40 Hours of Fall Family Fun in Mammoth Lakes

Aug 24, 2022

Let’s face it, fall can be a crazy time for families. You’ve got the back-to-school grind dialed in and weekends are filled with everything from soccer and scouts to birthday parties and football. But the fall can also be a terrific time for a weekend getaway escape before the holiday season arrives. It’s a great time to come to Mammoth Lakes, where we’re currently experiencing fantastic weather—daytime highs in the 60s—a pleasant situation compared to the record heat wave elsewhere in California. So don’t wait to come on up, cool off, and enjoy some incredible bargains and beautiful foliage!

Here’s a sample itinerary for you:

Friday

Accommodations

You’ll find a lot of lodging available at bargain prices in the fall. Some family favorites to consider include the Westin Monache Resort, Empeiria High Sierra Hotel, and Alpenhof Lodge. Shop around for the best option for your family’s needs and budget.

Food

After a long week and an afternoon of traveling, nothing beats a casual Friday night dinner. Consider grabbing a pizza or some Asian food to enjoy in your room, or enjoy a margarita while the kids hang out in the sandbox at Gomez’s. For some extra flair, head out to Sierra Meadows Ranch and Dos Alas CubaRican Café and Lounge.

Late Night

To top off your evening, pay a visit to the new Mammoth Rock ‘N’ Bowl, where you’ll find 12 lanes for bowling, 3 golf simulators, foosball, darts, ping pong and arcade games. Open until midnight and fun for everyone.

Saturday

Morning Beverages

Whether your hotel includes breakfast, you check out a restaurant, or placate the kids with fruit and cereal in your room, no doubt you’ll be ready for a good dose of caffeine to get in gear for the day ahead. Sure, we have Starbucks or head to Main St. For a more local vibe with organic brews, Stellar Brew is the spot to grab a morning beverage along with convenient breakfast fare. Great natural food options for vegans, carnivores, and gluten-free diets alike. Or check out Black Velvet Coffee, which not only has great coffee but steeps a proper cup of tea as well. I’m hooked on their Earl Grey lattes and use their loose-leaf tea at home.

Picnic Prep

After you get your morning fix, it’s time to pick up a picnic lunch before you head out to explore. For early starters, Old New York Deli & Bakery Co. in the Village will prepare and wrap sandwiches from their menu for you. For a gourmet experience, visit Bleu Handcrafted Foods after 11:00am (or before 8:00 pm the night before) for artisan cheeses, meats and more. Don’t worry, the proprietors have young kids and understand those palates, too.

Happy Trails

It’s time to get moving, get outdoors, and really experience what fall in Mammoth Lakes is all about. There are so many options for great family hikes and foliage viewing. Check out some of my best bets, as well as these seven hikes for suggestions. Convict Lake, Heart Lake, Lundy Canyon, McGee Creek and Rock Creek are all great spots for finding fall colors throughout the season. Seasonal events are also a great way to enjoy the fall colors. I love the June Lake Autumn Beer Festival, a family-friendly event featuring food, games, live music and local beer.

Treats

After your adventures, head to the Mammoth Fun Shop for an ice cream treat and extremely fun shopping experience. Try the home brewed root beer floats (available Saturdays only), or if you really worked up an appetite, go for the Fundae. It’s 13 scoops of ice cream with any toppings you want and you can even get your picture on the Fundae Wall of Fame! The Fun Shop also stocks plenty of Halloween merchandise for fall costume parties.

More Activities Around Town

If you still have time and energy left, there are plentiful options available. Consider a bike ride, go fishing, do some shopping, or just take a leisurely ride on the free Town Trolley.

Sunday

Breakfast

Your 40 hours of family fun is drawing to a close, and it’s time to relax over a leisurely breakfast before heading home. There are a number of great breakfast spots in Mammoth, but two reliable local favorites are the Good Life Cafe. and The Stove. Burn off the generous portions and get everyone ready to travel home with a quick walk on the Town Loop after breakfast.

Betsy Temple-Truax

Betsy loves living and playing in Mammoth Lakes and the Eastern Sierra with her active family and friends. A passionate advocate for community recreation, Betsy never turns down an opportunity to swim, ski, paddle, travel or let someone else cook.

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