Bite of Bend
- Jessica Milnes
- Grab a treat at the Bite of Bend.
June 15-17The Bite of Bend celebrates the region’s unique ingredients and cuisine by bringing together chefs, bartenders and food enthusiasts for a three-day food party on the streets of downtown Bend. Sample savory bites from local restaurants, while relaxing and grooving to the live music. There’s something for everyone: Mom and Dad will enjoy the Beer Run, while the kids compete in their own Little Hopper Root Beer Run (part of the Kids Rock the Races series). Don’t miss the two days of Top Chef Competition featuring local chefs from around Central Oregon. Entry into the event is free.
Fourth of July Pet Parade
- Bend Park and Rec.
- Do you own thing at the 4th of July Pet Parade.
If you are in Bend for Independence Day, check out the Pet Parade. This is good old-fashioned fun at its finest. Dating back to 1932, the Bend Pet Parade comes to downtown Bend every 4th of July, where families walk, bike or ride with their pets (think llamas, lizards, wiener dogs and stuffed animals) through the streets of Bend. This off-the-wall tradition, where costumes are encouraged, pets are mandatory and creativity abounds, attracts around 8,000 participants and spectators each year. The decorating party and lineup begins at 9am on Wall Street in front of the Bend-La Pine School Admin Building (520 NW Wall Street). The parade begins at 10am, sharp. Oh, and every child receives a free popsicle!
Munch & Music
Every Thursday July 12-August 16
A Bend tradition, in its 27th year, Munch & Music brings music and community together in Drake Park. Every Thursday evening, on the lawn, expect a sea of blankets and low chairs with families and friends hanging out enjoying live music. Mirror Pond provides a stunning backdrop to the stage as the sun sinks in the sky. Each week brings an opening act and a headliner, food carts, artisan booths, beer and more! Entry into the event is free.
Bend Summer Festival
- Feel the energy at Summerfest.
This is Bend’s largest summer festival. Once a year, downtown Bend comes alive when the streets are closed, the tents pop up and families pour into the magical vibe of summer. Peruse the wares of unique local artists, sample gourmet foods, marvel at gorgeous bouquets of flowers and the bountiful fruits of summer. Kids will love the children’s area which includes fun activities like balloon animals, face painting and bounce houses. In addition, the Children’s Museum of Central Oregon offers hands-on experiments for kids with inquisitive minds. Being a traditional street fair, food vendors offer an eclectic mix of plates and carnival-style treats. The Minnesota Street Hub offers free live jazz and local gourmet booths. Wander around during the day with the family, then plan a date night to experience the incredible lineup at the three music stages while sampling the array of microbrews and ciders. Entry to the event is free.
Balloons Over Bend
- Balloons Over Bend night glow.
One special weekend in July, you can watch your children’s faces light up as they look up into the morning sky and witness the rainbow-colored giants gliding across Central Oregon. Hot-air balloons and kids just seem to go together. Drenched in tradition, ballooning attracts an extraordinary breed at the helm: pilots who honor the French founders with champagne ceremonies and loyal crews who chase the balloon during the wee hours of the morning. What could be more fun? Balloons Over Bend is a festive weekend that not only offers opportunities to witness awe-inspiring hot air balloons at the Night Glow event and morning launches, but also features the Children’s Festival on Saturday. Here, Central Oregon businesses offer an array of children’s activities, such as bounce houses, face painting and the Balloons Blast Kids Race (part of the Kids Rock the Races series). This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness the entire ballooning process from start to launch. More information about the festival is available at:
Deschutes County Fair
August 1-5Make family memories this summer at the much-anticipated week-long county fair in Redmond at the Expo Center. This year’s theme is “Cheers to 99 Years!” and celebrates a rich history of the largest fair in Oregon. Kids will be enthralled by the vast array of farm animals presented by 4-H and FFA members. Hunt for the blue ribbons in a wide variety of categories from beer to cheese, ceramics to an all-time favorite: baked goods. There’s even a talent show open to all for a chance at winning $150. Wednesday through Saturday nights don’t miss the rodeo and the free concerts (included with the price of entry). As the kids find their way to the carnival rides and the midway, look for your favorite fair fare: funnel cakes, elephant ears, or shaved ice anyone? There’s a wide variety of music, shows and demonstrations that you’ll not want to miss as well.
OUT OF TOWN EVENTS
Britt Music Festival
- Claire Thorington
- Britt Music Festival.
Located in the historic gold rush town of Jacksonville in Southern Oregon, Britt presents dozens of summer concerts, featuring world-class artists in classical, jazz, blues, folk, bluegrass, world, pop and country music. Britt’s performance venue is a naturally formed amphitheater set among ponderosa pines on the beautiful hillside estate of 19th century photographer, Peter Britt. It’s a casual venue where you can still bring your own picnic and wine, hang out on your blanket and listen to some world-class acts. Concerts run throughout the summer and include special kid’s events, including Michael Franti’s family matinee and a series of free BrittKids concerts. With Ashland being so close to the venue, a Southern Oregon family road trip seems like a great idea! Check out the line-up and schedule at:
Lincoln City Kite Festival
- Lincoln City Visitor & Convention Bureau
- Lincoln City Kite Festival.
Well worth the trip to the coast, this weekend event in Lincoln City features performances by professional kite fliers, a sand race with runners strapped to a parachute kite, kids’ kite-making workshops, a kids and kites parade on the beach and more! Bring the whole family to watch the beautiful kites dance in the wind with the breathtaking backdrop of the Pacific Ocean. Who knew there were professionals who choreograph kite dances to music? In addition to the kite festival, Lincoln City offers an array of family-friendly activities that make this a memorable coastal adventure. Find out more at:
Oregon Country Fair
July 13-15An extremely unique Oregon tradition (think enchanted forest, body paint, and vaudeville), the Oregon Country Fair offers a magical experience for kids and families. Acrobats, jugglers, and artists abound, as well as some very impressive sculptures and beautiful costumes. Set in the woodsy area of Veneta just outside of Eugene, during the fair, the natural environment is transformed into a neighborhood full of makeshift tents and booths, full of vendors selling uniquely Oregon-made wares. Although the venue can get quite crowded and dusty, especially on Saturday, attending the fair on Friday or Sunday can make a world of difference. There is wonderful food, endless people-watching, music and numerous play areas for children. Kids will love the arts and crafts, puppeteers and music.