Winter took its sweet time getting here, but now it seems it has arrived with fresh snow and cold temperatures creating a prime environment for some of our favorite Central Oregon activities. Visiting Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort for a day of nordic or alpine skiing or snowboarding should, of course, be on everyone’s list. But that’s not all there is to do in our Bend, Oregon winter wonderland. 

Visit Elk Lake: An extremely popular summertime destination, Elk Lake Resort has become a “go-to” location for locals and visitors. The road to the resort closes in the winter months, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get there. You can cross-country ski, snowshoe or snowmobile right to their front door, and the resort also offers transportation by snowcat, for their winter activities. The “moonlight ski and bite” is offered once per month, featuring a three-course meal at the restaurant.

Go Ice Skating: While our local ponds may not freeze solid enough for ice skating like they did back in the day, we still have plenty of options for enjoying a spin. The Inn of the Seventh Mountain has been offering skating for decades, and is hosting several special events throughout the season (requires reservations). Sunriver Resort has a small rink in the heart of its Village Shopping area and the Bend Parks and Recreation Pavilion not only has recreational skating, but also offers ice hockey and curling during the winter months. 

Snowshoe in the Moonlight: Whatever the season, Bend’s Wanderlust Tours can be counted on to help you create special memories. This winter, sign up for one of their moonlight or starlight snowshoe tours which they aptly dub as “a magical meander through the powdery snow-filled forest at night in the Cascade Mountains west of Bend, Oregon.” Tours include a naturalist guide with knowledge of the region, plus all the gear you’ll need. 

Go to WinterFest: A long-time staple in the winter event lineup for Central Oregon, the Oregon WinterFest has moved locations for 2022 to the Deschutes County Fairgrounds in Redmond. With too many activities during the three-day event to list, visitors will enjoy local and regional food vendors, artisans and businesses, plus live music and other live entertainment acts each day and night. Family friendly happenings, like the Play Zone and the Hot Cocoa Run are also worth checking out. 

Go to a Show: Not the cold weather outdoor recreation type? That’s okay. There are some great productions going on in Bend’s thriving theater and performing arts scene. Cascade Theatrical Company will be performing Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express in January 2022, and Shakespeare in Hollywood coming up in March. The Tower Theatre has a huge array of events including Beatles, John Denver and Elton John tribute band performances, a production of The Wizard of Oz, and many other musical events.

So bundle up, grab a cup of hot chocolate and enjoy Central Oregon this winter! 

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