After months and months inside, I escaped what feels like a never-ending assembly line of difficult! My overwhelming feelings of being lost and unprepared get to me! So to get away and find some rest and relaxation, we drove to the mountains with my brood of kids and dogs. (And silently thanked my friends who own a cabin up in Big Bear.) Even though it was only for a weekend, my family and I needed this mental break to get away, have fun, and just feel a little bit normal!
Big Bear Lake is a manmade lake. The first dam was created in 1885 before it was expanded upon in 1910, tripling the amount of water in the lake.
Enjoy the Fresh Snow
Of course, we still stayed away from crowds and didn’t venture out into town due to COVID-19, but with all the snow and beautiful nature there was still so much to do! Bobby and I took the kids sleigh riding, and there’s plenty of places to do it for free. And the kids loved playing in the snow (what kid doesn’t?). They even created their own obstacle courses to try to beat each other in a bunch of snowy challenges. We had snowball fights—parents vs. kids. (They won.) And whenever we venture up to the mountains we always make a snowman together as a family. It’s one of our Schaffer traditions!
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Cozy Up Together Inside
Since we were able to stay at a friend’s cabin during our stay we had the place to ourselves! We made the most of it with a big cozy fire, steaming mugs of hot chocolate (with extra marshmallows), and board games. The kids loved playing Sequence, and it’s great for your middle school kids. Even though we have similar game nights at home, doing it in a new space after a day of playing in the snow was just the kind of break we needed.
Big Bear Lake has hosted major film studios since the inception of the industry. Lassie, Old Yeller, The Parent Trap, and The Last of the Mohicans were all filmed in the area.
Head Out to the Mountain
When we did decide to go out we did our best to beat the crowds at the slopes. My number one tip for beating the ski crowds? Get to the mountain an hour before it opens. Because of COVID-19 people are taking to the mountains for safe, open-air getaways. It’s a great way to safely travel, but it can still get a little busy. You’ll feel safer if you’re able to get started at the beginning of the day before most people start to arrive.
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Take a Break With the Family
I encourage you to do what you have to do (safely) to take a mental break! This has been the craziest roller coaster of highs and lows we have ever experienced and I truly have my moments of crying in a corner. I needed a reset and the mountains always seem to do that for all of us. What are you doing to take that mental and physical break?
Big Bear is home to one of the nation’s only solar observatories and alpine zoos for injured and rehabilitated wildlife.