Big Bear

Park the Sleigh, Santa: It's Time to Snow Tube in Big Bear

Big Bear Snow Play welcomes Santa Claus for some tube-tastic runs down a snowy slope. Kids can also visit with Mr. Claus, too, at the lodge.

Big Bear Snow Play

What to Know

  • Big Bear Snow Play in Big Bear Lake
  • Saturday, Dec. 18
  • Visiting with Santa at the lodge is free; a Big Bear Snow Play ticket is $40

Santa Claus? It's pretty widely known that the toy-making icon keeps a fleet of fanciful vehicles, modes of transportation, and recreational devices stored in his North Pole garage.

In fact, Californians have seen the red-suited superstar arrive at different Golden State celebrations in recent years by boat, helicopter, surfboard, kayak, paddleboard, and, yes, the occasional traditional sleigh.

But if you want to spy Santa flying down a slope on a snow tube? You'll need to make for our local mountains, which do double, quite well, for Kris Kringle's cold hometown.

And because Christmas is still several days away, and the Jolly Old Elf has the magic required to make room in his jam-packed schedule, he'll be stopping by Big Bear Snow Play on Saturday, Dec. 18 to, oh yes, ride a snow tube.

He'll also be visiting the destination's lodge to visit with families, too, and hear a few Christmas wishes. There won't be a formal sort of snapshot studio set up, but do bring your own camera for a few quick photos.

Connecting with Mr. Claus at the lodge is free, but if you'd like to hop on your own inner tube and enjoy the chilly wonderland o' fun, that ticket is $40.

Big Bear Snow Play has been making snow since the middle of October, a process that's been helped by below-freezing temperatures over several fall evenings. Oh yes: The "powerful fan guns" behind the insta-snow are also a huge, huge help.

But some snow, straight from the sky, is in the forecast a few days ahead of Santa's Snow Play appearance. So conditions might be just perfect for a trip up the mountain for merriment, pictures, and some time on the tubes, maybe even in the near-vicinity of snow-tubin' Santa Claus.

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