The beauty of a lakefront village, fresh mountain air, and a slower pace than a big city might be just what the doctor ordered, no matter how old you are. There are plenty of things to do and see, and Big Bear children’s attractions to visit, that you’ll need to come back to Big Bear multiple times to fit them all in. There are even a few that the kids will feel were made with them in mind!
Big Bear Discovery Center
The kids will love discovering Big Bear in a way just walking around doesn’t deliver. Instead, stop by the Big Bear Discovery Center. Opened in 1998, the center is the largest visitor center in Big Bear Valley. Aside from the center’s indoor activities, the nearby amphitheater hosts weekly programs, events like gold-panning, nature walks, and a junior ranger program. There are also outdoor concerts and theater productions, too!
Miss Liberty Paddlewheel
While Big Bear Lake has many water activities to enjoy, not many pair the activity with a bit of local history. The boat is a 64’ long, 24.5’ high Skipperliner 1500 LX that is reminiscent of days of old. Your adventure starts at Pine Knot Marina when you board the boat. The fully narrated 90-minute tour cruises around the lake as your knowledgeable guide fills you in on fun facts, folklore, and the area’s history dating back as far as 1845. Kids and adults alike will love looking out the boat’s windows on the lower deck or sitting on the open-air fully shaded upper deck. The 125-seat boat also offers light snacks and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages purchased from the galley while you cruise.
Gold Rush Mining Adventures
Whether you’re a kid or kid-at-heart, you’ll enjoy learning about California’s historic Gold Rush of the 1800s. You and the kids of the group will have fun shouting out “Eureka!” while participating in the geode breaking activity or gemstone and fossil panning activities. No one leaves empty-handed, and no two bags of loot are exactly alike and include real gem stones, fossils, and geodes. Some finds may even be big enough to be cut and faceted into jewelry, polished into a non-faceted gemstone, or you can choose to keep them the way you found them – and how Mother Nature intended them to be. Younger kids love this Big Bear children’s attraction!
There’s the thrill of the alpine slide, which weaves down a bobsled course with high banking turns and fast straightaways through beautiful mountain scenery, you can make a day out of the whole Magic Mountain park. Cool off with a ride down the alpine water slide. Twist and turn down one of two slides before splashing down into the 3 ½-foot-deep splash pool. Riders must wear a provided life jacket. Spend the whole day on the slides or occupy yourself with go-karts, mini-golf, or the new “Soaring Eagle” ride that takes riders steadily backwards 100 feet vertical and 500 feet long to a launch tower that then catapults you at speeds of up to 28 miles per hour back to the base. Hours vary by season, and participants must be at least 36” tall for most of the rides, or ride with an adult over 18.
Big Bear Alpine Zoo
The zoo isn’t just a place to see the animals of the wild up close. The Big Bear Alpine Zoo is also a rehabilitation facility and a sanctuary for indigenous wild animals permanently impacted by human behavior and unable to return to their wild habitats. People of all ages will love catching glimpses of American crow, Arctic fox, bald eagles, black bears, the yellow-bellied marmot, and other residents. There are several programs that get you up close to the animals, as well as demonstrations and enrichment activities presented by zoo staff.
Big Bear Solar Observatory
Look up in the sky and examine the sun in a different way. The Big Bear Solar Observatory uses the Goode Solar Telescope (GST) to study everything from magnetic fields around the sun to solar flares on the sun’s surface. Visit the observatory and learn how scientists look for an analyze these features of the sun to get a better understanding of our solar system. Kids will marvel at the size of the telescope and be full of questions that can be answered right then and there.
Getaway to Big Bear with Children
You came to the area for a fun getaway to release the stresses of everyday life for everyone. Extend that fun to your accommodations by booking a vacation rental with Big Bear Vacations. Make everyone’s favorite home-cooked meal in the fully equipped kitchen. Gather together on the couch and watch a movie the kids and adults will all love or spend some time outdoors. Choose a cozy one-bedroom for your small family, or a sprawling five-bedroom for a fun family reunion with many kids and adults in one place. Big Bear Vacations has a vacation rental that is just right for you. Our premium units include upgrades like stainless steel appliances, granite counters, hardwood floors, flat screen TVs and more!
Contact us today to book and take the first step toward planning your next getaway!