Hiking in the San Bernardino National Forest is one of the fun things to do in San Bernardino with Kids (photo by Yvonne Condes)

MomsLA is your source for Things to do in Los Angeles With Kids

If you’ve only ever driven through San Bernardino, it’s time to plan a time to stop and explore the area. You’ll find museums, parks, and more — something for every member of the family.

Hiking in the San Bernardino National Forest is one of the fun things to do in San Bernardino with Kids

San Bernardino National Forest
San Bernardino, CA

Families can do it all in the San Bernardino National Forest. There are hiking, camping, stargazing, wildflower-viewing, and fishing opportunities here. The Forest is immense, encompassing 823,816 acres. The Rim of the World Scenic Byway, is an adventurous way to spend a day. This 110-mile long drive takes families through incredible vistas, from San Bernardino and up to Big Bear.

Littlefield/Shultis Park
2525 Kendall Way, San Bernardino, CA 92407

Local families consider this park a favorite. You’ll find two playground areas here (one for younger children, one for older children), lots of park benches, a walking track, and picnic tables. Don’t forget to bring some balls, bubbles, and a kite. You’ll find plenty of big, open green spaces here so you won’t run out of things to do.

Norton Air Force Base Museum
San Bernardino International Airport
1601 3rd St., San Bernardino, CA

The Norton Air Force Base is named after Captain Leland Norton, a World War II bomber pilot and San Bernardino native. The Base began as a Municipal Airport and served a number of functions from 1941 (the start of the United States entrance into World War II) until its closure in 1994. The Museum honors those who served and includes many artifacts and personal memorabilia. The Museum is open on Thursdays and Saturdays from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. A small gift shop is on site as well.

Blair Park
1466 W. Marshall Blvd., San Bernardino, CA

The 34-acres of Blair Park offers something for every member of the family. You’ll find a basketball court, tennis courts, horseshoe pits, an outdoor racquetball court, picnic tables, a walking track, two playground areas, and a skateboard park. 

Original McDonald’s Site and Museum
1398 N. E St., San Bernardino, CA

Families interested in some quirky history and trivia will want to plan to visit the site of the original McDonald’s. The first McDonald’s was opened in 1948 by two brothers, Richard and Maurice McDonald. The site is now a museum and includes several colorful murals on the outside of the building. Inside you’ll find a large selection of memorabilia and artifacts including photos, newspaper clippings, uniforms, merchandise, and more.

Inland Empire Military Museum
1394 N. E St., San Bernardino, CA

You’ll find the Inland Empire Military Museum located adjacent to the McDonald’s Museum (and in fact they are both owned by the same man). The Inland Empire Military Museum was founded in 2004 and displays a substantial collection of military artifacts and memorabilia. Tribute is paid to those who fought for our country, from World War I to Iraq and Afghanistan, with a larger focus on World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War memorabilia. Families will view medals, uniforms, a combat camera, and even a 1953 Jeep used during the Korean War. The Museum is open on Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. Admission is free, though donations are welcome.

Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art
California State University, San Bernardino
5500 University Parkway, San Bernardino, CA 92407

The Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art is best known for its Egyptian antiquities collection. The Museum has “the largest display of ancient Egyptian antiquities in the Western United States encompassing years of Egyptian history.” In addition, the Museum’s permanent collection also includes Contemporary Art and World Ceramics. The Museum is open Monday-Wednesday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm; Thursday 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm, and on Saturday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. (Closed on Friday and Sunday). Admission is free, though a donation of $3 is suggested. Parking is $6. Check the website before visiting, since the museum may be closed when the campus is closed. 

San Bernardino History and Railroad Museum
1170 W. 3rd St., San Bernardino, CA 92410

Families who are interested in trains must make plans to visit the San Bernardino History and Railroad Museum. You’ll find hundreds of photographs, unique artifacts, railroad memorabilia, and more. You’ll be able to view the first automobile that was operated in San Bernardino, antique hand-drawn vehicles, model trains, an 1890 Fire Department Hose Wagon (that’s been in the Rose Parade eight times), and much more. The Museum is “located in the restored 1918 Santa Fe Depot that serves Amtrak and Metrolink passengers.” The Museum is open on Saturdays from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm and offers free admission.

Norman F. Feldheym Central Library
555 W. 6th St., San Bernardino, CA 92410

The 64,000 square foot Central Library is open five days a week (closed on Fridays and Sundays). The Dolly Contreras Children’s Room is the site of the Library’s story times. In addition to story times, the library also hosts a variety of other special events including arts and crafts, movie screenings, and family activities (such as Halloween Family Bingo). Special events are also offered for teens including creative writing workshops, arts and crafts, an anime club, and more.

California Theatre of the Performing Arts
562 W. 4th St., San Bernardino, CA

The California Theatre of the Performing Arts is home to several family-friendly productions. The 1,718-seat auditorium was built in 1928 as a vaudeville movie palace. In November, take advantage of the one-day-only performance of Shrek The Musical or return in December for a production of the holiday classic, The Nutcracker. In March, you can attend a performance of the Broadway Musical Beauty and the Beast and in April families will enjoy Madagascar, A Musical Adventure.

Perris Hill Park
1135 E. Highland Ave., San Bernardino, CA

Perris Hill Park is a 64.4-acre park offering fun for the whole family. You’ll find tennis courts, horseshoe pits, playground areas, a swimming pool, picnic tables, and more. There’s plenty of amenities for a fun day at the park. Perris Hill Park is also the site of the Roosevelt Bowl, a 1,800-seat outdoor amphitheater.

San Bernardino Raceway
217 E. Club Center Dr., San Bernardino, CA 92408

Families can enjoy indoor go-kart racing at the San Bernardino Raceway. Safety and comfort are top priorities at SBR. The speed of each gas-powered kart can be remotely controlled, if need be, so even young racers are able to participate. All racers must be at least 52 inches tall and 8 years old. There are also arcade games, air hockey, and pool tables on site as well. Check the website for hours and specials.

Glen Helen Regional Park
2555 Glen Helen Parkway, San Bernardino, CA 92407

The Glen Helen Regional Park is a family-favorite. You’ll find 1,340 acres here as well as scenic views of the San Bernardino Mountains. The Park includes two lakes for fishing, several picnic areas, lots of open spaces for running and ball games, a swim complex (complete with pool, water slides, and a water play park). The Glen Helen Amphitheater, a popular 65,000-seat outdoor concert venue, is located here as well.

George F. Beattie Planetarium
San Bernardino Valley College
701 S. Mt. Vernon Ave., San Bernardino, CA

The George F. Beattie Planetarium is a teaching facility, but twice a month on Friday evenings, the Planetarium produces public shows. The 57-seat Planetarium invites families to view the stars in this special setting. Shows begin at 7:00 pm, and doors open at 6:30 pm. Tickets are $3 for adults, $2 for students, and $1 for children 10 and younger. Check the website for a list of upcoming shows.

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Wendy Kennar (410 Posts)

Wendy is a freelance writer who finds inspiration in her nine-year-old son and from her experiences from her twelve-year teaching career. Her writing has appeared in several publications and anthologies, both in print and online. She prefers sunflowers to roses and thinks chocolate is okay at any meal. You can find her at wendykennar.com.


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