Vail, CO

Top 8 Activities to do on Your Vail Family Vacation


(Sunset from atop Vail Mountain. Photo by Liana Moore.)

Vail, Colorado is a winter wonderland for families. There is much to do and see in addition to epic skiing and snowboarding. Here are our top 8 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.

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.There are many fantastic Vail area sledding hills that the whole family will enjoy together on your Vail family vacation.

7. Sledding.

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. The only cost is that of procuring a sled. Some local hotels offer free loaner sleds. Check with the front desk.

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. Go Snowmibiling

There are several snowmobiling outfitters ready to take you on a tour through White River National Forest land. Snowmobiling is a fun way to get as far out into nature as possible on a winter day.

(Antlers at Vail resort may be the best pool on Vail. Its streamside location and stone hot springs are a fantastic place to relax after mountain adventures. Photo courtesy Antlers at Vail.)

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.

Insider Tip: Make your way just a bit west to Glenwood Springs to enjoy warm natural hot springs on a snowy day.

(Ice skating at Vail Square. Photo courtesy Vail Resorts, Jack Affleck.)

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.

Insider Tip: Dobson Ice Arena also offers ice bumper cars, which are a ton of fun.

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.

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Insider Families is a Colorado-based family travel publisher. We love the great outdoors. We feel grateful to live in the mountains of Colorado and see first hand how climate change is impacting our winters. It is important to us that we share with our readers and followers how they can help preserve what makes a place special. We make a point to learn about the local history and environment of the places we visit. When we visit the Golden Isles of Georgia you will find us making a stop at the Sea Turtle Sanctuary and learning about this endangered species. We return home with books on the subject and a desire to share that knowledge. We love nature and like to spend as much time in it as possible whether hiking a mountain, riding the BMX track, soaring down an alpine coaster or trying a new sport at the beach or lake.

Vail, CO

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