If you live near Bend, Oregon then you are lucky enough to have plenty of beautiful and interesting outdoor activities right outside your doorstep. The High Desert Museum offers 53,000 square feet of exhibits in the main building and a quarter-mile trail that runs along a peaceful river and through the woods. The 32,000 square feet of outdoor exhibits, featuring several animal habitats, are found along the river and are open all year-round. The Spirit of the West is a permanent indoor exhibit where visitors can see how fur traders lived, the hardships endured while traversing the Oregon Trail, and how a buckaroo enjoyed their time. Another indoor exhibit, By Hand Through Memory, shows how Plateau Native Americans are able to retain their identities while also progressing with the changes of our time. The outdoor trails give visitors the rare opportunity to get up-close with predators such as owls, hawks, and eagles. Take a stroll through the paved nature trails or enjoy the Autzen Otter Exhibit. The exhibit has both an outdoor and indoor viewing area in order for visitors to catch of a glimpse of Thomas, a Northern River Otter, playing underwater.
Second, Lava Butte, a peak located in Lava Lands, offers beautiful views of the Cascade Range and Newberry Volcano. Lava Butte rises 500 feet above the beautiful visitor center and can be reached in a quick car drive. The visitor center has hands-on exhibits for the children and informational videos for guests. The Newberry cinder cone erupted 7,000 years ago and created about nine square miles of lava. You can take a self-guided or lead-guided walk through several trails to take part in the volcanic landscape and nearby forest.
Finally, you and your family could try a Wanderlust Tour. The half-day guided tours take you to the peaceful Cascade lakes, rivers, forests, and caves located in Central Oregon. The tours run year round with summer activities including canoeing, kayaking, and volcano sightseeing. You can customize your tours for either your family or corporate outing. The best part is that all tours include a guide, transportation, and equipment. Tours leave everyday from Bend and Sunriver, Oregon. This is a perfect outing for any family with older children who love a little adventure.