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How to celebrate Mother’s Day 2016 in Bend, Oregon


Whether you’re a mom to humans, a mom to four-legged creatures, or a childfree visitor looking for a way to celebrate your own mother, Bend makes a pretty fab place to spend Mother’s Day.

In 2016, the big day falls on Sunday, May 8, and there are a number of ways you can commemorate the holiday in Bend. Here are a few of my faves.


Mother’s day brunch, coming up!

If you asked my step-kids to name their favorite places in Central Oregon, I’m positive Brasada Ranch would make the list. Though the kids won’t be with us for Mother’s Day this year, I’m still seizing the opportunity to head out there for Brasada Ranch’s annual Mother’s Day Brunch, complete with seasonal, farm-fresh cuisine, lawn games, and more. The event is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and I recommend getting there early so you can enjoy the whole day out there.

Brasada Ranch makes a beautiful setting for Mother's Day brunch.

Brasada Ranch makes a beautiful setting for Mother’s Day brunch.

If you’d prefer to stay right in the Bend city limits, McMenamins Saint Francis School also hosts an annual Mother’s Day brunch from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a menu that includes French toast, biscuits with sausage gravy, specialty salads, fresh fruit, eggs, maple-glazed ham with Hammerhead sauce, and a selection of desserts.

Other Central Oregon hotspots offering Mother’s Day Brunch include Sunriver Resort, Pronghorn Resort, Tetherow Resort, and Faith, Hope and Charity Vineyards. Be sure to call for reservations, since these events are quite popular and tend to sell out.


Not in the mood for brunch?

It’s true Mother’s Day brunch is kind of a thing, and I’m positive any of the brunches I mentioned above will be a big win for the mom in your life.

But if that’s not your scene, consider offering mom something besides the traditional breakfast/lunch hybrid. The Bend Ale Trail is a fabulous place to start if mom’s a fan of craft beer. To make it extra special, pick up a beer-themed gift for her a Hydro Flask or DrinkTanks growler (both of which are sold in the Bend Visitor Center). If bling is more her thing, consider a pair of hop-inspired earrings from Hopped Up Jewelry.

If Mom is less into food and more into enjoying the great outdoors, try planning a family-friendly hike or an afternoon picnic in one of nearly 80 parks in Bend. I rounded up my favorite parks in this blog post.

Another option for the non-brunch-seeking crowd is the special Mother’s Day prime rib dinner at Currents at the Riverhouse. If that name doesn’t ring a bell, it’s because the restaurant attached to Riverhouse on the Deschutes used to be known as Crossings. In recent months, the space got a HUGE overhaul, including a new name, a new chef, and a dining area that looks so dramatically different you won’t recognize it. They’ve only recently re-opened, so call 541-389-8810 to book your spot at the Mother’s Day dinner and check out what’s new.


Dog moms unite!

Not all moms have kids who walk upright on two legs. For mothers whose beloved babies wag their tails and snack from the cat box, Downtown Bend’s annual Dog Daze event takes place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 7 (the day before Mother’s Day).

Sponsored by Riverside Animal Hospital, the event kicks off in Mirror Pond Plaza with pet-themed booths and animals available for adoption. That’s where you’ll grab your “dog passport,” which will lead you (and your leashed, furry friend!) on a journey to different Downtown Bend businesses to collect paw print stamps. Turn in your passport by 3 p.m. for a chance to win prizes valued at more than $300.


Get her some flowers…or a barbecue

If you’re a traditionalist who wants to buy Mom a nice floral arrangement for Mother’s Day, you’ll certainly find those at the Central Oregon Builders Association Home and Garden Show.

But you’ll also find booths featuring everything from grills to birdhouses to RVs, along with a huge array of educational offerings from cooking to gardening.

The event is held out at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds in Redmond, and features free admission and parking. Stop by May 6 or 7 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., or on May 8 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Treat mom to some pampering

You know what mom wants more than anything else, but is afraid to tell you because she doesn’t want to seem pretentious? A spa day.

Your mom wants a massage. Trust me.

Your mom wants a massage. Trust me.

Trust me, it’s true. Even the mom who insists she doesn’t need a massage or a facial would be absolutely ecstatic if you got her a gift certificate for one.

Luckily, Bend has oodles of amazing day spas for you to choose from if you want to snag a gift certificate or two. Check out Visit Bend’s roundup of Bend spas and day spas to pick one that sounds right for the lady in your life.

Oh, and if you want in on the action, consider booking the Couple’s Massage Workshop at Brasada Ranch so you can use your skills on each other for many years to come.


Experiences, not things

A few weeks before Christmas, I wrote this blog post about the benefits of giving experiences instead of things. It’s as true for Mother’s Day as it was for Christmas, and I guarantee mom will treasure the memories she makes during that adventure from Wanderlust Tours or the cooking class from Well Traveled Fork.

And if you’d like to plan a single, amazing day to honor the special lady in your life, check out the itinerary in this blog post on planning a perfect day in Bend.


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