Cold hands, warm hearts? Us too. When it comes to winter in Bend, there’s no shortage of things to do especially for outdoor lovers. With fewer crowds, now is the perfect time to plan a romantic jaunt in Bend, Oregon. Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and dinner reservations are all booked up (story of our lives), so here are five romantic things to do in Bend, Oregon beyond dinner.
ESCAPE ROOM à DEUX
Suspense, murder, intrigue…the perfect recipe for romance! When else are you locked in a dark room with your sweetheart for a solid hour? Truth be told, there’s not really any time for funny business (not to mention the staff has cameras watching your every move). You’ll spend the hour working together to solve a mystery and realizing that you really do make a great team.
Bonus points: if you’re ready to take your relationship to the next level, the Escape Room staff will set up a proposal within the room as the final piece of the mystery. Sure, the proposal will set you back a cool $200 (prices increase after February), but just imagine the look on his or her face. Priceless!
If the Escape Room feels a bit claustrophobic but you like the idea of putting your heads together, stop in at Modern Board Shop in Bend’s Box Factory where you can play in-house games while sipping local brews. Downtown at Vector Volcano Arcade, a roll of quarters will make you feel like a kid again (and yes, alcohol is available for purchase).
Whether you have the skills to cross country ski or the patience to snowshoe, adventure awaits in the Deschutes National Forest. Grab your gear, your guy or girl, and go.
XC SKI IN THE MOONLIGHT
Rent gear from Mountain Supply if you don’t own your own, swing by Market of Choice for some snacks (I recommend supplies for s’mores and a drink of your choice plus water), then head to Virginia Meisner Snow Park for an evening under the stars. Venture out around 4:30pm for the last bit of light and make the 1 1/4 mile trek to the Meisner Snow Hut where you’ll watch the sunset over the Cascades.
Duck inside the hut for cover and spark a fire on the wood-burning stove. Roast s’mores, toast to the perfect date, and cozy up under star-filled skies. Be sure to head back the way you came because getting lost in the woods is no fun, not even with the one you love.
SNOWSHOE SMITH ROCK
If there’s plenty of snow, head to Smith Rock for a snowshoe adventure unlike any other. You’ll have the picturesque state park all to yourself. Stick together and skip Misery Ridge as snow can make the terrain more difficult. Instead, after you cross the footbridge, head left along the River Trail and wander the park at a leisurely pace, stopping to admire soaring peaks above you, birds flying by, and the partially frozen Crooked River.
Give yourself plenty of time to explore and find your way back to your car (head back the same way you came, I do not recommend going anywhere near Misery Ridge in the snow), and make sure to pack snacks and water.
SWEET SWEAT SESH
Up the steam factor by taking your love to a hot yoga class. My pick: Namaspa on Galveston. As of this post, there are 11 classes available on Valentine’s Day and most days for that matter—so take your pick and enjoy. After the sweat sesh, keep those flames stoked by grabbing a drink around the fire at neighboring 10 Barrel Brewing Company where, if you throw a puffy jacket over your yoga clothes, you’ll fit right in.
Pedicures might be a ‘no’ for your guy, but foot massages are most likely a ‘yes’. There is a place for that: Sole Footbar on Galveston offers side by side foot rub downs starting at 40 minutes and $45. Plus, you’ll be seated in super comfy, oversized couches and served a drink of your choice. Afterwards, walk around the corner and grab an a la cart cupcake from Ida’s Cupcake Cafe.