10 Festive Things To Do In Big Bear This Thanksgiving Weekend

things to do in big bear thanksgiving weekend

As the leaves turn golden and the chill of winter approaches, Thanksgiving marks the start of the holiday season. And what better way to celebrate the holiday than heading to Big Bear, nestled in the heart of California's San Bernardino Mountains? This charming mountain resort town offers an array of festive activities that will make your Thanksgiving weekend unforgettable. From snowboarding down the slopes to indulging in a hearty feast, here are 10 things to do in Big Bear during Thanksgiving weekend.

Activity Description
Skiing Big Bear Mountain Resort offers skiing opportunities to its visitors with multiple options of terrains to choose from.
Snowboarding Big Bear Mountain Resort also offers snowboarding opportunities to its visitors with varying terrains for different skill levels.
Sledding A popular family-friendly activity, visitors can bring or rent sleds to sled down the snowy hills.
Hiking The surrounding mountains and forests create picturesque trails for hikers to explore.
Horseback Riding Take in the beautiful scenery on horseback through local trails.
Fishing Big Bear Lake offers excellent fishing opportunities for trout and bass.
Zipline Adventure Experience the thrill of zooming down mountain ridges with a zipline tour.
Mountain Biking Big Bear has a variety of trails for mountain bikers from easy to advanced.
Shopping Big Bear Village has many shops and stores offering unique gifts, souvenirs, and outdoor gear.
Dining Enjoy a delicious meal at one of the many local restaurants serving up classic American cuisine and fresh seafood.


Hit the slopes at Snow Summit

Source: Big Bear Mountain Resort

The Thanksgiving weekend is a great time to visit Snow Summit, as the snow usually starts falling in late November. Whether you're an experienced skier or snowboarder, or just want to give it a try, Snow Summit has something for everyone.

The resort offers a variety of terrain, from beginner slopes to advanced runs. If you're new to skiing or snowboarding, the resort's Ski and Snowboard School can help you get started. You can take lessons with experienced instructors who will help you master the basics of skiing or snowboarding.

If you're looking for an adrenaline rush, Snow Summit has several black diamond runs. These expert-level slopes will challenge even the most experienced skiers and snowboarders. There are also terrain parks where snowboarders and freestyle skiers can try out their tricks and jumps.

After a day on the slopes, head to the village for some après-ski activities. There are plenty of restaurants and bars where you can grab a bite to eat or a warm drink. You can also check out some of the shops, which sell ski gear and souvenirs.

If you're planning on spending Thanksgiving weekend in Big Bear, there are also several other activities to enjoy in the area. You can go hiking, mountain biking, or take a scenic drive around the lake. You can also visit the Big Bear Alpine Zoo, which is home to over 160 species of animals, including bears, wolves, and mountain lions.

Overall, spending Thanksgiving weekend at Snow Summit in Big Bear Lake is a great way to celebrate the holiday. Whether you're a seasoned skier or snowboarder, or want to try something new, Snow Summit has something for everyone. So pack your bags, grab your skis or snowboard, and hit the slopes!


Take a scenic tour on the Big Bear Scenic Byway

Source: Santa Clarita Valley Signal

If you're headed to Big Bear for Thanksgiving weekend, be sure to add a scenic tour on the Big Bear Scenic Byway to your itinerary. This 27-mile road winds its way through the San Bernardino Mountains and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscapes. Here's what you can expect on your journey.

First, start by fueling up at one of the many cafes or diners in Big Bear Lake. You'll want to have a full tank and some snacks for the ride. Then, head east on Highway 18, also known as Rim of the World Drive. As you climb in elevation, you'll be treated to panoramic views of the valley below.

One of the first stops on the byway is the discovery center. This visitor's center offers environmental education, guided hikes, and a museum that highlights the region's history. Take some time to learn about the area before continuing on your journey.

Next up is the overlook at Keller Peak Fire Lookout. This vantage point offers a 360-degree view of the surrounding mountains and valleys. On a clear day, you can even see as far as the Mojave Desert.

Further along the byway, you'll come across the town of Forest Falls. This quaint little town is nestled in a valley surrounded by towering pines. Take a break from the car and stretch your legs by exploring one of the hiking trails or grabbing a bite to eat at the local cafe.

As you continue eastward, you'll pass through the community of Angelus Oaks, known for its outdoor recreational activities like hiking, camping, and fishing. If you have the time, consider stopping at the nearby Jenks Lake for a picnic or a quick swim.

The final destination on the Big Bear Scenic Byway is the ski resort area of Snow Valley. During the winter months, this area offers skiing and snowboarding. In the summer, it's a popular spot for mountain biking and hiking.

The Big Bear Scenic Byway offers a glimpse into the natural beauty of Southern California. With stops along the way that cater to both outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs, this drive is a must-do for anyone visiting Big Bear Thanksgiving weekend. So take your time, enjoy the views, and create unforgettable memories.

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Go on a forest hike at the Discovery Center

Source: OnlyInYourState

Thanksgiving is a cherished holiday in America, where families and friends come together to celebrate their blessings and enjoy quality bonding time. Big Bear, a picturesque mountain town in California, is a popular destination to enjoy Thanksgiving weekend. One of the activities that visitors should not miss is the forest hike at the Discovery Center.

The Discovery Center is an educational hub that showcases the beauty and ecology of the San Bernardino National Forest, which surrounds Big Bear Lake. The center offers a range of exhibits, interactive displays, and guided tours to inspire visitors to appreciate and protect the local ecosystem.

On a forest hike, visitors can experience the serenity and grandeur of the wilderness while learning about the flora and fauna that thrive in the forest. The Discovery Center has several trails that cater to different levels of fitness and interest. Visitors can choose from an easy one-mile loop around the center or a more challenging hike up to the Cougar Crest Trailhead.

One of the most popular hikes is the Woodland Interpretive Trail, which is a gentle pathway that winds through the forest and showcases a variety of trees, shrubs, and wildflowers. Along the trail, hikers can observe different wildlife habitats, such as a beaver pond, a bird blind, and a hummingbird garden. The trail also has informative signs that explain the ecology and history of the forest, including the role of fire, erosion, and conservation.

Another exciting trail is the Siberia Creek Trail, which is a moderate hike that passes through a diverse landscape of meadows, streams, and forests. The trail offers stunning views of the San Gorgonio Wilderness and is a favorite spot for birdwatching, fishing, and picnicking. The Siberia Creek Trail also passes by the historic Santa Ana River Flume, which is a unique engineering feat that transported water to irrigate citrus groves in the Inland Empire over a century ago.

Whichever trail visitors choose, they can be assured of a memorable and educational outdoor adventure at the Discovery Center. Thanksgiving weekend is an ideal time for a forest hike, as the weather is crisp and autumnal, and the forest is adorned with fall foliage. Visitors should dress in layers, wear comfortable hiking shoes, and bring water, snacks, and sunscreen.

After the hike, visitors can stop by the Discovery Center's gift shop and cafe, where they can purchase souvenirs, books, and snacks. They can also explore the center's exhibits, which include a map room, a forestry station, and a nature playground for kids.

In conclusion, a forest hike at the Discovery Center is a must-do activity during Thanksgiving weekend in Big Bear. The hike offers a fun and educational way to enjoy the natural beauty and history of the San Bernardino National Forest. Visitors can rejuvenate their minds and bodies while gaining a deeper appreciation for nature and conservation.


Experience the magic of the Alpine Slide

Source: Big Bear Property Services

If you're looking for something to do in Big Bear during Thanksgiving weekend, one activity you won't want to miss is the Alpine Slide. Located in the heart of Big Bear Lake, the Alpine Slide is an attraction that provides hours of fun for families and individuals.

What is the Alpine Slide, you ask? It's a combination of a bobsled ride and a roller coaster. You ride on a small car that takes you down a curvy, twisting track while you control your speed with a handbrake. It's a thrill ride, but suitable for all ages - you can speed down the track as fast as you want or slow down and take in the beautiful scenery.

The Alpine Slide is open all year round, but Thanksgiving weekend is a particularly special time to experience it. The fall foliage is at its peak and the mountain air is crisp and refreshing. The slide is open from 10am to 4pm on weekdays and 9am to 5pm on weekends, with extended hours during holiday periods.

Besides the Alpine Slide, there's also a water slide at the same location. The water slide is less intense than the Alpine Slide, but still a ton of fun. The water slide is open during the summer months, but there's no reason why you can't do both the Alpine and water slide in one day!

If you're hungry after all the excitement, there's a snack bar at the Alpine Slide serving up burgers, hot dogs, and other tasty treats to refuel before your next adventure.

In conclusion, if you're planning on spending Thanksgiving weekend in Big Bear, make sure to visit the Alpine Slide for an unforgettable experience. It's an attraction that will leave you with lasting memories and maybe even a few screams of delight!

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Shop local at the Big Bear Village

Source: Destination Big Bear

As Thanksgiving approaches, the beautiful Big Bear Village is preparing for the holiday season. This popular mountain town is known for its awe-inspiring views, beautiful lakes, and outdoor recreation, making it an ideal place to spend your long weekend. And, if you're looking for a great place to shop and support local small businesses, then Big Bear Village is the perfect destination.

The Big Bear Village is a gem of a place, located within the San Bernardino National Forest in Southern California. This quaint village is a hub of charming local shops and stores, perfect for holiday shopping. With countless small shops, you'll find something for everyone on your list, from artisan gifts and souvenirs to premium winter woolen wear to satisfy the needs of the whole family. Whether you're looking for one-of-a-kind jewelry, homemade soaps, or gourmet delights, the Big Bear Village has it all.

There has never been a better time to support small businesses, especially in the present circumstances. This holiday weekend, why not come to Big Bear Village and shop local? You'll find great deals and a unique selection of goods that you won't find anywhere else. Besides, you will be supporting the livelihoods of local craftspeople and small business owners, who are working hard to provide their customers with the best experience possible.

In addition to the local artisans' stores, the village is also home to cozy restaurants, cafes, and pubs. After an intense day shopping local treasures, you can relax with family and friends around a fire over hearty brats and beer or locally brewed coffee and pastries.

In conclusion, the Big Bear Village is the place to be with your family to enjoy shopping locally after a successful Thanksgiving dinner. With unmatched quality, wide selections of unique crafts, delicious food options, and warm company, the Big Bear Village is the perfect spot for you and your loved ones. Come support small businesses and have an experience like never before.


Enjoy the holiday lights at the Big Bear Zoo

Source: TODAY

As Thanksgiving approaches, the small town of Big Bear in Southern California becomes a winter wonderland filled with holiday cheer. If you're planning a weekend getaway to Big Bear for Thanksgiving, don't miss the chance to visit the Big Bear Zoo and enjoy the holiday lights!

Located in the heart of Big Bear Lake, the Big Bear Alpine Zoo is a unique wildlife sanctuary that focuses on rehabilitating and releasing injured or orphaned animals in the area. During the holiday season, the zoo transforms into a winter wonderland with beautiful light displays and festive decorations.

Visitors will be amazed by the hundreds of twinkling lights that adorn the outdoor animal enclosures. You'll see everything from illuminated snowmen and reindeer to life-size polar bears and penguins. The zoo's resident animals are always a hit with visitors too, especially during the cooler months when many are more active. Don't miss the chance to see lynx, bald eagles, and grizzly bears up close!

One of the highlights of the Big Bear Zoo's holiday festivities is their annual "Festival of Lights" event, which usually starts the weekend after Thanksgiving. During this event, the zoo is open in the evenings, allowing visitors to experience the magic of the holiday lights after dark. You'll be able to stroll through the zoo while sipping hot cocoa and listening to live holiday music.

If you're bringing kids to the Big Bear Zoo, they'll love the opportunity to take a photo with Santa Claus and his reindeer. The zoo also offers festive crafts and activities for children, including the chance to make a unique holiday ornament to take home.

The Big Bear Zoo encourages visitors to purchase tickets in advance to avoid long lines at the entrance. The zoo is open every day of the week except Christmas Day, and offers a variety of ticket options including annual passes.

In conclusion, the Big Bear Zoo offers a unique and memorable way to enjoy the holiday season in Southern California. Don't forget to add this attraction to your Thanksgiving weekend itinerary and experience the magic of the holiday lights!


Satisfy your sweet tooth at the Copper Q Bakery

Source: Fine Art Canvas
Characteristic Description
NameThe Copper Q
TypeCoffee shop
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count4.2 / 625
Address645 Pine Knot Ave b, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
Phone(909) 878-4777
HoursWednesday - opens at 7 AM and closes at 7 PM
Thursday - opens at 7 AM and closes at 7 PM
Friday - opens at 7 AM and closes at 7 PM
Saturday - opens at 7 AM and closes at 9 PM
Sunday - opens at 7 AM and closes at 9 PM
Monday - opens at 7 AM and closes at 7 PM
Tuesday - opens at 7 AM and closes at 7 PM

Thanksgiving is around the corner, and if you're spending the holiday weekend in Big Bear, California, you're in for a treat. Big Bear is a charming mountain town that offers a variety of exciting activities, ranging from skiing to hiking, and everything in between. But, what's a holiday weekend without some delicious treats to indulge in? If you have a sweet tooth, you’re in luck – the Copper Q Bakery is the place to be.

Located in the heart of Big Bear, Copper Q Bakery is a sweet haven. It is one of the most popular bakeries in town, known for its mouth-watering treats that cater to every taste bud. Whether you're in the mood for a classic cupcake or a more elaborate dessert, Copper Q Bakery has something to keep you happy. During Thanksgiving weekend, the bakery offers a range of festive treats that will add some sweetness to your holiday.

If you're looking for something out of the ordinary, try the pumpkin cheesecake baked fresh every holiday season. This rich, creamy cheesecake is a perfect dessert for Thanksgiving. The gingerbread cookies are also a popular treat during the holiday season. The buttery, spiced flavors make them a great after-dinner dessert, or you can even take them home as a souvenir to savor later.

If you're a fan of cupcakes, you can't go wrong with the vanilla or chocolate cupcakes. They are the perfect size for a quick snack or a sweet treat after a day filled with activities in Big Bear. Plus, the cupcakes with Thanksgiving themed-toppings are a festive addition to your holiday weekend.

If you're gluten-free, you’re in luck! Copper Q Bakery offers gluten-free cupcakes and cookies baked to perfection. The bakeries' gluten-free options are just as good as their regular treats.

While in Big Bear, the Copper Q Bakery is a must-visit destination. It’s the perfect place to satisfy your sweet tooth and indulge in some of the most delicious treats you'll ever taste. The holiday season at Copper Q Bakery is the perfect time to try some of their Thanksgiving-themed treats, which are a true delight. The bakery is open throughout the Thanksgiving weekend, so be sure to stop by and pick up some goodies.


Take a horse-drawn carriage ride through town

Source: www.bigbearcarriages.com

Thanksgiving weekend is a time for families to come together and enjoy each other's company. Big Bear Lake offers a variety of activities and events that are sure to keep everyone entertained during this festive time of year. One of the most popular activities during the Thanksgiving weekend is taking a horse-drawn carriage ride through town.

The horse-drawn carriage ride is a classic mode of transportation that offers a glimpse into the past. It is a peaceful experience and a great way to see the town of Big Bear Lake. The carriage ride takes you through the charming streets of Big Bear Lake, adorned with festive decorations and lights, adding to the holiday atmosphere.

The ride begins at the heart of the town, where the horses are harnessed and attached to the carriage. The carriage is big enough to accommodate a family of four, making it a great activity for a family outing. The coachman drives the horses through town, providing interesting commentary on the history and sights of Big Bear Lake while pointing out significant landmarks and historical sites.

One of the highlights of the horse-drawn carriage ride is the opportunity for children to interact with the horses. The horses are gentle and friendly, providing a great opportunity for children to get up close and personal with these magnificent animals. They can stroke their manes, feed them treats, and learn about their care and upkeep.

The horse-drawn carriage ride in Big Bear Lake is a wonderful way to start or end a Thanksgiving day feast or to spend quality time with family and friends, and admire the magnificent scenery of Big Bear Lake. However, it is essential to book your ride in advance to avoid disappointment, as it tends to be a popular activity during Thanksgiving weekend.

So, if you're looking for a unique and unforgettable experience this Thanksgiving weekend, look no further than the horse-drawn carriage ride in Big Bear Lake.


Catch a movie at the Big Bear Lake International Film Festival

Source: LATF USA

As Thanksgiving weekend approaches, you may be planning a getaway to Big Bear Lake to enjoy the great outdoors and stunning scenery. However, did you know that Big Bear Lake is also home to the International Film Festival? This year, why not take a break from nature and enjoy some culture by catching a movie or two at the festival?

The Big Bear Lake International Film Festival started in 2000 and has since grown to be a popular event, attracting filmmakers and movie buffs from all over the world. The festival takes place over several days during the long Thanksgiving weekend and screens a wide range of films, from short documentaries to feature-length dramas.

One of the best things about the festival is that it offers something for everyone. Whether you're a fan of independent cinema, or you prefer big-budget Hollywood blockbusters, you're sure to find something to enjoy. In addition to feature films, the festival also showcases student films, animations, and experimental works, so you can discover emerging talent or see something truly unique and innovative.

Another great thing about the festival is its location. Big Bear's natural beauty provides the perfect backdrop for enjoying some exceptional filmmaking. The festival venues include The Performing Arts Center, Big Bear Village Theaters, and The Cave, so you can choose the setting that suits you best.

In between screenings, why not take a stroll around the charming mountain town of Big Bear Lake? There are plenty of shops, cafes, and restaurants to explore, and you can even try your hand at winter sports like skiing and snowboarding.

Tickets for the festival are reasonably priced and can be purchased online in advance or at the door. So, if you're looking for something different to do this Thanksgiving weekend, head to Big Bear Lake and catch a movie at the International Film Festival. It's an experience not to be missed!


Feast on a traditional Thanksgiving meal at one of the local restaurants

Source: RS Vacations

Thanksgiving is a time when families and loved ones come together to express gratitude for all the blessings in their lives. Big Bear Lake, nestled in the picturesque San Bernardino Mountains of Southern California, is an ideal place to spend the holiday weekend with its stunning fall colors and crisp air. If you're planning a trip to Big Bear for Thanksgiving, you’ll be pleased to know that there’s no shortage of places to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving meal.

One of the best ways to experience Thanksgiving is by dining out at one of the local restaurants in Big Bear Lake. Many of these establishments offer special Thanksgiving menus that are sure to satisfy your taste buds. From roasted turkey to pumpkin pie, your cravings for the delicious classics will be satisfied here. You'll also have the pleasure of relaxing with your loved ones as you share a hearty meal.

One of the most beloved spots to have a Thanksgiving meal is Peppercorn Grille. This fantastic restaurant reflects both modern and traditional flavors which will enhance the spirit of the festive. For an extra touch of elegance try The Pines, where the chef prepares a superb seasonal menu, served elegantly in their sophisticated dining area. The numerous food options are sure to please everyone in your gathering with a full table of favorite dishes.

If you prefer a more casual dining experience, Nottingham’s Tavern and the Big Bear Mountain Brewery put on a Thanksgiving feast that pairs perfectly with a pint of their flagship beer. You’ll enjoy football games on the TV while savoring fresh seasonal and traditional fare. Or you could try Wyatt’s Café & Saloon, a cozy spot that has been serving up Thanksgiving fare to Big Bear visitors for years. With its Wild West atmosphere, it is a great place to spend quality time with family.

As you can see, Big Bear has it all when it comes to a feast. Reserve your spot at one of these fantastic places and make your Thanksgiving meal unforgettable. Whether choosing a cozy dinner or a lively entertaining spot, you're in for an experience that’s hearty, warm and sure to please everyone. Accompanied by the incomparable scenic views of the San Bernardino mountains and vibrant autumn colors, it promises to be an unforgettable Thanksgiving meal in the heights of Big Bear Lake.

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Frequently asked questions

Skiing and snowboarding are popular activities during and after Thanksgiving weekend in Big Bear. There are two ski resorts in the area, Snow Summit and Bear Mountain, both offering runs for varying skill levels. Additionally, there are hiking trails, biking paths, and horseback riding tours available for those who want to experience the beauty of Big Bear's natural surroundings.

Big Bear hosts the annual Turkey Trot, a 3- or 6-mile run that takes place on Thanksgiving morning. There is also a tree lighting ceremony and parade that kicks off the holiday season. For foodies, there is the "Big Bear Mountain" Oktoberfest, which serves up German fare and beer, and of course, Thanksgiving dinners are available at many restaurants throughout the town.

There are several indoor activities to enjoy, including exploring cultural institutions such as the Big Bear History Museum and the Big Bear Discovery Center. For an afternoon of relaxation, visitors can indulge in spa treatments, yoga classes, or meditation sessions. There are also numerous shopping opportunities at local boutiques and gift shops, perfect for holiday gift giving.

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Shauna Winters

I've been going to Big Bear for Thanksgiving weekend for years, and it never disappoints. One of my must-do activities is visiting the Big Bear Alpine Zoo. It's such a unique experience to see the animals in their winter habitats and learn about the conservation efforts happening here. Another fun thing to do is go ice skating at The Bowling Barn. They set up a temporary ice rink during the winter months, and it's so much fun to glide across the ice with family and friends. Big Bear truly has something for everyone during Thanksgiving weekend, and I can't wait to go back again this year.

Josiah Melendez

Thanksgiving weekend in Big Bear is a wonderful time to explore the great outdoors. I highly recommend taking a scenic hike around Big Bear Lake. The crisp air and beautiful fall foliage make for a picturesque adventure. If you're up for a challenge, you can even tackle the Cougar Crest Trail, which offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. After a day of hiking, I love treating myself to a warm cup of hot chocolate at one of the cozy cafes in Big Bear Village. It's the perfect way to unwind and soak in the holiday spirit.

Roisin Donaldson

I absolutely love spending Thanksgiving weekend in Big Bear! One of my favorite things to do is to go skiing or snowboarding at Bear Mountain. The slopes are always well-maintained, and the views from the top are breathtaking. After a day on the mountain, I like to cozy up by the fireplace in our cabin and enjoy a delicious Thanksgiving feast with family and friends. Big Bear has such a charming and festive atmosphere during this time of year, it's the perfect place to make lasting holiday memories.
Thank you for sharing your love for spending Thanksgiving weekend in Big Bear! Skiing or snowboarding at Bear Mountain sounds like a thrilling way to enjoy the holiday. The well-maintained slopes and breathtaking views must make for an unforgettable experience. Cozying up by the fireplace in a cabin sounds incredibly inviting, especially after a day on the mountain. Enjoying a delicious Thanksgiving feast with loved ones in such a charming and festive atmosphere sounds like the perfect way to create lasting holiday memories. I'm glad you have found a special place to celebrate Thanksgiving.

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