TRAVEL

Explore Big Bear, Ca. with babies and toddlers.

Enjoy the snow and mountains together with your family and kids in Southern California

Two hours from Los Angeles, California, at about 6,772 ft. high, is BIG BEAR LAKE, a small town that I have proclaimed “Christmas Village 365.” Because? Simply because 365 days a year, this beautiful place will make you feel that it is Christmas. You can feel the auspicious joy of December because of the low temperatures and the style of its cabins, which make you think that the little elves are playing and making toys for Christmas.

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 Traveling with small children

Traveling to Big Bear with babies or small children is possible. We took our baby when he was four months old to get  away from the heat and the 100 degree weather we had in our city.

On that one day trip we enjoyed an excellent Sunday walking with my baby through the Village of Big Bear. We listened to live music on the terrace of a restaurant and even did a bit of tourism taking my mom on a tour of the lake and got to know the church.

We returned again with our baby when he turned 18 months, this time to enjoy the Christmas season. He played happily in the snow while we enjoyed a beautiful sunny day in our “Christmas Village 365” at Christmas time.

On this trip we met Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus. They were kindly taking photos with children and families at no set cost.

We have enjoyed Big Bear on one day trips and longer stays so I have a couple of tips that I hope will help you enjoy this ride better.

Tips for round trips

1. Temperature: Always check how the weather will be, more than anything if there is a chance of rain or snow. On a day trip, the best thing with children is to go when the weather is quite favorable, with a mostly sunny skies.

2. Chains for Sedan Vehicles and Snow Tires for the 4x4s: If the weather will be sunny but snowed the day before it is better to take chains and know how to them put them on to be able to get up the mountain road without problems. For 4x4s you will need snow or all-terrain tires that are snow rated. 

3. Duration of the Trip: It is a trip of more or less 2 hours from Los Angeles. I recommend that you try to leave early, when the children are still half asleep. Leaving at dawn (between 5 am and 6 am) is ideal for letting children sleep for a while before they arrive.

4. Clothing and Accessories: Children’s clothing will depend on the season. If it is winter or early spring it is best to bring snow boots, jackets, pants and waterproof gloves. They are not necessary if you do not plan to play in the snow for a long time, but if it is in the plans it is better to be prepared.

If you just want to walk, it is always good to wear warm clothes for children in any season: coats, gloves, hats. Even in summer, because although the temperatures are very good, it can change at sunset  and can get breezy. 

5. First Aid Kit: Always having  a first aid kit is good on these walks, mostly in winter and extra blankets either to use on walks or during a picnic on the lake.

6. Return Time: Plan the return at 3:00 p.m., or earlier on the weekend. Big Bear is a highly visited place so this is the ideal time to avoid traffic jams. In winter remember that sunset is around 5:00 pm, so returning between 2:00 pm and 3:00 pm will avoid you having to drive at night.

Tips for long stays

For stays of more than one day I recommend all the above and in addition:

1. Food: Do not worry about buying food and bringing it up. In Big Bear there are supermarkets, including VONS and STATER BROS. There are also clothing stores, and a K-MART to get household items, etc. It is a city and they have everything.

2. Bring a humidifier: Something that we always carry with us is a humidifier As the temperatures are very low at night, your heater will always be on. But for my baby and me it  means dry air  for our nose. So we always pack the humidifier.

3.Hiking and Fishing: In summer and autumn do not forget to bring sneakers and backpacks to enjoy hiking the mountain and also a fishing pole to try to catch some trout or catfish in the lake.

4. During the  snow season: In winter do not forget the waterproof clothes for the whole family. You can reserve ski or snowboarding classes or just go sledding in the snow. You can reserve all these activities on the same day at one of the local ski resorts or online

I hope you enjoy your day trip  or stay in the Christmas Village 365, at any time of the year.

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