Winter is here! The snow is falling, the houses are warming, and the city is vibrant with all new activities. It’s always a delightful sight to see the city transform from a biking, white water rafting, rock climbing oasis into a winter wonderland full of a brand new range of outdoor activities. While the cold does come with all these new activities, sometimes it is hard to think through all the options; so, we wanted to provide you with a list of the major activities in the winter here in Bend, Oregon.
It’s necessary to get out on the ice at least once a year, and what better time than during the holiday season when you can sip a hot cocoa and wear your favorite Christmas sweater? The relatively new hot spot for this joyous night out is The Pavilion (1001 SW Bradbury Dr, Bend, OR 97702). You can also check out the Seventh Mountain Resort for another rink option (likely to be less crowded).
Head over to the Powder House Sky & Snowboard shop on Century Drive to rent a pair of snow shoes. It’s pretty cheap and the guys there can give you the in depth scoop on where you should go to get the best views with your time.
Probably the most popular snow activity in the Pacific Northwest is skiing. There’s nothing quite like gathering all your gear the night before, smelling the melted wax as you shave it down to a fresh coat, waking up at 4am with pastries and coffee, and getting on the road to get the first run on fresh powder as the sun bestows it’s first golden rays of the day on the slopes. Mount Bachelor is a great option to get your fix, and provides multi day passes to get as many days as you can in before the snow subsides.
Cross Country Skiing
Cross country skiing is great exercise and a fantastic way to take in the vast scenery Oregon has to offer. Grab a friend, rent some skis, and get a map at the Old Mill’s REI to find the best locations to get going!
Did you know you and three other people can book a half day marathon trip to go dog sledding!? Oregon Trail of Dreams starts at Mt. Bachelor for this excursion. Half way through, you get a lunch and are able to warm up at Elk Lodge. It’s a great family day idea and keeps the kids thoroughly entertained.
(The following paragraph was pulled from visitbend.com)
Rachael Scdoris who operates Oregon Trail of Dreams along with her father Jerry, is one of Bend’s local celebrities and is a three-time competitor in the Iditarod, the epic 1,200-mile race across the Alaskan wilderness. Despite a visual handicap, which has left her legally blind, Rachael completed the Iditarod in 2006 and 2009, relying on the eyes of her dogs and the help of a visual interpreter. She was named the 2006 Glamour Magazine “Woman of the Year” and has been featured in USA Today, Teen Magazine, and Sports Illustrated for Women, and has graced the cover of the Bend regional lifestyle magazine, BEND LIVING.
Want to spend a day in the snow but you’re on a budget? How about you grad that trash can lid in your garage, or even that piece of cardboard you tore off your new Christmas present and head up towards the mountains to find multiple different sledding hills. Make sure to bring some hot chocolate, great music, and all your best friends!
Bonfire and Smores
What better way to spend time in the cold weather than cozied up to a love one with the crackling of a warm fire, the faint smell of smoke, and all the ingredients to make the best smores?
There’s plenty of locations to pull out your camping gear and set up for the night. Make sure you bring plenty of warm clothing, as temperatures can drop below zero at night, but sometimes just going out into the wilderness for the night is all you need to enjoy this amazing season.
Go Ice Fishing
Oregon is not typically thought of as a prime location for ice fishing, but there are actually multiple locations where the lakes freeze over and you can engage in this unique activity. Make sure you have your angling license, and head out to Diamond lake, Fish lake, or Lake of the Woods. For more info, visit: http://www.bestfishinginamerica.com/or-ice-fishing-in-oregon.html
There’s no snow activity more classic than building a snow fort, a bunch of artillery, and barraging people with snowballs. Just make sure you give them a little opportunity to retaliate! 🙂
Make an Igloo
If there’s enough snow, attempt to build yourself an igloo! True igloos require blocks of ice, but pile up enough snow, and you can makeshift yourself something interesting. In any case, it’s fun to get out and get your artistic juices flowing!
Go to a Brewery
One of Bend’s main attractions, year round, is the breweries. During the winter time many breweries pull out fantastic seasonal craft beers. Go give your favorite brewery a visit and see what new concoctions they have to offer (might I recommend Sunriver Brewing Company)!
Walk around Downtown/Visit Events
Downtown captures the festive feels during the winter. Check out all the stores and visit the many events that occur during this season. Grab some coffee at Thump and enjoy being surrounded by all the wonderful people in this city.
Family Game Night
If you’re kind of enjoyment during this season is staying inside, then invite your friends and family over for a game night! It’s always great to get everyone together to have a good time.
Something about this season, makes you want to bake all the greatest things. Maybe now is your time to try something new in the kitchen!
Plan your Summer Vacation
Usually, around this time of the year, you will get a break from work and have free time to fill. What better time to plan your next year’s vacations? Might I recommend a trip to southeast Asia. This hidden gem of the world is one of the cheapest locations to visit and contains some of the most beautiful scenery. Do some research, plan out your summer, and book your trip! The time to live is now!
Hopefully this list sparked your imagination and wonder and got you wanting to go out and enjoy the season. If you have any amazing traditions that you and your family do during this season, we would love to hear about it. Thanks for reading and enjoy this winter wonderland you call home!