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Big Bear Summer Events Offer Affordable Fun at Big Bear Lake, California


Big Bear Lake fishing
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Big Bear Provides Activities & Events Free of Charge During Economic Slowdown

Big Bear Lake offers a fun-filled vacation without having to reach deep into our wallets, and while many of us anticipate the cool, crisp autumn and Oktoberfest fun, some Big Bear events offer free admission now through September. Historical and nature-related activities that don’t cost a dime offer the perfect summer lift for those in a rut.

Ken Brengle, CEO of Big Bear Lake Resort Association, says there are lots of things to do, and one of his favorites is  the Antique Auto Show. It’s a free event where people can soak up the fresh, mountain air to the setting of classic cars in pine-forested surroundings of Big Bear Lake Village. "I never get bored,” said the mountain convert.

Free events in 2008 include the Antique Car Club Fun Run (Aug. 8-10), Old Miners Day Parade (Aug. 3), Discovery Center’s Movie in the Mountains Series (Aug. 14, 2008), Art on the Lake (Aug. 16-17), Antique Wooden Boat Show (Aug. 23-24), Big Bear Marathon (Sept. 6) and Big Bear Lake International Film Festival (Sept. 14, Sunday’s films only). Note: Dates will be different in 2009.

Free Fishing Day at Big Bear Lake will be held on Saturday, Sept. 27, 2008.  Fish from the shoreline or on a boat. A fishing license is not required to fish the lake on this date and Big Bear Municipal Water District waves its usual $15 single day-use boat permit fee.

In addition to special events, Big Bear visitors can learn about Big Bear’s rich history for free at the Big Bear Historical Museum every Saturday and Sunday through October 5. History buffs should also check out a free lecture about the History of Big Bear Valley presented by Adam Collings, author of “California West of the West,” on Thursday, August 21 at Big Bear Discovery Center .

Big Bear Discovery Center also gives people a chance to learn about local flora and fauna on its free guided nature walks every Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. Of course, one of the main reasons people choose to visit Big Bear is to get in touch with nature. Pine trees, deep blue skies, mountain vistas and a cool alpine lake are elements not available in most cities and suburbs. However, visitors can indulge in Big Bear’s natural beauty absolutely free.

Some no-cost activities include exploring the San Bernardino National Forest by foot or on wheels. While a Forest Adventure Pass  is required at $5 per day for parking on National Forest land, the investment is just a little more than a gym pass, and the exercise and entertainment are well worth the investment. 


Gotta swim?  Big Bear Lake is a great way to cool off with a cool mountain dip. The refreshing lake is open and vacationers can swim within 50 feet of the shore. Tennis, horseshoes (a mountain favorite,)  volleyball, softball, picnics and other summertime activities to the backdrop of blue skies make daytimes so amazing, many guests can't believe the colors of the sky they haven't seen for quite some time, living in L.A. or other city regions. At night, the stargazing is simply out of this world.

As gas prices continue to sky rocket, vacation planners will seek gas-saving alternatives this summer. Big Bear is a short drive from Los Angeles , Orange County , San Diego and even Las Vegas making it an attractive getaway for folks who don’t want to get gauged at the pumps. Now through November 23, 2008 visitors who stay overnight at one of Big Bear’s participating lodges receive up to $100 in free gas. A $25 gas card is issued to guests booking a one or two night stay, a $50 gas card for guests staying 3 or 4 nights, and a $100 gas card for five or more nights.

Restrictions for the Free Gas Card Promotion: Minimum night stays vary per lodge, and other restrictions may apply. The free gas card promotion must be mentioned at the time of booking. A $25, $50 or $100 gas card, redeemable at participating gas stations, will be given to the guest at check-in. Limit one gas card per reservation. This offer may not be used in combination with any other offer. The free gas card promotion ends November 23, 2008.

To learn about all of Big Bear’s free summer activities, events or the free gas card promotion log onto or call 1.800.4.BIG.BEAR (1.800.424.4232).