Fun things to do with kids
Wheel Fun Rentals
Wheel Fun Rentals offers seasonal bike rentals (Memorial Day to Labor Day). Rent a Surrey that seats 4-6 people and ride through the Old Mill District and along the river trail. Wheel Fun Rentals has surreys, coupes, cruisers and mt. bikes, tandem bikes, electric bikes, chariot, baby jogger, kids trailer and more. Visit Wheel Fun Rentals for more information and check out all the bike options. Located at the pump house across the pond from Flatbread Community Oven at the north end of the Old Mill District.
Video: How to Bend a Fun Day with the Kids
Activities and things to do with the kids are endless in Bend, Oregon. From bike rentals to ice cream, Chelsea finds herself with a surrey full of kids and plenty of smiles. Family-friendly fun happens in the Old Mill District. Share how your family likes to have fun with us @OldMillDistrict #HowtoBend
Solar Viewing in the Old Mill District
See the sun through a telescope! The Oregon Observatory will offer Solar Viewing in the Old Mill District on Tuesdays through September (12 noon- 2pm), in the plaza next to Strictly Organic Coffee Co.
Great Horned Owl
See an owl up close and learn more from a Naturalist! The Sunriver Nature Center will be in the Old Mill District on Tuesdays through September (3:30 - 4:30pm) with a Great Horned Owl. In the plaza next to Strictly Organic Coffee Co.
Birding & Binoculars
The Old Mill District and the East Cascades Audubon Society have teamed up to create a free beautifully illustrated list of birds that are native to the Bend area. Spotting birds from the list while spending time on local trails, rivers and parks is just another way to enjoy all the wonderful wildlife the region has to offer.
The Deschutes Public Library offer children’s story times throughout the year. Baby Steps offers 15 min. of gentle stories, songs and nursery rhymes (ages 0-18 mo.) Toddlin’ Tales provides 25 min. of early literacy-based stories, movement rhymes and songs (ages 18 -36 mo.) Preschool Parade is 30 min. of early literacy-based stories, songs, rhymes and occasional crafts (ages 3-5 yrs.). Visit Deschutes Library for a full list of story times.
Art Station’s fall classes for kids include weekend family workshops, early childhood classes for kids 2-6, and after school classes for kids 6-13 including the sequential 12-week long “Children’s Art Academy”. Adult students can enjoy workshops in watercolor, glass fusion, jewelry making, as well as multi-week classes in drawing, painting, clay, songwriting and much more.
Bend Park & Recreation District
Bend Park & Recreation District offers numerous classes and camp for kids, youth and adults throughout the year. Look for a range of classes including Circus Camp, KPOV Radio Camp, Recycle Trash to Treasures at Sara Bella, numerous youth sports classes and much more for a range of ages. Visit Bend Park & Recreation District for more information on these free programs and a full list of seasonal camps.
Bend Science Station
Check out the Bend Science Station for super fun science camps and after school classes. In addition to our fully equipped laboratories on Awbey Butte, you’ll find us doing cool science everywhere from the Deschutes River to the Oregon Coast this summer. Starting in September explore black holes and learn how to relax on a bed of nails in our after school classes designed for elementary and middle school kids.
Cascade Center of Photography
Cascade Center of Photography offers numerous photography classes for youth and adults. Join professional photographers and explore downtown, our historic district, parks and rivers of Bend on Mondays at 10am at Visit Bend for a two hour class.
Cascade School of Music
Cascade School of Music offers a range of musical lessons (Kindermusik, singing, guitar, flute, chamber music, jazz, school of rock) and much more for a range of kids ages (Infant- 6 years, 4-6, 6-9, 8-9, 10-14, etc.). Summer classes, camps, workshops and private classes available for kids, youth and adults at Cascade School of Music.
Des Chutes Historical Museum
The Des Chutes Historical Museum offers historical walking tours, spotlight tours and guided museum tours. Tuesdays: Heritage Walk: Early Days of Bend and Saturdays: Heritage Walk: Architectural Styles of a Neighborhood. Both walks are offered Tuesdays and Saturday at 11am through September 6. Museum spotlight tours include 1813 Rock Talk, Trails Tales-The Other Oregon Trails. Museum tours and spotlight tours are available Wednesday-Friday. Visit Des Chutes Historical Museum for exact times of each tour.
Why Des Chutes? The name Deschutes originated when French explorers referred to the riviere des chutes, meaning the river of the falls. They were referring to the falls where the Deschutes River empties into the Columbia River. The name was applied to early post offices and eventually simplified into the modern deschutes. Since 1980, the Des Chutes Historical Museum has been located in the historic Reid School, located at 129 NW Idaho.
High Desert Museum
Be the Dinosaur: Life in the Cretaceous
The exhibition combines interactive video simulations with tradition exhibits and fossil specimens including a T-Rex skull, allosaurus and mosasaur fossils. Be the Dinosaurs also includes fossils of plants, amphibians, reptiles, mammals and birds. On view through September 15.
Ranching in Oregon: Contemporary Issues
The exhibition explores ranching practices and how ranchers are looking for innovative ways for cattle, people and land to function together in economically and environmentally sounds ways. Topics include wildfires, water laws, invasive species, wildlife, public land agencies and more. One view through December.
Live Animal Programs include Raptors of the Desert Sky, Bird of Prey Encounter, Desert Dwellers Show, Otter Talk, Desertarium Encounter, Cat Talk and more. Living History Enter the year 1904 and join the Miller Family ranch and sawmill. Visit the High Desert Museum.
Tin Pan Alley Art Collection
Bend now has public art hanging in the City’s downtown parking garage and alley wall of The Oxford Hotel. Megan McGuinness, Mark Rada, Jesse Roberts and Andrew Wachs are the first four artists in the new collection. Andrew Wachs, metal artist and fabricator made the metal frames and each artist received a sheet of plywood on which to work.
Wachs’ piece is a sculptural abstract representation of the fault strata of the local landscape. Finding Gold in Cascadia, by Megan McGuinness was inspired by how only the strongest things can grow in the desert and how plants fight to withstand the heat of the day and the freezing nights.
Central, by Mark Rada was inspired by the community of Bend and created using mixed media including spray paint, latex house paint and acrylic. We Will Rise, by Jesse Roberts reflects upon local Native Americans whose story continues through struggle. Visit the entrance on Lava Road to see Finding Gold in Cascadia and on the lower level of the parking garage to see Central and We Will Rise. Andrew Wachs’ piece is on the exterior wall of the Oxford Hotel.