Spring Break is mere days away. Are you in a panic? Aching to get out of town but fearing there isn’t a viable destination at this eleventh hour? Ready to plan an unforgettable summer adventure for your team? We have just the answer for you and it will not feel last minute at all. You’ll skip the airport stress and still take your kiddos on a grand adventure that’s a mere three hours away. Black Butte Ranch is over 1800 acres of amazing, bucolic outdoor adventure, with snow capped Cascade Mountain views and year-round resort amenities. Game on!
In late March Black Butte Ranch offers up snowshoeing, cross country skiing, an indoor heated pool with water slide, farm to table dining with award winning wine lists, and plenty of small hills for sledding and tumbling. If the snow pack is right, build snowmen of all sizes and carve snow angels that will melt your heart. Nearby (only 13 miles away) uber-family-friendly Hoodoo Resort is calling with trails and tubing for snow bunnies of all ages. Their Autobahn Tubing Park is the largest in Oregon and Black Butte is the closest resort to all the action. What are you waiting for?
Houses of all sizes are available for rent (year round) for a few days or a week. You can go high end and fancy with wi-fi, Jacuzzi, glorious master suites, several tv watching areas and fireplaces, and perhaps even a game room for young sportos. Or book a smaller condo or even stay at the Lodge and keep it simple. Whatever your style and price point, BBR has something for you.
In summer the outside adventures are limitless. Canoeing, kayaking, stand up paddleboarding on their lake, swimming in the many pools, hiking, horseback riding, tennis courts and lessons, summer camps, movie nights, kidlet tours of the onsite firehouse and police station, two world class golf courses, craft classes, fishing, scavenger hunts, graciously well-groomed sports fields, a spa, playgrounds and miles and miles of bike trails beckon. The time to book your team’s summer play is now. It is quite simply that awesome.
Located just ten minutes from Sisters and thirty minutes from Bend, Black Butte Ranch is a one-stop destination. The Lodge Restaurant offers rustic fine dining with beautiful mountain and lake views and a fantastic lawn for before or after dinner red light/green light, tag or good old-fashioned Frisbee. The sunsets here are riveting so be sure to catch one. Robert’s Pub located next to the golf shop offers more casual fare and a kiddo friendly menu. Super simple eats like take-and-bake pizza, toasted subs, ice cream, and poolside snack bar and grill options are all ready for you and the little rookies as well.
The nearby town of Sisters delivers an enjoyable morning, afternoon or evening getaway; it is also your closest option for a full grocery shop. Check out Sisters Coffee Company for a mocha that will make you smile. Hit up the Dime Store for inexpensive novelty toys and their charming nostalgic candy bins. Or spend an evening at the famous Sisters Movie House and be sure to order their burger at the Movie House Cafe. Delish! Five Pines Spa, also in Sisters, is relaxing and aaaah-inspiring and very much worth leaving campus for.
Things to Know
In winter, the Glaze Meadow pool is available every day and open swim is from 10:00 am until close (7:00 pm midweek, 8:00 pm on weekends) with adult lap swims in the early morning. This pool is indoors, heated and has a water slide and sauna nearby. The spa is right next-door and the gym is also located in this building. The Lodge Restaurant is open Thursday – Sunday this time of year.
In summer, there are four different and distinct pool locations to choose from, some of which are adult only. Glaze Meadow sports the families-welcome indoor pool mentioned above, plus two outdoor pools. One is a toddler-friendly wade in and the other is a large family–friendly pool with rock wall/waterfall. Adjacent to all of this H2O-yeah is a splash pad, large hot tub and poolside snack bar and lunchtime grill. Many families opt to rent homes as close to Glaze Meadow Rec Center as possible because of the pools/water play, playground and kiddo-fabulous amenities hosted inside (more on that below). The Lodge Pool has the best view and behind Paulina Pool is a sweet creek for splishing and splashing and boat racing.
The bike trails offer amazing sights. Stop and feed the horses as they roam the meadows. Jog to and fro, as far as you want to go. Check out the amazing view of Mt. Washington. Glimpse all of the different homes, trees, wild flowers and families enjoying down time together. Maybe you can even find the cows!
The Lodge has an outdoor fire pit that gets lit each night around 7:00 pm It is the perfect location for s’mores (and a cocktail from The Lodge Bar) so bring the fixins and be sure your bikes have lights. It is a DARK bike ride home after sundown.
The craft activities and movie nights (ages four and up) are located at the Glaze Meadow Recreation Center and are a huge hit with the little ranchers. The rec center is really the hub of all things kiddo-related. Summer camps meet here and the Glaze Meadow Pool is home to swimming lessons, craft classes, scavenger hunts and the bike rental shop. The rec center also loans Frisbees, balls, and other funtastic gear.
Suttle Lake is ten minutes away for fishing and lake fun. River rafting adventures the whole family will love are close by and memorable. The lodge rents canoes for $5 per boat at their lake and offers free fly-fishing lessons here, too. Black Butte Ranch rocks two golf courses – Glaze Meadow (reopened in 2012) and Big Meadow. Hiking the Butte is a rugged, outstanding, brag-worthy family-outing. Bring lots of water and start early in the morning. It gets hot up there.
If you’re heading out in winter, be sure to watch the weather closely. Chains are often required and the drive can be snowy. In summer, book a house with outdoor space (they all pretty much have a deck and bbq) and prepare to live out there. Don’t be surprised to see a family of deer wander through your yard. Sit and listen to the breeze in the Aspens. It is nothing short of heavenly. At night the stars shine. Impress your little gazers with your astronomical wisdom…or make up some fab tall tales.
Black Butte’s web site has details (and deals) on all things at the ranch. Use it. High chairs and pack n’ plays can often be provided for you if you rent through the ranch. Most of the houses come with bikes and many are pet-friendly. Their live chat option is a great way to get all of your questions answered. The resort has an onsite general store for quick items on-the-go and in the summer there is a farmer’s market located in the parking lot here as well. Many BBR homes are also available for rent on VRBO.
The early bird catches the worm (and the sweetest getaway home rentals) so book your summer vacation to Black Butte Ranch now. And sometimes the under the wire, well-intentioned parents get the best wintry Spring Break family getaway ever! Game on!
— Liz Overson
Thanks for the photos Katie Barker and Dawn Myrah!