Halloween’s almost here, boys and ghouls, and it’s a spooktastic time to sprinkle some goosebumps into your Bend vacation.
While we don’t all have the same notions of what’s scary, this roundup should have a handful of items guaranteed to send shivers down your spine.
The Deschutes Historical Museum’s Historical Haunts Tour
For a limited time each October, the Deschutes Historical Museum offers a Historical Haunts of Downtown Bend walking tour. The 2019 lineup is for two nights only, Oct. 11 and 12. I can pretty much guarantee they’ll sell out.
The museum’s docents lead participants through historic downtown Bend, telling tales from Bend’s past and weaving in a pinch of the paranormal and mystery of the unknown. Expect lots of goosebumpy ghost stories reported right here in Bend’s own historic buildings.
The first tour leaves at 4:00 p.m., with additional tours following every 15-minutes. The final tour of the night is 7:30 p.m. Tour space is available on a first-come, first-served basis, and ticket sales begin at 10:00 a.m. the same day of the event. The cost is $10 per person and $5 for Deschutes Historical Museum Members. Tour fee includes museum admission, plus hot chocolate and apple cider if you want it.
Expect to walk about a mile on mostly flat sidewalks. Wear good shoes and lots of layers, and be prepared to feel the hair raising on your arms at least a time or two.
Get butterflies on the chairlift
Tell me I’m not the only one who feels a little fluttery riding a chairlift at Mt. Bachelor?
Butterflies during wintertime lift rides can be attributed to the anticipation of exploring Bachelor’s 4,300 acres of lift-accessible terrain. Get an extra hit of that same anticipation by stalking the Mt. Bachelor webcam for info on snow accumulation and opening dates.
Even during summer and early fall, you can take a non-snowy lift ride into early October. That’s a unique sort of thrill, made extra-shivery by the fact that the ground seems much father away when not covered in 20 feet of pillowy white powder. Dates vary from year to year according to weather, and this year’s scenic rides halted Oct. 6. It’s worth slotting a scenic chairlift ride into your Bend agenda for next summer or fall, scheduling a round of disc golf or lunch at the Pine Marten Lodge perched at 7,775 feet.
By the way, don’t forget to scope out Mt. Bachelor’s early season lift ticket deals to get an extra surge of pre-season adrenaline flowing (not to mention an added dopamine hit from knowing you’ve saved a bundle of cash).
Have a raptor experience at the High Desert Museum
If you were traumatized by Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” at some point during childhood, the High Desert Museum’s exhibits featuring birds of prey may have a whole different impact on you.
But for most folks not suffering from ornithophobia, it’s an awesome chance to see hawks, falcons, eagles, owls, and vultures up close and personal. Check their daily schedule so you can time your visit with one of the shows that includes an educational talk and a chance to see rehabilitated birds swooping low over the audience.
If the bird thing is outside your comfort zone but you still want to get Halloweeny in the high desert, check the museum’s October calendar for kid-friendly events like educational experiences focused on nocturnal animals. Space is limited, so it’s smart to plan ahead.
See a scary movie
Bend boasts an impressive number of movie theaters that range from quaint and artsy historic venues to booming theaters with cushy seats and Imax. At most spots you can order a Bend craft beer to sip while you watch.
Prefer to do your movie viewing in your underpants? No judgement here. Just visit the world’s last Blockbuster and snag a horror flick to enjoy back at your Bend vacation rental.
This weekend only (Oct. 10-13), the BendFilm Festival is back for its annual homage to indie cinema. A few things in the lineup offer an opportunity to make gooseflesh prickle on your arms, including this late night shorts block that includes films like “The Boogeywoman” and “Phantom 52.
This year’s festival also features an entire segment of films focused on environmental concerns, which is something that should definitely scare you silly. Want to do something to offset your impact on the environment or show your commitment to eco-conscious living? Check out our Pledge for the Wild and Bend Pledge initiatives.
Plan some spooky spelunking
Caves can be eerie for some, especially if you have a touch of claustrophobia.
But when you put yourself in the capable hands of the naturalist guides at Wanderlust Tours, your cave adventure comes with all the safety gear like helmets and headlamps, plus a guided expedition into one of Bend’s spellbinding lava caves.
The guides are top-notch, offering insights about everything from the geology of the cave systems to local bat populations, and how you can help prevent truly terrifying diseases that threaten to wipe out these valuable creatures.
Want to take an extra step toward preserving and protecting local caves? Volunteer for the upcoming cave cleanup happening Oct. 20-21, 2019.
Scare yourself with something new
It’s downright scary trying something new, so why not use Halloween as your excuse to push outside your comfort zone?
Book that guided mountain bike tour you’ve wanted to try. Spring for a set of ski lessons at Mt. Bachelor. Rent a wetsuit and try surfing in the Bend Whitewater Park.
If outdoor-inspired shots of adrenaline aren’t your thing, search our event calendar for an open mic night or poetry slam. Performing in public is as terrifying as it can get for some, so here’s your chance to stake those inner doubt demons straight through the heart.