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Southern California Mountains Foundation

Summer Activities at the Big Bear Discovery Center

Southern California Mountains Foundation
Announces Summer Season Activities at the Big Bear Discovery Center

We are pleased to announce our 2017 summer activity schedule for the Big Bear Discovery Center.  “We have lots of fun activities going on all summer long here at the Big Bear Discovery Center.  All of our programs are designed for family fun and many of them are low cost or free,” says Wendy Craig, the manager of 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 our famous Music in the Mountain series that will feature the best classic rock and country tribute shows available nationally with a six-show schedule.  Volunteer opportunities are also always available! 

The Southern California Mountains Foundation’s mission to mobilize individuals to inspire and engage in environmental citizenship remains solid.  We believe connecting communities to public lands is the key to their survival.  The Mountains Foundation works to bridge the funding gap from declining public land agency budgets and add value to our local mountains through enhancing visitor experiences with the efforts of more than 700 trained volunteers and through our six powerful programs that focus on conservation, recreation, and education programs.

Kayak Eco-Tours

Saturdays: 9:00-11:00am/ 4:00-6:00pm

Sundays: 9:00am-11:00am

Dates: Please see website for availability

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

Canoe Eco-Tours

Fridays: 4:00pm-6:00pm

Sundays: 1:00pm-3:00pm

Dates: Please see website for availability

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

Nature Walks

Saturdays: 1:00 & 2:00pm (year-round)

Sundays: 11am & 12pm (year-round)

Join us for 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

Dates: Saturdays: May 13, May 27, June 10, July 1, July 15, July 29, August 12, August 26, September 2

Time: 9:30-10:30am

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

Dates: Thursday nights: June 1- September 2

Time: 7:00-8:00pm

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

Time: 8:00-9:00pm

Join the 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!

Nature Crafts

Dates: Saturdays, May 27, June 3, June 10, June 17, July 1, July 15, July 29, August 12, September 2

Times: 10:30-11:15am

Get inspired by nature to make fun crafts out of recycled materials. Appropriate for kids ages 5 and up. Free ~ Donations appreciated.

Gold Panning

Dates: Saturdays: May 27-September 2

Time: 10:00am-12:00pm

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

Time: 6:00pm

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.

Story Time

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

Time: 9:00-10:30am

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 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

Time: TBD

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

Time: TBD

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!

Pinecone Birdfeeders

Dates: Sundays, May 28, June 11 & 25, July 9 & 23, August 6 & 20, Sept 3

Time: 1:00pm-2:00pm

Connect with your feathered friends! Make a pinecone birdfeeder to put in your yard. Free!

Mountaintop Trail Rally

Date: Sunday, July 30

Time: TBD

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!

SCMF National Trails Day

Date: Saturday June 3, 2017

Time: 9:00am- 1:00pm

The Southern California Mountains Foundation is hosting a trails work day on the Cabin 89 trail, a popular hiking and mountain biking trail on the South Shore of Big Bear Lake for National Trails Day.  Participants can meet up at the Aspen Glen Picnic area and will be provided tools, gloves, and a free lunch!


Dates: Saturdays: May 20, June 17, July 15, August 19, September 16

Times: 9:00am-3:00pm

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.

Categories: Current Posts , Music in the Mountains , Discovery Center , Adopt a Trail