Vacations create memories that last a lifetime, especially in Vail, where a multitude of fun activities for kids and teens makes life easy for families.
SKIING AND SNOWBOARDING
Vail Resorts prides itself on being one of the best snow sports schools in the world, especially when it comes to kids. Age specific classes are designed for children ages 3-12, and a teen program exists for ages 13-15. Private lessons are also available. more info >
Adventure Ridge at the top of the Lionshead Gondola offers afternoon and nighttime tubing with roller-coaster thrills. Ride the carpet lift up and feel your stomach drop as you race down. more info >
Vail has two quaint outdoor rinks, one at Solaris Plaza in Vail Village and one at Arabelle Plaza in Lionshead. Dobson Ice Arena, located between Vail and Lionshead Villages, is a full-size indoor arena with dedicated free-skate times. All offer skate rentals. more info >
NORDIC SKIING AND SNOWSHOEING
The Vail Nordic Center curves along Gore Creek in the valley’s relatively flat base with stunning views of the adjacent cliffs, frozen waterfalls and Gore Range. They offer classic and skate ski equipment rentals, showshoe rentals and lessons. more info >
Kids ages 6-12 can zoom around Blizzard Speedway on mini-snowmobiles at Adventure Ridge, located at the top of the Lionshead Gondola. If you have bigger kids, Nova Guides has 100 miles of groomed trails in historic Camp Hale and a youth lap track. Door-to-door transportation is provided. more info >
For kids ages 10+ who are comfortable on blue or black runs, a guided tour down Vail’s runs at night is the ultimate rush. Tours begin at Adventure Ridge at the top of the Lionshead Gondola. more info >
The thrill of speeding along behind a team of exuberant dogs is an experience to remember. Tours are available through Mountain Mushers and dog kisses are provided at no extra charge. Door-to-door transportation is provided. more info >
NATURE CENTER AND LESSONS
At the Nature Discovery Center, kids and families can learn from Walking Mountains Science Center naturalists about Rocky Mountain wildlife. Located at the top of the Lionshead Gondola, they also conduct brief slope-side lessons. Walk-ins are welcome. more info >
SWEETS AND TOYS
Fuzziwig’s Candy Factory in Vail Village is a tasty and visual treat, boasting over 400 kinds of sweets, specialty toys and stuffed animals. Look no further for the best cupcake ever. Mountain Cupcakes in Vail Village has everything from salted caramel to lavender macaroon creations.
Cook up your own ice cream concoction at Marble Slab across from the Transportation Center in Vail Village. Want to shop for toys? Located on Bridge Street in Vail Village, Toy Store’s name says it all.
Craving a strike? Bol in Solaris Plaza has kid-friendly lanes in an upscale bowling experience with dining. more info >
IMAGINATION AND SCIENCE
Imagination Station, located in the Lionshead Parking Structure, is a hands-on children’s museum, offering activities for kids ages 2-12. A marble wall, a light table with builder boards, and a Mad Scientist’s Lab are just a few of the activities that encourage kids to create and explore. more info >
TUMBLE AND FLIP OUT
The Vail Gymnastics Center is a 9,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility that provides classes and open gym and tramp time. Drop-ins are welcome but are asked to call ahead at 907-479-2287. more info >
The Vail Public Library, located between Vail and Lionshead Villages, prides itself on community involvement and offers three story times a week based upon age. Baby Story Time is every Tuesday at 10 a.m. Toddler Story Time is every Wednesday at 10 a.m. Preschool Story Time is every Tuesday and Wednesday at 11 a.m. more info >
Cinebistro in Solaris Plaza shows the latest movies in an upscale theater. Order burgers, sandwiches or salads, and enjoy Cinebistro’s unique dine-while-you-watch experience. more info >
Vail prides itself on its playgrounds, hiring local artists or architects to design artistically themed play zones. Pirate Ship Park adjacent Gondola One is a longtime favorite. The Ford Park playground, across from Golden Peak, is a multilevel adventure reminiscent of a fort. Across the pedestrian bridge in Lionshead is Red Sandstone Park, with features constructed to resemble modern giants.