It’s hard to narrow down which activities to choose when visiting a new area. We’re here to help! Here are a few traditions locals hold near and dear to their hearts. Join our Central Oregon holiday traditions by participating in these holiday events in Sunriver.
Here’s Your Guide To This Years’ Holiday Events in Sunriver
Cut Your Own Christmas Tree | November and December
If you’re visiting the area over Christmas, you may want to grab a Christmas tree to put up in your vacation rental for the holiday. Who doesn’t want to wake up on Christmas morning with a beautiful tree by the window with twinkling lights and a few colorful gifts underneath?Leaving home for the holidays doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy this Christmas tradition.
To really make this tradition a memorable one while you’re here in the forest and snow, head out to the Deschutes National Forest to cut down your own tree! We sell Christmas Tree Permits here at our office for $5 to help you plan. We’ll also share some guidelines and maps with you.
Let’s try to avoid the Griswold family Christmas and do things with a little less drama. Dress warmly so your eyeballs don’t freeze. Sing Christmas carols, but don’t get so lost in them that you drive underneath semi-trucks. You know, things like that.
If you’d like to get a headstart on your planning, please read on for some input from the United States Department of Agriculture.
First, consider where you’re heading to find that perfect tree. Pines can be found on flatter and lower ground around Bend, whereas Firs and Cedars are found at higher elevations. Be sure you head to an area that is at least 150 feet from state highways, picnic areas, campgrounds, and other developed areas and at least 300 feet from streams and other bodies of water. Likewise, make sure that you are on National Forest land and not on private property.
Getting there is at least half the fun! Consider snowshoeing or cross-country skiing into less accessible areas. The tree selection will be greater and so will the adventure! Make sure to dress warm and pack a Hydro-Flask filled with hot cider or cocoa.
Once you get back to Sunriver, you can use the branches you trim from the tree as holiday greens in other places throughout your home. Immediately cut a one-inch diagonal piece off the bottom of your tree and place the tree in a container with 16 parts water and one part sugar to keep it full and lively.
Always let someone else know where you are going to cut your tree down. Bring additional warm clothing, plenty of water and snacks, a flashlight, a first aid kit, a hatchet or ax, and rope to tie the tree down. After you tie your tree tag onto the tree for traveling back to your home, you’re good to go!
Ice Skating at The Village at Sunriver | November 18th – All Winter
Last year, the ice arena at The Village at Sunriver got upgraded with a great new sound system and more! The ice arena is a longtime favorite for the holidays. Ice skating is a treat loved by all members of the family. For open hours or more information, call 541-593-5948.
Gingerbread Junction at Sunriver Resort | December 2nd – January 1st
A favorite Sunriver tradition for 22 years and counting—this is one of our favorite holiday events in Sunriver. Groups and individuals in the community build spectacular gingerbread houses to put on display for the month of December. The houses are on display in the Abbot Room of the Sunriver Resort Lodge. It is free and open to the public. Swing by and take a look as you wander the beautiful grounds of Sunriver Resort!
Elf Tuck-ins | December 8th – 24th
Give the kiddos something they won’t forget this year! The Sunriver Resort offers Elf Tuck-Ins (see available dates below). Santa’s helper will arrive to read a favorite Christmas story, say good night with warm holiday wishes, and give your child a special goodie bag.
Appointment times are available from 5 PM to 9:30 PM in 45-minute windows. Tuck-ins are available for Sunriver, Crosswater, and Caldera Springs communities. This event is for ages 12 and under only. Call 541-593-1000 for reservations.
Breakfast With Santa | December 16th and December 24th
Bring the kiddos to this yummy and magical event! Brunch seating begins at 8:30 AM and goes through noon. Enjoy a spread of all your holiday favorites! Santa and his friends will be there to greet you at the beautifully decorated Sunriver Resort Great Hall.
You’ll even have the chance to sit with Santa and get some memorable family photos. Reservations are required with a 36-hour cancellation policy. Call 541-593-1000 for reservations.
We hope you enjoy these holiday events in Sunriver. If you’ll be traveling to the area this December, check out our vacation rentals nearby. We have plenty of beautiful offerings perfect for the holidays.