Need to get your family outside this summer? Here are five of the best family activities in Bend and Central Oregon.
Race around the go-kart track
Known for its family-friendly bowling, Sun Mountain Fun Center expands its offerings in the summer months to include batting cages and mini-golf. Best of all is the go-kart track that beckons would-be racers of all ages. The banked track snakes around the north end of the Fun Center in looping ribbons of concrete hemmed in by ubiquitous crash barrier tires. Side bets are encouraged.
Putt-putt at Sunriver’s minigolf course
What happens when you cross a putt-putt course with Sunriver’s Crosswater? If you’re golf architect John Fought, you create a one-of-a-kind bentgrass putting course that melds the family fun of mini-golf with the meticulous conditioning of Sunriver’s championship golf courses. The result is a fun-for-all-ages putting course that challenges and delights while serving as the perfect after-dinner diversion for resort guests.
Visit the local farmers’ market
On farmers’ market days, you’ll find the whole community browsing the stands for farm fresh fruits and veggies. From chefs scouring for the best last-minute ingredients to families plucking produce for the dinner table there is something fresh for any dish. If you miss the market but still want to find local produce, check out Locavore, open year round, or Paradise Produce, a farm stand open every day in the summer on Bend’s Westside. Rainshadow Organics outside Sisters has also opened a small market to complement their CSA’s and farm to table lunches and dinners.
Take a family staycation
Vacations are supposed to be about relaxing and recharging, but the hassles of air travel or prolonged road trips can add stress to any itinerary. The answer: a staycation. With so much to see and so many different options for overnight lodging, Central Oregon is the perfect place live like a tourist, if just for a long weekend. There are plenty of great staycation options, but for a more dollars consider spoiling yourself at one of the many world class resorts in the region, including Sunriver, Black Butte Ranch and Pronghorn and Tetherow. Looking to the east, Brasada is usually near the top of our list for its mix of casual luxury and family fun. Tucked into the base of Powell Butte, Brasada is just a half-an-hour’s drive from Bend, but it feels a world away. A kids’ game center and family pool area, complete with lazy river and waterslide, make for hours of fun. Add in a world-class spa, 18-hole championship golf course, horseback riding and four-star dining and you’ve got a recipe for memories.
Spend the day at Sunriver SHARC
Indoor and outdoor pools and a disc golf course make SHARC (Sunriver Homeowners’ Aquatic & Recreation Center) a fun place for families to spend an afternoon, or a day. You can buy passes for the day, or get a multi-day pass for a deal. Make a day of it by adding meals and shopping in the Sunriver mall. The growing village has eighteen miles of paved paths through the woods and near the Deschutes River for biking and walking. When you’re ready for a break, check out some of the great food options that families will enjoy, such as Sunriver Brewing or Blondie’s Pizzeria.