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Sunrise over a snowy Bear Mountain

My Snow-Filled Winter Adventure

Posted: 12/10/15 | By Tina Hauer

My family and I visit Big Bear Lake for the arrival of SNOW every year. Here are some of the fun & exciting activities we enjoy during our winter adventure.

I don't know anywhere better to share in the holiday spirit and fun than Big Bear Lake, CA! I live in Long Beach with family scattered throughout the San Diego area, and every year for 10 years we have been making Big Bear Lake our destination of choice for a weekend in January to enjoy the winter-time festivities. My family and I take the short drive (two hours) to Big Bear Lake for the arrival of SNOW! Might I say, we are never disappointed! Even if there are man-made-snow conditions… I can't tell the difference versus natural snow! It's all just SNOW to me!

Activities and Events

Below I listed some of the fun and exciting activities and events my family enjoys most when it comes to visiting Big Bear Lake for a winter adventure:

Obviously, people come in droves to try their hand at the two major winter sports: Skiing and snowboarding. This can be done at the two fine ski resorts, Bear Mountain and Snow Summit. My family and I have visited both before – they make it easy – because one ticket covers both resorts and their access. Bear Mountain offers a trick park with fun jibs and jumps that you may want to try – but perhaps after a lesson or two! Snow Summit tends to cater more toward families and has a great restaurant at the top of the slopes! Try one of their kabobs or burgers before you ski down. Ticket and lodging packages are still available for purchase via bigbear.com.

Get Outdoors for Tubing and Sledding in Big Bear

Kids Tubing and Sledding

Whether you are 2 or 22, sledding and tubing is a great activity for the whole group! The cost affordable at $30 per person for the entire day and includes a giant inner tube to slide down on. The fun is endless and if you plan to drive or stay in Big Bear Lake, they are open on holidays too and some evenings! The toboggan run is located at the Alpine Slide at Magic Mountain on the West side of town in Big Bear Lake, while Big Bear Snow Play on the East side offers a large snow play and tubing area. Both locations have people movers to help you and your group up the hill with your tubes so you can spend more energy in having fun! Stay tuned, rumor has it that Snow Summit will soon have their own sledding area – for the first time! Keep your eyes on snowsummit.com for further details about their snow tubing hill addition.

If Big Bear Lake has received a fresh snowfall, chances are there's enough white stuff to attempt snowshoeing! A popular sport among winter enthusiasts, one straps almost tennis racket-looking "shoes" to their footwear and trudge through a popular hiking trail for the perfect picturesque mountain setting. You'll also get a ton of good exercise! If you want to talk to an expert, head over to Goldsmith's Board House and Ski Rentals and ask for Fred who knows his stuff when it comes to the best and unique trails and hikes in the Big Bear Valley. If you want to try your hand – err, feet! – at snowshoeing, drop on by and rent the equipment and grab some of the best maps and advice in town. They are open from 7 AM to 7 PM daily, so you can check out their various equipment rentals at a variety of times to suit your day if you’re arriving late or enjoyed a day out on the slopes.

Big Bear Snowshoeing

For the folks who don’t want to work up a sweat, you can opt for a leisurely stroll down the downtown Village district complete with dining, movie theaters, shops and massage centers. Some of my family's favorite restaurant options include the Himalayan Restaurant, Peppercorn Grille and just outside The Village, The Grizzly Manor Café. Working backwards, you can enjoy Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner at those respective places. If you’re the type that liked to picnic, Veteran's Park is walking distance form Pine Knot Rd, the main Village Street. Be sure to stop into Nottingham's or Murray's in downtown on Friday and Saturdays if you’re interesting in seeing some live music… and even, magic shows! Dates and showings depend on performer schedule. The Cave Entertainment venue also offers weekend performers and cover bands, promising to be one of the best places for adults to gather and mingle with a drink and good fun. December 12th offers "Cash'd Out" a tribute to Johnny Cash – a band that has played to over a million fans since 2005! You can also catch the awesome "The Aggrolites" on December 11th - an amalgamation of two previous Los Angeles reggae and ska bands, the Vessels. They formed in 2002 and have been rockin' ever since! Doors typically open around 6 or 7 PM and is located on 40789 Village Drive. Come and show your wild side during winter! You won't regret the fun.

Hiking is still a fun activity we enjoy during our winter adventure! Drop into the local Visitor's Center at 630 Bartlett Rd in Big Bear Lake to pick-up a handy local guide, complete with a hiking guides, maps, information on the area and local dining options. Plus, the booklet is FREE!

Tours such as horseback riding and zip lining still go on during the winter months! Weather depending of course, but, what's cooler (literally) than taking a December zip line through the multiple courses, or taking a horse and following a guide down a snowy ravine – all these things and more are where Big Bear's at! My kids also love the petting zoo located at Baldwin Lake Stables, which is only 15 minutes from Big Bear Lake. Locally, they never get to see animals up close and personal, but the folks at Baldwin make it a fun and educational experience. The same goes for the Alpine Zoo – cheap, educational and a lot of fun in wintertime!

Mining-Hats-Gem

You can mine for treasure, even if it’s snowing! We have stayed in Big Bear before, when we have encountered a storm that made us keener to stay inside to order pizza than go out and snowboard and, at time, kids can get restless from being indoors in a cabin or room for too long. We just discovered that not far from The Village is Gold Rush Gold Mining and tours! A neat little facility, it offers mining starting at $10 and has protection from the nasty weather outside if the day is gloomy. You and the kids can take a crack as Geode cracking (using a professional machine) or take a swirl in the sluice and see what majestic rocks and – yes - gold you can find! When that pesky storm clears out you can make your way to the Alpine Slides for sleddin' or to the resorts for some shreddin' for the best of what Big Bear Lake has to offer!

That's it for now! We hope you enjoy Big Bear Lake’s wintertime as much as we do! Cheers.