A boy meets a goat at a petting zoo

Top 8 Summer Activities To Keep Your Kids Busy

Posted: 05/30/14 | By Rhrabia

Summer, it is almost officially here! So it is time to start planning out the summer. Here are my Top 8 Summer Activities for kids and families.

Top 8 Summer Activities to Keep Your Kids Out of Your Hair Busy

Summer, it is almost officially here! The days are becoming slighter longer. The weather is getting warmer. The grill is getting fired up on a regular basis. My flowers are in full bloom. Actually, the neighbor's flowers are in full bloom. I never can find the time to plant anything let alone flowers. I love summer just as much as the next person, but in two weeks my 10 and 8 year old sons will be out of school. Cue the horror music. Sure, they love the summer months too, but I can guarantee that within less than a week they will be bored out of their minds. All the moms out there you know what I am talking about. "Mom, I'm sooo bored!" "Mom, there’s nothing to do." Usually when this happens, they then turn to bugging one another which then turns into irritating, you guessed it, MOM. So it is time to start planning out the summer. Unfortunately, I don't live a lavish lifestyle but luckily we do live in Southern California namely Big Bear Lake! The main reason my husband and I moved to Big Bear, 11 years ago, was to start a family. We fell in love with all the activities and events that Big Bear offers and knew right away that this was the place for us. So as I mentioned, my main focus is to keep my kids busy!

Here are my Top 8 Summer Activities for kids and families:

1. Biking. As the over protective mom that I am, I do worry about my kids riding their bikes on our neighborhood streets. The Alpine Pedal Path is a great biking and walking path for everyone. It is paved and runs right along Big Bear Lake which is absolutely stunning this time of year.

Kids Fishing Catching a Trout Fish

2. Fishing. I am not lying when I say this, but every time we have gone fishing we have caught fish from the lake. Of course, sometimes it isn't the biggest fish, but it is a fish. We have caught blue gill, trout, bass and catfish. My youngest one day told us that we were fishing all wrong, because he wasn't catching anything, and decided to bait his own hook and ended up catching the biggest fish out of all of us. Kids, they are smarter than we think sometimes. This year I think we may try a fishing charter to really find where the fish are hiding.

3. Alpine Slide. There is something about water that I believe almost every kid loves, at least my two crazy young men. If they could spend their entire summer in the water, they would. And hey, some water and some sun make them nice and tired too!

4. Hiking. Kids are natural explorers and learners. Some days we head on over to the Discovery Center to learn about the San Bernardino National Forest which is right in our own backyard, but we do learn something we did not know every time we visit the Discovery Center. Their volunteers are friendly and helpful. We also ride the Sky Chair to the top of Snow Summit. You get to have the best view of the entire Big Bear Valley and grab some lunch. If you get too tired you can always ride it back down too!

5. Zoo. So the more I learn about the Big Bear Alpine Zoo, the more excited I get when I visit the animals. Our zoo is one of only two alpine zoos in the nation! 90% of all the animals brought to the zoo for rehabilitation are successfully released back into their native environment. Those that remain with the zoo on exhibit are either too injured or have been imprinted by humans and cannot be released back into the wild to care for themselves. Our zoo is one of the best hidden gems of Big Bear. The zoo is going to have new occupants coming at the end of June, TWO snow leopards!

6. Kayaking. This is probably my most favorite thing to do on the lake, so I drag my family with me. Happy wife, happy life, right? I like to launch from the North Shore or Captain John’s Marina. When we got out there on the lake it is so quiet and serene that it just takes your breath away. With the sun shining down and the smiles of my family I wish I could just stop time for that moment.

7. Concerts. In the last several years Big Bear has become music concert central. Venues such The Cave, Music in the Mountains and Blues for the Zoo are just a few. The Blues for the Zoo is an annual fundraiser for the zoo that is held at Swim Beach. I love to just sit there and listen to the music while I watch my kids dance or try to dance. They got there moves from the father or should I say lack of moves. And did I mentioned the best part? Kids 10 and under are FREE!

Hiking via Snow Summit's Sky Chair with Family

8. Mining. Big Bear now offers mining made easy! At Gold Rush Mining Adventures we can pick a bag of rocks, minerals, gems, fossils, geodes and much more for the kids to explore. It is really a one one-of-a-kind adventure. And they get to wear a cool mining hat.

I only have two weeks left before I have to really set my summer plans into action and so do you. Plan your summer today. Over 300 days of sunshine, above the "clouds", temperatures in the mid-70s to mid-80s and all there is to do?! It's a no-brainer, Big Bear is where you need to be. Start making those memories and grab them before the moments are gone. Share your experience with us! How do you #LiveItUpBigBear?

Gathering memories,