Family Fun at Oregon Winterfest

Brenda@livingthebendlife.com Winter Adventures

Our family got to experience another Bend first over the weekend… Winterfest! So many fun things to do, there really is something for everyone! We started our Saturday with the Kid’s Hot Cocoa Run & ended it with live music at night, while enjoying so many cool things in between. In a town loaded with festivals in the summer and fall, the Oregon Winterfest gave us a taste of what we’ve been missing here in Bend during the winter!

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The Winterfest Kids Run gave us the chance to watch the kids race around to make the most creative cup of hot cocoa their imagination could dream up! The kids ran to the first station to get their On Point Community Credit Union cup. The next two stations had loads of goodies for the kids to add to their cup…chocolate & strawberry syrup, chocolate chips, marshmallows and Oreo cookies!

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Once the kids crossed the finish line, they headed to the last station to have their cup filled with hot cocoa! It was quite a tasty treat for all that hard work!

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Next, we hit up the local food carts to grab a bite to eat. I was happy to see some of my absolute favorites…Shred Town & Barrio!

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As we finished up lunch, the K9 Kings Flying Dogs Show got underway. It’s an adorable show and reminds me of something I might have seen on America’s Got Talent. This was an incredibly popular event, and the space was actually quite small, so I wasn’t able to get any pictures of the action. My kids were lucky enough to squeeze up to the front for prime viewing. There are multiple show times, so if one gets too full, you can get there early for the next one and get a spot up front. Hopefully next year the organizers will figure out a spot that is more accommodating for the bigger crowd.           IMG_8327                   FullSizeRender-e1454538584716*

After the dog show, we headed straight over to the Metal Mulisha area to get a prime spot for this amazing stunt show. Speaking of America’s Got Talent, these guys were actually on the show last season. My son was stoked to see the action up close! It was also a major bonus when the guys rode by and gave the kids a high five as they passed.

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After the shows, we hit up the bounce houses and the OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry) Kids Science Tent. There were so many cool things to explore and do in the science tent! We could’ve spent hours here with all the interactive displays, puzzles, and hourly demonstrations and experiments!

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Before leaving for the day, we enjoyed checking out the local vendors at the Marketplace…

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Watching amazing Ice Carvings in the making…

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And judging (although not officially) the Fire Pit creations…

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And of course, there is always beer in Bend…

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We went home to drop the kids off and grab a quick bite to eat before heading back down to Winterfest to enjoy some live music. Both Friday & Saturday night offer live music with three bands throughout the night. This year the stage was in a large tent, which was nice since it was cold and windy this weekend. And one of the best parts…you always run into friends when you are in Bend! Love living in a small town!

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Here are a few tips, which I will of course repost prior to the event next year. Purchase your tickets online prior to the event to avoid a long wait at the entrance. If you have a Mt Bachelor ski pass, it includes your admission to Winterfest. Just bring your pass and ID to claim your ticket. You exchange your ticket for a wristband at the entrance. If you plan to go on multiple days, remind your kids not to remove their wristband! The main entrance is on the other side of the bridge coming from the Old Mill District, and it is very crowded with long lines coming in. There is another entrance off Shevlin-Hixon Rd. (which is closed during the event). There was literally no line at this entrance and brought you straight in to the Marketplace. The live music scene was more of an adult thing. Not only is it late (except for the first band), but it is super loud and there were not many kids there, so get a sitter for Winterfest after dark. Have some tips of your own you would like to share? Please leave a comment and I will add it to the list! Thanks!

*photos courtesy of Oregon Winterfest website