Family Fun in the Winter

If you’re planning a trip to the Vail Valley with kids during ski season, you’ll want to know about all the Valley has to offer. Read on for our suggestions for kids of all ages and interests, whether they are feeling active and adventurous, or artistic and observant.

If you have first-time skiers or snowboarders in your group, consider enrolling them in lessons with our world-renowned ski schools at Vail Mountain or Beaver Creek Mountain. Students enrolled in full-day or half-day group lessons enjoy lunch or snacks with their group and instructor and are generally paired with other kids or teens of the same age and level of ability. Private lessons are also available and can be tailored to your liking. Daycare options are also available that include fun games, activities and outside time.

If your young adventurers still have plenty of energy in the afternoon and into the evening, think about trying Epic Discovery at the top of the Eagle Bahn gondola out of Lionshead in Vail. In the winter there are ski bikes, snow-tubing, and more, plus it’s open well after dark.

Ice skating at the Beaver Creek Ice Rink can be a great way to entertain kids while adults wander through shops or socialize. It’s located right in the center of Beaver Creek Village, is open November through April, and offers fire pits around the rink for observers to keep warm. Adults can relax and enjoy a drink at the rink-side bar while kids enjoy skating time.

If you’re looking for an activity to get out of the cold, make the short drive to Eagle to try Eagle Climbing and Fitness with their indoor rock walls and bouldering areas. Bouldering, auto-belay and classic belay climbing options are available for all ages and levels. Classes are also offered.

For another totally unique Colorado experience, visit Iron Mountain Hot Springs in Glenwood Springs. Open year-round, you can soak in naturally heated outdoor mineral baths, warmed by underground thermal springs. It can be a luxurious break from skiing and snow sports, and what’s more fun than being in a heated pool while billowing steam rises and snow falls softly on your head?

Stop by the Vail Public Library and browse their extensive collection of books. Their events calendar features many special story times and activities for kids and teens, including visits by special guest authors. Or if you’re venturing further west, consider browsing the shelves and the delectable café at the Bookworm of Edwards. They specialize in local books and authors and also host author events. Check event calendars online.

Did you know our valley was home to dinosaurs who have left their traces to be found and curated at the Museum at Dinosaur Junction in Edwards? This new museum is full of real fossils and dinosaur bones. Dinosaur lovers will leave feeling inspired and intrigued by what’s been found in our mountains.

Edwards is also home to the Riverwalk Theater where you can see the latest, first-run, full-screen movies. The Theater boasts an impressive range of locally made snacks, a soft serve ice cream counter, and a fully stocked cocktail bar for adults.

Here are some of our favorite family friendly restaurants that are great for a larger group:

Breakfast at Northside Kitchen in Avon, or The Little Diner in Vail. Both feature a variety of hot breakfast options. Northside also has a wide array of renowned frosted, sprinkled, glazed or cake donuts. And the Northside Grab-N-Go in West Vail is an easy, quick pick-up with a variety of breakfast sandwiches and breakfast burritos. While at Northside, consider picking up a tray of enchiladas from the refrigerated case, for dinner later at your condo (both Northside locations feature this easy solution for feeding a crowd).

Lunch at Moe’s Original BBQ in Vail or Eagle will satisfy everyone, including picky eaters. Blue Moose Pizza in Lionshead and Beaver Creek is well known and loved for their family friendly atmosphere and New York style pizza. The Red Lion in Vail is usually able to accommodate a large party and is located right in the middle of Vail Village on Bridge Street. Live music is often at Red Lion starting later in the afternoon, which can help keep kids in their seats.

For dinner, stop by Bully Ranch Restaurant in the Sonnenalp Hotel in Vail for excellent burgers and Southwestern dining in a casual western setting. Alpine Pizza Company, located at the base of the Eagle Bahn Gondola is another good choice, but it’s takeout only. They feature family combo meals that are great for groups.


This blog was made possible through a grant from the Colorado Tourism Office.