Vail is a winter wonderland for families. There is much to do and see in addition to epic skiing and on-mountain activities. Here are our top 10 activities to do while on your Vail family vacation.
Vail may be best known for its epic skiing, but there’s so much more to do with kids during Vail’s winter season. Our family has lived in the area for many years. Here are a few of our favorite things to do — from toddlers to teens — with kids in Vail during the winter.
10. Take the kids to Imagination Station in the Lionshead Parking Structure for a morning or afternoon of play.
Ideal for younger children, Imagination Station features a water flow feature, a marble play wall, a light wall, a light table and builder boards that inspire problem-solving, and a hyperbolic funnel that models planetary motion. Check their schedule for a pottery making or art class.
9. Take in a STARS performance or Winter Family Series performance at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek.
The Vail area is home to world-class music and performing arts and both of these series at the Vilar Performing Arts Center cater to families. You may be able to enjoy a Cirque performance, piano battle or other fun family show.
8. Enjoy some hot cocoa or s’mores to warm up.
Many of the Vail hotels offer complimentary hot cocoa in the lobby or s’mores by an outdoor fire. Take advantage of this free fun amenity. Or make you way out to a local spot to warm up with chocolate goodness. Gourmet hot cocoa can be found throughout these quaint European villages.
Some of the Vail hotel properties offer loaner sleds for guests to enjoy. There are plenty of fun Vail area sledding hills that the whole family can enjoy together. Don’t want to get in a car to leave town? Then head up to Adventure Ridge for tubing (See #4 below.).
6. Snowshoe or Nordic ski outing.
Get your heart pumping and take in the majestic views of the Gore Range with a snowshoe or nordic ski outing at the Vail Nordic Center and then enjoy a light lunch after at the newly renovated Vail Golf & Nordic Clubhouse.
5. Sleigh Rides.
Enjoy a horse drawn sleigh ride with Bearcat Stables or 4 Eagle Ranch. Bundle up and learn some history of the area and take in the beautiful mountain scenery via horse drawn sled.
4. Tubing, Ski Biking, Snowmobiling or Flying Down the Alpine Coaster at Adventure Ridge.
Adventure Ridge sits atop the Eagle Bahn Gondola out of Lionshead and offers fun activities for the family. An alpine coaster that winds its way down the mountain, following the natural contours of the landscape through the forest, is a highlight. Adventures tubing and ski biking can also be found at Adventure Ridge atop Vail Mountain.
Insider Tip: While snowmobiling can no longer be found at Adventure Ridge. There are several outfitters ready to take you on a tour through White River National Forest land.
3. Hot Tubbing (or Swimming).
Most of the Vail hotels have a heated pool and hot tubs. There’s nothing better than relaxing in the hot tub with snow flakes drifting down after a day on the slopes.
2. Ice Skating.
Vail boasts three ice skating rinks. Two are scenic outdoor ice skating rinks: Solaris in Vail Village and Vail Square next to the Arrabelle in Lionshead Village. However, if you are a more serious skater you might want to spend some time skating indoors at the Dobson Ice Arena. Or if you are more of a pick up hockey game kind of skater, make your way down to Town Park in Eagle where there’s usually a game to be had.
1. Skiing with Family.
This is probably why you have chosen Vail for your family vacation so this is already a part of your plans. But we can’t leave it off the list. Skiing as a family is a bonding experience. Plus there are so many life lessons that kids and adults can learn skiing. If you need some ski inspiration watch this video:
All ages will be able to find something they love doing on your Vail family vacation. Have fun and enjoy your time in the winter wonderland!
What about things to do on a Vail summer vacation?
Did you know that Vail is even better in the summer?! From hiking, mountain biking, playing at Epic Discovery, Vail is the ultimate playground for families. Read about our friends’, Outside Suburbia’s, Vail Summer adventure!