There are endless things to see and do in Big Bear. However, due to the area’s popularity, most of Big Bear’s activities come with a cost. Don’t worry, though! With its wealth of natural beauty, historical sights, and family-friendly activities, Big Bear has a plethora of fascinating free things to do in Big Bear Lake, CA.
Big Bear Discovery Center
40971 N. Shore Dr. Hwy. 38
The Big Bear Discovery Center is the largest visitor center in Big Bear Valley and your place to go to learn everything about Big Bear Valley. Opened in 1998, the Discovery Center offers information and education about the area. They also offer free outdoor concerts, theatre productions, weekend nature walks, and interpretive programs. The Discovery Center also has all you need to know for going camping or hiking and is you place for maps, guidebooks, permits, and Adventure Passes. There is a $5.00 parking fee, however the Discovery Center itself is free.
Friday Nights in the Village
Every Friday night the quaint, historic village of Big Bear comes alive with family entertainment, an arts and crafts fair, great shopping, dining, and live music. Each week features new activities and experiences, such as cooking demonstrations, wine walks, and treasure hunts. Browse through Big Bear Village’s bounty of boutiques and galleries, or take a fascinating self-guided tour of the Village’s original 1800s structures which have been lovingly restored.
Movies on the Beach
41220 Park Ave.
Grab the kids and head over to the Swim Beach Amphitheater for Free Movies on the Beach. Every Friday night during the summer months Big Bear Valley Parks and Recreation hosts free family films under the stars, and while you are waiting for the film to begin the young ones can romp it up in the Bounce House. Coolers and lawn chairs are permitted, and snack bar food and refreshments are available. You’ll enjoy this free thing to do in Big Bear, CA more than you think!
Big Bear Farmer’s Market
Big Bear Convention Center
Corner of Big Bear Blvd. and Division
Every Tuesday morning during the spring and summer months, the Big Bear Farmer’s Market offers a super-fun way to spend a morning. An awesome free thing to do in Big Bear that includes more than fresh produce, you can peruse through unique arts and crafts made by local artisans, or shop for fresh local fruit, flowers and produce grown by family farmers. The Farmer’s Market was started in 1992 by then-college student Kerri Santoro as a way to educate the public on the importance of eating fresh, locally grown produce, and has since expanded to two Farmer’s Markets in the Big Bear area.
Big Bear’s mountain elevation makes it a prime place for viewing the night sky. For the best viewing, look away from the bright nighttime lights and avoid dusty areas. There are many excellent spots in Big Bear Valley for stargazing where you can easily see the moon, planets, and expansive views of the Milky Way. Enjoying the sky is always a fun free thing to in Big Bear Lake as it is everywhere, unless its cloudy!