Updated for 2021
When you’re thinking about your next family trip consider visiting Big Bear Lake. Big Bear offers a variety of year-round family-friendly activities and they’ve got a list of super fun things to do that goes beyond those you might already know about, like sledding, skiing, biking, and hiking.
Known as “Southern California’s local mountain lake escape,” it should become clear why there are so many fun things to do in Big Bear, whether you’re into water sports, hiking, biking, horseback riding, camping, or like to ski and snowboard.
Related: Places for Snow Play Near Los Angeles
Family Fun in Big Bear
Alpine Slide at Magic Mountain
800 Wildrose Lane, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
The Magic Mountain Recreation Area at Big Bear Lake is “home of the world-famous Alpine Slide,” described as “Southern California’s only authentic bobsled experience.”
New in 2021: The Mineshaft Coaster! This thrill ride is set to run year-round and offers a mile-long track! The fun starts with a scenic chairlift providing incredible panoramic views of Big Bear Lake. Then “riders navigate their own individually controlled sleds, each with Teflon runners and ball bearing wheels, down their choice of two quarter-mile long cement tracks filled with high-banked turns and long straightaways.”
The best part is that Alpine Slide is open year-round! You’ll find an 18-hole miniature golf course there as well as Go-Karts and a double water slide operating during the summer months!
Big Bear Lake Village
Village Dr. and Big Bear Blvd., Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
If you’re shopping for gifts or souvenirs be sure to stop by Big Bear Lake Village. You’ll find a variety of shops and over 120 vendors selling clothing, gifts, and more as well as several restaurants — you’ll find several family-friendly choices whether you’re looking for just a snack or a full meal.
Looking for a place to stay in Big Bear?
Try one of these VRBO rentals or hotels via our Stay22 Map and affiliate links.
The Bowling Barn
40625 Big Bear Blvd., Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
When you need some inside time, head to The Bowling Barn for a family-friendly game of bowling. There you’ll find 16 lanes, an onsite snack bar, and the Alley Oops Sports Bar — a popular spot to enjoy refreshments and watch sporting games while also enjoying a game of billiards or darts.
Both kids and kids at heart will enjoy the arcade games found there. The Bowling Barn also hosts “Glow Bowling” — the lights are turned off, the music is turned up, and black lights are turned on. Before visiting, be sure to check the website for coupons and promotions.
Big Bear Historical Museum
800-B Greenway Dr., Big Bear Lake, CA 92314
Re-opening May 28th! A visit to Big Bear Museum provides families with historical information about the area. A variety of exhibits will allow visitors to get a sense of the area and how it has changed — and stayed the same — over time.
On display, you’ll find a furnished 1875 log cabin, gold mining artifacts, historic photographs, and more. There is no admission charge, though donations are appreciated. The Museum is open Monday Holidays, Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm starting each Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend — the first weekend of September.
Related: Where to Go Fishing in SoCal
Rotary Pine Knot Park
481 Bartlett Rd., Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
Rotary Pine Knot Park is a park with a great view! You’ll find large, shady trees, walking paths, benches to stop and enjoy your surroundings, picnic tables, and a children’s playground. And, be on the lookout for friendly ducks waddling around!
40957 Big Bear Blvd., Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
For families seeking some extra thrills, check out Action Tours. Here you can opt to zipline, take a Segway tour, or try your hand at tree rope climbing. Tours are for older kids. Children 8 and older can zipline and participate in tree rope climbing. Kids 10 and older can join in on a snowshoe tour during the winter months, and teens 14 and older can join in on a Segway tour. Activities are offered year-round. Details and reservation information are available online.
Big Bear Alpine Zoo at Moonridge
747 Clubview Dr., Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
The Big Bear Alpine Zoo is a “rehabilitation facility offering injured, orphaned and imprinted wild animals a safe haven.” Most of the animals that are rehabilitated at the Zoo are successfully released back into their native environment.
Some of the Zoo’s animals include the bald eagle, arctic fox, owls, bobcats, coyotes, bears, and more. Visitors have the chance to learn the history of each animal including why each of them is at this Zoo. Each day, zookeepers bring out an “animal of the day,” giving families a chance to learn interesting facts about the animal and see the animal up close.
Admission is $15 for visitors age 11 and older, $10 for children ages 3-10 and seniors 60+, $10 for serving or retired military, and children ages 2 and younger are free. The Zoo also offers special programs including “Flash Light Safari” — held every Friday and Saturday night in October. Check the website before visiting; hours vary slightly in the summer and winter.
Boulder Bay Park
39080 Big Bear Blvd., Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
Once you get there, you’ll understand the park’s name. Boulder Bay Park is considered to be a “newer” park, having opened in 2010. Several islands in the middle of the bay are made of boulders.
The park is a popular spot for canoeing, kayaking, fishing, picnicking, and watching the ducks. It may also be just the right spot for a scenic family photo!
Gold Rush Mining Adventure
40016 Big Bear Blvd., Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
Gold Rush Mining Adventure offers unique activities for the whole family. All participants are guaranteed to go home with a special souvenir that could include fossils, gemstones, or gold. Selecting from different adventures — including fossil panning and geode cracking, among others — will determine exactly how you’ll mine and what you’ll find.
The site is open year-round, Monday through Thursday from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm, Fridays from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, Saturdays from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, and Sundays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Reservations are not required and holiday offers differ.
Big Bear Solar Observatory — CURRENTLY CLOSED
40386 N. Shore Lane, Big Bear Lake, CA 92314
If you’ve got children who are interested in astronomy, then you’ll want to make a point to tour the Big Bear Solar Observatory. Here you’ll find the “world’s largest solar telescope that is currently operational.”
Tour group size is limited to 16 people, so you’ll want to make sure to reserve your tour in advance either online or by contacting the office. Those participating in the free tours must be able to walk 1000’ down and back on a gravel road and be able to climb three flights of stairs.
Big Bear Pirate Ship Tours
398 Edgemoor Rd., Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
Take a tour of Big Bear, but do it “pirate-style.” The Big Bear Pirate Ship, also known as The Time Bandit, is a 1/3rd scale replica of a Spanish Galleon that will take you and your family around Big Bear Lake for a “swashbucklin’ adventure.” Each tour lasts about 90 minutes and features live entertainment and “authentic pirates.” Check the website for details and reservation information.
41220 Park Ave., Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
Meadow Park has something for the whole family. This 16.25 acre facility includes tennis courts, a children’s playground, volleyball court, basketball court, picnic pavilion, and lots of green open spaces. Don’t forget to bring some balls, a Frisbee, and a picnic meal.
Stanfield Marsh Wildlife and Waterfowl Habitat Park
42300 Big Bear Blvd., Big Bear Lake, CA 92314
This is a great place for families to stroll and enjoy their surroundings. You’ll find a large wooden gazebo with informative posters about the wildlife in the area. In addition, there are two boardwalks built over the water. Take a look at the fish, keep an eye out for the ducks, and enjoy the tranquility.
Miss Liberty Paddlewheel Tour
Pine Knot Marina
439 Pine Knot Blvd., Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
Families will enjoy a 90-minute guided tour of Big Bear Lake while on board the Miss Liberty. Learn about Big Bear’s history dating back to 1845. Miss Liberty is a “64’ long, 24.5’ high Skipperline 1500 LX built in 1994 and was fully refurbished in 2006.” Be sure to book your tour in advance.
Baldwin Lake Stables
46475 Pioneertown Rd., Big Bear City, CA 92314
Explore Big Bear while riding a horse! Baldwin Lake Stables offers 1 and 2-hour rides as well as sunset rides and a half-day ride option. For families with younger children, you can opt to take advantage of the on-site pony rides instead. You’ll also enjoy a petting zoo there featuring goats, sheep, rabbits, and more. Reservations are suggested for all rides. Check the website for details.
Friday 9th of April 2021
Thank you for sharing all this great info! Up here one day after you wrote this with a 6 and 4 year old and we will definitely do a few of these that I never found on other searches.