Big Bear Discovery Center

I’ve shared with you my favorite stops for snow play on the way to Big Bear. Now I want to share with you one of the first places to visit on your outing  to Big Bear.  The Big Bear Discovery Center  is a great place to visit with the kiddos and learn about the area.

The center is an educational center and a place to learn about the wildlife in the area.  We had the opportunity to visit the Discovery Center and the kiddos had a great time learning about the different animals in the area. If you are visiting the Center on a weekend make sure to join one of the Nature Walks. They are half an hour in length and are offered at 1 and 2pm on Saturday and 11 am and noon on Sunday.  The Discovery Center is not a very big place and it shouldn’t take more than a half hour tos  explore.

The Big Bear Discovery Center is a great source of information in the area and provides

  • Adventure Passes
  • Hiking & Biking Maps
  • Camping Information
  • Maps of Forest Roads & Off-highway Vehicle Adventures
  • Forest Service Permits
  • Naturalist-led Tours and Interpretive Programs
  • Environmental Education ~ School & Scout groups

The Big Bear Discovery Center is open 7 days a week in the summer and open from Friday to Tuesday in the winter.  For additional information head here.

Big Bear Discovery Center
Located on North Shore Drive, Highway 38
Big Bear Lake, California

Big Bear Lake Part 1- Snow play along the way

My family loves Big Bear Lake. My in laws have a vacation home in Big Bear Lake and we visit a few times of year during the winter months. We love visiting and playing in the snow for hours. It is the perfect daytrip and there are so many fun places to visit , play and make special memories with the family. I’m going to do a little mini-series featuring fun adventure for the family in Big Bear. This first post is all about having fun in the snow and not paying a penny to do so.

One of the best things to do when heading to Big Bear is to pull over and find a good spot to partake in good old fashioned snow play. There are my great spots to pull over on the way to Big Bear.  We usually head to Big Bear along Hwy 38 or the “back way” as many locals call it. It is a pretty smooth ride and not windy. We usually  Orange Ave exit 10 fwy in Redlands when heading east. We make a left turn on Orange, go for a few blocks to Mentone Blvd and make a right.  Mentone Blvd is Hwy 38 and you will take that road all the way up to Big Bear.

One of the first great places to stop off along the way is  Whispering Pines  Nature Trial just past Angeles Oaks.  There is some parking and plenty of room for romping in the snow.  You can also park alonside the road. The second spot is between mile 26 and mile 27. It doesn’t really have a name but it is right past Whispering Pines and you can’t miss it. There is plenty of open space and not many trees. A perfect place to sled and for a good snowball fight.  The area surrounding the Greystone Amphiteater is also a great place for snow play. Just pull off the side of the road and be prepared for some fun.

Make sure to check for weather and road conditions.  You are  required to bring chains with you in the winter when traveling to Big Bear. We always bring ours  but have yet to use them since we have a four wheel drive vehicle with a snow setting. If there is weather or ice be prepared for a bit of a long ride up. We drove up Sunday morning and it only took us about two hours to get up. It just depends on the weather. For up to the minute weather reports  and  road conditions head here. Have fun!