Skiing is only one of a plethora of winter wonderland family activities available in Vail, Colorado, a quaint alpine town set in the Rocky Mountains. From ice skating and sledding to s’mores by the fire, there is sure to be something to please everyone in your family. Read on to countdown some of the best things to do with kids in Vail this winter.
The Vail valley is a mecca for snow sports and other thrilling outdoor activities. The options of outdoor activities in Vail in the winter are endless. The mountain environment offers maximum outdoor fun for families of all ages – from ice skating and sledding to snowshoeing, snowboarding and skiing.
As a local Vail area family ranging in age from 5 to 50-years-old, we are happy to share some of our favorite family-friendly things to do in winter with kids. Enjoy my countdown of the seven best things to do in Vail this winter.
Countdown: Our Favorite Winter Family Activities in Vail
# 7 of the Best Things to Do in Vail in Winter: Imagination Station
Take the kids to Imagination Station in the Lionshead Parking Structure for a morning or afternoon of play. Ideal for toddlers and preschoolers, this is a thoughtful play space featuring a Thoughts Flow to inspire experimental play. There’s also a Play Wall to integrate physical and cognitive learning, 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.
# 6 of the Best Things to Do in Vail in Winter: Cocoa By the Fire
Many of the Vail hotels offer complimentary hot cocoa in the lobby or s’mores by an outdoor fire. Take advantage of this or make your way out to a local spot known for its yummy hot chocolate after a day of outdoor adventures. Rimini in Lionshead Village next to the skating rink is known for having delicious hot cocoa.
# 5 of the Best Things to Do in Vail in Winter: Sledding
# 4 of the Best Things to Do in Vail in Winter: Adventure Ridge
Picture this: snow tubing, ski biking, and flying down the Alpine Coaster. You can do it all at Adventure Ridge. Adventure Ridge sits atop the Eagle Bahn Gondola out of Lionshead and offers fun activities for the family. The Forest Flyer alpine coaster winds its way 3,400 feet down the mountain, following the natural contours of the landscape through the forest. Fun adventures of tubing, ski biking, and more are also offered from Adventure Ridge.
# 3 of the Best Things to Do in Vail in Winter: Hot Tubbing or Swimming
Hot tubbing (or swimming) in warm water in the midst of winter is something everyone should try. Most Vail hotels have a heated pool and hot tubs. There’s nothing better than relaxing in the hot tub with snowflakes drifting down after a day on the slopes.
# 2 of the Best Things to Do in Vail in Winter: Ice Skating
Vail has two scenic outdoor ice skating rinks, one at Solaris in Vail Village and one in Vail Square next to the Arrabelle in Lionshead Village. Gliding on the ice with your family is a fun way to spend an afternoon in Vail. However, if you are a more serious skater you might want to spend some time at the Dobson Ice Arena.
# 1 of the Best Things to Do in Vail in Winter: Skiing & Snowboarding
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 – in fact, it tops it! Vail ski mountain has designated 63 acres to family learning and designated slow zones. All zones are located on beginner green runs and progress across the mountain from Eagle’s Nest to Game Creek. With 5317 skiable acres, 195 runs and 31 lifts there’s a variety of terrain for skiers of all abilities.
Beaver Creek is just a short ten to fifteen minute drive from Vail. It is worth spending a day on the mountain there while in the area. We’ve dubbed Beaver Creek Mountain the place where locals learn to ski.
Visiting a different ski resort than Vail this winter, check out highlights for other TMOM approved best ski resorts for families. Or, if you prefer summer over winter read about a summer multi-generation Vail adventure.
TravelingMom Tip: Is this your first family ski vacation? Be sure to check out our ski tips for beginners.
All ages will be able to find something they love doing on your Vail family vacation. Skate, snowmobile, sled, take a sleigh ride or get the adrenaline going at Adventure Ridge. Get a workout Nordic skiing at the Vail Golf Course. Take in views of the Gore Range on a scenic gondola ride up the mountain. Have fun and enjoy your time in this winter wonderland!