We're in Bishop for a couple of nights in August. Can anyone recommend easy walks ( with small children) or other activities in town?
Rather than stay in Bishop, stay in Mammoth. Change this right away. You'll be bored to tears in Bishop, and Mammoth is beautiful and magical and wonderful and there's tons to do, and better accommodations by far.
Why are you in Bishop for a "couple of nights"???
For us it is only an overnight stop on the road on the way to anywhere else!
If you cant do any real hiking, I might also agree Mammoth would be a better place. Visit Mono Lake State Park Visitor Center and Bodie Historic State Park
The city park in downtown Bishop on the east side of the highway is beautiful, with a real stream running through it all year with ducks. There is a swimming pool with a small fee and a children's wading pool.
Millponds Recreation Area on the west side of town has fishing ponds a stream and 2 playgrounds, with views of the Sierra Nevada.
The Back Alley Bowl and Grill is arguably the best place to eat in Bishop. Don't be put off by the fact that it's inside a bowling alley - it is a full-service American food restaurant. They have a kids' menu too.
Schat's Bakkery is a must-stop for baked goods - just brace yourselff for the prices.
The kids might or might not be interested in the Laws Railroad Museum. They can climb in and around old railroad cars and a caboose and ring the bell on the locomotive.
If you have a whole day for Bishop, I would drive up Highway 168 west, up through Aspendell to either Lake Sabrina (pronounced "suh-BRYE-nuh") or North Lake or South Lake for some mountain scenery. The road to North Lake is a bit scary to me, but North Lake is the quietest and most serene of the 3. At Lake Sabrina you can rent motor boats, rowboats, pontoon boats or canoes. There is also a cafe there, homemade pie and ice cream. Or you can just walk around the area, which is filled with aspen trees.
Another possibility is to drive up to the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, to see the world's oldest trees, and it will be considerably cooler up there - however I don't know how much small children will appreciate it.
"Move along. This isn't the (town) you're looking for."
--- Obi Wan Kenobi
My kids spend the night in Bishop on the way to Lake Tahoe to break up the drive every July. They enjoy spending time in the city park mentioned above, before having dinner. It's a great place to cool off in the heat of summer.
They always make a stop at Schat's Bakery, we've been going there for years.
Is there a reason you are staying two nights? One is the norm.