Eureka! Across the Valley, there are numerous places where gold (or pyrite) can be found. Kids and adults alike can hearken back to the old miners’ days by grabbing a pan and sifting for those shimmery nuggets. The Big Bear Discovery Center, The Big Bear Valley Historical Museum and Gold Rush Mining Adventures can unleash the inner prospector in anyone.
The Big Bear Discovery Center
Families and large groups should head over to the Discovery Center Saturday mornings from 10 a.m. to noon. With a trough that fits 20-plus people, the Discovery Center sees 50 to 100 people each Saturday during the summer.
“Once they can see it, their eyes get so big, then they get into it,” docent Mike Hoffman said of the kids who participate.
Kids can relive the second-largest gold strike in California at the time — the 1860s gold rush in Holcomb Valley. Cost is $3, and participants leave with their mined “gold,” a lanyard to contain their treasure and a certificate. The money raised goes to youth programs and other offerings at the Discovery Center.
The Big Bear Discovery Center is at 40971 North Shore Drive, Fawnskin. For more information, visit www.mountainsfoundation.org.
The Big Bear Valley Historical Museum
For those who really want to dive into the history of Big Bear Valley and pan like the olden days, the Big Bear Valley Historical Museum is the place for you.
Children pan for “fool’s gold” in a trough among numerous historical buildings while learning about the history of the era.
“It’s a highlight,” said docent…
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