If you’re relocating to Bend in the summer or outside of school sessions, you may be wondering what the best ways are for your kids to make friends. The first few months after a big move are always important for helping children adjust to new surroundings and start making connections of their own. Good news! Bend is filled with amazing activities and events where kids can meet one another while exploring Central Oregon. Our relocation company in Central Oregon came up with a few top favorites to help.

1. Float the River

Floating the Deschutes River (typically the stretch that runs through Old Mill) has several advantages for outgoing kids and their families. First, it’s centrally located and doesn’t take much gear except a swimsuit and tubes/flotation – which you can rent at nearby locations if necessary. Second, it’s a social activity: In the hot summer days of Bend, hundreds of other people will be floating and walking or riding back to float again, so you can meet plenty of new people. Third, the demands on your time are low, as floating can easily be done in a space afternoon.

2. Go Trampolining

If your kids are a bit older, you should check out indoor trampolining in Bend. Two spots, the Mountain Air Trampoline Park, and the Trampoline Zone (which also has kart racing) are great for kid-friendly activities in Bend and provide plenty of possibilities for meeting others in a safe trampoline environment. If that’s not quite what you had in mind, the Cascade Indoor Sports center has excellent rollerblading opportunities!

3. Climbing and Climbing Gyms

If your children have any interest in climbing or bouldering, Bend’s climbing gyms are a great way to meet new people and practice skills for the entire family. There are kid-friendly sections to practice and a wide variety of terrain at places like the Bend Rock Gym and the Circuit Bouldering Gym. Of course, your kids may also want to get out in nature and practice their climbing in real conditions, which can provide plenty of opportunities to make or find a group! If your kids don’t have much climbing experience, Chockstone Climbing Guides and Bend Rock Gym do have camp/classes with options geared toward beginners, which is another excellent way to make new friends!

4. Arrange a Camping Adventure

Camps are a classic way to make new friends in summer, and Bend is packed with camp possibilities that can cater to a wide variety of interests. High Desert Museum’s day-long Camps are an excellent way to learn more about the region and are a great pick for kids who love wildlife. Bend Science Station offers short and long camps for those who love to learn. Options like Campfire Tumalo Day Camp can be a good pick for younger kids, while Avid4 Adventure and RAD Adventure Camps are an excellent pick for outdoor recreation. Mt. Bachelor, Bend Parks & Rec, and many other places also offer a variety of camp options for kids, so there’s certain to be something for everyone.

5. Youth Sports

Bend Parks & Rec has a vibrant youth sports program with helpful resources for all kinds of activities, while organizations like Skyhawks Sports Academy have sports camps and games specifically made for certain age ranges. The Athletic Club of Bend, Juniper Swim & Fitness Center, and many other areas have kid-friendly sport options of their own as well, so there’s plenty to explore.

Remember, Bend Relocation Services can help take care of the details of moving so you can focus on what matters most. Our corporate relocation company can also help you choose the right schools and apply for rentals in Central Oregon, so contact us today for more info!