The holidays are a time that will always elicit warm memories of home; fuzzy socks sliding on wood floors, the sound of classic Christmas movies coming from the living room, and mouthwatering scents of comfort food wafting throughout the house. In other words, magic.


Looking for Holiday gift ideas? Take a look at these exciting new products.

Mission: Spread Joy

If you shopped or dined in Bend last winter, chances are you saw and felt the effects of the Bend JOY Project. The bright orange banners, set against the record-shattering piles of snow, and the preponderance of kind actions were dead giveaways. 
Noelle Fredland, Marketing Director for the Old Mill District in Bend, was the bold visionary and Bill Smith,…

Gifts that Give Back

The holiday season seems to divide people into two distinct categories; those who love diving right in to the shopping fray and those who lock up their wallets for safety until after the New Year.

Elf’n PJ’s

It’s Christmas Eve. My six-year-old self is sprawled out on the living room floor, staring up at the kaleidoscope of colors that make up our Christmas tree. My German Shepherd wags her tail as I rest my head on her, closing my eyes as I giddily imagine what lies underneath the ribbons and wrapping paper…


Pets have a longstanding history of providing faithful companionship and unconditional love for the humans in their lives. And, for hospice patients without four-legged family members, there is still an opportunity to experience meaningful interaction with therapy dogs through the Partners In Care HosPet program. Over a dozen volunteers serve in this program, each with one or more trained therapy…

A First (Light) Adventure

We all have childhood memories of waking up early for an adventure. A parent opens the door to a pitch black room. A sliver of light beams from the hallway, through the cracked door, and lands on the pillow. A groggy kid shakes off the request to wake up, sits up in bed, and tries to rub the night’s sleep…

Live Here, Give Here.

It is the giving season again; Thanks-giving, charitable giving, gift giving, giving hugs, giving someone a break. We are ready to do what we can do for others. Yet, who? How? Oftentimes, the larger, better-known charities get the bulk of our year-end financial support because they are better able to market themselves, and as a result we see and hear…

Scruffy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving can be a high expectations holiday. Family time-allotment and travel planning begins in July. A veritable arm-wrestling contest of “who’s turn is it” ensues. Pinterest overflows with crafty ways to decorate all house corners with every scrap of anything available. Mix in the preconceived notions each individual has of the “perfect” Thanksgiving and it’s a recipe for a complete…

Family Ties

Ranked number one on the 2016 Forbes List of Best Places for business and careers, it's no wonder that people flock to Bend to start new lives, careers and small businesses. Our little mountain town not only has high job growth and employment statistics, we're a haven for outdoor sports, recreation, and of course, beer!

A True Culinary Experience

After a long plane ride, getting lost in New York City, and a five-day bus trip across the upper United States, Romanian Sanda Costello and a hometown friend finally made it to Bend, Oregon in the summer of 2005. As college exchange students from a far away land, the high desert landscape was exciting and unexpected.

Coffee 4 Adults – A Future 4 Kids

If you’re going to spend any time with Sean McDonell, founder and CEO of Bend-based Coffee4Kids, take a deep breath, do some stretches, and be prepared to take off running. McDonell is as high-energy as a person can get. And, it’s not the caffeine; it’s the mission. Mix one part pure energy, one part pure heart, and one part extraordinary…

Wines by the Glass

There are tens of thousands of different wines produced across the world. Almost every country produces wine, and each state—including Alaska— in the United States has a winery. For the seasoned wine sipper, the task of trying as many wines as possible in a lifetime is exciting. However, for those without tasting opportunities, the mission to educate oneself about wine…

Wine + Food Pairings

Wine drinkers face a constant barrage of rules regarding their enjoyment of wine with food. “Thou shalt not eat fish with Cabernet Sauvignon,” is oftentimes considered a guiding principle when pairing wine with food. Drinking Riesling with a marbled steak is punishable by death-through-mockery in many circles.

Playground Adventure of an Affirming Nature

Blake Greco made the steep, dusty climb up the hill and across the wooden platform. Standing at the edge looking down at the crowd far below—fully harnessed, helmeted and safety-checked—he took a deep breath and made that brave first step. There’s truly no going back once you begin flying on a zip line. He soared above the junipers and over…

Hard Work Pays Off

At just nine years old, Art in the High Desert (AHD)—Bend’s riverside juried art show—has surpassed the likes of Portland’s Art in the Pearl (21 years old) and San Francisco’s Sausalito Art Festival (65 years old) as one of the highest quality shows in the nation. Ranked #10 by the Art Fair Sourcebook, AHD is known to present unique work…

Winnie The Pig

Bali Schock clearly listens to animals. A lover of four-legged friends her entire life, the incoming Summit High sophomore has always been around horses and dogs. Recently, she added a porcine friend to her circle. Perhaps not the pig you initially envision, Winnie the Pig is a house pet enjoying the finer things in life. With a blue bow clipped…

Doc on Duty

It’s loud in the Skyview Middle School cafeteria during lunch break. Eighth-grader Taylynn Lindsey chats with her friends at a table set at the back edge of the room. They’re an active bunch, having been set free from class for this short span of time.


I am a photographer. When I wander, I wander with a camera. One evening, while out exploring a new road in the desert east of Bend, I happened upon a group of paragliders. I watched in wonder as they peacefully flew in random patterns. As I took photos, I found myself wishing to be up there with them. I went…

Columbia Gorge Wine Country

The Columbia Gorge wine region seems to go out of its way to defy all Pacific Northwest wine culture stereotypes. Straddling both sides of the mighty Columbia River—with a foothold in both Oregon and Washington—this wine region represents different growing climates, and wine experiences, around every corner.

Racing for Adventure

Six teammates swim down an unknown Patagonian whitewater river toward a glacial lake. In the middle of the lake—halfway through the two kilometer swim—hypothermia creeps in, along with doubts of survival. Crawling out of the lake, then huddling together with a tent fly wrapped around their shivering bodies, the team vows to drop out of the adventure race that has…

Growing Pains of a New High School Sport

While summer’s approach may mean putting the books away, kids across the high desert are keeping the sports equipment out. The spring athletic season may be over, however summer training and tournaments are just beginning. While basketball, baseball or soccer may be the traditional choices, lacrosse is widely considered the fastest growing sport in the country.

Come One, Come All

Most of us aren’t born to be Olympic athletes. For mere mortals, cheering for elite athletes from the comfort of the couch is participation enough. In the spirit of competition for everyone—not just the professionals—the Oregon Senior Games (OSG) offers athletic opportunities for sporty-minded folks, ages 50 and over. OSG welcomes everyone to the joys of coming together for fun…

Turning Good Thoughts into Good Actions

Patty Knowles and Wendi Holman—both of Central Oregon—used to watch as promising students of the Sortor Bushido Kai Karate studio switch to team sports because of the higher likelihood of getting college scholarships. Frustrated, the pair decided to do something to support future education and instruction for individual sport athletes. Enter the Good Thoughts Good Actions Foundation (GTGA), created to…

This Isn’t Your Monarchy’s Polo

Polo may seem a bit too formal for our mountain bike-loving, beer-swigging town. However, we’re athletic, we love our animals, and we’re drawn to wide open spaces. Therefore, polo may be the perfect fit for Central Oregon.

Garden to Glass

The record snowfall Old Man Winter dropped on Central Oregon is finally in the rearview mirror. In preparation for warmer temperatures, back patios are being cleaned, gardeners are getting their hands dirty, and many of us are thinking about how to quench our upcoming summer thirst. For the cocktail lover who also enjoys being outside and using garden tools, Central…

Seed To Table

Sprawling across two acres on the outskirts of Sisters, the nonprofit organic farm Seed to Table is about to be in full bloom. Once vegetables and fruits are ready to be picked, the farm will be responsible for distributing several tons of produce to families in Sisters and beyond. Audrey Tehan, Director of the Seed to Table program, returned to…

Plan a Wedding that Gives Back

The love of our Central Oregon lifestyle and beauty of our natural surroundings is contagious. As is the love you feel for your fiancée and those who celebrate with you. If you’re interested in creating lasting memories and a positive impact on our community at your wedding, consider planning one that gives back.

Southern Oregon Love

Oregon has a myriad of diverse locales—including big cities, lush forests and coastal beaches—for the perfect destination wedding. Each with its own unique environment, weather and landscape, these regions play host to thousands of weddings each year. One such area, Southern Oregon, provides an ideal backdrop for couples in love to tie the knot.

Oregon’s Sea Sentinels

The simple joy of taking a morning walk on a sandy beach is reason enough for me to hop in the car and head to the Oregon Coast. For those who require a more structured reason to visit Oregon’s bountiful coastline, consider taking a trip to see Oregon’s original lighthouses. These coastal workhorses—still providing light and safety to sea travelers…

A Hidden Desert Gem

Never-ending skies wait to erupt into a powerful downfall as hikers march over rolling hills. Wild mustangs and antelope roam through fields of green and gold flowers. A glorious sunrise illuminates a slot canyon and greets the day. While this nature scene plays out everyday somewhere in the backcountry, it’s hardly the first thing people think of when picturing a…

The Sound of Music

Since the birth of our nation, music has helped to define—and bring color to—the cities and towns that make up our country. Fife and drum corps in Boston provided the soundtrack to the American Revolution while San Francisco hippie bands illuminated the 1960’s cultural revolution. Take a walk through Nashville’s Music Row and hear up-and-coming country artists or head to…

High Desert Artistry

As Central Oregon has grown, so has the number of talented artists, naturally drawn to the high desert for its enriching environment and intimacy—the perfect backdrop to create. Whether it’s public art, jewelry, furniture or architecture, our corner of the world has a plethora of passionate craftsmen whose creativity seems to never end. Three local artisans—Jim Rozewski, Erik Hoogen, and…

Freedom from 

Retired fourth grade teacher Judi Van Houweling always incorporated the arts into her lesson plans. For 26 years, her classroom at Tumalo Community School was one where acting, painting, drawing and crafting were central to learning. One day, Debra Mae Fisher—an artist-in-residence at the school—encouraged Van Houweling to bring her love of the arts and teaching into her plans after…

The Beers of Beer Town, USA

With Oregon having over 200 breweries—34 in Central Oregon alone—the days of walking into a bar and telling the bartender you’ll have a “beer” are long gone. Choices now range from locals’ favorite India Pale Ale (IPA) to specialty beers, crafted for the season.

Where to Grab a Beer

Are you in the enviable position of trying to decide between multiple craft breweries? Here's our guide to local watering holes that best suit your needs.

2017 Central Oregon Beer Festivals

As if Central Oregon needs more of a reason to get together and celebrate beer, each year a dozen beer festivals take place throughout the High Desert. Some specialize in certain beer distinctions, while others invite various breweries from across the country to participate. Add the sounds of local bands and culinary delights served by local vendors and you have…

Bend Winter Nights

Central Oregon is known for breathtaking Cascade Mountain views, Bend’s bustling downtown area, and over 300 days of sunshine. Even when long winter nights cut the days short, the high desert has a picturesque mountain sky and an entertaining mountain town experience. So, next time a cozy home fire tries to lure you into staying home, resist the urge and…

Removing Obstacles

I step around to the unsafe side of the safety fence. The ledge—300 feet above ground—isn’t quite wide enough to fit the full length of my feet. My mind goes eerily calm. I take a deep breath, focus on the horizon, and await the countdown. Then, I jump.

Get Organized!

Modern-day living has become increasingly more demanding as people get married later, work longer hours, and relocate more frequently. As a result, an organized, relaxing, and inspirational home has become even more important.

Gifts That Give Back

Ready to make the holidays less about commercialism and more about spreading love? These local businesses can help! In fact, they are all about helping—in every possible way. Come along as we stroll through conversations with Bend’s social entrepreneurs. Better yet, plan a visit of your own. If you do, chances are you’ll find these hands-on, hard-working, heart-involved business owners/managers…


Looking for holiday gift ideas? Try some of these exceptional, locally-made products for the loved ones in your life.

Holiday Giving With a Twist!

The holidays bring an opportunity to deliver unexpected acts of kindness to family, friends, business associates or even total strangers. They are a time for gatherings—complete with eating, drinking, and of course, gifts! In turn, the celebratory season teaches us that gift giving is more fun than receiving.

Warm Fires & Dry Tents

Four friends—exhausted from the day’s conquests—sit around a roaring fire as they swap stories, exaggerated to be sure. Any pause in conversation is the result of polishing off a pre-packaged meal or becoming lost in the never-ending sea of stars overhead. The conversation turns to the following day’s plan of attack and the hint of an early bedtime.

Red Rock and Snow

From Mt. Bachelor’s pristine runs to the Cascades’ many snow parks, colder months turn Central Oregon into a winter wonderland. But, when storm cycles make the mountains unpleasant, places like Smith Rock State Park offer dry ground and panoramic volcanic rock views as a fun hiking option.

Cold Weather Fun–Add Ice Fishing to Your List

Central Oregon is surrounded by many forms of water throughout the year. Lakes and rivers, big and small, dot the landscape in every direction. Because we live at a higher elevation, summer’s water playground turns into a winter landscape full of ice and snow.

Four-Leg Friendly

Thanks to the cooler weather, fall is an ideal time to get out and explore Central Oregon with a four-legged friend. The crisp air is refreshing, the turning leaves are more vibrant, and best of all, the miles of trails are usually less crowded. Phil Collins, my 95 pound, black German Shorthaired Pointer and Labrador mix, is my hiking companion.…

A Dog Day Afternoon

Any description of Bend is sure to include craft beer, the great outdoors, and of course, dogs! Bendites love their furry friends so much that the thought of leaving them home seems unimaginable. Luckily, Central Oregon boasts a plethora of bars, restaurants and breweries that have dog-friendly patio areas and throughout the year, you can find Central Oregonians hanging out…

Compassion and Companionship

Maty used to love to run and catch frisbees. But, that’s pretty common for an Australian Shepard mix. She became so good at the acrobatics that she was invited to compete as a high-flying disc dog at the 2006 Skyhoundz World Championships in Atlanta, Georgia. An impressive fete in itself, but still not uncommon for an Aussie. What made Maty’s…

Bend’s Outstanding Teen Athletes

Each year, thousands of Central Oregon teenagers attend school, play sports, and work part time jobs. Some tackle gigantic work loads that make “walking barefoot, uphill both ways in the snow to school” seem like a picnic. Others altruistically volunteer at non-profits, while seeking to make the world a better place. Still others focus on a singular passion as they…