Living in Southern California means that within just a short drive you can make your way from the beach to the ski slopes. Big Bear Lake is a winter wonderland in Southern California that offers something for everyone.
Where To Shop
Big Bear Lake Village
Without a doubt, the place to shop is Big Bear Lake Village, located in the heart of Big Bear Lake. There are two movie theaters, various shops with snacks, treats and boutique items. Park along the outskirt parking lots and just walk on over. It’s not a big area and can get a bit crowded on holidays and weekends.
The Village also holds special events throughout the year. The Village Christmas Tree lighting ceremony was just held over Thanksgiving weekend. Through the month of December there will be the Bear Valley Tour of Lights, and a map is distributed to tour decorated homes in the area.
Where To Eat
Big Bear features some unique restaurants. One that comes recommended is the Himalayan Restaurant, which features Indian and Nepalese food. If your children will eat Chinese food, they will find something on the menu they’ll like.
Grizzly Manor Cafe
A great family friendly restaurant is Grizzly Manor Cafe. It’s a breakfast place with all of the home cooked favorites. The servings are huge (pizza-sized pancakes anyone?), so taking the half order option might be advisable. It can get busy at times but the wait is typically short.
Cocina de Mexico
For great Mexican food, take the family to Cocina de Mexico. It’s small, cash only but with authentic food and quaint decor. It’s family owned and operated, too.
Where To Play
Big Bear Snow Play
Snow Play at Big Bear Mountain is the prime spot for inner tubing in the winter with guaranteed snow. For only $25, all ages get unlimited rides down the hill. The price includes the inner tube rental. Snow Play is open daily from 10 AM to 4 PM. The best part about this place is that they have two magic carpets which take you back to the top of the hill without having to hike up a sleep hill. Right now there are three hills to slide down, but by the time the winter storms really set in, the park will have up to eight different slides to choose from.
Snow Summit is the place to hit the slopes in Big Bear. Part of the Big Bear Mountain Resorts (Bear Mountain), Snow Summit caters to both beginner and intermediate skiers. Snow Summit caters more to the family crowd and is home to Little Bear Ski School for the kiddos. It tends to be a bit busy on the weekends so remember to plan accordingly.
Moonridge Animal Park
The Moonridge Animal Park is a wildlife sanctuary and rehab center. It is the only zoo in the United States specializing in Alpine wildlife. The zoo is home to 160 orphaned and injured wildlife representing over 89 species including grizzly bears, black bears, mountain lions, snow leopards, bobcats, wolves, raccoons, foxes, bison and a pair of bald eagles.
Where To Stay
Robinhood Resort Lodge
Robinhood Resort Lodge is a fantastic place for families to stay. The resort rooms feature lake views, cozy fireplaces, private in-room spas, even the option of a chalet by the lake. It is the newest and largest resort at Big Bear. Rates start just over $100 depending on the time of year.
Aracely Worley publishes the blog Daytripping Mom.