7 Family-Friendly winter activities in Southern Oregon

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7 FAMILY FRIENDLY

WINTER ACTIVITIES IN SOUTHERN OREGON

1. SLEDDING.  Take your pick from several fantastic designated sledding hills throughout Southern Oregon, but our 3 favorites are:

Union Creek’s Farewell Bend – We love this spot because it has just the right size hills for young children. Our 6, 4, and 2 year old all went down with smiles. For the braver kids (or adults) there are steeper hills as well. Restrooms are available and warming pits are permitted (build your own fire). One of the best parts about this location is that it is just up the street from Beckie’s Cafe which has some of the best pie in the county! You can see posts about our sledding adventures HERE and HERE. On a side note, we’ve been able to get to this sledding area without the use of chains or 4 wheel drive.

Table Mountain – The steepest and longest hill for sledding in the area is Table Mountain. It’s located up Dead Indian Memorial Road and is near Hyatt Lake. This sledding area is very popular and is a great place for families. I would recommend driving with chains or using a car with 4 wheel drive. We actually got stuck last year trying to make it in our mini van. There are restrooms located nearby as well as a designated area for a warming pit (build your own fire).

Diamond Lake  This is one of the most popular tubing hills. It is right up the road from Farewell Bend about another half hour, and offers a designated tubing hill with tube rentals. Diamond Lake also offers a tow rope! You can check out prices and hours of operation HERE. Diamond Lake Resort runs the hill and even has Cosmic Tubing in the evening. Typically the hill is open through April. *children must be at least 3 years of age to go on the hill.

2. SKIING.  Mt. Ashland Ski Area is less than an hours drive from Medford. They offer rentals, classes, and a great lodge to relax, eat, and drink warm cocoa. There are also some fantastic events at Mt. Ashland Ski Area throughout the season. Be sure to check their website for dates and times of operation. Currently, they are open Thursday-Monday 9am-4pm (twilight skiing for a discounted price almost daily) Check out our 5 year old’s very first ski lesson HERE.

3. SNOWSHOEING.

photo submitted by Darby Ficek from forestNfolk.com

Crater Lake’s National Park Service offers FREE ranger-led snowshoe walks through the forests and meadows along the rim of Crater Lake. The walks started on Saturday, November 26, and will be offered every Saturday and Sunday (and some holidays) through April 30, 2017. Walks will also be offered on weekdays from December 19 through January 2. The walks start at 1:00 p.m., last two hours, and cover 1-2 miles of moderately strenuous terrain. Snowshoes are provided free of charge, and there is no cost for the tour! **The Ranger-guided tours do NOT allow kids under 8, but you can snowshoe on your own as well (I have been told that they only have adult sizes in snowshoes at Crater Lake, so if you are planning on bringing a child, you will have to bring your own snowshoes. – you can rent them at many outdoor store throughout the Rogue Valley such as Northwest Outdoor Store, Black Bird, and Ashland Outdoor Store. REI also has snowshoes for purchase for around $25). You can see more of forestNfolk’s snowshoeing adventure HERE.

4. ICE-SKATING.The Ashland Rotary Centennial Ice Rink is open from mid November to the end of February. It is one of our favorite Winter traditions. My daughters have birthdays in December and January and it is always their birthday pick to go Ice-Skating at Lithia Park. 5 and under skate free, and skate rentals are only $2.50! Skate sizes start from toddler size 9 up to men’s size 15. Hot chocolate, coffee, and a variety of snacks are available for purchase. The rink also offers skate trainers for new learners! (at no charge) You can see their calendar of events as well as dates and times HERE.

5. THE COAST. Thinking about getting out of the frigid temps? Head to the coast! Often touted as Oregon’s Banana Belt, Brookings has weather patterns that deliver some of the warmer temperatures along the Oregon Coast; it’s not uncommon to encounter a 70-degree day in January or February! In fact, our visit in November had the warmest weather we’ve ever experienced in Brookings. We love finding home rentals, but Best Western has a Beachfront Inn which is always a quick option! You can read about both our visits to Brookings HERE (which also has a link to my medford.mom’s instagram account with some fantastic recommendations from Rogue Valley residents on what to do and where to eat) and HERE.

6. WINTER LODGING. 

Union Creek Resort is a perfect spot for seeing and doing winter activities. Union Creek Resort is close to Crater Lake, which is perfect for cross country skiing and snowshoeing. Union Creek Resort also has their own trails as well as trails for snowmobiling. Farewell Bend sledding Hill is just up the road 1/4 a mile, and Beckie’s Cafe is just across the street! You can check out their website HERE

Diamond Lake Resort is another great place for winter vacationing. If you’re looking for more extreme activities like snowmobiling, Diamond Lake is the most popular! They offer snowmobile rentals (hourly and daily), Cross Country Ski Rentals (hourly and daily), showshoe rentals (in all family sizes), and not to mention the Inner Tube Hill (previously mentioned in SLEDDING). You can check out their website HERE  

Callahan’s Mountain Lodge is a perfect location for your winter activities in Ashland. Callahan’s offers Winter Ski Packages, Live Music every night, Dining inside and outdoor.

7. INDOOR ACTIVITIES. 

Sciencework’s Hands on Museum in Ashland is always a favorite with my kids. Scienceworks is a Museum that is both educational and tons of fun. They have a play room for young children, a room dedicated to making giant bubbles (my kids’ favorite), a room full of interactive activities that teach kids that science is FUN and so much more!

Kid Time Children’s Museum in Downtown Medford is a great place to come in from the cold and let your kids get their energy out! My kids could spend all day there splitting their time between the Art Room, their daily activities such as Fort Makers, Super Hero Academy, Preschooler PE, Master Builder Classes (lego building), music time, and so much more!

Rogue Rock Gym in Medford is one of our favorite places to go as a family. Even my 3 year old was able to scale the rock walls, and we all really enjoyed the atmosphere! You can literally show up with absolutely NO experience and NO gear (like we did) and they will help you with rentals, and show you around the gym. Craterian Theater in Downtown Medford has fantastic musicals and plays year round. The Winter Season typically offers a musical from The Teen Musical Theater of Oregon which is family-friendly. You can check out The Craterian’s calendar year HERE.

The Rrrink in Medford is open year round, and indoors if the temps are too cold for outdoor skating in Ashland.

Enjoy Southern Oregon and ALL it has to offer! Let us know YOUR favorite activity to do during the Southern Oregon winter season, and we will definitely check it out for next year’s list 🙂

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