Make the season bright
There’s nothing more magical than colorful twinkling lights to make it feel like the holidays. And let’s face it, after the year we’ve had, a little holiday magic sounds awesome right about now.
While this season may look and feel a little different with many in-person tree lighting events canceled and COVID-19 measures in place, there are several places to see lights around Central Oregon, and we’ve got a list of festive must-see places to get your glow on this holiday season.
Where to see holiday lights this year in Central Oregon
Community Tree – Downtown Bend, Oregon
Visit the community tree in all its splendor in Downtown Bend during the holiday season. The community tree is located in Drake Park outside the Commons. And while you are Downtown, remember to support your local Bend families by shopping and dining local! Learn more here.
Menorah – Old Mill District
The lighting ceremony – December 10, 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm – will be held in the westside parking lot across the river from the shops in the Old Mill District where people will be able to view the menorah from their cars at a safe social distance. After the initial lighting ceremony, the menorah will be transported across the river to Center Plaza in the Old Mill District, where it will remain lit for the duration of Chanukah. Learn more here.
Northwest Crossing Holiday Tour Of Lights & Community Tree
Head to NorthWest Crossing to experience the Holiday Tour of Lights taking place December 1 – 20. NorthWest Crossing Community businesses and residents have teamed up to create a socially distanced way to celebrate the holiday season together. You can download a tour map here or pick one up at Roundabout Books, then grab a warm scarf and a thermos of hot chocolate, or pick up a snack at the neighborhood’s local market, West Coast Provisions, and head out to enjoy the season.
The giant NWX Ponderosa Pine is decorated and will be lit every evening throughout the season. Located in the heart of the neighborhood, it’s hard to miss! Learn more here.
Starfest Holiday Light Celebration – Eagle Crest Resort, Redmond
Traditions are built around the annual Starfest Celebration at The Lodge. This year’s celebration has been modified in keeping with COVID-19 measures, but the lights are up and you can experience the magical animated holiday light display via self-guided tour. Learn more here.
Christmas Lights Parade – La Pine
From lawnmowers to semi-trucks, you can’t miss the fabulous Parade of Lights on La Pine’s streets – December 5 at 6:00 pm. The La Pine Lights Parade has been a family tradition for years and you won’t want to miss the decorated trucks and various lighted vehicles as they parade down La Pine’s main street. The best viewing point is the intersection of Huntington Road and 1st in the heart of La Pine! Learn more here.
Drive Through Light Display – Prineville
A Prineville tradition, Christmas in the Pines is a drive-through spectacular lighted wonderland at the Crook County fairgrounds. Opening night is December 4th and entrance will be by donation of non-perishable food for St Vincent DePaul food bank and Humane Society of the Ochocos, cash donations also appreciated. Learn more here.
Community Tree – Redmond, Oregon
The Redmond community tree will be lit and on display throughout the holiday season in Centennial Park. Not to be missed while visiting the park is the Holiday Village Market featuring vendors selling local arts, crafts, and artisan goods from old-world styled kiosks within the park. Learn more here.
Redmond Northern Lights – City Hall
In association with Lay it Out Events, Visit Central Oregon and Travel Oregon, the Redmond Chamber of Commerce & CVB is proud to present the first annual Redmond Northern Lights Event that began Friday evening and continues on Friday and Saturday evenings throughout December.
The Redmond Northern Lights is a brand new seasonal multimedia experience that will be projected on the center façade of Redmond’s City Hall. Playing on a loop, the animation will be between 5 and 10 minutes and will begin broadcast at dusk, and end broadcast after a few hours. Viewers are encouraged to remain in their vehicles or be sure to practice safe social distancing if parked, wear masks, and sanitize or wash hands. Learn more here.
Community Tree – Sisters, Oregon
Experience the holidays in the charming town of Sisters. The community tree is located in downtown Sisters at Fir Street Park and will be on display throughout the holiday season. Grab a warm drink and stroll through the charming western-themed downtown streets and don’t forget to show support for the local shops, eateries, and businesses as you go; find a unique holiday gift, get takeout, or buy gift cards for future use! Learn more here.
Holiday Light Show – Sunriver
UPDATE: 12/24/20 — Just announced by Sunriver Resort on Facebook: Out of an abundance of safety for our guests and associates, Sunriver Resort has made the difficult decision to cancel the Holiday Light Show for the rest of this holiday season. We are taking these preventative measures to ensure we are keeping our commitment to you and to meet all state requirements. We thank you for your continued support and understanding during these times.
Bundle up, grab a warm drink, and head to the Backyard (behind the Main Lodge) to enjoy your favorite holiday songs as thousands of lights dance to the beat. Happening three times every evening, shows will be 15 to 20 minutes long and will rotate through a selection of songs with a mix of kids and adult favorites. The show will run between November 25 – January 3 at 5:30 pm, 6:30 pm, and 7:30 pm. Learn more here.
As you drive through town, you can’t help but notice that there appear to be more holiday lights up this year and many neighbors are getting together to create a little neighborhood magic for kids of all ages to enjoy!
In SE Bend, Bonny Bridge/Sarah Lane (off Ferguson/15th) have created a drive-through cul-de-sac experience filled with lights, seasonal decor, music, and fun displays. Or, across from Farewell Bend park, you can drive by or stroll along the pathway to view decorated homes in the Woodriver Village neighborhood lit up and decorated in all their festive glory!
In Redmond, experience the “Most Wonderful Time Of The Year” with the 2020 Starlight Porch Parade; a socially distant way to view beautiful light displays, decorations, and expressions of the holiday spirit! Check out the map of participating homes and neighborhoods below or click here to learn more.
Festive illuminations – Central Oregon style
Central Oregon is known for its outdoor adventures and is home to those will a thrill-seeking spirit, so it’s no surprise that around here for the best view, you’ve got to gear up and head outside.
Fly with Big Mountain Heli Tours
See the lights from up high and enjoy a 30-minute Bend, Oregon city holiday light helicopter tour with Big Mountain Heli Tours! Celebrate the season by taking guests for a winter tour of Bend, The Old Mill, and the myriad of Holiday Lights that make up our little mountain town. The Holiday Lights Tours cruise at altitudes of about 2000 to 2,500 feet, high enough to see the snow-capped Cascade Range in the distance but low enough to see individual pedestrians and details on the buildings in downtown Bend. Learn more here.
Snowshoe with Wanderlust Tours
Head outside to experience nature’s illuminations with a Starlight or Moonlight Tour hosted by Wanderlust Tours, a magical meander through the powdery snow-filled forest at night in the Cascade Mountains west of Bend, Oregon. Each tour includes gear (snowshoes and headlamps), a Naturalist guide & award-winning interpretation, hot cocoa, and transportation. Reservations required. Learn more here.
Paddle with Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe
Sadly on-hold for 2020 due to the pandemic, the Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe – Holiday Lights Paddle Parade is a Bend tradition we’ll miss this year, but we’re looking forward to a festive paddle in 2021!
However or wherever you light it up this holiday season, we’re sure you’ll enjoy making this season bright in true Central Oregon style.