How to enjoy Big Bear Lake with kids

Family Fun at Big Bear Lake
Step 2

Kids and Summer

Big Bear Lake is home to the Alpine slide. Even when there is no snow, kids love it here. There is a water slide that dumps them into a pool at the bottom. The prices are reasonable and there is a lift that takes them to the top.

The public beach has a playground and a sandy beach for the kids to swim. It might be hard to pull them out of the water. Hiking and biking are ways to enjoy the scenery while spending quality family time.

While there are many places that rent cabins up to full-scale mansions, camping is available. There are many campgrounds and RV parks in the area.

Step 3

Kids and Autumn

The summer activities are winding down. It may be a little too cool to swim in the lake but this is the best time for biking and hiking. Start at the Discovery Center to find the best trails for your family. Bring your bikes or rent them, it is a great way to see the area.

Step 5

Kids and Spring

It’s still cool and not warm enough for swimming. This is a great time to take advantage of the paddle boats and other water activities where you will only get a little wet. This is a good time for horseback riding and if it’s a little too cool, take the kids bowling.

Step 6

Choose your event — There is always something going on at Big Bear

Start at the Discovery Center. In the winter there are snowshoe and bald eagle tours. In the summer, look for gold mine and canoe tours.

Stop at the Visitor Center. Their knowledgeable staff can point you to fun things for kids to do.

There is always something happening at Big Bear. The list is too long but they have great family activities all year long. A few are:


The AMGEN Tour of California comes to Big Bear. Come and see professional cyclists, including Lance Armstrong, race to the mountaintop in «The Big Bear Climb».


The Big Bear Pirate Faire features a treasure hunt, a ship to shore battle and entertainment for all.


The 4th of July celebration is called the Fireworks Spectacular. Nothing more to add, the name says it all.


The Renaissance Faire is in full swing. If that’s not your style, check out the Big Bear Cowbuoy Gathering. There are Wild West re-enactments and demonstrations.


The Oktoberfest is a long-standing tradition in Big Bear. If that’s not scary enough, don’t miss the Big Bear Lake Horror Film Festival.


Christmas in the Village features Victorian carolers, strolling musicians and a children’s choir to entertain visitors. Stay for the Christmas tree lighting and Santa Claus. If your are there for New Years Eve, don’t miss the Torchlight Parade. This is a spectacular sight to watch as the skiers and snowboarders come down the mountain carrying torch lights.

You will Need
• Kids
• Camera
• Time to do everything you want to do
• Swim attire for summer
• Warm winter wear
• Sunscreen for any season
• Sense of adventure

Tips & Warnings
• Dress appropriately. Spring and Fall will require a light jacket. Summer is for shorts and tank tops. Winter is the time for warm jackets, boots and gloves.
• Sunscreen is not just for summer. The sun bouncing off the snow can make sunburn a real possibility.
• The distance between Big Bear Lake and Arrowbear Lake on Hwy 18 is 15.69 miles. If you leave with the rest of the people heading home on a holiday weekend, plan for a two-hour bumper to bumper trip. Use the restroom before leaving town, there is no where to stop.
• Snow and ice is slower to melt on the north side of the mountain. While the roads may be clear on the south side, ice may still cover the road on the north side.
• If the lake is frozen over, it is not safe to walk on. Follow the rules on the posted signs.
• Pedestrians in Big Bear Village must forget that there are also cars on the streets. Be very careful driving in the Village.
• A direct quote from the Big Bear Website, «The National Forest Adventure Pass is a recreational pass for visitors using the San Bernardino National Forest. If you are planning to go for a short walk or a hike, be advised that before you park your vehicle in the National Forest you must first purchase an Adventure Pass and hang it on your rear view mirror when you leave your vehicle. Forest Rangers regularly check vehicles to make sure they have the Pass. The Pass is available for purchase in two forms : a Daily Pass for $5 and an Annual Pass good for one year from the month of purchase for $35.»


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