My adorable and energetic 5 year old nephew visited Bend with his family earlier this week. It was 4 days of pure magic and I'm pretty sure he's going to be talking about this trip for a long time. As he explored all new territory and learned tons of new facts, his face lit up with excitement. For people planning their trips to Bend this summer, I'll give you (what I think was) his top 10 list.
1. Pretend fishing on the Deschutes River. We fashioned fishing line to a stick and didn't even have a hook at the end, but he loved every second of "fishing."
2. The Observatory at Sunriver Part 1. Have you ever been to an observatory during the day? The stars aren't out but we learned so much about the sun! It was also a lot less crowded during the day so we got a very personalized experience.
3. The Observatory at Sunriver Part 2. He's very into space. It was a special treat that he got to stay up late to go to the observatory at night. All week he had been wishing to see the stars in the night sky, but when it doesn't get dark until almost 10, it's too late for some kids.
4. Caving! We recommend ages 5 and up for caving because it requires full mobility to move over the uneven ground. We had a great time scrambling over rocks and finding out what is inside these dark tunnels under the surface.
5. Biking the trails in Sunriver. It's been a long time since I've gotten to travel on the back of a bike in a little covered wagon, but it looked like so much fun! The bike trails in Sunriver are extensive and beautiful. The trees shade the paths and make for a refreshing ride even on a hot day.
6. Ice cream at Addy Mac's. There's not much else to say about this one. It's the best ice cream in town and a favorite of adults and kids alike.
7. The play area at Looney Bean. When you're in need of some afternoon fuel, Looney Bean is the perfect stop. There's a large area in the back for kids to play, and plenty of delicious coffee options for adults.
8. Canoeing on the lake. Though he didn't provide a lot of power, holding the paddle brought so much joy to the little man's face. What an experience to glide over the water in a vessel holding your favorite people. At the end of the trip under the hot summer sun, he was excited to jump in the water to cool down before heading home.
9. Speaking of getting wet on a hot day, the sprinklers at Drake Park happened to be on one afternoon while we were enjoying a picnic there. It took one second for him to jump up and start sprinting toward the sprinklers. You may not be able to plan a moment just like this, but it was certainly a highlight.
10. And best of all: spending time with the people you love in a beautiful place.