Bend shopping district has big plans for making the holiday season – and beyond – even more festive.
The Old Mill District brings magic and joy to the holiday season this year with extended appearances from jolly old St. Nick, horse-drawn carriage rides, carolers, hot cider and cocoa sampling, a variety of children’s activities and more! This year, the shopping district will extend celebrations through the first week of January, so locals and vacationers alike can enjoy the season to its fullest! Festivities begin on Friday, November 23 and run through January 4.
Santa Land: Pictures with the Fat Man and Holiday Gift Wrapping In the magical place called Santa Land, kiddies can capture the big guy’s ear with their hearts’ desires. A lasting family photograph will make the moment into holiday history. Santa will be in Santa Land every Friday- Sunday, November 23 and December 23 from 11am-5pm. (Located between Jimmy John’s and Desperado at 330 Powerhouse Drive.) Gift wrapping by Wrap, Paper, Scissors will also be available in Santa Land during Santa’s hours.
Complimentary Carriage Rides with Wagon’s Ho! and Cowboy Carriage will pick up and drop off near Ben and Jerry’s. Carriage rides provided Fridays & Saturdays, November 23-December 8 and Daily, December 19-23, 26-28 & 30-31 from 2-5pm. Donations and tips are accepted and go to local nonprofits.
Rotary Tree of Joy will be open from November 23-December 16 inside Santa Land. This is a great opportunity for community members to give a gift to a person or family in need. Names may be selected and unwrapped gifts returned through December 16. Tree of Joy hours are Monday-Thursday from 3-7:30pm and Friday-Sunday 11am-6pm. Gifts may also be dropped off at the Hilton Garden Inn outside these hours.
Roving Carolers- Musical Performances by local choir groups such as the Summit High School Choir, Mountain View High School Jazz Choir, Sisters High School Jazz Choir, Bend Senior High School, High Desert Harmoneers and the Victorian Carolers. Check the Old Mill District website for a schedule of performances.
The holidays run a little longer in 2012 with Children’s Activities inside the Santa Land space after Christmas.
- Deschutes Public Library story time: December 27-29 and January 2-4 at 11am and 2:30pm each day. Children of all ages are welcome; a $5 donation per child is encouraged.
- Art Station art classes will be December 27-30 and January 2-4 at 10-11am (ages 4-6) and 1-2pm (ages 7-10) each day for the first 12 children that check in – space will fill up quickly so come early! A $5 donation per child is encouraged.
- Snowshoeing Mini Adventure with Wanderlust Tours: December 27-29 and January 2-4 at 2 and 3:15pm each day. Limited to the first 10 to check in– space will fill up quickly so come early! These classes are for Kids ages 8-14; a $5 donation per child is encouraged. Parents may drop off their kids for either the Art classes or the Snowshoeing and enjoy 45-50 minutes to walk the river trail, grab a coffee, make a return or, of course, enjoy the many after Christmas sales in the Old Mill District.
- Free hot cocoa and cider samples at Savory Spice Shop, across from Santa Land, from 2-4pm on December 27-29 and January 2-4.
- Solar System Class Discover our vast universe with a solar system class lead by instructors of the Oregon Observatory at Sunriver. Kids will learn about the planets and the characteristics that make each planet interesting and unique. Kids will paint and assemble their own solar system to take home. Classes are limited to twelve children per class. Kids ages 7-12 are welcome.
After the class, kids will get the chance (weather permitting) to see to see Jupiter or the Moon using a telescope. The dates of the solar system classes are December 27-29 and January 2-4 at 4pm. Classes located in SantaLand next to Jimmy John’s. A $5 donation is requested per child for all events.
Many more holiday events can be found www.theoldmill.com.