From spooky to kooky, there’s tons to do this Halloween in Bend, Oregon
Halloween in Bend can be a little unpredictable, and local moms are fond of saying they choose kids’ costumes based on what will look good over a snowsuit.
One thing you can predict is that there’s always a plethora of fun stuff to do this time of year. Here are some of the highlights:
Hallows’ Eve with the High Desert Museum
Everyone’s favorite interactive museum is offering a fabulous program called Tales of Hallows’ Eve from 4-8 p.m. on Saturday, October 29. The program features live raptors, spooky stories, puppet shows, treats, and more.
Guests will get to experience the gripping tales of Edgar Allen Poe and Edward Gorey in the company of ravens and owls. Characters from the frontier will offer up puppet shows, puppet making, and apple bobbing. You’ll even get to make pumpkin ice cream and discover the origins of jack-o’-lanterns as you do a special jack-o’-lantern craft.
The program is free for members, $2 for non-members. The crafts and puppets are great for all ages, but the Poe and Gorey stories are best for kids 10 and up.
Yeah, they had me at “pumpkin ice cream.”
Spooky spelunking with Wanderlust Tours
First off, I have to say that whoever came up with this idea is a freakin’ genius.
Wanderlust Tours is offering a special cave tour dubbed Hallowed Hollows: Stories of High Desert Spirits. The three hour tours (not to be confused with Gilligan’s Island) kick off at 1:30 and 6:30 on October 29 and 30. Spots are limited and going fast, so you’ll want to jump on this.
What is it, exactly? Wanderlust is offering a special twist on their normal desert lava tube cave tour. Your expert naturalist guide will lead you through the cave, where you’ll encounter a number of high desert frontier personalities in full costume. The “spirits” of Klondike Kate, Chief Paulina and Dr. Urling Coe will be on hand to share their stories and give you insight into Central Oregon history.
Did I mention this all happens in a cave? How cool is that?
The 1:30 tours are great for families and offer healthy treats for kids. The fee for that tour is $55 for adults and $50 for kids under 12. The 6:30 tours are for adults only, and include dessert and cocoa for a fee of $65 a person.
I’ve already had the pleasure of doing a regular cave tour with Wanderlust, so I can promise under the threat of having a zombie eat my brain if I’m lying that this tour will totally rock your socks off.
Historical Haunts and a night with Poe, courtesy of Des Chutes Historical Museum
I spent last Halloween wandering downtown Bend with a guide from Des Chutes Historical Museum who told all sorts of ghostly stories about haunted local buildings.
I still had goose bumps three days later.
This year, the Deschutes Historical Museum is stepping up the game. They’re still doing the Historical Haunts of Downtown Tour from 4-7 p.m. October 27-29. Museum guides will take tour groups for a one-hour walk through downtown Bend to hear ghostly historic tales about downtown buildings.
There will be 12 tours per evening, and they’re offered on a first come, first served basis for $10 per person (free for kids 12 and under and members). Tours begin at the museum and end at the Tower Theater. Don’t forget your mittens and scarves, and you might want to consider bringing a flashlight.
And if that’s not enough ghostly fun, they’re also offering An Evening with Edgar Allan Poe at 8 p.m. October 29-31 with a special matinee at 4 p.m. October 31. Apparently, they’ve found a way to resurrect Poe for this special occasion, and he’ll be on hand to share tales of remorse, lost love and bad behavior. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. You can buy them at the Des Chutes Historical Museum, and the event takes place at the Old Stone Church, 157 NW Franklin Avenue.
Day of the Dead…and the muddy!
In recent years, Bend has become known as the epicenter of Cyclocross racing. For those unfamiliar with the sport, Cyclocross is a form of bike racing that takes place in the fall and winter and features many laps on pavement, mud, wooded trails, mud, grass, steep hills, mud, and obstacles that require riders to dismount and carry the bike.
Did I mention mud? Suffice it to say, this is a fun sport to watch.
But that’s not all there is to the Day of the Dead Cyclocross Festival October 28-30. The event includes the Halloween Cross Crusades on Saturday and Sunday, featuring two full days of epic racing on the national championship course on the Deschutes Brewery course in the Old Mill District. There’s also the Cyclocross Super-D Championship of the Universe and the Clydesdale Cyclocross Championships of the Universe.
But if bike racing isn’t your thing, there’s still oodles of entertainment. Check out the Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show, the always wild-and-crazy Deschutes Brewery Warehouse Party, and the Cross Culture Caminata featuring art, altars, and interpretations of Dia de los Muertos.
While those events won’t be muddy, they will be a whole lot of fun.
So what are you planning for Halloween? Are there any Halloween happenings we neglected to mention? Please share!