Top nine things to do in Bend before the holidays

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snow covered cars drive on an Oregon road, which can be dangerous given colder and less safe winter conditions
"snow covered cars, snow covered roads" by OregonDOT is licensed with CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Ayla Adkins/The Broadside

Perhaps a bit different this year, the holiday season has arrived. Here are 10 things to do in Bend this year to get into the holiday spirit– whether virtually or in-person.

1) Shop and support at local business’

https://www.midoregon.com/accounts/student.shtml

Shopping local is a huge deal this holiday season as many local businesses are struggling to keep afloat. Laurie Borden, an employee at Clementine’s, a boutique in downtown Bend, wanted to bring attention to the ,”Small Business Saturday program.”

The Small Business Saturday program is a, “passport program where you can get stamps at participating business’ and then once you fill out your passport, you get your name put into a raffle. The raffle offers a whole bunch of prizes from all the participating locations,” Borden said.

“The Old Mill is also doing their own holiday celebrations this year”. In all, “anything helps, even if it is only $5” Borden said.

2) Go ice skating

Justin Wellman, an employee at Seventh Mountain, said that “patience” is essential this year and that, “everybody looking out for their fellow neighbor whether at home or on the rink” is important.

He said that Seventh Mountain is still doing their annual food drive, which means that when, “people bring in their donations, they get a $5 drink ticket, each time they donate.”

Wellman also mentioned how the Seventh Mountain team loves seeing reservations for people who are coming up to skate. He said that, “when it starts getting dark, and we have the lights and holiday music, it feels great to have a nice, winter wonderland, on the edge of town. That is a unique experience, and you can feel the joy of the families and people who are up here.”

Celebrate the holidays with and head over to an ice rink, even if it is just oneself.

3) Paint some pottery, whether in-person or at home

Got an artistic side? So does Studio Create, a pottery painting shop in Bend. They offer sit-down services (check on COVID regulations, though) along with take-home kits. All people have to do is pop in, purchase some pottery and then either head home with borrowed brushes and paint or stay at the shop. They have plenty of year-round options, figurines and holiday-specific items along with other art kits for the people who may not be all on board with painting pottery.

4) Get lunch with loved ones at several food cart locations

Bend is known for its roundabouts, beer and food carts. With multiple food cart locations in Bend, it is easy to find one that fits everyone’s taste-buds in an outdoor location. With sites like The Lot, Podski, The Bite, Midtown Yacht Club and many more. Each area has various food choices that even the family designated picky eater will find something tasty.

5) Watch a play or a movie at a local theatre

Check out nearby theatres or theaters and see what they may be showing. In Bend alone, take a look at websites for the Cascade Theatrical Company, the Tower Theatre and even McMeniminns to see what may be available as a holiday out-of-the-house treat.

There may also be several drive-in movie locations popping up around Central Oregon. For in home options, perhaps go classic and rent a movie from Blockbuster with a throwback that everyone can enjoy.

6) Take the family to bowl

Lava Lanes, currently closed due to the two-week corona virus freeze, is scheduled to reopen soon. Take this opportunity to put on some masks and take the family down for some classic fun. The Sun Mountain Fun Center is also an excellent location for bowling or arcade games after the two-week freeze is up. Bring back some great family memories with their go-karts.

7) Visit a holiday market

The Central Oregon area has multiple holiday markets that are either virtual or scheduled to be up and running here very soon (if they aren’t already). These markets are located all around Central Oregon. Virtual markets are also ready to check out for those who aren’t quite ready to go out into public settings yet. Most of these virtual events can be found on Facebook or on the city’s website.

8) Stay at home and find virtual events on Facebook

Facebook is a great place to go and look for online virtual events that cater to all ages. Like a virtual live free bedtime story of Elf on the Shelf for kiddos or anyone young at heart. Or virtual performances like The Hip Hop Nutcracker. These Facebook events are scheduled throughout December and are perfect for that cozy evening in. In some cases, registration is required. Make sure to purchase/reserve tickets ahead of time, to not miss out on any holiday magic.

9) Go hiking before it snows

Central Oregon has had some crazy snow years. Use this as an excuse to get together with loved ones and hit a hiking trail. There are plenty of trails that surround Central Oregon and farther out if one wants to incorporate a day trip into their plans. Remember to stay warm and treat each trail with respect, and always be sure to read up the trail beforehand and let someone know where you are going.

2020 doesn’t need more excuses to cause trouble.

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