Sunday night, my 14-year-old stepson and 10-year-old stepdaughter sat transfixed by the weather report.
No, they’re not budding meteorologists. They’re Bend kids desperately hoping for a snow day from school. While they didn’t get one last weekend, the experience got me thinking about what makes snow days so magical for kids.
Know what’s funny? All the things that get kids giddy about snow days in Bend can be replicated easily by visitors of all ages planning a winter trip to this high desert mountain oasis. Here’s what I mean…
Ducking your duties feels good
Admittedly the most alluring element of a snow day for my step-kids is the fact that they’re getting out of school. While they’re fine students who love their classes and teachers, there’s something enthralling about escaping your responsibilities for a day or two.
Luckily, you can replicate that same feeling with a winter vacation in Bend, particularly if you plan your getaway mid-week when you’d ordinarily be at work. Bonus: A mid-week, non-holiday trip means you’re more likely to find rock-bottom prices on lodging and activities. Go here for ideas on deals.
But even if a mid-week trip isn’t an option for you, you’ll still experience the thrill of a snow day whenever you get out of town for a wintery respite. Look around your house right now. See that pile of laundry? Or that sink full of dishes? Wouldn’t it feel exhilarating to just say, “to heck with that” and leave it behind for a weekend of snow-play in Bend?
Sledding, snowball fights, and snow angels
While missing school is obviously a key thing that makes snow days fun for kids, it’s a whole lot more fun to miss school for six inches of fresh powder than for, say, a dentist appointment.
The reason, of course, is that you can frolic and play in the snow a whole lot easier than you can frolic and play in the dentist’s office (plus no one’s chasing you with a drill, so there’s that).
Whether you’re a kid playing hooky from math class or a grownup playing hooky from the office, a snow day in Bend gives you a chance to experience the wonder of winter recreation. Ski fresh powder at Mt. Bachelor. Grab your toboggan and hit the sledding hill. Strap on those snowshoes and go exploring (or better yet, have Wanderlust Tours handle all the gear and driving!)
After that, stage a snowball fight before flopping down in a fresh field of powder to make snow angels. Before you know it, you’ll be feeling like a third-grader.
Get toasty warm again
Half the fun of frolicking in the snow is coming inside to warm up. There’s nothing quite like tumbling through the door all breathless and rosy-cheeked with snow clinging to your hair and a fire in the fireplace. You build yourself a blanket fort, then snuggle up inside with a plate of cookies and a warm cup of cocoa while the snow keeps falling outside.
You can replicate pretty much all of that in a Bend hotel or vacation home. Places like Pine Ridge Inn, The Riverhouse, and Mt. Bachelor Village Resort offer amenities like in-room Jacuzzis and fireplaces in some of their suites, and plenty of local vacation rentals offer those same cozy perks.
As for the snacks, I’m a big fan of sipping a pint of rich porter or stout on a chilly winter day. There are plenty of those to choose from along the Bend Ale Trail, so pick your fave, fill a growler, and bring that bad boy back to your blanket fort.
Embrace the element of surprise
There are days the snow starts piling up at noon, so by the time evening falls in Bend, you have a good idea school might be cancelled the next day.
But the most thrilling kind of snow day is the one you don’t see coming. You go to sleep to the pitter-patter of raindrops on the roof, and you wake up to a glorious blanket of white stuff on your front lawn and a text message from the school district saying you’re off the hook for the day.
While we can’t help you replicate the message from Principal Jones, you can capture some of the same thrill by surprising your loved one with a Bend getaway.
Feeling romantic? Book a spa package or a night at a cozy bed and breakfast. Want to make your kids giddy? Sneak their gloves and snow pants into a suitcase and don’t tell them where you’re headed until they spot piles of snow on the roadside and that big sign that says, “Welcome to Bend.”
Surprise! You’re in for the best weekend of your whole year. Now get out there and enjoy it.