Ultimate Guide to Indoor and Outdoor Winter Activities in Big Bear

Ultimate Guide to Indoor and Outdoor Winter Activities in Big Bear

Craving a winter wonderland escape? Look no further than Big Bear! Nestled in the heart of Southern California, it’s a breathtaking mountain resort that transforms into a snowy paradise when winter arrives.

You’ll find an array of winter activities to keep you entertained. From thrilling snowboarding slopes to serene snowshoe trails, there’s something for everyone. And if you’re not a fan of the cold, don’t worry. Big Bear offers plenty of indoor attractions too.

Key Takeaways

  • Big Bear, located in Southern California, transforms into a winter wonderland offering a variety of activities ranging from ski and snowboarding to tranquil snowshoe trails and exhilarating snow tubing. There are also cozy indoor activities for those who prefer the warmth.
  • Skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts can enjoy the top-rated ski resorts – Bear Mountain and Snow Summit – each offering unique experiences. Equipment rentals are available, and it’s suggested to book tickets in advance for this popular attraction.
  • Snowshoeing at Big Bear provides an opportunity to step into the pristine wilderness. Trails like the Cougar Crest Trail, Grand View Point, and the Woodland Interpretive trail offer serene and breathtaking views of the valley. Gear rental is available at local outdoor shops.
  • Snow tubing in Big Bear makes for an exciting family-friendly activity. The Alpine Slide at Magic Mountain and Big Bear Snow Play offer well-groomed slopes for safety and fun, along with tube rentals.
  • Big Bear offers an array of winter festivities and events such as the Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest, Bald Eagle Celebration, and Big Bear Winter Games. These celebrations and events add to the lively atmosphere during the winter season.
  • Indoor activities such as visiting the Big Bear Discovery Center, the Artisans Etc. Gallery, and the Bowling Barn, or enjoying an evening at the Performing Arts Center provide a warm and entertaining environment during the colder hours.

Big Bear is a prime destination for winter activities, both indoor and outdoor. For families looking to enjoy the snow, Big Bear’s official tourism site lists top attractions like skiing and snowboarding, while Visit California highlights the unique experiences available across the region.

Skiing and Snowboarding

Skiing and Snowboarding

In the frost-laden heart of winter, Big Bear becomes a haven for ski and snowboard enthusiasts. As you plan your winter retreat, know that whether you’re a seasoned pro or just learning the ropes, Big Bear’s slopes cater to both.

Let’s not forget that Big Bear is home to two top-rated ski resorts, Bear Mountain and Snow Summit. Each offers a unique, exhilarating experience that residents and tourists alike look forward to every winter season.

Bear Mountain

The crown jewel of Bear Mountain is its freestyle park, considered one of the best on the West Coast. The park attracts riders from around the world who seek to conquer its more than 60 jumps and 80 jibs. The resort’s expansive layout includes features of all sizes, making it an ideal spot both for those looking to advance their skills, and experienced riders seeking a thrilling challenge.

Lessons are also readily available should you want to improve your abilities. Under the guidance of professional instructors, you’ll be tackling more challenging terrain in no time.

Snow Summit

Snow Summit, on the other hand, is known for its exciting mix of terrain. The resort boasts over 30 trails that encompass everything from gradual cruisers to steep pitches. You’ll find that Snow Summit is the perfect location to immerse yourself in a ski or snowboard journey that’s tailored to your skill level.

Don’t leave your adventurous spirit at home. Remember to book your tickets in advance, as these popular destinations tend to sell out early in the winter season. Additionally, equipment rentals are available at both resorts, so you don’t need to worry about the extra luggage. Be ready to carve your way down the mountain and embrace the thrill that only Big Bear’s ski resorts can offer.

Next up, cozy accommodations welcome you at the end of an action-packed day. But more on that later.

Snowshoeing Adventures

Snowshoeing Adventures

Enliven your winter experience at Big Bear by stepping off the beaten path—or rather, the groomed slopes—and into the pristine wilderness, with snowshoes on your feet. Big Bear offers several trails tailor-made for snowshoeing adventures that serve up both tranquility and natural beauty in equal measure.

Imagine the crunch of fresh snow underfoot and the feeling of crisp mountain air filling your lungs. Imagine your heart racing not from thrill-seeking on a snowboard but from the exhilarating liberation of striding freely through unspoiled terrain. This is the allure of snowshoeing, and Big Bear offers a multitude of trails to satisfy your exploratory spirit.

Cougar Crest Trail and Grand View Point are stunning examples of snowshoeing locales that offer panoramic views of the valley. For something a little more remote, the Woodland Interpretive Trail guarantees a serene and less wandered path to explore. Remember to dress appropriately: wear layers to adapt to changing weather and ensure that your footwear is both warm and waterproof.

Here’s a quick snapshot of the most recommended snowshoe trails in Big Bear.

Trail NameDistanceDifficultyDescription
Cougar Crest Trail5.2 milesModerateStunning views of Big Bear Lake
Grand View Point7 milesModerate360 degree peek of the valley
Woodland Interpretive Trail1.5 milesEasyEasy stroll offering tranquility

While the ski resorts have their charm, exploring Big Bear on snowshoes provides a calming balance to the high-octane adrenaline of downhill sports. It’s a chance to disconnect from it all and immerse yourself in the soul-soothing serenity found only in undisturbed nature. Gearing up is easy, too. Most outdoor gear shops in the area offer snowshoe rentals, so you don’t need to worry about hauling extra gear.

Between skiing, boarding at world-famous resorts, and snowshoeing through idyllic landscapes, your winter adventure at Big Bear will indeed be a memorable one.

Snow Tubing Fun

Snow Tubing Fun

If you’re seeking thrilling, family-friendly activities in Big Bear during winter, snow tubing should top your list. After a blissful hike through tranquil snowy trails, you’re ready to let loose! Amp up the energy by sliding down snow-covered hills.

Snow tubing parks, such as the Alpine Slide at Magic Mountain and Big Bear Snow Play, offer well-groomed hills specifically designed for maximum fun. Safety is a priority; you’ll find that these parks provide secure lanes for tubing and necessary equipment.

With Big Bear’s slopes often reaching 20 feet in height, you’re guaranteed a memorable ride, filled with laughter and thrill-inducing slopes. The magic carpets at these parks mean that you won’t tire yourself out climbing back up for another go.

When it comes to gearing up, many snow tubing parks provide tube rentals. That’s the beauty of snow tubing at Big Bear—it’s not just about the thrill of whooshing down the frosted slopes. It’s also a stress-free, all-inclusive winter activity that everyone will enjoy.

Let’s list down the key features of snow tubing parks in Big Bear:

  • Well-groomed slopes for optimum safety and fun
  • Secure lanes for individual tube races
  • Speedy magic carpets to whisk you back to the top
  • Easy gear rentals

Snow tubing is truly one of those activities in Big Bear that brings out the kid in everyone. It allows you to embrace the wonder of winter, as you feel your heart race with each exhilarating slide. It draws out gleeful yells and shared laughter – the perfect blend to warm up a chilly winter’s day at Big Bear.

As your unforgettable day on the slopes comes to an end, consider checking out Big Bear Village for post-snow tubing amusement. Delicious food, cozy coffee shops, and more await you. So, ready to slide into fun at Big Bear this winter?

Winter Festivals and Events

On your quest for “Big Bear things to do in winter,” the sheer array of winter festivities and events should not be overlooked. Big Bear, known for its lively atmosphere during the winter months, has a fascinating selection of festivals and events designed to light up your winter adventure.

As a yearly tradition, the Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest steps forward to usher in the winter season. This celebration keeps the spirit of Bavarian culture alive with traditional German food, beer, and live music. You’ll be captivated by the lively vibe, the stunning sight of men and women in Bavarian attire performing folk dances and the resounding echos of Alpine horns.

Next on your itinerary should be the Bald Eagle Celebration. An integral part of Big Bear’s winter lineup, this annual festivity provides you with a rare opportunity to learn about and observe these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. Rangers conduct guided tours which are an exceptional experience, especially for wildlife enthusiasts.

The New Year’s Eve Torchlight Parade is a rather unique event. As dusk draws near on the last day of the year, hundreds of skiers and snowboarders descend down Snow Summit carrying torches, illuminating the mountain in a bewitching spectacle of light. It’s a mesmerizing sight that always leaves spectators awe-struck.

Last but not least, engage your competitive spirit at the Big Bear Winter Games. You can partake in activities like snow tubing races, snowball fights, and snowman building contests. Even if you don’t score a winning streak, the lively atmosphere and camaraderie will make it a worthwhile affair.

Big Bear unwraps its winter magic through these diverse events. A whirl of lights, sounds, flavors, and experiences await you. Each event is an adventure in itself, adding richness and color to your winter vacation in Big Bear. Grant yourself the pleasure of Big Bear’s winter festival experience. They’re more than just events, they’re your ticket to a world of winter wonder.

Cozy Indoor Activities

As you soak in the beauty of Big Bear’s winter festivities, do not forget to discover another side of Big Bear. The area hosts a remarkable array of indoor activities, perfect for those times when you wish for warming, relaxing moments.

The Big Bear Discovery Center stands as a must-visit highlight for all indoor explorers. Here, you’ll deep dive into the area’s diverse wildlife and rich local history. Check out interactive exhibits, workshops, and weekly programs varying by season. The Visitor Center not only educates but also entertains, making it a fitting stop for both families and inquisitive individuals.

Now let’s switch to a more artistic realm: The Artisans Etc. Gallery. As one of Big Bear’s premier art galleries, it showcases a wide variety of works from prominent local artists. Stop by to browse or maybe even pick up a unique piece to commemorate your trip.

To get your heart pumping indoors without bracing the cold, consider visiting the Bowling Barn. It’s a popular 16-lane bowling alley complete with arcade games and glow bowling. You’ll find it to be much more than a traditional bowling alley, with its vibrant atmosphere and entertainment options.

But what if you just fancy a top-notch dinner followed by a laid-back evening at the theater? That’s where Big Bear’s finest restaurants and the Performing Arts Center come in handy. Delivering everything from comedy nights to live music and theatrical shows, this cultural hub keeps indoor entertainment gratifying and dynamic.

As Big Bear’s indoor scene unravels before you, you’ll realize that the area is truly a winter wonderland—inside and out.


So, you’ve got a plethora of things to do in Big Bear this winter. Whether you’re an art lover, history buff, or just looking for some indoor fun, there’s something for everyone. You can explore the Big Bear Discovery Center, admire local art at Artisans Etc. Gallery, or enjoy a game at the Bowling Barn. Don’t forget to savor a meal at one of the top-notch restaurants and catch a show at the Performing Arts Center. With such a diverse range of indoor activities, Big Bear truly becomes a winter wonderland, offering an unmatched experience both inside and out. So, why wait? Pack your bags and head to Big Bear this winter. It’s time to create unforgettable memories!

What indoor activities are available in Big Bear during winter?

The Big Bear winter offers brilliant indoor activities. Engage with local wildlife exhibits at the Big Bear Discovery Center, witness local art at the Artisans Etc. Gallery, and enjoy bowling and arcade games at the Bowling Barn. Additionally, you can dine and entertain at Big Bear’s top restaurants and the Performing Arts Center.

Where can I learn about the local wildlife and history in Big Bear?

You can learn about local wildlife and history through the interactive exhibits and programs available at the Big Bear Discovery Center.

Where to visit for art exhibits in Big Bear?

Art enthusiasts can visit the Artisans Etc. Gallery, a place that displays the works of local artists.

Is there any place for interactive games in Big Bear?

Yes, the Bowling Barn provides an active indoor atmosphere with bowling lanes, arcade games, and glow bowling.

Where can I have a gourmet dining experience in Big Bear?

Big Bear’s finest restaurants offer top-notch dining experiences along with entertainment options, making it the perfect choice for a gourmet meal.

What kind of shows can I watch at the Performing Arts Center in Big Bear?

The Performing Arts Center in Big Bear hosts a variety of shows ranging from comedy nights to live music performances. Perfect for a night out.

Does Big Bear offer indoor activities during the winter festivals?

Yes, the indoor activities at Big Bear, such as visiting the Discovery Center, Bowling Barn and Artisans Gallery, complement the outdoor festivities during the winter season.