Winter break family fun

Big Bear Snow Play at the former ski area known as Rebel Ridge in Big Bear Lake has been a family favorite for generations. PHOTO COURTESY VISIT CALIFORNIA

The holidays are over but the kids are still out of school. What to do? Here’s a few ideas to enjoy Winter break family time.

Find Snow

What could be more fun than a snow day? It’s winter break and now is the time to find some winter fun. 

Big Bear Lake

Try snow tubing at Big Bear Snow Play or the Alpine Slide at Magic Mountain. Best of all, you won’t even have to climb a hill. A “Magic Carpet” carries riders to the top at Big Bear Snow Play, and a scenic chairlift ride brings guests to the top of the Alpine Slide, Southern California’s only authentic  bobsled experience. 

Big Bear Snow Play

42825 Big Bear Blvd.

Big Bear Lake


Alpine Slide at Magic Mountain

800 Wildrose Lane

Big Bear Lake


Frazier Mountain

Mount Pinos and Chula Vista Campground usually have a nice dusting of the white stuff during the winter. There are good hills for sledding, and ample parking. At elevations of 7,800 and 8,300 feet, the Los Padres National Forest campgrounds transform into winter wonderlands. Always carry chains as the snow can get deep. You will also need an Adventure Pass displayed on your car. However, these areas offer free snow play. 


Green Valley Lake

This sunny San Bernardino National Forest location is the home of Snowdrift Tubing Park, Southern California’s oldest and largest snow tubing park offering downhill tubing fun for novice, intermediate and advanced tubers in the Green Valley Lake Recreation Area. Cash only. 

Snowdrift Tubing Park

34600 CA-18, Green Valley Lake


Running Springs

Snow Valley Mountain Resort operates a family friendly snow play area, with downhill sledding daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and lift-served Fridays through Sundays as well as during holiday periods. Enjoy a scenic chairlift ride followed by the longest downhill sled ride in the region.

Snow Valley Mountain Resort

35100 CA-18, Running Springs



Mountain High’s snow play area is fun for children and non-skiers looking to enjoy the snow. North Pole Tubing Park is open daily through Jan. 8 and features 10 lanes, two moving carpets and custom tubes.

Mountain High North Pole Tubing Park

4 N 21, Llano

Mountain High Resort snow play

24510 CA-2, Wrightwood


Following the Rose Parade, walk within feet of the floral and animated masterpieces parked along Sierra Madre and Washington Boulevards. PHOTO COURTESY VISIT CALIFORNIA

See Rose Parade Floats

Every year after the last float rumbles down Colorado Boulevard in the Rose Parade, the floats remain on display so visitors can see these magnificent creations up close. Following the Rose Parade, walk within feet of the floral and animated masterpieces parked along Sierra Madre and Washington Boulevards. The floats will be available for viewing all day on Jan. 2. Tickets are $20 per person. 

East Sierra Madre and East Washington Boulevards, Pasadena


Visit Children’s Nature Retreat

The Children’s Nature Retreat welcomes visitors of all ages, allowing everyone to enjoy and explore the beautiful and tranquil surroundings at their leisure. This magical and serene ranch-style retreat, with its 20-acres of terrain, is a safe haven to more than 120 domesticated livestock and exotic animals from around the world. The retreat is specifically designed to help children develop a sense of wonder for nature and its inhabitants through unstructured exploration and learning.

Tickets, from $18, include animal feeding with the food provided. No outside food is allowed. Enjoy animal interaction from outside the enclosures. Free parking. 

5178 Japatul Spur Alpine


Winter Fest

Alpine Village, will include a snow-play and slide area that features fresh snow, inflatables, a craft tent, food trucks, a toddler play area and the festival of lights with a 100-foot animated light tunnel. Event takes place through Jan. 5.

Orange County Fair and Event Center

88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa


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