Kids running on a beach

Summertime: Affordable Family Fun!

Posted: 05/24/22

Big Bear Lake is the ultimate family fun experience in any season, but this summer, find our most affordable and free activities!

Top 10 Affordable or Free Summer Activities

  1. Picnicking: Who says lakefront dining has to be pricy? Pack a snack or full picnic buffet and head to the lake shore for a meal and a view that can't be beat. Just remember to collect all your trash and don't let any of it blow away!
  2. Farmers Market: Fill that picnic basket with fresh produce, locally made hummus, nuts, and candies from the Bear Valley Farmers Market open every Tuesday from 8:30 AM - 1 PM from April through September.
  3. Hiking: The San Bernardino National Forest boasts hundreds of miles of trails open to the public year-round. Trails are free to access but some parking lots may require an Adventure Pass which can be picked up at the Big Bear Visitor Center for $5. Help keep our trails green and clean by picking up any litter you may encounter along the way!
  4. Stargazing: Throughout the year, Big Bear is the perfect spot for stargazing in Southern California. Find out best stargazing spots and tips to see nature's beautiful night backdrop.
  5. Fishing: Big Bear Lake is a top rated freshwater fishing spot in Southern California. Along with rainbow trout and smallmouth and largemouth bass, you will also find catfish, crappie, blue gill and sunfish. Fishing from shore is free and fishing boat rentals can cost as little as $75. Go online for a fishing license ($15 per day), and stop by one of our local tackle shops to gear up.
  6. Big Bear Alpine Zoo: The Big Bear Alpine Zoo is a rehabilitation facility offering injured, orphaned and imprinted wild animals a safe haven; temporarily while they heal or permanently if they are unable to survive on their own. Visitors are able to see a variety of alpine wildlife such as bald eagles, wolves, black bears, bobcats and even an arctic fox.
  7. Farm Life: At the Baldwin Lake Stables and petting zoo, you can get up close and personal with friendly farm animals and learn about them first hand while entertaining your little ones for very little money. Just pay for the feed and you're set!
  8. Paddle Sports: Kayaking, canoeing, and SUPing are an enjoyable way to experience the beauty of nature of Big Bear Lake. Kayak rentals at many marinas start at approximately $20.
  9. Glow Bowling: Glow bowling at the Bowling Barn starts at 8 p.m. and has great music to go with it!
  10. Biking: Mountain biking is a must when visiting Big Bear. Got your own bike? Head out to the trails. Need a rental? Stop by Goldsmith's Sports or Bear Valley Bikes to get geared up and ready to ride. Rentals can be as little as $10-15.

This list is just a small selection of activities that are appropriate for almost all ages. For further assistance planning your vacation in Big Bear, simply call 1-800-424-4232 and one of our knowledgeable vacation specialists can be of assistance!

Related Partners