A mother and daughter in the snow in Big Bear

Top 10 Free & Affordable Winter Activities

Posted: 02/01/24

Winter fun in Big Bear doesn't have to stress your wallet. Once you've arrived, explore these Top 10 free & affordable winter activities in Big Bear Lake.

1. Build a snowman

Do you wanna build a snowman? Building a snowman is a must during the winter months in Big Bear, especially if you have little kids in tow. The back yard of your cozy cabin is the perfect place to start or find space in one of Big Bear's numerous National Forest Recreation Areas.

2. Mine for Treasure

At Gold Rush Mining Adventures, learn about the gems and fossils you dig up in their unique shop. Then browse the treasures on display and find the best ones for holidays gifts or souvenirs.

3. Go Snowshoeing

Like hiking, snowshoeing the trails in Big Bear is free to all, though Adventure Passes are required at some trailheads and rec areas. As you venture out, take in the beauty of the National Forest, spot animal tracks, and marvel at wildlife.

4. Do Scavenger Hunts

Embark on a scavenger hunt through The Village and learn Big Bear history along the way. Riddle Routes and Urban Adventure Quest both offer routes in the Big Bear Valley.

5. Visit the Animals

Visit the Big Bear Alpine Zoo and learn about Big Bear's wildlife and how humans can leave a positive impact on the natural environment. Don't forget to stop in at the gift shop before you leave!

Say hello to the farm animals at Baldwin Lake Stables. Kids will love getting to know the goats, turkeys, pigs and more. Maybe book a horse back ride while you visit!

6. Step Into Hollywood Studios at Santa Land

Let your imagination take over when you step into the pop culture world of Hollywood Studios at Santa Land with superheroes, movie props, your favorite on-screen characters, and more. Even say hello to the jolly man Santa Claus and write a letter to the North Pole any time of year. Admission is $5.

7. Head to the Movies

Village Theaters North in The Village features the latest movies in their 4-theater complex. Grab some popcorn at the snack bar and enjoy a good story with friends and family. Every Tuesday & Sunday is Family Fun Day where all tickets are $5.

8. Grab the Camera

Whether you're an avid Instagrammer or prefer to grab shots for the photo album, you'll find endless photographable moments in Big Bear along the trails, throughout the neighborhoods, around the dinner table, and more.

9. Visit the Discovery Center

Visit the Discovery Center and get to know the National Forest that surrounds Big Bear, the animals that live here, and the history of the valley. Admission is free!

10. Enjoy the Simple Things

Back in your cabin, gather 'round the fireplace to sip on hot cocoa, play charades or roast marshmallows. The best time spent is always with friends and family.

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