five of our favorite ways for families to explore Bend during winter. 

1. Discover Oregon WinterFest 

Hosted in Bend every February, the three-day Oregon WinterFest celebrates everything that’s wonderful about winter. While you’ll find your festival standards like live music, arts and crafts, and great food, this event also wows attendees with light-art exhibits, ice carving demonstrations and fire sculptures. Specifically for kids, you’ll find magic shows, science trivia and even a foot race with hot cocoa at the finish line. 

2. Hit the slopes 

Bend is a jumping-off point for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels. The town is just 30 minutes from Mt. Bachelor, the sixth-largest ski resort in the United States. Thanks to its location in Oregon’s Central Cascades, Mt. Bachelor racks up an impressive 462 inches of snow each year. The resort offers 101 runs and over 4,300 skiable acres. It’s a great place for kids (and adults!) to learn to ski or snowboard. Choose from 2-hour and full-day ski lessons for kids as young as 3 ½. For ages 6+ through adults, you’ll want to check out the “Ski or Ride in 5” program, which turns first-timers into skiers and boarders in just five lessons. 

3. Go ice skating 

Lace up your skates and choose from multiple ice rinks around town. Seventh Mountain Resort is home to Bend’s only open-air ice skating rink. It’s a charming spot day or night, with glittering lights and a forested setting. Check the calendar for special events, like kids’ themed skating sessions and live music events. If the weather’s less than ideal during your visit, head indoors to The Pavilion, Central Oregon’s only full NHL-sized rink. Drop in for a public ice skating session or sign up for figure skating, hockey or curling classes. 

4. Take a dog sled ride

Mush! Mush! Take a sled dog tour through snowy meadows with incredible mountain views. Oregon Trail of Dreams is owned by Iditarod racer Rachel Scdoris, the first legally blind person to complete the grueling 1,049-mile Alaskan race. These action-packed interactive tours are designed to share her love of dog sledding. Plus, participants can interact with the dogs and help care for them. 

5. Warm up at a family-friendly brewery 

Bend regularly tops lists of cities with the most (and most delicious) breweries, and luckily for parents, many of them are family-friendly. Choose from close to two dozen breweries including the well known Crux Fermentation Project, 10 Barrel and Worthy Brewing. At all three, you’ll find great kids menus, a casual environment and plenty of room to roam. And at Worthy, you can even visit their Hopservatory, an on-site observatory with a powerful telescope, so aspiring astronomers can spot stars, planets and more.    

Find your family’s second home in Bend

There’s no better place to make family memories than in a second home in Bend. Spend days exploring the snowy wonderland together and evenings curled up around a fire, cooking meals or playing games. It’s all within reach when you become a co-owner of a Pacaso in Central Oregon. Plus, Pacaso's Family-Friendly Second Homesmake it easy to just show up and relax — from cribs and high chairs, to games, streaming services and more, we have you (and your kids) covered.

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Jen Lyons

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