Dave Dallas is well qualified to recommend activities for kids—he teaches third grade at Amity Creek School. He and his wife, Mary, are also known for their participation in strenuous outdoor activities. Dave is a triathlete who recently completed his first Ironman in Coeur d'Alene. Mary's preference is cyclocross and mountain bike racing, and also recently won the women's Masters Oregon State Championships.
The couple have two children, Cullen, 17, and Kiley, 14, and, when not competing, suggest the following family-friendly activities in Bend.
The Dallases like to mix pleasure with shopping, bringing the family to the water feature play areas at either the center-court water fountain at the Cascade Village Shopping Center or the spray feature at Centennial Plaza in Redmond. Redmond's water attraction also offers a kiosk with ice cream, water, hotdogs, and sunscreen, and operates through Labor Day, so get there soon.
For elementary age students, Dave's can't-miss suggestion is a visit to the High Desert Museum just south of Bend on Hwy 97. The popular museum is often a class-trip destination offering birds of prey, otters, porcupines, and a bobcat. The 1904 Miller Family Ranch presents a living history and insight into our past, and the daily Raptors of the Desert Sky program is especially popular. Visit their website at highdesertmuseum.org for ticket prices and current events.
Take your pick of an easy outdoor hike to Proxy Falls or, on that rare rainy day, head to the new downtown Vector Volcano Classic Arcade, where the games may be older than the kids, but fun none-the-less.
Proxy Falls is located off of the McKenzie Pass on the western side of the Cascades, 6.5 miles after turning off of Route 126. Two trails, one easily traversed by families, ends at the 226-foot falls. Bring a camera, a raincoat if you want to get close, and good shoes. Best time to visit is between June and November, but be sure to check for road closures before heading out, as early snow closes the road until spring.
The downtown video arcade on Oregon Avenue presents old-time video game favorites from the '70s and '80s. Unlimited play costs just $5 for one hour and $10 gets you all day play.
For all ages
If you find yourself with kids of all ages for the day, Dave insists that a float on the river is always a hit. If possible, this activity will get more popular with the completion of the Colorado Dam project.
And, Dave wouldn't be a teacher if he didn't recommend Bend's public library where there are books and programs for readers of all ages.