Big Bear, CA Trip Diary

A few weeks ago, we took Avery up to the snow for the first time! It was an absolute blast and she loved playing in the snow and yelling “snow” about every 30 seconds. It was the best little family get away and we stayed in the cutest AirBnb! Now that we know Avery actually likes the snow and is okay with the cold weather, we plan on making an annual trip up to the snow every year!

We left Orange County early in the morning and when we got into town, we parked the car and let Avery walk around their downtown area and play in the patches of snow that filled the neighborhood parking lots. After stretching our legs we hopped back in the car and drove to the Big Bear Alpine Zoo. The Zoo itself is not very big, but it’s spacious enough for little ones to run around and get some energy out! They are also a rescue zoo, which is why they don’t have a ton of animals- only ones that are unable to survive in the wild due to injuries, people wrongly purchasing for pets, etc. So a place like that has my support! Avery was pretty attached to the bear we saw when we first walked in and spent about 30 mins just watching it and pointing to it (really cute!!)

After the zoo, we went back into town for some lunch! Saucy Mama’s Pizzeria is a favorite spot of ours for whenever we visit so we had to get our pizza fix! Pro Tip- plan to wait about 30 mins to be seated anywhere you go for food in downtown Big Bear during the winter/”busy” season. Because there’s not a ton of options, most places are always pretty busy.

After lunch, we checked into our AirBnb and put Avery down for a little nap!

For dinner, we went to our favorite little Mexican spot in town, Laguna Grill! Joey’s a big fan of their horchata. Then we spent the evening walking around the town (in the freezing weather LOL) before heading back to the AirBnb.

Traveling with a toddler is definitely a whole different ball game than traveling solo with your partner, so we try to break up the day into different parts to keep Avery stimulated and happy. On vacation we also typically throw any type of schedule out the window and like to make Avery go with the flow and go with what we have planned (which also doesn’t ever involve a time schedule). All of that to say, Avery parties with us and doesn’t have a bedtime when we’re on vacation LOL. We just try to watch her cues and go off how she’s doing- if she’s starting to get irritated or fussy, we know its time to wind down a little and calm things down for her to sleep. Having an AirBnb is definitely preferred over a hotel so that we can go to a different room to do things while she sleeps!

Day 2 started with getting our name into a very popular joint for breakfast- Grizzly Manor Cafe. It’s a small little spot so we’ve always waited at least 40 min before being seated and you can usually tell how packed it is by the number of people waiting outside when you pull up. We put our name in first thing and then drove back to downtown to get me some coffee while we waited!

After breakfast, we walked around the neighborhood to let Avery frolic in the snow! After playing around, we went back into town for lunch at Fire Rock Burgers & Brews! After lunch it was time for tubing! We went to a place in Big Bear where we’d been tubing years ago (pre-baby) and Avery actually wasn’t tall enough to tube but they referred us to a place (a little ways back down the mountain) where tubing is based on age and did not have any height requirements. It was called Snowdrift Snow Tubing Park and I definitely recommend checking it out if you have a little one! Avery loved it!

After tubing, it was time to head home! We packed up the car and made our way back down the mountain, leaving our little snowy wonderland behind!

We had the absolute best little snow vacation and it was definitely a good little trip to kick off the new year feeling refreshed and grateful!

Packing for the snow can be tough (especially for little ones) so I’m going to breakdown and link everything I bought for Avery to make sure she was warm and waterproof!


+ black snow boots – definitely recommend! They come in a variety of colors and are a heavy duty snow boot! They were especially perfect for tubing!

+ black waterproof overalls – Avery wore these for tubing!!

+ purple Minnie Mouse jacket- this was a gift from Avery’s great-Aunt last year so I don’t have a link, but it is SO cute!

+ black waterproof mittens – finding gloves for her was definitely the hardest thing for me to find. These were great! A little big for Avery but they got the job done! Keeping for next year when they’ll probably fit a little bit better. They have tons of colors!

+ purple beanie – bought years ago, no link.

+ white snow boots – SO cute and SO easy to get on! These are velcro which make them easy to slip on and off, a little less heavy duty so Avery wore these while walking around and playing in the snow. The inside is faux fur so they’re definitely warm!

+ pink waterproof jacket- a gift from her Grandma! Came from Old Navy!

+ beige pom pom beanie – I had to find Avery one to match mine! This one was warm and comfortable for Avery (she didn’t ever try to take it off!) The pom pom is also detachable for easy washing!

+ black double pom pom beanie – I also bought Avery and I matching black beanies. I found Avery’s at Target!

Underneath all the waterproof top layers were leggings, sweatshirts, and long sleeves!


I actually only bought two things for myself and the rest of what I brought I already had. Tons of leggings and warm layers, multiple pairs of UGGS, and beanies! I didn’t have a waterproof jacket though, so I did have to shop for that! Joey also stopped by Columbia and bought us both waterproof vests and thermal long sleeves.

+ black, weatherproof jacket– SO glad I found this one! It was perfect to throw on top of all my layers and kept me warm! The inside is lined with cotton which makes it warm and cozy! Also has a detachable hood!

+ black double pom pom beanie

+ Columbia


Also, tons of layers which he already had and beanies!

+ Columbia vest – Joey bought us the men’s and women’s versions at the Columbia store, but here’s an Amazon link!

+ Columbia thermal long sleeve – same as above! I was unable to find a link for the women’s version.

+ Paladium waterproof boots – Joey found these and bought them! He can vouch for them and says they are great quality and stayed waterproof the whole trip!

I already cannot wait for our next trip to the snow!

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