Sunriver for New Years | Fun Memories to Make & Things to Do

Jan, 06, 2020
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Sunriver for New Years…

…is a tradition that my family has had for as long as I can remember. My parents used to go and stay at my Uncles cabin before I was born, and continued the tradition nearly every year throughout my childhood. We definitely had some years we missed, and I’ve missed a few additional ones in the more recent years because of family obligations or being super pregnant and not wanting to spend 4.5 hours in the car with a baby sitting on my bladder.

Anyways, now we’re back on the annual Sunriver for New Years wagon and I thought I would share some of our favorite things to do and see while you’re there! A lot of these are fun ways to make lasting memories and they are all kid-friendly.

Mt. Bachelor: Skiing, Snowboarding, Sled Dogs & More

Toddler Skiing Oregon

We may live less than 2 hours from Mt. Hood, but Mt. Bachelor is where I consider my home for skiing. My dad was a ski instructor in college, so my parents had me on skis from a super early age. Peyton has been no different! We got Peyton on ski’s right around 18 months old, and this year was her second time on them. They have new beginner areas that don’t require a ticket and are great for getting little ones used to the mountain.

Toddler Skiing Mt Bachelor

Even if your kids aren’t skiing or snowboarding yet you can still enjoy the mountain! If you want some adult time on the slopes then you can drop your kids in a lesson, or they also have great childcare at the main lodge!

If skiing isn’t your thing Mt. Bachelor is still a great place to enjoy some snow, especially if there isn’t much in Sunriver or Bend like this year. There are some hills you can sled on, snowmobile excursions, dog sled rides, or you can just build a snowman.

Mt Bachelor Snowman
The most terrifying snowman ever built.

Sunriver Village

Sunriver Village

The Village at Sunriver has a special place in my heart. I have great memories of walking Goody’s in the snow on New Year’s Eve and filling out the little visual riddle puzzles they would hand out. I don’t think they actually do that anymore, but they still have the best ice cream! In the winter you can also go ice skating, which we did for the first time this year with Peyton. It was so fun! They have these great skate-assist things that really helped P enjoy her first-time ice skating and get her to stop trying to walk on the rink. There is also a train that runs year-round (hours and days vary depending on the season) and it’s always packed with kids.

Ice Skating at Sunriver

The Village also has some great restaurants and caf├ęs. We love walking to the Village in the morning and getting donuts at Hot Lava Bakery, or stopping by Brewed Awakenings for coffee and pastries. For lunch or dinner, we are big fans of Sunriver Brewing Company and the Village Bar & Grill.

Sunriver Resort & Lodge

Sleigh Rides at Sunriver

The lodge is always really busy around the holidays. It’s a great place to spend some time with young kids too! There are a whole bunch of annual events they call Winter Traditions. It basically starts at Thanksgiving with a tree lighting ceremony and Thanksgiving dining options and runs all the way through New Years Day. They offer a ton of events for both the whole family or just the grown-ups. So if you’re in Sunriver for New Years, or earlier in the month, there will be something to do. Some examples are:

  • Elf Tuck Ins
  • Brunch with Santa
  • Gingerbread Cookie Decorating
  • New Years Eve Party
  • Sleigh Rides
  • Gingerbread Junction

Peyton loved the Gingerbread Junction this year. It’s a Gingerbread House decorating competition and there were some really impressive entries. Peyton’s favorite was probably the Frozen castle….

Frozen Gingerbread Castle

…while mine was this amazing Christmas tree that rotated!

Gingerbread Christmas Tree

The other tradition we love is the sleigh rides. Unfortunately, there was no snow this year so we decided to forgo a ride; however, they were still out and doing rides around the golf courses. The sleighs have wheels so they can keep doing the rides even if the snow isn’t deep enough or non-existent.

We were only in Sunriver for a few nights this year because we had some obligations back home at the beginning of the year, but there is seriously so much to do! We go over a few times a year, but I think our favorite season is winter in Sunriver. I’m so excited to pass on my tradition of Sunriver for New Years to my kids. It’s such a great outdoor recreation community. We’ve also been over for multiple races and will probably be back again this year to repeat a few of them!

If you’re thinking of going my advice is “go!” There are usually some great deals to stay at the lodge and there are hundreds of vacation homes to choose from! I hope everyone had a great New Years’ holiday and I’ll just be over here praying for some snow before spring!

Erin Phillips

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