Each year, 6 million tourists head to Big Bear in search of adventure, family bonding, and fun, surrounded by stunning views of the San Bernardino National Forest and Big Bear Lake. 

However, did you know Big Bear is also the perfect spot for a winter escape? 

In fact, as Big Bear experiences around 120 inches of snow annually, you don’t need to travel far from home to step into a picturesque winter wonderland. As a result, it’s an excellent destination for those looking for festive fun. 

There are also plenty of fun winter activities for you to choose from during your time in Big Bear, whether you’re braving the slopes or looking for some delicious food to enjoy. 

Best Winter Activities Big Bear. 

While visitors to Big Bear are always in luck when it comes to finding something to do, we’ve put together a list of the best winter activities in Big Bear for you and your family to enjoy this year.

This includes: 

  • Skiing
  • Snowboarding 
  • Snowshoe tours
  • Snowtubing 
  • Horseback riding 
  • Drinking hot chocolate 
  • Ziplining 
  • Exploring Big Bear Lake
  • Visiting Big Bear Village.

Skiing & Snowboarding

Big Bear sits in the stunning Sierra Nevada mountain range, the perfect spot to indulge in skiing and snowboarding activities during the winter months. With slopes designed for beginners and more advanced sportsmen, this is an excellent location for families looking for some adventure over the winter months. There are two popular ski resorts in the area, spanning 400 acres between them – so there’s plenty of space to explore and shred. Many skiing facilities in the area also provide lessons and instructions for those who may be newer to the slopes so that you can gain some confidence and skill before beginning to explore. 

Snowshoe Tour

The Big Bear Discovery Center also runs a hugely popular Snowshoe tour, where attendees can “get to know some history and fun facts about the Valley” by heading out on a tour led by a friendly and experienced guide. There are various routes of difficulty levels to choose from, which means even the tiniest of explorers are able to come on board. However, you should ensure that you dress appropriately for the weather and level of activity you are participating in. 


Ready for a thrill? Snow Tubing is a great winter activity that the whole family can enjoy, as it doesn’t require as much skill (or effort) as the other activities that take you down the slopes. As a result, it’s fun for both smaller children and really big kids. Together, you’ll make lasting memories as you whizz down the slopes and see who can reach the bottom the fastest. There are various snow tubing spots throughout Big Bear, though some of the most popular is Big Bear Snow Play and Alpine Slide Big Bear. 

Horseback Riding

Horseback riding is another hugely popular activity in Big Bear, and while it can be enjoyed all year round, it is a particularly magical experience during the winter months. This is a fun family activity as you can sit back and relax while exploring the many sites of the San Bernardino National Forest, and children will love the opportunity to interact with horses! 

Tuck into a delicious hot chocolate

While hot chocolate is a delicious treat that can be enjoyed all year round, you’ve got to stop for a hot chocolate during your winter trip to Big Bear. Not only is this a treat for the tastebuds, but it gives you an excuse to get a little rest from your jam-packed activities schedule. This means you’ll have plenty of energy to continue with your day, whether you’re going ice skating or snowboarding! 

Big Bear Ziplining

Are you a family of thrillseekers looking to inject some speed into your winter getaway? The easiest way to achieve this goal is by joining the Big Bear Zipline Tour. This allows you to take in the sights from new heights (and speeds). In fact, Big Bear Adventures allows you to “fly through the forest at speeds up to 35 mph on nine high-speed zipline runs that gradually become longer, faster, and higher off the ground as you go.” This activity is recommended for children aged eight and above. 

Explore Big Bear Lake

When visiting Big Bear, a stroll around Big Bear Lake should also be considered an essential stop on your to-do list. During the warmer months, many visitors choose to take a dip in the lake itself, but during the winter, it’s better explored from the shore due to the cold temperatures. However, the icy lakeside is the perfect backdrop for your hike or stroll and will also make for great photographs of your trip. Be sure to make some snowmen or snow angels along the way! 

Visit Big Bear Village

No trip to Big Bear is complete without stopping by the Village itself, which is home to a range of award-winning eateries, cafes, and shops. Whether you’re picking up some souvenirs or looking for a sweet treat, there’s something for everyone here. For example, younger family members will love exploring Superhero Toys N More, where their favorite comic book characters leap from the page and come to life before their eyes. 

Visit Big Bear this winter

As you can see, there are endless opportunities for family fun in Big Bear and the surrounding areas. Whether you want to take a leisurely stroll through the village while enjoying delicious food and drink or put your nerve to the test when skiing, snowboarding or ziplining. There’s something for everyone to enjoy, from the youngest members of your family to the oldest. 

As a result, no matter what kind of schedule you put together, you’re sure to have fun, and Sessions Retreat & Hotel can accommodate you and your loved ones.