There’s no place like Bend, Oregon in Winter. Bend has something for everyone. Whether you prefer to get outside and have an outdoor adventure, stay warm inside with a drink in your hand, or do something your entire family will love, Bend is the place to be.
So, whether you’re a local seeking new and exciting activities or are thinking about paying this beautiful mountain town a visit, there are plenty of fun things to do in Bend this winter. Let’s take a look!
Take Advantage of the Snow
One of the more obvious winter activities to do in Bend is to hit the slopes for some skiing and snowboarding. For that, Mt. Bachelor is a popular destination, but it has a lot of other fun winter activities to offer as well.
For instance, Mt. Bachelor has a Snowblast Tubing Park that’s a ton of fun, with a mechanical tow that makes it easy to go again and again. Or you can take in the spectacular views by taking a helicopter tour.
Other activities include riding with a guided dog sled team, renting a pair of snowshoes to hike the mountain’s picturesque trails, and sledding wherever you can find a good spot (and there are plenty). There are guided trails or you can set out on your own, whatever you prefer.
What’s more, at nearby Wanoga Sno-Park, you’ll find several groomed trails for fat bike riding. Similar to dirt biking, you can rent a specially designed fat bike that’s perfect for the snow-packed trails.
The bottom line is that winter in Bend is a great place to relive the thrill of the snow day. Whether it’s grabbing a toboggan to go sledding, building a snowman with the kids, or having a snowball fight at one of Bend’s parks, you’re sure to find something you enjoy.
Do Something the Entire Family Will Love
Bend is especially family-friendly in the winter months. Start the day by paying a visit to the many local art galleries. You can also book some time at the Mountain Air Trampoline Park for some family fun. On Friday and Saturday nights, the park hosts a number of events, including cosmic jumping with fog machines and party lights. On top of that, the park regularly organizes glow-in-the-dark basketball and dodgeball games.
In downtown Bend, you can explore the historic streets and independent shops. You can take a guided tour of the city’s cultural landmarks, or pick up a map of the Roundabout Art Route and go on a scavenger hunt for 45 different sculptures. Once you’ve completed your scavenger hunt, you can take your map to the Visitor’s Center for a souvenir.
Explore the Winter Landscape
One of the best things about Bend during the winter months is that the city doesn’t let a little snow slow it down. Just like during the summer, you can go on a hike, mountain bike the many trails, and explore the region’s beautiful winter landscapes.
You can hike Horse Butte or adventure into the ancient Juniper forests of the Oregon Badlands Wilderness. Visit Smith Rock State Park for a number of trails used during the winter, including Wolf Tree Trail, Rim Rock Trail, and River Trail.
Other popular outdoor locations include the Paulina Lake Hot Springs, Sawyer Cave, and the Sahalie and Koosah Falls. Plus, there’s an amazing lava tube cave called Boyd Cave just outside of Bend, and it’s possible to visit Hidden Forest Cave on the same day.
For an amazing outdoor experience, you might also want to hike out to Crater Lake. It’s truly an amazing place to be during the winter, with the undisturbed forest snow and icicle-covered trees. What’s more, the lake itself is a vibrant blue color you won’t soon forget.
Get Some Mountain Culture
Downtown Bend is filled with culture and festivity during the winter months. On Presidents’ Day weekend, the town transforms into a winter wonderland for the annual Oregon WinterFest. Over the course of the weekend, there’s lots of live music, obstacle courses, snowboarding and skiing rail jams, and designated play areas for the family.
You’re welcome to hang out by the fire pit to watch the ice sculpture competition. Or check out the lighted art pieces along the river. There’s also dancing and a free outdoor concert series that takes place through the month of April.
There are also numerous theaters, including The Tower Theatre, where you can watch shows dedicated to song and dance, and the Cascades Theatrical Company that puts on shows every year. What’s more, there’s the Tin Pan Theater that features independent, foreign, and documentary movies.
Treat Yourself to Good Eats and Drinks
Bend is known for its restaurants, cafes, and breweries. For starters, you can take the Bend Ale Trail that passes through over a dozen local breweries, including Deschutes Brewery,
Bridge 99 Brewery, Monkless Belgian Ales, and GoodLife Brewing Co. There’s a reason Bend is often called Beervana.
Of course, if you’re getting hungry or need a nice place to warm up, there are plenty of places to go. For starters, you can go to The Victorian Cafe with its outdoor fireplace and signature bloody mary that includes a skewer of andouille sausage, smoked prawns, cheese, and pepperoncini.
For brunch, there’s also the McKay Cottage Restaurant, known for serving an eggs benedict composed of pork sausage, poached eggs, and a homemade soft pretzel. It’s also a great place to grab a cup of coffee.
For dinner, you’re spoiled for choice. Try the European-inspired fare at 900 Wall or Middle-Eastern cuisine at Joolz. You might also want to try the Cajun cuisine at Zydeco Kitchen and Cocktails, that adds a Northwestern flair to its dishes.
Of course, you don’t want to miss the giant pastries at Sparrow Bakery. Or warm yourself with a bottle of spiced rum from Oregon Spirit Distillers.
Things to Do in Bend This Winter
Central Oregon is loaded with fun activities all year-round. However, the winter months are truly something special. We’re confident you’ll find plenty of fun things to do in Bend this winter.