Big Bear Discovery Center offers a lot of things to do when visiting Big Bear
when looking for things to do in Big Bear, tours, walks, canoes, kayaks and more offered at Big Bear Discovery Center
When looking for things to do in Big Bear one of your first stops should be the Big Bear Discovery Center.
Activities include kayak and canoe eco-tours, campfire talks, nature walks, geocaching, map and compass classes, nature crafts, night hikes, bird house building, story time, gold panning, an adventure race, rocket building, and the Music in the Mountain series that feature classic rock and country tribute shows with a six-show schedule.
Saturdays: 9:00-11:00am/ 4:00-6:00pm
Learn how to kayak on a guided tour of Big Bear Lake. Children must be at least 10 years old and all children need to be accompanied by an adult. Tour caravans to marina. Tours limited to 14 people, reservations required. Fee: $35 per person
Learn how to canoe on a leisurely 2-hour guided tour of beautiful Big Bear Lake. Children must be at least 6 years old and all need to be accompanied by an adult. Includes water and a snack. Tours caravan to the marina. Tours limited to 16 people, reservations required. Fee: $25 adults, Children (6-12yrs.) $15
Saturdays: 1:00 & 2:00pm (year-round)
Sundays: 11am & 12pm (year-round)
Meet at the Big Bear Discovery Center to enjoy a 45-minute nature walk on Saturdays and Sundays to learn about the local plant life, wildlife and some very interesting historical facts. This is a great activity for families and individuals who want to gain a greater appreciation for our National Forest. Nature walks are not strenuous and designed for all levels of physical conditioning. Free!
Build a Birdhouse
May 13, May 27, June 10, July 1, July 15, July 29, August 12, August 26, September 2
Bluebirds will love your yard with this well designed birdhouse that you can build! We will provide kits for individuals or families to build together during this program sponsored by Butcher’s Block. Class limited to 20 people, first come first serve. Fee: $6 per kit
Night Hikes-Cougar Crest Trail
Thursday nights: June 1- September 2
Join a Discovery Center Naturalist to explore how the forest changes as the sun goes down. Meet at Serrano campground kiosk at 7:00pm. Hikes are not strenuous and designed for all skill levels. Free!
Evening Programs-Discovery Center Amphitheater
Dates: May 26, May 27, June 2, June 3, June 9, June 10, June 16, June 17, June 23, June 30, July 1, July7, July 14, July 15, July 21, July 28, July 29, August 4, August 11, August 12, August 18, August 25, August 26, September 1
Join the Big Bear Discovery Center for an educational and entertaining evening program to teach visitors about the San Bernardino National Forest. Programs range from Campfires and Sing-Alongs to informational Ranger Talks. Sponsored by California Land Management. Suggested donation $5. Your donations help keep our programs free!
Dates: Saturdays, May 27, June 3, June 10, June 17, July 1, July 15, July 29, August 12, September 2
Get inspired by nature to make fun crafts out of recycled materials. Appropriate for kids ages 5 and up. Free ~ Donations appreciated.
Dates: Saturdays: May 27-September 2
Come learn how to pan for gold! Children will learn the process of gold panning, using real panning equipment. The “gold” is pyrite, and children can take home their findings along with an informational handout and a certificate! Fee: $3
Music in the Mountains Concert Series
Dates: June 24, July 8, July 22, August 5, August 19, September 2
Music in the Mountains Outdoor Summer Concert Series, in the Big Bear Discovery Center Amphitheater, is a fundraiser for the Discovery Center and Youth Education.
Dates: Saturdays: June 3, June 17, July 1, July 29, August 12
Times: 12:30pm & 1:30pm
Bring your youngsters to enjoy wonderful children’s books and snacks. Appropriate for children ages 6 and under. Free!
Intro to Geocaching
Dates: June 10, June 24, July 8, July 15, August 12, August 26
Learn how to get involved in the world wide scavenger hunt know as geocaching. You will learn how to navigate online to find caches, how to use a GPS unit to locate caches, and learn about environmental ethics associated with the sport. No experience necessary, all tools provided. Please call to sign-up ~ class limited to 15 people. (909) 382-2790. Free!
Hikes for Tykes
Dates/Times: See website for availability
Join an experienced naturalist at the Big Bear Discovery Center and join in on a kid-friendly hike along the Alpine Pedal Path. Meet at the bronze Grizzly in front of the Center. Free!
High Flying Rockets
Dates: Saturdays, see website for availability
Get a chance to build your own rocket from recycled materials, then see how high it flies! Class limited to 20. Sign up at the front desk.
Map & Compass
Dates: Saturdays, see website for availability
You won’t get lost in the woods with these skills! You will have the opportunity to walk a course to test the skills you have learned. Free!
Dates: Sundays, May 28, June 11 & 25, July 9 & 23, August 6 & 20, Sept 3
Connect with your feathered friends! Make a pinecone birdfeeder to put in your yard. Free!
Mountaintop Trail Rally
Date: Sunday, July 30
The Mountaintop Trail Rally is a fundraising event benefiting Big Bear’s Trail System through the Southern California Mountains Foundation and the Big Bear Valley Trails Foundation. No matter how you recreate, there is something for you with a competitive mountain bike race, non-competitive mountain bike ride, vertical mile running challenge, and a casual hike. All activities start and/or end at the top of Snow Summit, so all entry fees include a round-trip Sky Chair ride as well as lunch at Snow Summit’s Skyline Taproom. Come one, come all, and help shape Big Bear’s non-motorized trail system!
Dates: Saturdays: May 20, June 17, July 15, August 19, September 16
The U.S. Forest Service and the Southern California Mountains Foundation are seeking volunteers to help conduct ecological restoration projects at the Mountaintop Ranger Station Native Plant Nursery and on National Forest Lands. Meet at the Ranger Station.
When visiting the San Bernardino National Forest, and Big Bear, you might also enjoy the National Children’s Forest Visitor Center in Running Springs.
Big Bear is also a great place to visit for off road adventures. See our story on Big Bear off road adventures.