Looking for family-ready things to do around Bend, Oregon? You’ll love both indoor and outdoor options available year-round once you move to Bend – there’s always something different to try! Here are a few of our favorite experiences.
Hike the River
Bend has plenty of in-town trails around the Deschutes River that are ideal for families – not too strenuous for kids, and easily adjusted for the time you have. Check out a trail map or start with the extra-popular Farewell Bend River Trail Loop in Old Mill.
High Desert Museum Visit
It’s a bit of a drive from the city, but the High Desert Museum is famous for a reason. There’s something here that every family member will enjoy, from entertaining historical displays to live animal attractions – plus a lot of education. Make sure you check for special events or shows, too!
Ice Skating at the Pavilion
If the slopes are a little too far away and you want fun for the whole family in winter, check out the Pavilion near Old Mill, an open-air ice-skating rink – and sometimes hockey tournament rink. It’s incredibly well-lit and well-covered to making evening outings fun and safe. In the summer, it converts to skateboarding, rock climbing, badminton and many, many other activities that are equally enjoyable.
While Bend has an incredible number of amazing eateries, Jackson’s Corner is a special place for families. The seating options are largely designed for a family gathering, and the food is an incredible mix of options that are locally sourced and delicious, whether you’re eating brunch or dinner. Just get there early!
A particularly great option for families that don’t know Bend very well yet, Pilot Butte makes for an excellent afternoon hike to the top for an incredible view of Bend. Plus, its central location makes getting there effortless.
Sun Mountain Fun Center
For a more traditional fun time, the Sun Mountain Fun Center offers arcade games, bowling, mini-golf, go-carts and a whole variety of similar family fun. It’s been a mainstay in Bend for many years, and for good reason.
Floating the River
Whether your family prefer inner-tubes, kayaks or paddleboards, floating the river is a fun family pastime in the warmer seasons – and in the summer months, a great way to meet new people on what becomes a very crowded river. Make sure to look for entry and exit points for safety.
Explore a Lake
Look for something a little more adventurous that still includes the whole family? Pick a local lake and a day (or weekend) to explore it. Central Oregon is filled with incredible lakes, each offering something different, whether you want a lava rock hike, boating fun or just walking by the shore. Sparks Lake, Todd Lake, Hosmer Lake, Little Cultus Lake and South Twin Lake are just some of the most popular options.
A Trip to Bachelor
If your family snowboards or skis, Mt. Bachelor is probably already on your list. But the mountain offers a lot more than that for all seasons: From beginner slopes and sledding in winter to brand new zip lines and hiking in the summer, there really is something for all.
Sunriver Nature Center and Observatory
While Sunriver’s Nature Center is very cool, we have to give extra points to the great observatory and star dome, which makes for one of the coolest nighttime trips ever.