Bear Valley Farm

I grew up in rural Idaho where agriculture was the major staple of our little town. A town where it was normal to see someone riding their horse down the middle of the street, or tie it to the post out front.

I do miss living on a farm. There’s nothing like it. Listening to the sprinklers Bear Valley Farm Petting Zooon the crops, the frogs at night, a million stars and lots of hard work! You can get a glimpse of farm life at Bear Valley Farms.

Bear Valley Farms and Equestrian Center recently opened in Big Bear, so I went to check it out. I mean I had to, these are my kind of people! You can learn how to ride a horse there – I recommend it. Even if you are terrified of the large animals you should at least once in your life, go for a horseback ride. The beauty is they offer classes from beginner to advanced. It’s also important to note that they provide therapeutic classes for a variety of special needs.

Want to come rent a cabin from Big Bear Vacations, but don’t know where to board your horse? Look no further! BVF also offers boarding and you can trail ride from there as well. Let the knowledgeable staff take care of your steed. You can find out more about their affordable rates on their website: www.bigbearequestriancenter.com

There is also a petting zoo. This is where my little kid self kicks in! They have bunnies, tiny goats, regular goats and pigs.  It’s a great place to take your little ones to see different kinds of animals.  And come on – let’s be real – who doesn’t adore baby goats? Anyone? I didn’t think so.

This Saturday, July 12, they will have a bounce house, food and drinks. You can also take a pony and/or hay ride and enter the petting zoo as many times as you would like! $15 for adults and $12 for children under 12 (Tip of the day: If you stay with Big Bear Vacations, you get in for free). Hours of operation are 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.  So pull up your breeches and go check out some good hometown family fun!

Bear Valley Farms is also thinking ahead, they have a pumpkin patch and a corn maze in the making! Once you visit you are going to love it and Fall will be a great time to revisit this awesome place.

Whether you have never been around farm animals, or you are an expert there is something for everyone at Bear Valley Farms. We also have Big Bear Cabins close to Bear Valley Farms so call a Vacation Planner today and let’s get this party started!

Fourth of July

As an American I always feel just a little bit more patriotic than usual during this time of year. I mean, it’s our Independence Day! I am grateful to be free and I appreciate the freedoms that I have. Last year was my first Fourth of July in Big Bear Lake and it was awesome!

4th of July on the Lake

I had only lived here about four weeks last year when the fourth of July rolled around – some of my newfound friends invited me to go out on their boat to watch the fireworks. I was skeptical; small town, small fireworks. Boy was I wrong. The firework display is one of the best I’ve ever seen – and I’ve seen quite a few.

The music was great, the company was fantastic and fireworks were incredible!

There are all kinds of activities in Big Bear Lake to celebrate 4th of July.

Whether you are coming up to BBQ with your family, spend the day on the lake, or watch the fireworks, there is something for everyone! If you haven’t booked your cabin yet, give the Vacation Planners at Big Bear Vacations a call or search for your big bear cabin here.

Snow Summit always has something going on. But this year’s event is called, “Above the Boom.” Catchy right?! They will have dinner, drinks, live music, kids activities, etc. I mean, you can ride the lift up to the top of the mountain and watch the fireworks at 8200 feet elevation!!! Great view of the fireworks from up there. For more information go to: www.bigbearmountainresorts.com

If Snow Summit isn’t your thing that’s okay! We’ve got more!

The Rotary and Marina Resort will host a BBQ on the lake. This is a great spot to view the fireworks and there will be a DJ to keep it rockin’. Price: $20 – $100, call: 800-424- 4232.

Miss Liberty Paddleboat Fourth of July Cruise. You can board the boat and watch the fireworks explode above the lake. Hors d’oeurves, drink tickets and best view of the star-spangled skies. $100 per person.

Captain John’s Independence Day Extravaganza! DJ Reggae music, bring your own picnic, BBQ’s and coolers. Huge beach – bring your chair and blankets and all party needs!

The Pine Lakefront Fourth of July Celebration. You can choose from Pines Garden Patio and the Pines Terrace both buffets will be ready. Music by Fantasy and live feed from KBHR radio during the fireworks. $75-95. Call: 909-866- 5400 for reservations.

The Village is always free for firework viewing! You can set up your spot on Pine Knot then wander around until the show begins.

As always, Big Bear Vacations wishes you the happiest of holidays!

Holcomb Fire Update

Holcomb Fire – Big Bear Lake

First and foremost Big Bear Vacations would like to express our sincere gratitude to all of the firefighters that are up here battling the Holcomb Fire.

The fire is northeast of Big Bear Lake, in an area called Holcomb. It has also come close to Baldwin Lake which is part of Big Bear. There were evacuations, which have since been rescinded. We have had several calls inquiring about the safety of visitors coming up the Mountain. I’m here to provide some intel!

Fires can be scary and what you see on the news can make it seem like the entire mountain top is on fire. Well folks, it’s not. I’ll admit that I got a bit nervous yesterday. The smoke was visible, we had rolling power outages, more and more firefighters were showing up from all over the place. But today is a different story. It’s all blue skies in Big Bear today. I did some recon – I wanted to see what was happening. More firefighters means the resources we need are being provided.

Here are some statistics:

1200 acres with 10% containment
1072 firefighters
66 Engines
6 Water Tenders
24 Hand Crews
4 Air Tankers
9 Helicopters

On my jaunt about town I stopped at the lake to watch the helicopters. One after another, after another. They just kept coming. There were three in the lake at one time and it’s impressive. While us locals are protective of  our water – we are gladly giving it up to stop this fire!

The power is up and running today. The air quality is, as it always is up here. There is not a haze of smoke hovering over us making everyone wheeze and cough. It’s a beautiful day and we are not worried about our safety, nor the safety of our guests. Big Bear Vacations strives for excellent customer service and would not put our guests in jeopardy. We want you to have fun here and keep coming back!

The only road closure is Highway 18 from Big Bear to Lucerne. That leaves two ways up and back down the mountain. Totally safe!

So go ahead and keep your reservation. It’ll be bragging rights later: “Remember the fire in 2017 – yeah we were there, it was nothing, but check out this awesome video I got of the helicopters getting water from the lake.”

If you were considering booking a Big Bear Cabin this week/weekend, but had a doubt about whether or not to come – the answer is do it! Come to Big Bear and enjoy the first weekend of summer! Let the vacation planners at Big Bear Vacations help you! 877-417-6504.

If you want to see the information for yourself here are my top website picks:

https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/state/5/

http://kbhr933.com/

http://socalmountains.com/e107_plugins/forum/forum.php

http://www.bigbeargrizzly.net/

Around Town with Ali @ Local

There’s a new shop in town, and it’s called Local. The theme? Taste the Aloha. Pretty awesome right? I mean you can almost taste pineapple, mango and deliciousness just by the slogan!

In my new series, “Around the Town with Ali”, I’m visiting places in Big Bear to give our incoming guests an idea of what’s hot and what’s not! (Disclaimer: this is subjective – totally one girl’s opinion!)

I went a bit outside my comfort zone. I’m almost always a black coffee, no cream, no sugar, kinda lady. I don’t do sweet, or tons of cream or whatever – it’s coffee and I want to taste that flavor! But in the spirit of living on the edge, I went out on a limb with my snobby coffee taste, or lack thereof! So I tried the Cinnamon roll. This coffee did not disappoint. It was yummy! Did I also mention espresso is not my thing? Anyway, this was espresso with the perfect amount of cinnamon, and the ever indulgent whipped cream! It is possible perhaps, that I shouldn’t have had coffee and then espresso on top – I was a bit energetic there for a while! But I stand by my decision – that was an excellent cup of joe!

The Local itself is tiny. But you still get that groovy ambiance. When I think of Aloha and surfing, I get the image of a totally laid back vibe. That’s what you get here, but the service is great.

The menu looks delish. Unfortunately, I had already eaten my breakfast so I didn’t get one of their rice bowls, but I will certainly go back for one. They also have smoothies and the majority of their menu is organic, if that’s important to you! I also felt the pricing was appropriate. Not crazy expensive, but you are paying a fair price for high quality! For more information about this awesome, all natural drive through, go to: www.thebigbearlocal.com

As a Big Bear Local – Local is where it’s at!

Spring Break in Big Bear Lake

Spring Fever hits me every February, (yes I realize it’s now mid-March, but my fever hits early). It’s that cusp between full blown winter and hints of warmness. I think longingly of warm sunny days, crisp nights and the knowledge that summer is just around the corner.  I realize this is a bit hasty.  I mean, it’s still technically winter, but I cannot stop the daydreams of tank tops, shorts and longer days.

Spring Break is a really great time to come to Big Bear Lake. We have so many year round activities, but spring is the best.  Trees and flowers are starting to bud making it a fun time of year to go hiking.  Big Bear has more hiking trails than you can count, from beginner to expert.  The Discovery Center on the North Shore is a great place to take your kids and explore the forest. Take a walk up Cougar Crest Trail where it meets the Pacific Crest Trail.  You can be a trail angel and leave goodies for the PCT hikers! For more information on what the Discovery Center has to offer, visit: http://mountainsfoundation.org

We’ve had a wonderful winter in terms of snow. Snow Summit and Bear Mountain should be open until the end of March, and if we get some more storms, maybe even April. Both of our tubing hills will also be open.

Prefer water over snow? Big Bear Lake reopens April 1st. Clearly a sign that summer cannot be far off! Go fishing, take the boat out, dip your toes in the water!!!! Book a spot on the pirate ship and learn about the history of Big Bear Lake.

After a full winter of books, learning and being inside while at school, the kids deserve to have some outdoor time and so do you!  We have a spring promotion going on with incredible discounts that will save the pocket book. Give us a call – our vacation planners would love to assist you with creating the best spring break ever!!

 

Comedy Comes To Big Bear

This weekend Big Bear Lake is having its first ever comedy festival. It’s kind of a big deal. Two nights, lots of comedians at three different venues that are all within walking distance of each other. I’m not really a stand up comedy kind of girl. I have an odd sense of humor that doesn’t seem to align with what comedians think is funny. And I feel guilty if I don’t laugh. I mean this is how they make their living and I’m just sitting there like please don’t look at me because you are going to be disappointed in my lack of enthusiasm!

That being said it’s going to be a really fun event for people that like stand up comedy – don’t let my weirdness dissuade you from attending!! I will probably give it a shot myself! I’ll just sit in the back where they can’t see me!!

The summer really did seem to go by in the blink of an eye. This weekend we fall back to standard time, it gets dark too early, but it’s light earlier in the morning. I have a love/hate relationship with the time change; I’m all about getting as much sun as I can in one day, but the smell of pumpkin spice everywhere is lovely and generally only happens around this time.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It’s actually the only one I really care about. No worrying about buying gifts, decorating trees, hanging lights, just family and friends getting together to be thankful for each other. As you well know by now I’m originally an Idahoan turned Californian – but the tradition of our family lives on and I’m excited to go see my mom and do the same things we do every year.

At Big Bear Vacations we have a really fabulous Thanksgiving special for those of you that want to experience the holiday in Big Bear. Stay three nights and get the fourth night free! We are already starting to fill up so don’t procrastinate!

Very soon it will be snowing and ski and snowboard season will be upon us! And then Christmas and the New Year will be right around the corner. Stay tuned for my next blog where I will discuss surviving the cold winter season!!!

Around Town with Ali – Fall Is Here

FALL IS HERE!!!!!! Leaves are turning colors, nights are chilly but the days are sunny and warm. It is the perfect time to be in Big Bear Lake. Having recently moved here, I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of the fall season – my biggest question – is there a fall season in southern California? Heck yes there is and I am not at all disappointed! So much to do, so much to see!!!!

I recently attended Hot Dawgs and Handrails (an elite snowboarding event) – and while this event has passed – you should definitely mark it on your calendars for next year. Sitting in the sunshine, watching the staff at Bear Mountain make snow, I was intrigued by this process. They do not make snow in Idaho – I’d never seen anything like it. I was an adult suddenly trapped in an eight year old mind frame. I was tempted to run out there, jump in and make a snow angel. I contained myself. I wanted to see the competition and was sure I’d be escorted out if I dared to fling myself into the artificial snow bank!

October means Halloween is coming and I am super excited to check out Panic in the Park haunted house! I love haunted houses and can’t wait to see what awaits me in this cavern of creepy things.

When I was a kid I loved trick or treating. I mean who doesn’t like candy? And all you have to do is wear a costume and yell trick or treat? Let’s see, dress up as my favorite character, be wild and get yummy goodies – yes please, sign me up for that! I’d still trick or treat if I thought I could get away with it, but I’m just too tall to pretend to be a child, which is extremely disappointing!

The Village shops close their doors on Halloween and then reopen them to trick or treaters from 4:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. – great way for your kids to have a safe and happy Halloween.

Whether you have never been to Big Bear in the fall, or you return every year, there are too many activities to list in this blog – so just get up here and check them out!

Happy fall y’all – and Happy Halloween too!!!

For a comprehensive list of Halloween activities visit: bigbeargrizzly.net!

My First Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest!

First, a bit of personal history. My name is Ali and I’m from Idaho. I lived there my entire life until I moved to Big Bear in June. I’ve been asked countless times, “why on earth would you move from Idaho to California?” The reasons were simple: 1) I hated living in Idaho; 2) I wanted to be closer to two of my sisters that live in SoCal; and 3) I was thirsty for a new adventure.

I immediately began my quest for employment. Luckily for me, it didn’t take long and I now have a great job working at the front desk at Big Bear Vacations. In addition to my coworkers being welcoming and supportive, they are also very involved ibkgcaguzgxslxxexbguabhpacxsher0dsa4tsx4tean the community. It’s refreshing and well, quite frankly, impressive.

Even before I moved here, I kept hearing tales about Oktoberfest. I mean we are talking about a HUGE yearly event in Big Bear. And it lasts for eight weekends (mid-September until the last weekend of October). I knew what I had to do – find a way to be involved in this epic event that is labeled by locals as the biggest Oktoberfest in southern California. I have been a bartender for a very long time, so it seemed clear to me that I should sling drinks at Oktoberfest. I applied, I interviewed and I got the gig!

Don’t worry – I’m getting to the good stuff. St. Pauli outfits and traditional Dirndls, Lederhosen, German beer, bratwursts and. OY! OY! OY! Let’s not forget the chicken dance either. It has been a long time since I’ve seen that many happy people in one place. I’m serious; people are joyfully dancing like chickens. And not just one time – every time that song is played people are dancing – there are even people dancing in their seats! I was astounded and could not contain my giggles. Did you know wearing a chicken hat is common place? Neither did I, but trust me it is the hat of choice when attending Oktoberfest.

I have worked in just about every type of bar you can imagine. From beer and wine to full liquor bars, but this is by far the most fun I’ve had bartending. It’s also the first time I’ve worn a traditional Dirndl (dress). It’s a treat to dress up and participate in an event like this. It’s about pride, tradition and family. It is also all about crowd participation! Don’t be surprised if you are pulled out of your seat to dance, laugh and enter many of the competitions held throughout the day.

Take it from the new girl in Big Bear, this is an event you want to attend! Get in the spirit of things and dress up! Wear the chicken hat and the Lederhosen, or a Dirndl and Pinafore! And stop by to say hi to me while I pour you a yummy German beer. Stay tuned for more stories of the shenanigans I will be participating in during Oktoberfest 2016! Cheers!