The year-round playground in California has scores of outdoor adventures and family-friendly things to do in Big Bear, all conveniently located near your luxury rental from Big Bear Vacations. So whether you are visiting for ski season or enjoying the height of summer on the beautiful lake, fun awaits families of all ages.
After the obvious attractions of the nearby ski resorts of Bear Mountain and Snow Summit and their dozens of downhill trails, Big Bear boasts plenty of other outdoor adventures. Big Bear Snowplay showcases the fun sport of snowtubing, basically sledding on top of giant inner tubes. A variety of courses and slopes await kids of all ages, from 3+ years to teens to adults.
In the warmer months, the lake is the main attraction. Explore it on a pirate ship with a themed tour from Big Bear Pirate Ship Tours, rent your own kayak, paddleboat, or powerboat from one of the local marinas, or take a historical 90-minute cruise aboard the paddleboat Miss Liberty.
For those seeking more of a thrill, Action Zipline Tours offers a chance to learn rope climbing during a 3-hour guided tour of the National Forest on foot and by air. You’ll be amazed at the views, even as they whip past you at 30+ mph as you careen through the trees (perfect for kids aged 7+ years, some weight limits apply). The Alpine Slide at Magic Mountain offers two different ¼-mile tracks where riders steer their own bobsleds. Kids aged 2-6 ride for free with an adult (under 2 not allowed). The attraction also boasts tubing runs in the winter and waterslides in the summer, 18 holes of mini golf, and go-karts.
To get up close and personal with the wildlife of the area, visit the Big Bear Alpine Zoo, home to a wildlife rehabilitation program since 1959. This small zoo in the heart of town is a hit with kids and features over 140 different species, from red foxes to a family of grizzly bears to mountain lions. They even have resident bald eagles, part of the population that nests here every winter. A fun alternative to hiking is a horseback ride from Baldwin Lake Stables, a terrific way to experience the rugged terrain of the shores of the lake and the San Bernardino Mountains. Tours range from 1-hour trail rides to half-day adventures (kids aged 7+ years).
If you need to get away from the great outdoors – or if the weather doesn’t cooperate – head inside to the Big Bear Funplex featuring small thrill rides for kids 7-13. If you enjoy wearing other people’s shoes – or if you just like to bowl – check out the 16 lanes of fun, no-frills, no-holds-barred bowling at the Bowling Barn (ages 3+) and don’t miss the nightly “Glow Bowl.”
The beautiful scenery and outdoor attractions of Big Bear are not the only reason to visit, but they certainly top our list. No matter what you and your family enjoy, you’ll find the perfect family vacation activities here year-round. Visit our selection of rental cabins today and plan your perfect getaway!