Traditions at Sunriver 2017: Ready for Some Holiday Magic? [Guide]

When it comes down to it, what will you remember most this holiday season?

Sure, the presents are nice – but that kind of magic is often fleeting. Experiences and the memories you make have a special kind of ability – the kind that can light you up for a lifetime.

If you’re ready to make some holiday memories, Sunriver is the place to be. With over 150 family events from November to New Year’s Day, there are plenty of opportunities to experience the magic of the season.

Don’t forget to check out our lodging deals this season:

  • 3rd night free up until Thanksgiving
  • 4th night free over Thanksgiving
  • 7th night free over Christmas

For more information about all events, check out the holiday traditions guide or contact us!

Christmas treeGrand Illumination Tree Lighting

Nov. 18, 3-8 p.m.

Kick off the holidays with all the quintessential holiday fun wrapped up in one day. Behind the Sunriver Resort Lodge will be live music, craft projects and face painting, train rides and sleigh rides, pony rides and a petting zoo, Oregon Observatory telescope viewing, fireworks, food, and of course, a visit from Santa!

  • 4:00-6:00 p.m. – Sleigh rides (weather permitting)
  • 4:00-7:30 p.m. – Pony rides and petting zoo
  • 4:30-7:30 p.m. – Live entertainment
  • 5:30 p.m. – Tree-lighting ceremony
  • 6:00-7:30 p.m. – Pictures with Santa

Holiday movieHoliday Movie Series

  • Nov. 18, 8:30 p.m. – “The Polar Express”
  • Dec. 21, 7:00 p.m. – “A Christmas Story”
  • Dec. 22, 7:00 p.m. – “Elf”
  • Dec. 23, 7:00 p.m. – “Frozen”

Get the family together to watch these classic Christmas movies! Call 541-593-1000 for movie locations. Single Movie Entry: $10 Resort Guests, $12 General Public. Movie Series Pass: Resort Guest, $25 adults, $20 children 12 and under; General Public, $30 adults, $25 children 12 and under. Children five and under are free. Unlimited popcorn available with the purchase of a Movie Series pass.

Thanksgiving dinnerThanksgiving Dinner

Nov. 23

No need to spend all day in the kitchen this year! You’ve got three options for amazing Thanksgiving dinners: Carson’s American Kitchen (plated, 541-593-3740), The Great Hall (buffet, 541-593-1000), and The Grille at Crosswater (special holiday menu, 541-593-3400). Call each location for prices and reservations.

turkey run5K Turkey Trot Fun Run

Nov. 24, 10 a.m.

After the big Thanksgiving feast, it’s time for some exercise! Be sure to dress for the occasion because there are prizes for best Thanksgiving-themed costumes. And you can’t beat a run/walk for a good cause: the Turkey Trot benefits the Neighborhood Impact program. Register by 11/1 and receive a t-shirt. Must pre-register. Check out all the info here.

Before 11/1: $30, 11/1-11/22: $35, after 11/22:  $40

oregon ducks gameCivil War Party

Nov. 25, Game time

The Ducks (University of Oregon) and the Beavers (Oregon State) are playing in this heated rivalry game, and Twisted River Tavern is the place to watch it! Food and drink specials will be available. No advance reservations.

Brunch With Santa at The Great Hall

holiday pancakes

Nov. 25, Dec. 16, Dec. 24 – 8:30 a.m. to noon

Spend some time with Santa and his Sunriver friends while eating amazing food!

Cost (inclusive): $51 adults; $26 children 6-12; complimentary for children five and under. Reservations required.

Elf Tuck-Ins


Nov. 25, Dec. 8-9, Dec. 15-17, Dec. 20-24 – 5-9 p.m.

Give your child (12 and under only) an experience they will never forget! A Christmas elf will read a Christmas story and talk to them right before bed, then say goodbye with a goodie bag. Appointment times available in 45-minute windows. Tuck-ins available for Sunriver, Crosswater, and Caldera Springs communities only. Reservations required with a 48-hour cancellation policy, or full program fee will be charged. Children not on the reservation will be charged twice the rate for that evening.

Cost: Resort Guests: $30 per child, $40 per child on Christmas Eve; General Public: $40 per child; $50 per child on Christmas Eve.


Saturdays, Nov. 25-Dec. 23, 10 a.m. to noon

Abbot Room at the Main Lodge

We bring the Bear Factory™ to you! Make your holiday extra special by choosing from a variety of holiday animals to hand stuff and then dress. Cost: $25 per animal, $15 per outfit. Buy one outfit, get the second for 50% off.

glass ornamentsSanta’s Workshop

  • Fridays, Dec. 1-15, 3-5 p.m.
  • Saturdays, Nov. 25-Dec. 16, 1-5 p.m.
  • Daily, Dec. 20-26, Noon-4 p.m. (Closed Dec. 25)

Located at Fort Funnigan

Santa’s Workshop comes to life as you create your own unique holiday keepsake. Choose from the following: fused glass ornaments, night lights, or hand-painted ceramic mugs. Cost: $20-$40 for fused-glass projects, $10- $30 for ceramic projects. Hot cocoa bar is complimentary for all purchasing participants.

Fall into October’s Fun in Central Oregon [Activity Guide]

Fall in Central Oregon is a time to treasure. The leaves are changing color, the weather is crisp but still pleasant, and the activities are plentiful. So, gather your family and friends, book a vacation rental for a cozy and memorable stay, and check out the awesome activities that will help you kick off the fall season.

Bend Fall Festival

candy applesOct. 6-8

Get into the spirit of all things fall at the Bend Fall Festival, held Oct. 6-8. Admission and parking is free. There’s something for everyone here: free concerts on two stages, including several local bands; Family Fun Street, with plenty of fall-themed activities for all ages; over 30 food vendors; and much more.

Also during the event, taste some amazing drinks at the Deshutes Brewery Libation Stations, which will be located throughout the festival. They will include crafted microbrews and wine in addition to seasonal cocktails from Bend Distillery and ciders from Atlas Cider Company.

While you’re there, do a bit of shopping at several spots during the festival, such as The Fine Artist Promenade, where over 100 arts and crafts will be offered by artists from all over the country. The Harvest Market, which will be on Minnesota Ave. between Bond St. and Wall St., will offer locally grown fruits and vegetables, flowers, and chicken, pork, and beef. Fall into Fashion is new this year, a spot highlighting a select group of fashion creators and reps; they’ll also be featured in fashion shows during the festival.

To learn more about the Bend Fall Festival, click here.

14th Annual BendFilm Festival

FilmOct. 12-15

This celebration of independent films brings film-lovers from all over to downtown Bend, where they converge to watch films, listen to lectures, and take part in events. But it’s more than just watching movies — at the festival, you can associate with other film buffs and learn behind-the-scenes trivia, and you may even get to meet the filmmakers.

Films come in different categories, such as narrative, documentary, short film, etc., and are selected from many submissions to be shown at the festival. A panel of industry professionals will choose the winners, who will win cash prizes. For festival goers, screenings are a chance to watch a moving work of art and be part of the magic. Festival headquarters are at The Hub at the Liberty Theatre at 849 NW Wall St. Passes and tickets are available now online.

To learn more about the BendFilm Festival, click here.

Cyclocross Crusade

cyclocross riderOct. 28-29

Decked out in their Halloween finery, over 1,000 cyclocross racers will descend upon Deschutes Brewery in the Old Mill District in Bend on Oct. 28-29. Cyclocross is a specific type of cross-country racing on bicycles. Cyclists will ride through varying terrains of dirt, bridges, hills, and more. Spectators: expect to enjoy a great time and plenty of laughs.

Think of this as a gathering place of cyclists and people who want to cheer them on and party with the best of the best. To some, all the costumes and dancing may seem out of place, but it’s absolutely welcomed and celebrated. And Central Oregon is one of the most scenic places to have this outdoor event. In the fall, there’s no question — you won’t see beauty like this anywhere else.

Cyclists will compete over two days for points as they vie for the win, and festival goers can enjoy the Deschutes Brewery beer garden, live music, and cultural food and festivities. It really is a good time.

To learn more about the Cyclocross Crusade, click here.

Halloween in the Village at Sunriver

Kids on HalloweenOct. 31

This free event in The Village at Sunriver is the perfect family-friendly Halloween tradition to start this year. Grab the kids, dress them up in their Halloween costumes, and trick or treat at all the merchants in The Village (check out the directory on the website).

While you’re there, take part in the costume contest for the chance to win prizes. Kids will love getting all the candy, as well as checking out the bounce house, cupcake walk, games, and Halloween party. The event goes from 4-6 p.m.

To learn more about Halloween in The Village at Sunriver, click here.

Now the hard part: what to pick? Why not several? Staying and playing in Central Oregon is actually quite affordable, especially if you rent a vacation home.

Check out the deals at Cascara Vacation Rentals, and start creating some amazing fall memories.

Wine, Dine & Relax at Uncorked Sunriver Style 2017

Uncorked, Sunriver Style 2017Calling all foodies and wine enthusiasts! Fall is on the way, which means it’s time for Uncorked, a celebration of wine, food, and relaxation. It takes place Sept. 15-16 at the lovely Benham Hall & John Gray Amphitheater in Sunriver, Oregon.

This year, Uncorked will feature 16 boutique wineries, as well as local cheese and decadent chocolates. No need to worry about transportation or designated drivers; if you stay in Sunriver you can walk where you need to go. Central Oregon has great weather in September!

Event admission for Uncorked is just $15 for those 21 and older (be sure to bring ID) and is good for both days (SROA member preference ID $12).

Admission price includes a stemless wine glass, ​one tasting token, and live music. Additional tastes sold by the vendors. Non-drinkers and those under 21 cost $5, and admission allows for event entry and music only. Live music and classes are also available during the weekend.

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Get the Most out of Your Deschutes River Float

A visit to Central Oregon in the summer would not be complete without a float down the famous Deschutes River. It’s wide, calm and family friendly — with a few small rapids for adventurous souls (easy to avoid if you wish.)

Locals and visitors alike feel this river call to them. It’s a fun way to experience Bend, Oregon, in a completely different way. And on a hot summer day, what could be better than the cool mountain water?

Don’t jump in just yet! Floating the river requires a bit of planning, but we’ve got you covered. Just follow these ideas for what to bring, what not to bring, where to go, and other tips for an awesome float, and you’ll be on your way.

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The Happiness of Spending More on Experiences, Not Goods

Buying the newest smartphone, tablet, or TV seems to be a rite of passage these days, as if we almost have no choice but to buy the latest and greatest. The same thing goes with buying a bigger house, a sweeter car, and a bunch of other material possessions. It’s like we just can’t stop until we have all the things we’re “supposed” to have.

The question is, why are we even doing this? Is it necessary? Does it really make us happier? Consider this: If you could spend the weekend on a kayaking adventure somewhere beautiful like Central Oregon, would you put off buying a new gadget? What would put a bigger smile on your face for longer?

Several scientific studies say that not only do more things not equal happiness but also that rather than “stuff,” what really make us happier are experiences:

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Don’t Pay More Than You Should for a Weekend Getaway

After a long work week, no doubt you look forward to getting away from it all. A weekend getaway is the perfect opportunity to rest, refuel, and recharge from the daily demands of life.

Since most people work during the week, it’s pretty typical to want to remove yourself from the daily grind by heading out of town on the weekend: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The vacation industry knows this, and so they have invented the “peak times” concept, where you end up paying more for a room just because they’re in higher demand.

Basically, hotels or Airbnbs jack up their prices, knowing people will pay because we don’t have a lot of choice. The same concept also happens during “summer peak” or “holiday peak.”

We’ve accepted this because so many hotels and vacation companies do it. But have you ever stopped to think how unfair this is? You certainly can’t control the days you work. And if a hotel is busier over a weekend, why are they charging you extra when more of their rooms are getting booked?

In short, you could be paying more for your weekend getaway than you need to.

Save Money on Your Rental

The solution? Shop around. Find a vacation rental company that doesn’t increase their rates just because it is a weekend, holiday, or busy season.

Cascara Vacation Rentals, located in Sunriver, Oregon, believes that “slow and steady wins the race.” Rather than charging vacationers more for busier times, they like to keep an even and fair weekday-to-weekend cost during the summer and winter holiday seasons, as well as off-seasons. In fact, Cascara even offers free nights depending on when and how long you stay.

Now that’s more like it! This is a company that doesn’t buy into the “peak times” concept and values its customers over making a quick buck.

Cascara is family owned, and putting their customers first is at the core of their values. They are focused on helping you have a great experience so you’ll come back again and again.

Look for Extra Amenities

Another thing to look for when choosing a room is what amenities the hotel or rental company offers. Many rooms you rent will offer the basics, such as complimentary toiletries. Again, we’ve accepted these as standard and don’t always look for what else they could be offering.

Cascara goes above and beyond. They offer special discounts for their customers you probably won’t find elsewhere in Sunriver, such as:

  • Lost Tracks Golf Club  — This Central Oregon 18-hole golf course is tucked away into the tall pine trees. It’s a Brian Whitcomb, par-72 course you will find equally challenging and beautiful. With a Cascara Vacation Rental stay, you get a discount on greens fees and receive the VIP treatment.
  •  Wanderlust Tours — Available year round, you can take advantage of less expensive guided canoeing, kayaking, caving, snow shoeing tours, and much more!
  • Play — When you stay at Cascara, you can get discounts at local businesses that can make your weekend getaway even more memorable, such as ATV Rentals, Snowmobile Rentals, Guided Fishing Tours, Outfitting, and more! Call Cascara for details.
  • Local Restaurants — Get 10 percent off at Blondie’s Pizza or Marcello’s Italian Restaurant, two tasty Central Oregon eateries.

A weekend away to relax shouldn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. If you skip the places that charge you “peak time” rates and instead go for a vacation rental company that offers you more for less, not only can you rest better at your weekend getaway, you can also definitely afford to get away more often!

Summer Fun for All at the Pacific Crest Sports Festival

The crowds gather with bells and signs as racers take their marks. All the preparations — the blood, sweat, and tears that go along with race training — have come to this. This special place. Every year, thousands gather in Sunriver, Ore., in the spirit of sport, camaraderie, and the outdoors. And why wouldn’t they? Central Oregon boasts some of the best views in the world for runners, bikers, and swimmers.

Calling all athletes

Stages of a triathlon

Register for the race here

Planning, preparation & FAQs

More on the Pacific Crest Sports Festival

Now in its 21st year, the Pacific Crest Triathlon and Weekend Sports Festival takes place the last weekend in June, this year set for June 23-25, 2017. Athletes and their families come from all over the country and even the world to take part in the multi-faceted event in this picturesque location. From most any vantage point are water, trees, and mountains.

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Cascara: The Sweet New Drink Trend After Our Own Heart

By / 21st April, 2017 / Uncategorized / No Comments

At Cascara Vacation Rentals, we’re all about bringing people to nature, especially to the lakes and mountains of the Cascades. In fact, we got our name from nature: the cascara tree is native to the Pacific Northwest, which we call home.

The name cascara, interestingly enough, also has other ties to nature. Did you know that it’s the name of a popular drink made from the coffee plant? Read on to learn more.

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Central Oregon Trip Planner

Trip Planner - Digital


Planning a Memorable Valentine’s Day or Anniversary Getaway

By / 10th February, 2017 / Road Trip, Travel / No Comments

Grab a box of chocolates and a dozen roses — hmm, wait a second. Are you tired of the typical romantic fare yet? Ready to shake it up and really connect with your significant other?box of valentine's day chocolates

While flowers, candy, and dinner are always welcome, they’re kind of playing it small and safe, not to mention that true connection with each other is often lost. To really say “I love you” in the way your loved one wants to be told, consider giving the gift of quality time through an amazing getaway for two.

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