How many times has someone said to you “The days are long, but the years are short” with regard to having kidlets? Quite a few, no doubt. But there are those moments – weekends, vacations, dinners, sunsets – that are fleeting snippets of time where quite the opposite can happen. Time really can stand still. And when it does it is just plain awesome (especially for us parents). Timberline Lodge, our rustic, charming, local ski-out treasure, is a time capsule ready to freeze the outside world’s demands and let you and the team reconnect. Really. Check out the handcrafted furniture, the cuddly St. Bernard mascots, the lodge’s many cozy little nooks, and the heated pool(!) after a long day on the slopes or cozying by the fire. Ping-pong, board games, sipping and sharing an 18 oz hot cocoa dripping with whipped cream and chunks of chocolate, and shuffleboard await. This is your old school, low-key ski lodge. Fancy doesn’t know Timberline Lodge. Warm and inviting does. And how. And that is precisely why you must bring your snow bunnies here. And soon!

timberline exterior winter

Unplug & Reconnect
Timberline really, really wants you and the kiddos to come and hang out. Whether you spend a night in their hotel or chillax for the day, the lodge itself is your base camp. Their locker and storage area is ample. You can read books, play cards, wander the space with their self-guided or Forest Service-led history tours, and of course eat very, very well. Or, just cuddle up with your kiddos and catch up while watching the other skiers, boarders and hotel guests come and go. If your little ones are different ages and stages, perhaps you and your spouse can spend some time swapping inside time with outside time, one takes the big kiddo to hit the slopes and the other shows your littlest how to build snowmen. Then huddle up to check out their circular snowshoe trail. It’s groomed and close to the lodge itself. Unwind, unplug and just be together.

timberline lodge and capozzi kids skiing

The Skinny for The Minis
Attention young snow angels! Six and unders ski free, there is Bruno’s ski school for lessons and snow play of all types is highly welcomed. The heated pool, sauna and Jacuzzi for overnight guests will make every member of the family grin from ear to ear after a long day in and on the snow.  Also smile-worthy is dining in the Cascade Dining Room where kiddos eat free with one adult meal for the first hour it’s open at dinnertime each day. Score! For more casual fare you can head to the second floor’s Ram’s Head Bar. It is family-friendly and sports amazing mountain views. For quick, cafeteria style dining head across the parking lot to Wy’Est Day Lodge.

timberline lodge morning sophie and lily

For all ages family fun like tubing talk to the gang at the front desk; Summit (about 60 miles from Portland) is closest to the lodge and rocks some tubemania from 9:00 am– 4:00 pm daily for adults and bigger snow bunnies. For the smaller bunnies tubing is fabu at Snow Bunny Snow Play Park. They are open 10:00 am – 4:00 pm weekends and holidays. Trillium Lake sports bring-your-own-sled hill action but it’s a) not professionally groomed and b) you’ve gotta hike in a bit. Both Snow Bunny Park and Trillium Lake are a few miles east of Timberline Rd.

Last but far from least, be sure to check out Timberline’s web site; it is chock full of ski and stay deals. And yes, they do have wifi.

Year-round Merriment Awaits
Get your calendar app ready. Beyond the skiing and snowboarding adventures happening outside are some tasty and super fun holiday activities inside. The Easter Bunny comes to town on March 31st this year – complete with Easter egg hunt, craft table, cookie decorating and a yummy brunch. Mother’s Day on May 12 is another chance to gobble some brunch together. And what says thanks to Mom better than fresh air and not having to cook breakfast or lunch?

Santa literally comes down the chimney on Christmas Eve and on New Year’s Timberline loves to rock fireworks and let grown-ups ring in the New Year on the slopes. Duly noted!

Probably their biggest family-friendly event is their Timberline Americana Music Festival. It is Monday of Labor Day Weekend – September 2nd this year – and will feature the best bluegrass and Americana bands. Last year’s tribute to Woody Guthrie attracted 7500 music lovers! The festival happens rain or shine and is free.

timberline lodge capozzi family on chair

Some Things You Likely Already Know and Some You Don’t
Yes, Timberline’s exterior was used in The Shining. And yes, it is our only ski out option in Oregon. But it is so much more than that. Last year Timberline turned 75 and is still every bit a relaxing, rustic, historic destination for families. Their mantra is of the people, for the people and by the people. So go ahead and make good use of their spacious public areas at Timberline. It’s yours! Be sure to pet Bruno and Heidi while you’re there.

Timberline Lodge is about 60miles/an hour and a half from Portland. If you’re going for the day make your way homeward before 4:00 pm to beat the day-tripping rush:

27500 E Timberline Road
Timberline Lodge, Or 97028

— Liz Overson

Thank you for the photos Timberline Lodge and Leigh Capozzi!