Big Bear Lake is a charming mountain community located approximately 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles. The community is surrounded by the San Bernardino National Forest and experiences sunshine more than 300 days a year. Big Bear is known for its incredible section of recreational activities, from fishing and hiking to horseback riding and watersports. The area also offers prime restaurants, shopping, and entertainment.
Like many areas in California, Big Bear is an excellent vacation spot for families. The safe and peaceful city offers many activities and attractions that children of all ages can enjoy. There are also many kid-friendly Airbnbs in Big Bear that cater to families and their unique needs. If you’re planning an upcoming visit to Big Bear, CA make time to check out some of these fun things to do with kids.
1. Head to Grizzly Ridge Tube Park for summer-tubing.
2. Ascend to the mountaintop on the Scenic Sky Chair.
3. Rent a kayak at Big Bear Lake.
4. Enjoy a paddleboard ride aboard Miss Liberty on Big Bear Lake.
5. Learn local history at Big Bear Historical Museum.
6. Ride the Magic Mountain Alpine Slide.
7. Swim and fish at Boulder Bay Park.
8. Look for buried treasure at Summit Mining Co.
9. Go snow-tubing at Big Bear Snow Play.
10. Shop Big Bear Lake Village for souvenirs.
11. Meet rehabilitated wildlife at Big Bear Alpine Zoo.
12. Explore a replica pirate ship with Big Bear Pirate Ship Tours.
13. Hike at Snow Summit Adventure Park.
14. Zipline with Action Zipline Tours in the National Forest.
15. Play a friendly game of bowling at Bowling Barn.
1. Grizzly Ridge Tube Park
Grizzly Ridge Tube Park offers outdoor fun year-round. In the summer, kids can go summer-tubing down a special tubing course. In the winter, snow tubing is available, as well as other snow activities like skiing and snowboarding. The park offers three 300-foot tubing lanes that kids can slide down on a high-speed tube.
2. Scenic Sky Chair
Families can enjoy panoramic views of the Big Bear Valley from an elevation of 8,200 feet. Hop onto the Snow Summit’s Scenic Sky Chair and enjoy the views as you ascend to the mountaintop.
3. Big Bear Lake
Explore the shoreline and inlets of Big Bear Lake while safely tucked in a kayak or canoe. These small vessels can get where many motorized boats cannot, giving boaters a close-up view of the beautiful surroundings. Kayaks and canoes are available to rent at an hourly rate.
4. Miss Liberty
Hop aboard Miss Liberty, a Paddle Wheel tour boat, for a narrated tour of Big Bear Lake’s vast history. The 1.5-hour tour highlights the history of the area that dates back to 1845 and references celebrity sightings. The boat is equipped with a bathroom and a bar for convenience and is docked at Pine Knot Marina.
5. Big Bear Historical Museum
While in Big Bear, check out the Big Bear Valley Historical Museum. The history museum educates visitors on the local history of the area and has a large collection of artifacts. Children will love touring the wood cabins and panning for gold, gemstones, and other cool items.
6. Magic Mountain
Magic Mountain is a year-round facility that offers a range of activities, such as summer water slides and winter bobsled tracks. The recreation area is home to the world-famous Alpine Slide. Begin by taking a chairlift to the top, then slide down to the bottom again.
7. Boulder Bay Park
Boulder Bay Park, situated just two miles east of Big Bear Dam, was constructed in 2010 and has since become a popular spot for outdoor recreation. Families often go to Boulder Bay Park to picnic, fish off the docks, or swim. There is also a bandstand in the park which hosts the occasional concert.
8. Summit Mining Co.
Grab a sandbag and bring it to the mining area where kids can sift through the sand and rocks to discover cool items like arrowheads and gemstones. Kids also receive a keeper bag so they can bring home their treasures.
9. Big Bear Snow Play
Once a ski hill known as Rebel Ridge, Big Bear Snow Play is home to the longest runs in Southern California. Take a lift to the top of the hill and enjoy the ride as you go down the twists and turns of the snowy hill course.
10. Big Bear Lake Village
In Big Bear Lake Village, guests will find a wide array of shopping and entertainment options. There are more than 120 vendors to choose from to satisfy your need to shop, including souvenir shops, home décor stores, restaurants, shipping centers, and much more.
11. Big Bear Alpine Zoo
Approximately 90 percent of the animals brought to the Alpine Zoo require rehabilitation before being released back into their native environment. Families can visit the zoo to see the range of amazing creatures, such as the American badger, coyote, red fox, snowy owl, mountain lion, grizzly bear, and bald eagle.
12. Big Bear Pirate Ship Tours
The replica pirate ship in Big Bear is a must-visit during your trip to Southern California. Tours are available daily and feature a 90-minute lake cruise. Children will also enjoy meeting the authentic pirates.
13. Snow Summit Adventure Park
There are trails available throughout the Snow Summit Adventure Park that provide visitors with scenic views. Hike the trails or go on a mountain-biking adventure on the Miracle Mile or Cruiser Trails.
14. Action Zipline Tours
Action Zipline Tours are suitable for children age eight or older. The approximately three-hour tours allow guests to fly through the forest at speeds up to 35 mph while catching incredible views of Johnson Valley and Mt. San Gorgonio.
15. Bowling Barn
Bowling Barn on Big Bear Boulevard offers multiple lanes and other amenities for a fun time. The family-friendly spot has an old-school charm with its offering of arcade games and a full-service grill. There is also a sports bar that serves a selection of micro-brews and mixed drinks. In the winter, the bowling alley doubles as an ice rink.