Los Angeles is a big city known for movie studios, beaches, mild temps and palm trees. But L.A. is also a great place for winter sports. Really! Best winter sports for families in L.A. include outdoor ice skating, and nearby skiing and sledding. Experience Los Angeles as a winter wonderland southern California style.
Beaches, studios and cultural attractions may be the reason for visiting Los Angeles, but add winter sports to your itinerary. Ice skating and sledding are among the winter things to do with kids in L.A. While it doesn’t snow in L.A., it’s a short drive to skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and sledding. L.A.’s family winter sports round out a plethora of outdoor activities. If you’ll be in Los Angele soon, be sure to pack warm clothing in addition to swimsuits and flip-flops.
Winter Sports for Families in L.A. Outdoor Ice Skating
Outdoor ice skating tops the list of best winter sports for families in L.A. It’s among the most unique things do with kids in winter in L.A. While indoor ice skating is available year-round, L.A.’s seasonal outdoor rinks offer a festive and unique touch.Imagine skating under blue skies and swaying palms.
Ice Hockey for Families in L.A.
Ice hockey is among things to do with kids in winter in L.A. Join kids on the ice or sign them up for a team. Kids playing on an ice hockey team can pick up valuable skills and lessons. The LA Kings Valley Ice Center in Panorama City has great family programs.
The Kids First program features basic skating hockey skills. After about a month, kids progress to the In-House program. The center’s branding contract with the professional L.A. Kings team enables families game night tickets.
Ski Resorts Near Los Angeles
Skiing is a popular activity for L.A. families and lasts until spring. The 2018 Winter Olympics in February is great inspiration for learning to ski or snowboard. Get on board during the annual Learn to Ski & Snowboard program in January. Celebrating its 80th anniversary, Snow Valley unveiled SoCal’s first six-person, high-speed chairlift. The resort is in the San Bernardino Mountains. The small, family-friendly resort is ideal for a quick ski trip.
Also in the San Bernardino Mountains, Big Bear Mountain Resort has two separate areas for snow sports. Bear Mountain and Snow Summit offer skiing and snowboarding rentals, classes and children’s programs. Renting a cabin for a weekend in Big Bear are among best things do with kids in winter in L.A.
Located in the San Gabriel Mountains in L.A. County, Mountain High is L.A.’s closest resort. It’s popular with snowboarders but welcomes skiers and has a full-service Children’s Sports Center.
All three resorts are equipped with Adaptive Sports Centers so special needs kids can ski and snowboard too.
Cross-Country Skiing with Kids
Winter sports for families in L.A. include cross-country skiing. The classic winter sport offers an opportunity to explore snowy forests and meadows. Unlike downhill skiing, cross-country requires a technique similar to skating but on long thin skis. This enables you to traverse mostly flat terrain or gentle slopes. It’s quite a workout. However, it’s lots of fun too!
From L.A., it’s a short, easy drive north to the Mount Pinos Nordic Base in the Los Padres National Forest. Although open for Nordic skiing and snowshoeing in winter, there are no rental facilities.
Or head south to Rim Nordic in Running Springs. The area has over 10 miles of marked, groomed trails for all levels.
Winter Sports for Families: Snowshoeing
If you enjoy walking or hiking in nature, this could be a good sport for you. With a pair of snowshoes, you walk on top of the snow instead of sinking in up to your knees. On snowshoes, you can get away from the crowds for a quiet walk through the forest. It’s also a winter sport your dog can enjoy with your family.
Big Bear Lake has snowshoe rentals and plenty of areas to explore on your own. Guided eco-tours are offered at the Big Bear Discovery Center.
Sledding Hills for L.A. Families
The closest place for sledding from L.A. is the Frasier Park/Mount Pinos area in the Los Padres National Forest. The area gets lots of snow, so arrive early to beat the crowds. However, there’s not a designated sledding area. People bring their own sleds and find and find a good place to slide down.
At Snow Valley Snow Play, ride a chair a chairlift to the top. The zip down the snowy hills on sleds. Snow Valley even provides sleds. For snow tubing, head to Big Bear Snow Play and Alpine Slide at Magic Mountain in Big Bear. The North Pole Tubing Park at Mountain High is another good option. The tubing parks in Big Bear and Mountain High have magic carpets to transport you up the hill.