The Mountains Are Calling: Four Winter Wonderland Adventures in Bend


If you’re craving some winter wonderland adventure this December through March, look no further than sunny Bend in Central Oregon. Sure, it’s a bit of a drive from Portland, but it’s a great place to have an adventure over the school break or even on a long weekend. So pack the kids in the car, load up your winter gear, and come to the mountains!

Winter Wonderland

One of the best parts of Central Oregon is that it’s usually sunny, which is a welcome relief after a few months of Portland drizzle and downpours. Yes, it will probably be very cold, and there may be snow on the ground, but just put your boots and coat on and get outside in our high desert winter wonderland!

This is my family’s second winter in Bend and here are a few of our favorite outdoor winter activities:


Nothing says winter wonderland like the beautiful mountains just outside of Bend. Iconic Mt Bachelor is one of the largest’s ski resorts in the country. It has eleven lifts and Nordic trails right from the lodge, so there’s something for everyone.


Mt. Bachelor also has Snowblast tubing, which is like extreme sledding on an inner tube. It’s fun for older kids (42” and taller) and parents too. If you’re really into tubing, Hoodoo’s Autobahn Tubing Park is worth a longer drive for some faster runs. If snow is in short supply, the SHARC in Sunriver has an outdoor tubing hill that runs even without the white stuff.


For a good old family sledding trip, Wanoga Sno Park is where the locals go. Bring your own sled, get some runs in, and finish up with hot chocolate. What could make a better winter wonderland snow day than that? There’s also a one-mile snowshoe loop at Wanoga if you want to give that a try.

Ice Skating

There are so many ice skating options in Central Oregon now! The Pavilion, run by Bend Parks and Rec, is the biggest and is mostly indoors. Sunriver has a covered ice rink, and there is an outdoor rink at the Seventh Mountain Resort as well. All the rinks have skate rentals and sell hot cocoa, so you’re all set to pursue your Olympic dreams on the ice!

Finish your snow adventures with dinner on the patio at 10 Barrel or Sunriver Brewing, and you’ll have the perfect end to a perfect Central Oregon winter wonderland day. 

Did I miss anything? What are your favorite winter activities in Central Oregon?