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Ways to Celebrate the Holidays in Bend, Oregon 2020

  |  Central Oregon, Happenings, Local Happenings, Neighborhood Insight

The holiday season is well underway! By now, we’re all accustomed to hearing about altered events and other changed plans in 2020, but we’re happy to report that the holidays are not cancelled in Bend. The city comes to life each holiday season — and this year is no exception!

We’re detailing the many ways you can still celebrate the magic of the season in Bend, including a socially distanced Santa sighting, virtual shopping events, drive-thru lighting events, and other ways to give back and support local businesses. Because if there’s anything we’ve learned this year, it’s that Bendites are creative and resilient, even amidst unspeakable challenges.

Have a happy holiday season in Bend!

 

HOLIDAY EVENTS IN BEND

Locavore Holiday Gift Faire

November 23–December 8 (Contactless Pickup on December 12)

For 11 years, the Locavore Gift Faire has been one of the best ways to shop for locally made gifts — and this year is no exception. The event is going virtual, with online ordering available from November 23 through December 8. Peruse the work of local artists, farmers and crafters, including art, local honey or vinegar, hats, paintings, jewelry, and much more. Whatever you buy, your purchase helps support our thriving local arts scene! Contactless pickup will occur at the Agricultural Connections warehouse on December 12 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

 

Santa in the Old Mill District

December 4–5, December 11–12 + December 18–19

Santa Visits in Bend, Oregon

While SantaLand is closed for the 2020 season (Santa is social distancing, after all), there is still an opportunity to catch a glimpse of jolly Old Saint Nick this year! On the three weekends leading up to Christmas Day, you can watch Santa and some of his friends drive through the Old Mill District in the back of a pickup truck on his way to pick up letters left in two special red North Pole mailboxes. Spectators may cheer on Santa while he collects his letters, while maintaining distance from one another and Santa and his special helpers.

 

Menorah Lighting

December 10

Join the Chabad of Oregon for the 10th annual Menorah Lighting in the Old Mill District on the first night of Hanukkah at 4:30 p.m. Due to COVID-19, the lighting ceremony will be held in the westside parking lot across the Deschutes River, where spectators can view the menorah from their cars. There will be music, an inflatable dreidel and a large screen showing Hanukkah videos. Plus, the Rabbi and his wife will be passing out a treat bag to each car. After the ceremony, the menorah will be transported to the Center Plaza in the Old Mill District, where it will remain throughout the duration of the holiday. This event is free to the public and people of all faiths are welcome.

 

Christmas Movies at the Tower Theatre

December 4–6

The Tower Theatre is playing a number of Christmas classics to kick off the holiday season, including National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation on December 4, The Grinch and Elf on December 5, and The Polar Express on December 6. While we love watching our favorite movies at home, there’s something extra special about going to the theater for a special viewing!

 

COVID NOTE: The Tower’s relaunch plan adheres to the guidance from Governor Brown, the Oregon Health Authority and the Deschutes County Health Services. 6-foot physical distancing between groups must be respected at all times and face coverings are required for all guests. Seating will be assigned by Box Office staff in advance of shows and given to patrons upon arrival. There will be hand sanitizing stations and frequent sanitizing of common touchpoints. Click here for more details about the theater’s COVID-19 policies.

 

Patrick Lamb’s “Charlie Brown Christmas” at the Tower Theatre

December 11 + 12

Tower Theatre Bend, OR

Photo courtesy of Tower Theatre

If you missed the Tower’s holiday movies, have no fear! Return to this historic theater for a festive performance of “Charlie Brown Christmas” by Billboard Charting saxophonist Patrick Lamb alongside his quartet and members of a Central Oregon children’s choir. Hum along to the music of Vince Guaraldi’s iconic “Charlie Brown Christmas” soundtrack in addition to Patrick’s album, With a Christmas Heart. Buy tickets for this special show on either December 11 or December 12.

COVID NOTE: The Tower’s relaunch plan adheres to the guidance from Governor Brown, the Oregon Health Authority and the Deschutes County Health Services. 6-foot physical distancing between groups must be respected at all times and face coverings are required for all guests. Seating will be assigned by Box Office staff in advance of shows and given to patrons upon arrival. There will be hand sanitizing stations and frequent sanitizing of common touchpoints. Click here for more details about the theater’s COVID-19 policies.

 

ALL SEASON LONG

Holiday Light Show at Sunriver Resort

November 25–January 3

Sunriver Resort invites guests and members of the public to their backyard for a magnificent light show, occurring three times each evening all the way through January 3. Make a trip to Sunriver, grab a hot toddy or a hot cocoa at The Merchant Trader Cafe, and head to the backyard at 5:30, 6:30 or 7:30 p.m. to witness thousands of lights dancing to the beat of your favorite holiday songs. Shows last 15-20 minutes and will rotate through a selection of songs with a mix of kids and adult favorites!

COVID NOTE: All guests are required to maintain a 6-foot distance from others and wear a face mask when visiting indoor spaces open to the public or outdoor spaces when physical distancing is not possible. Click here for Sunriver Resort’s COVID-19 policies.

 

North Pole Mailboxes

November 27–December 19

Santa may be social distancing this year, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t collecting letters! Drop off your letters, detailing your Christmas wishes or just to say hello, at one of the two North Pole mailboxes in the Old Mill District. One is located near Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream and the other is by Jimmy John’s. Then, return on the Fridays and Saturdays leading up to Christmas to witness Santa and his crew picking up the letters. All letters will receive a response from the North Pole, so be sure to include your return address!

 

NorthWest Crossing Holiday Tour of Lights

December 1–20

NWX presents the Northwest Crossing Tour of Lights, a socially distanced way to see lights displayed by NorthWest Crossing Community businesses and residents, each day from December 1–20. Visit the NWX website to download addresses or pick up a printed flyer at Roundabout Books, then take on the scavenger hunt challenge by seeking out some merry features spread throughout the tour! You also have a chance to win Northwest gift baskets by sharing tour photos and tagging #nwtouroflights in an Instagram post by December 20. Be sure to drop off non-perishable food items for the Salvation Army at participating businesses.

 

Tree of Joy

Each holiday season, the Salvation Army, the four Rotary Clubs of Bend and the Old Mill District team up for Tree of Joy, a seasonal fundraiser making a big impact. The program helps families in need by providing new clothing and toys to 1,500 children each year. You can participate by shopping online on this Walmart registry. Your generous gift will bring joy to a local child and help these organizations rescue Christmas this year, when so many families are struggling.

 

Cut Down Your Own Tree

Christmas Trees in Bend, OR

If you don’t have a tree yet, there’s still time to track down the perfect one! Many hike into the Deschutes or Ochoco National Forest each December to cut down a tree, choosing from the wide variety of Douglas Firs, White Firs, Incense Cedars, Lodgepole Pines and Ponderosa Pines. Simply purchase a permit online and make sure to review the guidelines and restrictions for collecting your tree.

 

If you’d rather skip the hunting and sawing, head to Vegetable Man Produce for some freshly cut trees grown right here in Oregon. Starting on November 27, they are selling Nobles and Nordmanns, in addition to other products like garland and wreaths, at each of their three locations throughout Bend. They also offer delivery and setup for an additional fee!

 

Order a Takeout Meal

This holiday season is bound to look different, as many of us are cancelling large-scale gatherings or limiting travel. So, if you’ve found yourself doing all the cooking at home this year, take a break by ordering a holiday meal from a local restaurant! This is also an excellent way to support the many restaurants in our midst during this challenging time. Check out this complete list of restaurants in Bend and Redmond offering takeout — plus Old Mill District restaurants doing curbside pickup and delivery.

 

Shop From Small, Locally Owned Shops

Holiday Shopping in Bend, OR

This year, it is more important to support small, locally owned shops than ever before. Many of these independent businesses depend on our financial support to make it year after year, and it’s no secret that the pandemic has taken its toll on business for our favorite shops. Bend Marketplace features a curated selection of products and services from Bend’s boutique retailers, restaurants, breweries and more, which you can shop online from the comfort of your home!

 

Happy Holidays!

From our family to yours, we wish you a wonderful holiday season. What holiday events in Bend are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below!

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About the Author

Melissa Peterson, Director of Agent Services and Technology

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