Central Oregon can be described as the perfect outdoor playground for adults and kids alike, which makes Bend the perfect destination for your next family vacation. After a long day of hiking, biking, skiing, or simply enjoying the countless sunny days that Bend has to offer, it’s guaranteed that you and the kids will need a place to refuel and relax.
Bend’s remarkable restaurant scene has plenty of family-friendly establishments that offer kids menus, play areas and delicious food that will satisfy the youngest to oldest members of the family. With classic pubhouse fare, mouthwatering pizza, farm to table cuisine and much more, these Bend restaurants offer something that everyone, even the pickiest of eaters, will enjoy.
PLAYSPACE + FOOD
Walt Reily’s, an eatery and recreation center in Bend, brings outdoor fun to a massive indoor space that families can enjoy year-round. Located on Century Drive, it’s a great place to take kids for an afternoon of fun and food. With one of a kind virtual golf suites, virtual batting cages and a state of the art mini golf course, it’s guaranteed to offer hours of entertainment. Feeling a bit hungry after all that putt putt? Fuel up with something off of Walt’s elevated-casual food and drink menus. Find a great selection of shareable small plates, healthy options and delicious smash burgers. The kids menu offers mac and cheese, chicken strips, grilled cheese and a mini smash burger. With its endless entertainment options and delicious food Walt Reilly’s is sure to satisfy adults and active kids alike.
Jackson’s Corner has been providing locally sourced, handcrafted food and drinks to the community of Bend for over ten years. Known for the delicious brunch, woodfired pizzas and housemade sourdough bread, this local eatery is a must try. Conveniently located on Delaware Avenue, less than a half-mile from downtown, it’s the perfect spot to grab a meal after shopping around town. Jackson’s is committed to supporting Central Oregon’s local community of farmers and ranchers, making each meal a farm-to-table experience. With its laid back atmosphere, outdoor play area and the legendary kids ‘cheesy sticks, it’s no surprise that families are frequent flyers to Jackson’s Corner.
Active Culture is a neighborhood cafe, located on Riverside Boulevard, providing the Bend community with nourishing, healthy and delicious food. Swing by for breakfast, lunch or dinner and enjoy a variety of smoothies, grain bowls, sandwiches and more. The vegetable-focused menu relies on whole grains, local organic eggs, house made sauces, and fresh fruits and vegetables to craft high-quality fast food. It is also the perfect place to introduce active kids to nutritious and tasty foods in a fun environment. While waiting for an ‘itsy bitsy bagel’, kids acai bowl or sunrise burrito, children can venture out to the play area which includes a play structure, slides and a sandbox. There is also an indoor kids corner where puzzles, books and coloring sheets are provided to keep the kids entertained.
OUTDOOR PLAY + FOOD
Justy’s, a local bar and grill just off of Century Drive, is the perfect place to end a day of Central Oregon adventure. With its vibrant atmosphere, fun activities and tasty treats, it’s guaranteed that the whole family will have a blast here. Try to snag a seat on the rooftop deck for stunning mountain and sunset views. The kitchen cooks up elevated pub fare with a kids menu offering mini corn dogs, grilled cheese, hamburgers and more. The food is great but the real show stoppers are the sand volleyball court, ping pong table and corn hole toss which are guaranteed to provide endless entertainment for both children and adults.
Bend Brewing Company
Bend Brewing Company is the second oldest brewery in Bend and its riverfront location continues to be an iconic downtown landmark. Beyond the great craft beer on tap, its pub menu offers a wide variety of appetizers, salads, burgers and more that the family will enjoy. Take the party outside to enjoy Bend Brewing’s patio which overlooks the Deschutes River and where you will often find live music playing. There is also a large grass field that offers yard games and plenty of space for kiddos to run around.
El Sancho is a legendary taco stand turned restaurant with locations on both Bend’s east and west sides. The vibe is funky and fun, the service is friendly and the food is delicious. With lots of patio seating at both locations you can enjoy your tacos and margaritas in the fresh air. The kids menu offers rice and beans, a kids quesadilla and a variety of kids tacos. Be sure to check out their food cart located at Crux Fermentation as it’s the perfect location for kids to hang out, with a big grassy lawn and lots of yard games.
On Tap is a beer garden and food truck lot on Bend’s east side that offers an elevated atmosphere and lots of fun. With six food trucks that offer everything from Mediterranean to Himalayan and everything in between it’s guaranteed that every palate will be satisfied. There is an extensive tap list for the adults to choose from. With firepits, live music and yard games it’s the perfect venue for an evening of family fun. Plus there is a large grass field that’s the ideal space for active kids to get their wiggles out.
Pacific Pizza and Brew
Pacific Pizza and Brew has provided the community of Bend with high-quality food in a casual environment for almost ten years. Located on Southwest Century Drive in Bend, it’s the perfect spot to end a busy day of family fun in the great outdoors. Start off with an order of the garlic fries, enjoy a fresh caesar salad and finish the evening off with one of the delicious handcrafted pizzas. The entire menu is kid-friendly but the option to build-your-own pie is especially popular with the younger crowd. Warm up in the large dining hall after a day in the snow or snag a spot on the patio during the warmer summer months.
Old Mill District Restaurants
It’s not uncommon for families to spend a whole day enjoying all that Bend’s Old Mill District has to offer. Nestled right alongside the Deschutes River, there are restaurants, shops, lodging, an outdoor concert amphitheater and opportunities for numerous outdoor activities in the river or on paved pathways on either side. Between activities, take the kids to one the Old Mill’s various kid-friendly restaurants to refuel before heading back out. At Flatbread Community Oven pizza toppings are brought straight to the table so everyone in the family can make their own pizza. Mio Sushi has a kids bento box with miso soup, edamame, steamed rice and a choice of teriyaki chicken, assorted tempura or a California roll. Red Robins has a kids menu offering mac & cheese, hamburgers, mini corn dogs and more. Are the kids itching for some dessert after dinner? Snag a kid’s size cup or cone of Ben & Jerry’s.
MORE KID-FRIENDLY DINING
The tagline for The Phoenix, located on Bellevue Avenue on the east side of Bend, is “a restaurant for everyone.” With a diverse selection of dishes, served in a comfortable and casual atmosphere, it seems this tagline is true. Diners may choose from a variety of cuisines, with dishes including house made soups, freshly made salads, crowd-pleasing pizzas or classic comfort food dishes such as bacon-wrapped meatloaf or ginger soy-glazed salmon. With a kids menu offering cheese pizza, chicken fingers, cheese burgers, BBQ pork ribs and more The Phoenix is truly a restaurant for everyone.
The craft beer craze that Central Oregon is now famous for all began with one small brewpub in the heart of Bend. Deschutes Brewery, which was founded in 1988, is an iconic downtown fixture well-loved by locals and visitors alike. This is a must stop for the grown-up beer lovers of the group, but this brewery does more than just good beer. The food menu is full of classic pub cuisine made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. The Bond Street downtown location is large and lively, and has a kids menu offering cheese pizza, fish and chips, butter and noodles, and a kids burger that will satisfy all hungry bellies.
Brother Jon’s Public House
Brother Jon’s Public House, tucked into a repurposed cottage on Galveston Avenue in west Bend, is the spot to go for a classic pub experience. Brother Jon’s offers a laid back, family friendly atmosphere, seasonal sports on TV, and a full bar for the grown-ups to enjoy. The spicy buffalo mac, steak frites and multiple burger varieties are all consistent crowd pleasers. Kids can take their pick from the grilled cheese, mini corn dogs, quesadillas and more offered on the kids menu. Find a seat in one of Brother Jon’s three separate dining rooms or head out to the deck for some fresh air.
10 Barrel Brewing Co.
As the winner of Bend’s best brewpub for multiple years, 10 Barrel Brewing is doing something right. With twenty taps of seasonal and one-off beers available at this family friendly brewery, it’s the perfect spot to unwind. Try to snag a spot on the popular patio to enjoy an ice cold beer and some tasty food in front of one of the various fire pits. The most adventurous to the pickiest of eaters are guaranteed to find something to snack on. Appetizers include everything from pork belly pites to loaded nachos to chicken wings. For main courses choose from a selection of fresh salads, gourmet burgers and pizzas. Both the westside location on Galveston Avenue and the eastside location on Northeast 18th Street guarantee a good time for the whole family.
More inspiring stories, adventures, and tips & tricks for planning and experiencing the best Central Oregon has to offer.
Winter Tours You Have to Try in Bend and Central Oregon
Twinkling lights, fresh snow and fire pits bringing people together; it’s winter in Central Oregon! Bend and the surrounding towns within Central Oregon are great places to cozy up when the snow falls, and even better places to take part in winter recreation. Locals love to explore the nearby Cascade Mountains, with Mount Bachelor and plenty of sno parks located just a 30 minute drive away. Back in town, there are several breweries, cideries, wineries and distilleries waiting to be sampled. With so much to do, it can be tough to know where to start. Luckily, tours in Central Oregon that showcase the best outdoor and indoor recreation are available to help visitors make the most of their winter vacations.
Make the Most of Your Bend and Central Oregon Ski Vacation
Dreaming of skiing in Bend, Oregon? The Central Oregon region is an incredible destination for a ski getaway. While the average snowfall in Bend is a little more than thirty inches, Central Oregon ski resorts boast annual numbers of more than 450 inches. From Bend, visitors can drive to Mt. Bachelor resort in just 30 minutes or the Hoodoo Ski Area in less than an hour. Outside of the resorts, there are boundless backcountry trails for cross-country skiing to glide into pristine and untouched wilderness. With tons of snow, a plethora of winter activities in Central Oregon, and seemingly endless miles of terrain to explore, Bend and Central Oregon make the perfect ski getaway. Read on to discover how to make the most of your ski-cation in this winter wonderland.
Ice Skating Rinks You Have to Try in Bend and Sunriver
Bend and Sunriver are two excellent winter destinations. The offering of winter activities in Central Oregon are immense. Snow typically falls fast and heavy and visitors get to experience a winter wonderland filled with snow capped Ponderosa pines and fresh powder. In such a winter wonderland, it makes sense that Bend and Sunriver would have a selection of ice skating spots. Whether guests choose to twirl on the ice, casually glide or just kick back with a hot cocoa while the kids play, a trip to the ice skating rink can help cap off any Central Oregon winter getaway.
Best Shopping in Bend and Redmond, Oregon
Shopping in Central Oregon has evolved over time, thanks to an influx of outdoor enthusiasts, organic farmers, antique purveyors and entrepreneurs of all kinds moving in, and subsequently sharing their products with the community. This mixed bag of motivated individuals creates a marketplace full of locally sourced, handcrafted items that can’t be found anywhere else. In addition to small, local businesses, Central Oregon’s growth in population in recent years has garnered the attention of some larger retailers, who have opened up shop in Bend and Redmond. Shopping in Bend, Oregon and likewise, shopping in Redmond, Oregon, provides visitors with a look inside our local industries, while simultaneously providing opportunities to purchase from well known retailers. It’s also worth mentioning that shopping in Central Oregon and throughout the state is tax-free, offering shoppers a built-in excuse to buy whatever catches their eye.
Top 5 Tours to Take in Bend, Oregon
Bend is a nature-lover’s paradise blended with a hop-head’s dream; nowhere else will you find this much craft beer and this many outdoor activities. The city’s been growing quickly, reaching 100,000 residents in 2020, and with the growth comes plentiful opportunities for adventure. From walking the very halls that brew your favorite beer to any number of adrenaline-inducing sports, we have you covered for the five best types of guided tours in Bend, Oregon.
Hopless in Central Oregon: Experience Scenic Cideries and Vino with a View
In an area dominated by craft beer, you might be wondering is there anything else on tap? The answer is, ‘Yes’. Central Oregon is home to award winning cideries and wineries and with postcard-worthy views from their tasting rooms – you won’t be disappointed. Named after the Three Sisters, Faith Hope and Charity Vineyards is just over 30 miles from Bend. It’s hard to complain about the drive though when furry faces from the Alpaca farm nearby greet you right before you turn onto the property.
Pumpkin Patches + Petting Zoos = Fall Family Fun
As soon as the first hint of autumn rolls around, my three kids ask on a regular basis when we can go to the pumpkin patch. This is not simply because they’re eager to gather Halloween décor. To my kids (all under the age of 12), fall means visiting the farm and getting all the animal petting, ropes course playing and barbecue eating they can squeeze into one afternoon.
Casual Family Weekend in Sunriver
Imagine this: you’re riding your bike through a rolling meadow, the Cascade mountain range in the background, and the only sound is from the whir of a prop plane taking off against a crisp blue sky. Up ahead, your children pull carrots from their pockets and present them to a gathering of friendly horses in an adjacent pasture.