It’s that time of year again: the period between Christmas and springtime. The snow may be falling, but cold weather doesn’t mean you should stay home in front of the T.V. and it doesn’t always mean you have to be outside doing something active, either. We live in an area of endless natural attraction, a true winter wonderland. Our surroundings provide plenty of ways to be romantic in the winter months. Here are our five favorite winter date ideas in Central Oregon.
1. Hot Springs
There are hundreds of lakes in the Cascades connected by hundreds of rivers and streams. The region features many volcanoes, and the geothermal activity creates some incredibly inviting natural hot springs. In our opinion, soaking in hot mineral water in the middle of a snowy forest with a significant other is one of the best ways to spend a wintery day or a romantic night.
There are a few notable hot springs open year-round in Central Oregon including Cougar Hot Springs and the hot springs at Belknap Lodge, both on the Mckenzie River off the Mckenzie Highway 242 and west of Sisters. Cougar Hot Springs is a public spring but is operated and managed by American Land and Leisure, therefore it costs $6 to use the natural pools for the day. Belknap Lodge is also on the Mckenzie River, but they have concrete soaking pools to contain the natural mineral water from the hot springs. It costs $8 to use the facilities for an hour or $14 for the day. Taking a trip to a hot spring in the Cascades is one of our favorite winter date ideas!
2. Ice Skating
Another great winter date idea is to go ice skating. It’s a good excuse to hold hands and help each other up when you inevitably slip and fall. Plus, being chilly on the ice will lead to rosy cheeks and sharing hot drinks—both perfect for a winter date night. The Pavillion in Bend features a skating rink open in the winter months where you can glide on the smooth ice and then hang out around the fire pits to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate. You could even catch a local hockey game! Another option is the Seventh Mountain Resort which also has an ice rink complete with decorative Christmas lights and it’s right next door to Tetherow! Cozy up with a loved one in front of their outdoor fire pit over a warm (perhaps alcoholic) drink after a romantic skate around the rink.
3. Rock Climbing
Our third winter date idea is to visit a rock climbing gym. It’s a great way to test your athletic abilities and get outside of your comfort zone. Bend Rock Gym is an awesome indoor rock climbing facility with both top rope and bouldering options. Tackle challenging routes together; a good preview of a relationship! Plus, it’s nice to be inside when the high is 11 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. Puzzle Rooms/Scavenger Hunts
Another great idea for a winter date is to go to a puzzle room or complete a scavenger hunt. It will be a chance to see how you work well together and how you can solve anything that comes your way. Bend’s Escape Room offers immersive challenges with different themese for the team to solve before time runs out. This is a great group date idea so your friends can meet your significant other as well! Another option is to download Bend’s Riddle Route, Downtown Bender. Downloading this scavenger hunt will take you all around downtown where you have to solve 22 riddles. Test your date with some trivia about Bend’s history and enjoy a nice walk together.
5. Wanderlust Tours
Wanderlust Tours offers all sorts of winter adventures from snowshoeing to lava cave tours to snow camping to flying over Central Oregon in a helicopter. If you want to strictly stay indoors, their Bend Brewery Tour will take you to visit the many breweries in Bend to get some stamps on your Bend Ale Trail Passport.
Stay at Tetherow
As you plan your winter date activities in Central Oregon, consider a stay at Tetherow. With the choice between a vacation rental home for two or a room in our boutique hotel, our central location in Bend will be a great starting point to all sorts of romantic opportunities in Central Oregon. We have plenty of ideas for a romantic date!