Halloween Fun for Everyone

via Pixabay

Ghosts and goblins, beware! Halloween is almost here and you are in for a scare! From family fun to some of the biggest scares and parties of the season, there’s an event for everyone! Whether you are a local or are visiting any of our cities below, be sure to check out some of our favorite events to celebrate Halloween and close out October. We wouldn’t want you to miss out on the fun!

Bend, Oregon

Smith Rock Ranch
Now - Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Just 30 minutes north of Bend is a full day of family fun celebrating Halloween and the fall season! Open to the public the month of October, Smith Rock Ranch has pumpkins galore, animal visits, a harvest market and the always impressive corn maze, with the 2017 theme of Sherlock Holmes. Other family fun activities at Smith Rock Ranch include live music, putt putt golf and pumpkin canons. Check out their website for additional information!

Galacticross: An Interstellar Experience
Saturday, October 28, 2017
The Deschutes Brewery annual warehouse party is back again! Teaming up with Cyclocross Crusade and Oregon Adaptive Sports, this year’s extravaganza will include cosmic costumes, out of this world art installations, celestial cocktails and other culinary concoctions, DJs, music and other performances. While VIP tickets have already sold out, there will be plenty of GA tickets available at the door, so suit up in your space gear and join the party! This event is 21+ and full details can be found here.

Portland, Oregon

The Pumpkin Patch Farm on Sauvie Island
Now - Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Head on over to Sauvie Island for one of Portland’s largest autumn traditions! Enjoy a hayride out to the pumpkin patch to pick your perfect pumpkin, navigate over two miles of twists and turns in the original corn maze, visit the animals in the big, red barn and check out the farm fresh market or gift shop! Celebrating 50 years of tradition at The Pumpkin Patch, this year’s corn maze pays tribute to the big, red barn built back in 1929. Check out the website for more information.

FrightTown
Now - Tuesday, October 31, 2017
If scares more your thing, be sure to check out FrightTown. Recognized as the Pacific Northwest’s biggest and scariest haunt event, FrightTown features three haunted houses that are sure to make you scream! This years haunted houses include Baron Von Goolo’s Museum of Horrors, a madhouse of humor and horror; Grimthorne Manor, a gothic horror house; and Sector 13, the brand new attraction featuring extraterrestrial mutants. Additional information and tickets can be found here!

Seattle, Washington

Aquarium Halloween
Saturday, October 28 - Sunday, October 29, 2017
Head on over to the Seattle Aquarium for family fun with a Halloween twist! Put on your costume, join in on spooky games and activities and face painting. There will even be two types of pumpkin carving demonstrations, on land with a master carver and underwater with the aquarium divers! On Sunday, October 29, you can also trick-or-treat at waterfront businesses from the ferry terminal to Pier 66. Purchase tickets online and save!

Haunt at MoPop: The Ultimate Halloween Bash
Saturday, October 28, 2017
Selling out every year, Seattle’s largest and longest running Halloween party is back for its 16th year at at the Museum of Pop Culture. This year’s theme is “Ultimate Halloween” and tickets are going fast! Take Halloween to the next level with music, drinks and the largest costume contest in the city, with the best costume taking home $1,000. This event is 21+ and additional details and tickets can be found here.

Washington, DC

The Glow: A Jack O’Lantern Experience
Now - Sunday, October 29, 2017
Just outside of the city, The Glow is enchanting audiences of all ages through the month of October. With over 5,000 jack o’lanterns hand carved by over 20 artists, this event is a must do for Halloween. After walking through the ⅓ mile trail, finish off the night with fall food and beverages. This event is fun for the whole family and photos are encouraged! Visit the website for additional information and tickets.

Pub Dread
Now - Tuesday, October 31, 2017
For the over 21 crowd, check out Pub Dread during the month of October. A spooky way to enjoy drinks this season, Pub Dread is a pop-up bar featuring different Halloween themed rooms and drinks. There’s no cover charge to enter, but keep in mind the highest traffic usually occurs from 6:30-9:30 pm and weekdays are usually less busy than weekends. For more info and a sneak peek at the frightful drink menu, visit their website.

Austin, Texas

Boo at the Zoo!
Now - Saturday, October 28, 2017
Celebrate Halloween Fridays and Saturdays during the month of October when Austin Zoo becomes spooky fun for the whole family! The final two nights are This coming weekend, and tickets are limited. Ride the Haunted Train and explore the Haunted House, and don’t forget your costume! Tickets are $17.50 each, check here for more information!

OctoberFest #3: All Hallows Eve Festival Ball at the Belmont
Saturday, October 28, 2017
For those 21 and over, join in on Austin’s Halloween festival like no other! Not only is this event the best costume party in town, OctoberFest features art (galleries, live art, vendors and face paint), music (music battles, live music and DJs all night long) and fashion. Tickets are going quick, so make sure to grab yours here!

Bend Ale Trail Month

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If you have ever visited Bend, you already know that we take pride in all of our breweries and endless supply of craft beer! We like to brew it, we like to drink it, and we’re pretty good at it. With 26 breweries to choose from, can you blame us? While the traditional sit-down or happy hour experience is a great way to pay a visit to these local breweries, an even more fun way to experience some of the best beer in town is participating in the Bend Ale Trail.

November is right around the corner and is Bend Ale Trail Month! Whether you are a local or will be visiting, we all can expect additional contests and prizes, deals and trophies for completing the Bend Ale Trail Passport. If you'll be visiting Bend, make sure to use promo code BENDALE to get a free 2-day itinerary through the end of November.

What is the Bend Ale Trail?
The Bend Ale Trail is recognized as the “Largest Beer Trail in the West” and includes 16 participating Bend breweries. Complete the Bend Ale Trail by using the official Bend Ale Trail Map & Atlas to navigate the city and collect stamps at the participating breweries for fun prizes!

What makes Bend Ale Trail Month so special?
In addition to the normal excitement and prizes that come with completing the Bend Ale Trail, doing so in November means extra contests and prizes, deals, and a championship trophy. That’s right, a trophy! During Bend Ale Trail Month, use #bendaletrailmonth on Instagram to be entered to win Hydro Flasks, Silipints, brewery gift cards, hats, shirts, stickers and more! Check out the Bend Ale Trail website for full details.

Where do I get a Bend Ale Trail Map & Atlas?
The Bend Ale Trail Map & Atlas can be picked up at participating breweries or at the Bend Visitor Center downtown. Alternatively, you can print out a copy of the passport here or download the official Bend Ale Trail app on your smartphone.

What are the participating breweries?
Participating breweries include 10 Barrel Brewing Company, Bend Brewing Company, Boneyard Beer, Cascade Lakes Brewing Company, Craft Kitchen & Brewery, Crux Fermentation Project, Deschutes Brewery, GoodLife Brewing Company, Immersion Brewing, McMenamins Old St. Francis School Brewery, Riverbend Brewing Company, Silver Moon Brewing, Sunriver Brewing Company, Three Creeks Brewing Company, Wild Ride Brewing and Worthy Brewing Company. Make sure to check individual brewery hours before heading out as hours vary, and don’t forget to bring your passport!

What happens when you complete the Bend Ale Trail?
Complete the Bend Ale Trail and receive a special prize! If you collect 10 stamps, you’ll receive a commemorative Bend Silipint. If you collect 16 stamps, you’ll also receive a Bend Ale Trail bottle opener. If you complete the Bend Ale Trail during in November (aka Bend Ale Trail Month) you’ll also receive a trophy.

Where can I claim my prize?
Bend Ale Trail prizes can be claimed downtown at the Bend Visitor Center, located at 750 NW Lava Road, Suite 160 during regular operating hours. The Bend Visitor Center is open Monday through Friday from 9 am - 5pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 10 am - 4 pm.

Are there any rules to participate?
Yes, there are to participate. The Bend Ale Trail Rules & Restrictions are as follows:

  • You must be 21 or over to receive the souvenirs
  • Each person redeeming a prize needs his/her own passport
  • Limit one Silipint per person; limit one extra prize per person
  • No photocopies of completed Bend Ale Trail Passports will be accepted
  • Souvenirs are limited to stock on hand
  • No purchase is required to participate in the Bend Ale Trail

In addition to Bend Ale Trail Month, the Bend Ale Festival and Bend Ale Run also take place in November! Join in on the fun Saturday, November 11, 2017 from 11 am - 8 pm in the Northwest Crossing Neighborhood. With over 40 beers from 20 local breweries, this event is not to be missed by beer lovers! Visit the official website to see who will be pouring and if you're interested in "running for the ale of it," sign up for the Bend Ale Run Half Marathon or 10K here. When you cross the finish line you'll already be at the festival!

Locals Compass is a travel marketplace that connects Travelers with Locals for personalized  travel itineraries. If you’re visiting Bend, Oregon this November, let us take the planning off your list! Use promo code BENDALE for a free 2-day itinerary through November 30, 2017.

PNW Events to Check Out this Fall

Autumn has officially arrived with shorter days, cooler nights, and the prettiest foliage! As we head toward the end of the year, there is no shortage of events to attend in our Pacific Northwest cities. Celebrate the season with some of our favorite events and activities in Bend, Portland and Seattle!

Bend, Oregon

Smith Rock Ranch
Now - October 31, 2017
Just 30 minutes north of Bend, is a full day of family fun! Open to the public the month of October, Smith Rock Ranch has pumpkins galore, an impressive corn maze, animals, a harvest market, and other activities for the whole family. Check out their website for additional information!

BendFilm
Thursday, October 12 - Sunday, October 15, 2017
One of Bend’s Tenth Month events, BendFilm celebrates the voice of independent cinema through films, lectures and education. Bend will be transformed as we gather in downtown theaters, lecture halls, music rooms and other venues to take in the work of the most talented independent filmmakers. Visit the BendFilm website for schedules, pass and ticket information.

Fresh Hops on the Pond
Saturday, October 14, 2017
It’s the most wonderful time of year in Bend: fresh hops season! What a better way to celebrate than with a huge party? Hosted on the lawn of Bend Brewing Company, Fresh Hops on the Pond will have fresh hopped brew from some of the best breweries in town, and live music all afternoon! Full event details can be found here.

Portland, Oregon

The Pumpkin Patch Farm on Sauvie Island
Now - October 31, 2017
October here is here and so are all things fall and Halloween. Head on over to Sauvie Island for one of Portland’s largest autumn traditions! Pick your perfect pumpkin from the pumpkin patch, navigate over two miles of twists and turns in the original corn maze, and check out the farm fresh market or gift shop. Check out their website for more information.

Portland Film Festival
Monday, October 30 - Sunday, November 5, 2017
Portland Film Festival is a non-profit dedicated to filmmakers and audiences, celebrating the power of a good story. Named “one of the coolest film festivals in the world,” by MovieMaker Magazine in 2014, this weeklong event is not to be missed. For more information and tickets, visit their website!

Portland Trail Blazers Basketball
October 2017 - April 2018
Basketball is back, with regular season games beginning mid-October. The Trail Blazers have always called Portland home, and have lifelong fans to prove it! Catch a game at the Moda Center when they’re at home, or any of the local sports bars when they’re on the road. The 2017-18 season schedule and ticket information can be found here.

Seattle, Washington

Seattle Restaurant Week
Sunday, October 15 - Thursday, November 2, 2017
Celebrate Seattle’s culinary scene during this three week event, valid Sundays-Thursdays only. With more than 165 local restaurants serving up three-course dinners for just $33, and many offering two or three course lunches for $18. Restaurant Week is a great opportunity to visit all those restaurants that have been on your list and see what makes Seattle a culinary hot spot. Participating restaurants can be found here!

Steamposium
Friday, October 27 - Sunday, October 29, 2017
Calling all sky pirates and explorers, goblins and ghouls, and creatures of all ages. Steamposium is back and going to be a hauntingly good time! As one of the largest conventions of its kind, attendees can expect entertainment, artists and merchants, and the favorite Tea & Fashion Show and Murder Mystery! Check out their website for additional information and tickets.

Seattle Winter Ciderfest
Thursday, November 2, 2017
As we make our way through the fall season, Seattle Winter Ciderfest makes the perfect opportunity to celebrate the harvest and libations of the season before the holiday craziness sets in! In addition to your favorite local cider brands, there will be exhibits from other local companies, beverage categories, and local eats. Grab your tickets here!

Bend Fall Festival

via Pixabay

The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting cooler here in the High Desert. As we enter October, there’s no better way to celebrate the season and enjoy the community than with Bend Fall Festival! The First Interstate Bank Bend Fall Festival, presented by The Source Weekly brings a celebration of all things fall to downtown Bend. Fall-themed activities including contests, music, art, and food that will thrill attendees of all ages.

Bend Fall Festival kicks off at Friday, October 6th at 5 pm and continues through the weekend. Head downtown and join in on the fun! This event takes place on Wall Street, Oregon Avenue and Minnesota Avenue and is free for all to attend!

Friday, October 6th from 5 pm-11 pm
Saturday, October 7th from 11 am-11 pm
Sunday, October 8th from 11 am-5 pm

Check out what’s happening at the Bend Fall Festival below!

Bend Business Showcase
The Business Showcase introduces businesses primarily in the following five categories: Energy Conservation Products and Services, Healing and Wellness, Sports and Recreation, Professional Services and Nonprofit Organizations.

Family Fun Area
Family Harvest Area overflows with Fall themed activities for all ages. With Halloween inspired and harvest activities from family focused businesses around Central Oregon, this is the time to pack up the family for a day of fall fun!

Festival Performances
Get down at the stages of Bend Fall Festival. The Plantae Main Stage features local and national stars that will rock you all weekend long. The KPOV Locals Only Stage features only the best local musicians sure to rev up your Bend, Oregon pride.

Fine Artist Promenade
Stroll through the more than 100 fine artists and craftspeople as they fill the street with their handwork, design and artistry. Traveling to Bend from all over the state, region and country, these fine artists bring color and life to the Bend Fall Festival!

Food Court and Libations
The food court features innovative food vendors serving savory and sweet offerings. Get your eat on in the Wells Fargo Parking Lot off of Oregon Avenue. The Deschutes Brewery Libation Stations will be located throughout the festival space offering a selection of finely crafted microbrews and wine, in addition to seasonal cocktails from Bend Distillery, and ciders from Atlas Cider Company.

Gourmet Food & Wine
Minnesota Avenue becomes the hub for gourmet food and wine. Explore your palate with robust Pacific Northwestern wines, tasty treats, ciders and kombucha, plus so much more.

Harvest Market
Come indulge in the beautiful produce and wonderful food products grown and handcrafted in our region. Delicious fruits and vegetables from local farmers such as knobby gourds and stout pumpkins, vibrant flower bouquets, and local ranchers with chicken, pork, and beef are just a few of the autumn treasures to be found at the market.

Pie Baking Contest
Are you Bend’s Best Baker? Prove it! This year at the Bend Fall Festival, put your pie baking skills to the test at our Pie Baking Contest. Amazing Apple? Check. Perfect Pecan? You got it! Pumpkin Prodigy? I’m drooling. Registration information can be found here.

Pumpkin Carving Competition
Are you the best Pumpkin Carver in town? Put your carving skills to the test at the Bend Fall Festival! We’re taking names for those interested in entering the Pumpkin Carving Contest, send us an email to info@layitoutevents.com to be entered.

Head downtown and celebrate autumn in Bend, you don't want to miss out on the fun!

Drink Beer Day

via Pixabay

If you haven’t already guessed (we may have posted about it a time or two), craft beer is kind of our thing out here in the Pacific Northwest. We like to brew it, we like to drink it, and we’re pretty darn good at it! With over 600 breweries between Oregon and Washington, can you really blame us? It’s a beer lover’s paradise out here and coincidentally, Thursday, September 28th is recognized as National Beer Day!

Our Bend, Portland, and Seattle Local Experts have provided their recommendations for the best beer happy hours in their respective locations. Grab a pint and celebrate National Beer Day at our favorites!

Bend, Oregon

Crux Fermentation Project
Built for non-traditional brewing methods like decoction mashing, open fermentation and barrel aging, this one-of-a-kind brewery has one of the best happy hours in town. With panoramic views of the Cascade Range, Crux Fermentation Project holds their Happy Hour (aka Sundowner Hour) with beer specials and $2 starters during the half hour directly before and after sunset each day.

Bend Brewing Company
As the second oldest brewery, Bend Brewing Company is located right on Mirror Pond in historic downtown Bend. A favorite brewpub of locals around town, this brewery recently doubled their space with the addition of a killer outdoor space which makes for a great place to enjoy a cold beer with a view. Stop by Monday through Friday from 4-6 pm for Happy Hour!

Deschutes Brewery
A fixture in downtown Bend since 1988, the original Public House is where it all began for this brewery. With a total of 19 taps running in the original brew pub, and a beer-centric menu with the freshest ingredients from local farms, Deschutes Brewery is a must visit any day of the week, but even better for Happy Hour Mondays!

Portland, Oregon

Burnside Brewing Company
Located in inner southeast Portland, Burnside Brewing Company is widely recognized as a visionary leader in Northwest beer! Visit the brewpub for ever-changing ales, bitters, and lagers, and seven staple beers year round. Happy Hour, or Fermentation Hour as they call it, is from 3-6 pm every day. We recommend the nachos if you need a bite to eat with your brews!

Base Camp Brewing Co.
Brewing since 2012, Base Camp Brewing Co. offers a variety of lagers and ales for the “adventurous palate,” representative of the Pacific Northwest beer industry. Visit their taproom for the relaxed atmosphere, two local food carts, and daily happy hours. Happy Hour is Monday (all day long), Tuesday-Friday (3-6 pm) and Saturday-Sunday (open-3 pm).

Beer O’Clock
While technically not a brewery, Beer O’Clock is an excellent taproom and the perfect happy hour spot for every beer lover! Their current tap list includes 30 beers, heavily made up of Oregon and Washington beers. Enjoy their Happy Hour pints for $3 from 2-5 pm.

Seattle, Washington

Pike Brewing Company
This brewery made the list for our Seattle Locals’ Best IPA’s in Town a while back with its Pike IPA, which has been named one of the “300 Beers to Try Before You Die” by Roger Protz. Located in Pike Place Market, this Pike Brewing Company is one of the few that still brews beer on site and is worth a visit! Happy Hour takes place Monday through Friday from 4-6 pm.

Elysian Brewing Company
Since opening in 1996, Elysian has brewed over 350 different beers and is well known for its variety! Today, Elysian Brewing Company operates four Seattle restaurants and has become a staple among the Pacific Northwest. Happy Hour is seven days a week from 3-6 pm.

Fremont Brew Cruise
While the Fremont Brew Cruise isn’t a brewery itself, this happy hour experience is one to be had and proudly services Seattle’s family-owned Fremont Brewing beer. Happy hour on boat with some of the best views in Seattle? Yes, please! While this experience is reservation only, it occurs every Monday through Friday from 5:15-6:45 pm and is a super fun way to change up your typical happy hour routine.

National Public Lands Day

Mount Shuksan, North Cascades National Park via Pixabay

Mount Shuksan, North Cascades National Park via Pixabay

National Public Lands Day is held annually on the fourth Saturday of September and is the nation’s largest single-day volunteer effort to improve and restore the health of our public lands. This year, we celebrate America’s public lands on Saturday, September 30th.

Each year the National Environment Education Foundation coordinates National Public Lands Day, and for the 18th year in a row, Toyota will participate as the national corporate sponsor. Participating federal agencies include the Bureau of Land Management, Department of Defense, the Environmental Protection Agency, National Park Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, USDA Forest Service, and the Bureau of Reclamation. Support is also received federal, state, local and national organizations, as well as volunteers like you!

Not only is National Public Lands Day (NPLD) a great day to volunteer, it’s a great day to get out and explore. Better yet, it’s a fee-free day, where regular entrance fees are waived at national parks and other public lands!

What are public lands?
Public lands are just that, public lands! They are places where we live, learn, play, exercise and relax. They're what we use for outdoor recreation, education and enjoyment! Included in our public lands are our awe-inspiring national parks, monuments, wildlife refuges, forests, grasslands, reservoirs, wildernesses, and parks managed by public agencies, and much more! For more information and a breakdown on the different types of public lands by, check out this post provided by the Department of the Interior.

Why do public lands matter?
Public lands matter because they belong to and are enjoyed by all! Nearly one-third of America’s land is public land and in order for us to continue to enjoy them, they must continue to thrive. By preserving these lands, we contribute to the health of the ecosystems and the habitats that make them up. Once they’re gone, there is no replacing them, so we must do our part to protect them!

How can you help?
There are a number of ways you can help protect our public lands, starting with volunteering this September 30th! There are a number of different National Public Lands Day events going on around the country where volunteers are needed! Volunteers can get out and enjoy these beautiful lands while helping restore and refurbish trails, plant trees, remove trash and invasive species, restore historic structures and more. Check here for a NPLD event near you!

For the remaining 364 days in the year, you can help preserve our public lands by practicing the “Leave No Trace Seven Principles” and encouraging others to do the same. These principles provide guidance for how to enjoy our natural resources in a way that prevents human-created impacts. For more detailed information on the principles below, check out the Leave No Trace website.

Leave No Trace Seven Principles:

  • Plan Ahead and Prepare
  • Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  • Dispose of Waste Properly
  • Leave What You Find
  • Minimize Campfire Impacts
  • Respect Wildlife
  • Be Considerate of Other Visitors

What’s needed when visiting?
It is so easy to visit any one of America’s public lands! With over 400 national park sites, more than 500 wildlife refuges, and nearly 250 million acres of other public lands, there’s at least one near you no matter your location. We highly encourage a visit!

When visiting, please be mindful of the “Leave No Trace Seven Principles” and be aware of any fees and/or permits associated with these visits. While not all public lands require a fee, fees that are collected go towards park efforts including maintenance, restoration and other repairs. Fees vary by location and type (park, national forest, beaches, etc.) so it’s important to check ahead of time when visiting a destination, however we’ve found the Interagency Annual Pass to be the best bang for your buck.

There are six agencies that participate in this program (National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) and it is accepted at over 2,000 recreation sites in the nation! The Interagency Annual Pass will run you $80, but it’s worth every penny if you plan on using these lands often, as day-use fees can add up just as quickly. For more information, check out this website.

There are also several fee-free days at participating public lands! We recommend checking ahead before you go, as some of the fee-free days vary among agencies. A full list of of all agency fee-free days can be found here, and the dates for the National Park Service can be found below:

  • January 16: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • February 20: Presidents Day
  • April 15-16 and April 22-23: The weekends of National Park Week
  • August 25-28: National Park Service Birthday
  • September 30: National Public Lands Day
  • November 11-12: Veterans Day Weekend

National Parks of the Pacific Northwest
The Pacific Northwest is home to many parks, wildernesses, national forests and other public lands, allowing for endless outdoor activity and adventure. Among those, we are lucky to have four national parks right in our back yard!

Crater Lake, Oregon: Set atop the Cascade Mountain Range, Crater Lake is a sight to behold! One of the most pristine lakes on Earth, and the deepest in the United States, Crater Lake measures at 1,943 feet at its deepest and is fed only by rain and snow. This natural wonder was created nearly 7,700 years ago when Mount Mazama, standing then at 12,000 feet, collapsed after a major eruption. The lake only takes up roughly 10% of the entire park, making for endless exploration. This national park has two developed campgrounds and two lodging facilities, typically accessible May-October. Single vehicle fees are $15 per vehicle allowing access up to seven days. For additional information, visit their website

Mount Rainier, Washington: An icon in Washington state’s landscape, Mount Rainier stands 14,410 feet above sea level. Mount Rainier is an active volcano and is the most glaciated peak in the contiguous United States, spawning six river systems. This park has five developed areas, each area offering a different level of development ranging from basic (campground and picnic area) to extensive (hotel, restaurant and visitor center) serving as a great base for exploring the rest of the park. The snow capped mountains, wildflower fields and abundant hiking trails are a must-visit if you’re in Washington. Single vehicle fees are $25 per vehicle and offer park access for seven consecutive days. Visit their website for additional park information.

North Cascades, Washington: “The North Cascades are Calling!” Located less than three hours from Seattle is the beautiful alpine landscape of North Cascades National Park. With jagged peaks, cascading waterfalls, and over 300 glaciers, this park is home to grizzly bears, gray wolves and over 200 bird species, and the remote community of Stehekin. Overnight accommodations range from car-camping to resorts and lodges, some accessible by vehicles, some by boat! If you’re visiting Washington, you won’t want to miss this beautiful park. And guess what? There is no entrance fee to North Cascades National Park! For more information, check out their website.

Olympic, Washington: Washington’s Olympic National Park is the epitome of diversity. Spanning nearly one million acres, this park includes several unique ecosystems including snow-capped mountains, old-growth temperate rainforests, and over 70 miles of coastline, with endless opportunity for adventure and activity in each diverse location. From day trips, to camping, and resort style accommodations, Olympic National Park is a must-visit any time of the year! Single vehicle fees are $15 per vehicle allowing access up to seven days. Visit their website for additional information.

A day in the life of an Austin local

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As the state capital of Texas, Austin offers year-round entertainment and activities. Whether you are coming to Austin for the food, the outdoors, live music, or family fun, we have a Local Expert that can create a personalized travel itinerary just for you. From outdoor adventures, educational pursuits, or a little bit of everything, Austin Local Expert Holly is well-versed in everything the city has to offer for both adults and kids. Check out what Holly can be found doing on the perfect "Sunday Funday" in Austin and use promo code ATXLAUNCH for a free 2-day itinerary through October 31st!

A perfect family day in Austin

With young children, summer days often start earlier than you may like, but we always make the best of it because there is so much going on in the city. For my family, summers in Austin are all about spending time with each other, while beating the heat in one of the many many spring-fed pools and creeks around town!

My family's day begins with an early start at the Cherrywood Coffeehouse, an eatery offering eclectic eats, great coffee, beer and music. Our favorite on the menu is the Sol Taco, one of the millions of delicious breakfast tacos around town. For the kids, we start off with a granola parfait. As we’re finishing off our meal and enjoying the last moments of cool morning air, we catch a couple of songs by a local children’s band and the kids get a few wiggles out. We duck out of there with a coffee to-go just as it starts to fill up and head on to our next destination.

We head over to the hip, new Mueller development to let the kids burn off more steam at the Thinkery, a place where families and science play side by side. Austin’s large, modern children’s museum keeps the kids’ attention in a vice grip, while mom and dad leisurely follow behind, occasionally assisting in the building of a giant pulley system or creating a stop-motion video. After a couple of hours of indoor play, we’re ready to brave the heat again!

We arm ourselves with some ice cream from Lick, in one of their rotating flavors that appease both small palates and the more distinguished, and then wander over to the farmers' market on the edge of the “lake.” Stopping to feed the ducks and fish along the way is a family favorite! At the Mueller Farmers' Market, we grab Short Bus sandwiches for lunch, some snacks for our picnic later in the evening, and a Texas Keeper Cider while the kids eagerly await their turn in the Tiny Tails Petting Zoo. We snap the cutest pictures of them holding bunnies, hedgehogs, and tortoises!

After lunch at the Farmers' Market, it’s time to recuperate. We head back to the house to rest, cool off, and pack our picnic dinner. Once we’re all refreshed, we head south to claim a spot at the Zilker Hillside Theatre for their annual summer musical. We spread out a blanket to claim our spot, and then walk over to Barton Springs Pool where we brave the 70 degree water in short bursts, alternated by basking in the sun. As the sun begins to set, we dive into our picnic dinner while enjoying free musical theater, this year The Wizard of Oz, until we are all slightly drowsy. We duck out a bit early to avoid the crowds, get home and put the kiddos to bed, and still have have enough energy to enjoy a cocktail on the patio before we tuck in after a full day of family fun!

For your next Austin adventure, let Locals Compass do the planning for you! Our Locals can design a personalized travel itinerary based on your travel style and interests, and you’ll navigate Austin, Texas just like a local!

Bend Oktoberfest

As we head into mid-September and the official start of the fall season, there’s no better way to celebrate than Oktoberfest! As one of the most anticipated events of the year, Bend Oktoberfest kicks off at 3:00 pm on Friday, September 15th and continues through the weekend (ending Saturday, September 16th at 10:00 pm) with a jam packed schedule you won’t want to miss. From great beer, music and food, to the annual wiener dog race, there’s fun to be had by all!

This annual event is put on by the Bend Downtown Business Association, a small non-profit serving over 300 businesses, and is their largest fundraising event for the year. While event attendance is free, all money spent at Bend Oktoberfest goes towards this non-profit responsible for flower baskets downtown, street cleaning and snow removal, banners, holiday decorations, events, marketing, merchant education and much more!

While attendance is free of charge, it should be noted that this event is cash only, with OnPoint, US Bank and Wells Fargo as the closest ATMs. A Bend Oktoberfest stein must be purchased to try all brews, ($8 for a plastic stein plus a drink ticket) and all servings are pint pours, with brews from some of Central Oregon’s best breweries. Traditional Bavarian food and other treats will also be available throughout the event.

See below for the 2017 Bend Oktoberfest schedule of events, and don’t forget to swing by the Locals Compass booth to say hi if you’re downtown!

Friday September 15, 2017

5:00 pm: Kegs are tapped! Let the fun begin!

5:45 pm: Oompah music starts with The Mirko Pressler Band

7:00 pm: The Bend Oktoberfest Games begin with the 92/9 FM Yodeling Contest – Yodel for prizes!

7:30 pm: Oompah music continues with The Mirko Pressler Band

8:00 pm: Natural Edge Furniture bendhamershlagen Competition – Race to hammer a nail for prizes!

8:30 pm: Oompah music continues with The Mirko Pressler Band

9:45 pm: Beer and Stein sales end.

10:00 pm: End of alcohol sales. Event closes for the night.

Saturday September 16, 2017

12:00-9:00 pm: OnPoint Community Credit Union Family Fest including bouncy houses, games, treats, fun, & much more!

12:00 pm: Oompah music continues with The Mirko Pressler Band

1:30 pm: Hutch’s Bicycles Tricycle Races – Get on a tiny trike & ride! Register at the event prior to start.

1:45 pm-3:00 pm: Oompah music continues with The Mirko Pressler Band

3:00 pm: Wiener Dog Race Registration, presented by Bendy Dog, registration opens – Sign your dog up to run!

4:00-5:00 pm: Wiener Dog Races, presented by Bendy Dog – Watch as dozens of dogs race! Be sure to get here early to get a good view of the racing dogs.

5:30 pm: Oompah music continues with The Mirko Pressler Band

7:00 pm: Brilliance in Branding Oktoberfest Spirit Contest– Your chance to win big, boffo prizes!

7:45 pm: Oompah music continues with The Mirko Pressler Band

8:30 pm: Natural Edge Furniture bendhamershlagen – Race to hammer a nail for prizes!

8:45 pm: Oompah music continues with The Mirko Pressler Band

9:45 pm: Beer and Stein sales end.

10:00 pm: End of alcohol sales. Event closes.

CROP Farm Tours

Home to a large farming community, Central Oregon offers a number of programs and events to educate residents and visitors on agriculture in the High Desert. These programs are a great opportunity to get out and experience a different side of Bend and the surrounding area! 

A large advocate for this message is the High Desert Food and Farm Alliance (HDFFA), a 501(c)3 non-profit serving Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson Counties. The mission of this group is to “support a community based food system in Central Oregon to increase access to fresh healthy food, support sustainable farm land use, and foster relationships among farmers and consumers,” through various programs targeted towards cooking and gardening.

One of the HDFFA’s most recognized programs is a joint project with the Crook County Small Farm Alliance, known as Crook River Open Pastures (CROP) Farm Tours. CROP events include free farm tours and rotating farmers markets at different locations throughout Crook County from May through October. Not only do these events allow attendees to experience farm life in the high desert, purchase local products, and enjoy live music, but they’re free!

While summer is coming to an end, there are still two final CROP events left this season! From fresh veggies and herbs, to lavender and the cutest farm animals, these tours make a fun weekend activity for the whole family!

Upcoming Events

September 16: Dancing Cow Farm and Prineville Lavender
Dancing Cow Farm is a small farm in tune with nature and the community, with heritage breed animals, and Prineville Lavender is a beautiful farm featuring fresh lavender and vegetables, and other lavender products. 

September 30: Auntie Bean’s
Wrap up a bountiful CROP season at this diversified vegetable and beef farm. With veggies, herbs, pumpkins, beef and even handmade soap, this farm is fun for the whole family!

Previous Events

April 29: Bluestone Natural Farms
Central Oregon Goat Education Day. Fun for all ages!

May 13: Dancing Cow Farm and Prineville Lavender
Mother’s Day Celebration with heritage breed animals and a beautiful lavender farm.

June 10: Wine Down Ranch and Angels Rest Ranch
Come experience ranch life at it’s best. See the cows, pigs and chickens at home on the range. Includes a timber tour with a professional forester.

July 8: Bluestone Natural Farms
Goats, cows, piglets and vegetables!

July 22: Just 1 Acre
This farm specials in soaps and lotions made with milk straight from the farm.

August 5: Farm to Table Community Dinner

August 19: Good Bike Co.
Saddle up for this pop-up market. Purchase farm goods from your Crook County producers at this Prineville bike shop headquarters.

And the winner is...

Valued at $500, our Weekend Getaway to Bend, Oregon prize package includes a 3 day, 2 night stay at the Fairfield Inn and Suites in Downtown Bend, a 3-day personalized travel itinerary from Locals Compass, gift cards to some of Bend locals' favorites, including Sparrow Bakery, Wild Rose, and Bontà, and a 16” x 20” custom photo canvas from PixyPics.com to commemorate your trip. We are so lucky to have such amazing local partners and encourage everyone to check out them out on your next visit!

A very big thank you to everyone who participated in our giveaway, and a special congratulations to our winner Teresa P. We can’t wait to hear about your adventure in Bend!

Fairfield Inn & Suites Downtown Bend
Located downtown, Fairfield Inn & Suites is in walking distance of some of the best shopping, dining, breweries, museums, and other attractions in Bend. Aside from its convenient downtown location, this friendly hotel offers a number of amenities to make your trip an unforgettable one. From comfortable rooms, free wifi, complimentary breakfasts, to pool access and a business center to print your Mt. Bachelor ski pass, Fairfield Inn & Suites will make the perfect “home” base for your trip to Bend, Oregon!

Locals Compass
Locals Compass is Bend-based travel marketplace connecting Travelers with Locals for personalized travel itineraries, and we want you to make the most of your trip to Bend by taking travel planning off your plate! Your personalized itinerary will include what to see and do, where to eat and how to get from Point A to Point B. No need to spend hours (if not days!) sorting through the web trying to figure it all out. Worried about kids’ napping schedules? Just let the Local Expert know. Have any food allergies, we have that covered too! We know visiting a new destination is more than just going through a list of things to do. It’s about making memories, making the most of your time and truly navigating your destination like a local.

Bontà Natural Artisan Gelato
If you know Italian, you already know that Bontà is the term for “goodness or the quality or state of being good; the nutritious, flavorful, or beneficial part of something.” If you don’t, we can confidently say that this name is a perfect description for this downtown Bend gelato shop. What originally started from the inspiration of a one year trip abroad has become a dessert staple in the community. Handcrafted daily using some of the best local ingredients, Bontà Natural Artisan Gelato is not to be missed!

The Sparrow Bakery
Since opening in 2006, The Sparrow Bakery has been providing some of the best from scratch breads and pastries in town! You can pick up their breads and pastries from various locations around town, or you can visit one of their two Bend locations, the original Scott Street and Northwest Crossing, for additional breakfast and lunch options. Our recommendation, and probably everyone else’s too, is their signature Ocean Roll. This croissant-like treat has layers of cardamom, sugar and vanilla, which makes for a flavor you won’t forget!

Wild Rose Northern Thai Eats
If you have not yet enjoyed a meal at Wild Rose Northern Thai Eats, stop what you’re doing immediately and go! Open daily from 11 am to 9 pm (Friday and Saturday until 10 pm) this restaurant in downtown Bend is not to be missed. Owned and operated by the Itti family, this establishment serves traditional Northern Thai cuisine crafted from old family recipes, a true experience for all five sense. A friendly disclaimer - you won’t find Pad Thai here! Follow Head Chef Paul Itti’s advice and step out of your comfort zone, because “nothing haunts us like the things we did not order.”

PixyPics.com
This Bend-based benefit corporation is dedicated to helping their customers preserve life’s most extraordinary moments. They are changing the game when it comes to custom photo gifts by giving 20% of profits to their charity partners. When you make a purchase from PixyPics.com, not only are you capturing magical moments on a beautiful custom product, but your memories are bringing hope to a child who may be fighting life’s hardest battles at too young an age. Find them at PixyPics.com and join in by embracing living a life worth giving! Locals Compass readers also get 50% off site wide, using code LOCALS-50.