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The best things to do in Bend for June

Pride event in Bend, OR

Things heat up when June bathes Bend’s mountains in bright sunshine. Rivers and lakes feel warmer, bringing happy rafters and kids in colorful floaties. Families flock to sun-dappled hiking trails as schools let out for summer. Everything feels just a bit brighter. 

While each month in Bend brings its own unique activities and events, here’s what’s great about June in Bend, Oregon.

Bring on the festivals!

While Bend’s chillier months have their own smattering of outdoor events, June kicks festival season into high gear. 

There’s always something happening for Junteenth, the holiday commemorating June 19, 1865 when soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas to deliver the message that the Union had won the war and now had the manpower to enforce the end of slavery. Bookmark this link to keep tabs on Bend Junteenth celebrations.

June also marks Pride Month when LGBTQ+ communities and allies celebrate the ability to come together and be themselves. Out Central Oregon lists lots of special events on their website, while properties like The Campfire Hotel pack their event calendar with goodies like burlesque shows and Pride pool parties.

The Central Oregon BBQ, Brews, & Whiskey Festival brings everyone’s favorite summertime treats to the forefront in a weekend fest at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds.

Historically, June hosts other landmark events like Bite of Bend and the annual Heaven Can Wait Run/Walk for breast cancer, though the pandemic threw off schedules a bit. For the most current info on what’s happening each June on Bend’s festival front, bookmark Visit Bend’s Event Calendar

Splash around

Our snow-fed waters feel chilly year round, but June is when they warm enough for splashy fun like standup paddlboarding and kayaking

With the Deschutes River running high, it’s the perfect time to go whitewater rafting with Sun Country Tours on a stunning stretch of water known as Big Eddy.

Whitewater rafting in Bend, Oregon

Rafting on the Deschutes River is fun for the whole family.

For a more leisurely river experience, floating is the quintessential Bend pastime. Each June,  the river shuttle starts circulating so floaters don’t have to hoof it back to the put-in. Go here to learn everything you need to know about floating the river in Bend.

For other forms of water play, including canoeing, swimming and surfing (yep, really!) follow the links on this page.

Head for the mountains

While seasonal road closures start lifting in May, June is when our high-elevation hotspots swing into full summer operations.

Popular resorts are now open with amenities like gift shops and boat rentals, so head for scenic spots like East Lake Resort, Elk Lake Resort, Cultus Lake Resort, and other popular high lake locales.

Stand Up Paddleboarding in East Lake

Blogger Tawna standup paddleboarding on East Lake on a warm June afternoon.

June also brings summer operations to Mt. Bachelor as ski slopes transform into mountain bike trails, ziplining kicks into full swing, and scenic chairlift rides open to the public.

If it’s been a heavy snow year, you’ll watch your step on popular high-elevation hiking trails around the Newberry National Volcanic Monument or spots off the Cascade Lakes Highway like Sparks Lake and Todd Lake

Speaking of Central Cascades hiking trails, make sure you know which areas require wilderness permits for day use and overnight hiking. Now’s the time to line up permits for June hikes, so read this blog post for rules, maps, and other details about the Central Cascades Wilderness Permit system.  

Let the live music flow

Bend’s warm summer temps, cooler evenings, and relative lack of rain make it the perfect spot for live outdoor music, and June is when our music scene starts to really rock.

The first shows at the Hayden Homes Amphitheater generally kick off in June, with the season spanning through October. Want to know what’s on tap for the venue this year? This post has all the info you need about tickets, venue rules, and most importantly, who’s coming to treat your earholes to a delightful night of tunes.

Luke Bryan at Hayden Homes Amphitheater in Bend

Music on the river at Hayden Homes Amphitheater.

Other outdoor venues don’t typically start their seasons until July, but June is when you should snap up tickets for the Clear Summer Nights concert series at the Athletic Club of Bend. A smaller venue than Hayden Homes, they attract some truly epic artists at this cozy, intimate concert series.

And don’t forget Munch and Music, which has been going strong in Drake Park since 1991 with free, family-friendly shows. The concerts don’t kick off ‘til July, but now’s the time to mark dates on your calendar so you don’t miss your favorite artist.

If you don’t mind driving just a bit, Faith, Hope, and Charity Vineyards offers super-awesome live music shows with tasty wine to boot. Best of all, they boast some of the most epic mountain views around. Make it a dinner date and pair their wood-fired pizzas with a glass or two of locally-made vino. Just remember to have a designated driver for the journey back to Bend!

Time for family-friendly fun

For most families in the Pacific Northwest, school lets out for summer sometime in mid-June. That’s the cue for Bend’s best kid-friendly attractions to bust out all their best programming.

The event calendar for the High Desert Museum suddenly starts bursting with offerings like Raptors of the Sky flight demos, kid-friendly exhibits, and camps for kiddos of different ages. There’s a reason this place has been a top family attraction for 40+ years, and June is when its outdoor exhibits really shine. 

The High Desert Museum near Bend, Oregon

Do not miss the otters at the High Desert Museum!

The outdoor attractions at Sun Mountain Fun Center also get lots more fun when June brings warmer weather. Make a plan to take the whole fam and hit the batting cages, go-karts, and mini-golf course.

I already touched on whitewater rafting above, but can I give it another shout-out? It’s truly one of the coolest family-friendly adventures to have on your bucket list, particularly in June when the water’s running high and fast.

And don’t get me started on the roundup of offerings from Wanderlust Tours. Excursions like their Cascade Lakes Canoe Tour and their super-fun Volcano Tour start rolling again as snow melts at high elevations. These outings are hands-down some of my family’s favorite memories, and their naturalist guides do a great job mixing educational info with cheerful fun, plus all the transportation and gear you need.

Want a one-of-a-kind summertime adventure? The Paulina Plunge combines downhill biking (it’s tame, I swear!) with waterfall hikes and a chance to ride natural waterslides unlike anything you’ve experienced before. My kids first did this with us nearly a decade ago and HAVE. NOT. STOPPED. TALKING. ABOUT. IT. Tours run from June through September each year and tend to book up fast. 

For more ideas on family-friendly fun in Bend, check out this page on the Visit Bend site.

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