The best things to do in Bend for February



Read Time

The best things to do in Bend for February

If there’s snow in the mountains and heart-shaped cutouts in shop windows, it must be February in Bend. 

It’s a month filled with wintery fun and fireside snuggles, with Valentine’s Day landing right in the middle like a bright cupid’s arrow. There’s love in the air, along with that crisp winter chill.

Wondering what to do, see, eat, or drink this February in Bend? Here’s what’s happening in this itty-bitty month packed with lotsa heart and soul.

Guided snowshoe tour in Bend, OR
Wonderlust Tours hosted a Visit Bend team member’s wedding on a moonlight snowshoe tour around Mt. Bachelor.

Love is in the air

I’ll admit up front that I perhaps put overemphasis on the love aspect of our shortest month. Blame Visit Bend’s use of a tourism blogger who’s also a USA Today bestselling romance author. Guess I’m wired to see love all around?

In 13+ years of this blog, I’ve rounded up wintery ways to show your love, some fabulous Valentine’s dates, and Valentine’s gifts to exchange besides germs (it was pandemic times, what can I say?)

I guarantee I’ll never run out of romance-inspired blog ideas, but my author career has little to do with it. There’s simply something magical in Bend each February. 

Bend restaurants bust out specialty menus filled with comfort food and prix fixe dinners designed for romantic dates. Tour companies like Wanderlust bust out Valentine’s packages (and I’m still all heart-eyed over a coworker’s Wanderlust snowshoe wedding last year). Out at Juniper Preserve, try the one-of-a-kind experience of a romantic dinner in a lava tube cave.

Blogger Tawna drew a heart in frost on her honey’s car window.
Blogger Tawna drew a heart in frost on her honey’s car window.

Why not embrace February as a chance to show your sweetheart how much you care?

Book a couples’ massage day at a Bend day spa. Take a romantic twirl together with a skate date at The Pavilion’s ice rink. Pick a Bend Sno-Park and make snow angels together. Heck, go the freebie route and use a fingertip to draw a heart in frost on your honey’s car window.

No sweetie in your arms this year? Show your love for Bend’s wild places when you practice Leave No Trace principles while exploring outdoors.

If Rover’s the love of your life, spread the love from him to Bend pet stores with a visit to Bendy Dog or Bend Pet Express for a fresh bag of treats and a blingy new collar.

There’s enough love in Bend to leave you dizzy. Spread some around this February!

The chairlift at Mt.Bachelor ski area in Bend, Oregon.
Mt. Bachelor offers 360º degrees of skiable terrain off the top of the mountain — the only place in the United States that you can do so.

Squeeze in some snow play

Mt. Bachelor boasts one of the longest ski seasons in North America, spanning from November through the end of May (weather permitting).

But don’t get cocky thinking you’ve still got half a season left.

March and April get busy with crowds of spring breakers flocking from around the Pacific Northwest. While May can bring epic bluebird days, it can also bring naked ski slopes if it’s not a great snow year.

You never know what you’ll get, so February’s a great time to get serious about booking your winter trip. Schedule some ski lessons or that sled dog ride you’ve been dreaming of.

Plan ahead by buying tickets for Winter Pridefest before midnight on February 1. That’s how you score the best price for this amazing event happening March 7-10.

If snowmobiling’s on your bucket list, now’s the best time to book that grand adventure. Add it to a romantic winter getaway complete with a couples’ cross country ski outing or a snowshoeing trip to a snuggly, cozy warming hut.

We’re back to romance again, aren’t we?

Freshly poured and chilled with a bit of foam running down the glass with effervescent bubbles cheering you on as you take that first lingering sip. Friends, welcome to beer paradise.
Freshly poured and chilled with a bit of foam running down the glass with effervescent bubbles cheering you on as you take that first lingering sip. Friends, welcome to beer paradise.

Embrace your love of beer

Fans of beer-centric events like Bend Brewfest and Bend Ale Trail Month may not know of February’s lesser-known beer celebration.

But Zwickelmania and its assortment of tours, tastings, and prizes is one of my favorite beer events of the year. 

Sponsored by the Oregon Brewers Guild, it’s typically split into two weekends, with Portland peeps getting their own event a week before Bend’s breweries throw open their doors for throngs of beer fans. It’s a more intimate event than you’ll find at some of those bigger shindigs, with a chance to chat with brewers and sample seasonal beers. Some even offer kiddie games and other family fun.

Can’t make it out that weekend? February’s still a great time to sample all those hearty winter ales and thick porters along the Bend Ale Trail. With summer’s crowds a distant memory, you’ll have an easier time finding tables or fireside sipping spots at your favorite Bend brewery.

Downtown Bend, Oregon with a layer of snow.
Bend offers one of the most charming downtown areas in the Pacific Northwest, with tree-lined streets and cobblestone sidewalks.

They’re playing our song

Considering the size of this shortest month, February sure brings a lot to the table for Bend’s music front.

One of my favorite musical events kicks off when Bend A Cappella Fest takes the stage. It’s the Northwest’s only festival focusing on masterclasses, a cappella performances, and camaraderie. Each year’s lineup is different, but you’ll almost always see names you recognize from shows like Pitch Perfect or The Sing-Off. Grab tickets early, since this one tends to sell out.

Speaking of tickets getting snapped up fast, it pays to plan ahead for Jazz at the Oxford. This seasonal series spans November through March, and many snows sell out quickly. Take a look at what’s on tap for February, then cross your fingers you snag seats for a show at this uber-cool series.

While you’re feeling classy, browse the schedule for Central Oregon Symphony. Winter concerts range from brass musicians to string shows and more. Tickets often sell for tiny prices at modest venues like local high schools.

If opera’s your jam, it’s worth a look at what’s happening with Opera Bend.
Pro tip: By the time February hits, Hayden Homes Amphitheater has usually announced about a dozen summer concerts, with more on the way. Watch closely, as popular acts sell out in minutes. Make sure you’re on their email list so you don’t miss any concert announcements. Then plan to pounce fast when you see one you like.

Ice skating at the Inn at Seventh Mountain resort.

Bust out those boots

It’s not all snow and ice when you head for Bend in winter. You’ll find plenty of inspiring winter hikes from Sawyer Park to the Tam a Lau Trail to good ol’ Pilot Butte.

We’re still a few months out from snow gates opening at popular spots like Tumalo Falls, the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway, and Newberry National Volcanic Monument, but why miss the chance to explore in uniquely wintery ways?

Book a fat bike tour with Cog Wild for the thrill of cycling on snow. If that’s not your scene, find plenty of snow-free routes on the Cascades Gravel Scenic Bikeway.

Take a chance on only-in-winter adventures like snowshoeing or ice skating, then wrap things up with some fireside suds at your favorite Bend brewery.

Cheers to this short but oh-so-sweet month in Bend!