Family-Friendly Things to Do in Vail

Oct 26, 2017 -- Posted by : TV8

Vail is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Colorado. With its beautiful mountain scenery and resorts, it's no wonder that Vail, Colorado has become a tradition for many families to vacation to.

Even during the off-season, Vail still has plenty to offer. Music festivals, hiking, mountain biking, fishing, hunting, and golf are just a few of the activities to enjoy against the spectacular backdrop of the mountains.

But, Vail is most popular as a ski destination. Vail has been the king of US ski resorts for quite some time.

But, skiing isn't the only attraction in the bustling pedestrian-friendly village. There's plenty that the whole family can enjoy.

Let's take a look at the top family-friendly things to do in Vail, Colorado.

Skiing, of Course

Powder Skiing at Vail

In 1962, Pete Seibert found out about the skiing opportunity Vail provided. Shortly after, he gathered a group of entrepreneurs and created the village we know today.

Vail, Colorado made its mark on the skiing history by being one of the first resorts in the country to allow snowboarders. However, skiing still remains more popular to this day.

Vail has over 5,200 acres of terrain that you can explore with the proper equipment.

Not a professional? Not a problem. Children and amateurs will find themselves having plenty of fun on some of the resort's easier slopes.

In fact, approximately half of the total terrain ranks as either beginner or intermediate level.

This allows the less experienced members of your family to enjoy themselves in a safer environment.


What would a mountain village be without great places to hike?

Like the snow-covered slopes, the hiking trails in Vail vary in difficulty from easy to hard. Unless your family is full of experienced outdoorsmen, it may be best to stick to the less rigorous trails.

Some of the most popular are Booth Falls Trail, Shrine Ridge Trail, and Pitkin Lake Trail.

Keep in mind that Pitkin Lake Trail is classified as "hard" and you should only attempt it if you have extensively planned for it.

White Water Rafting

There are plenty of things to do in Vail. Very few are as exhilarating as white water rafting.

As you can expect, this activity is only available during the warmer months of the year after the snow melts from the mountains.

The river rafting paths share a great similarity with the hiking and skiing trails.

You guessed it: they rank from least difficult to most difficult. However, the advanced pathways are something inexperienced families should definitely avoid.

What has proven to be one of the most family-friendly river courses is Dinosaur Discovery.

As the name suggests, participants get a glimpse into the past along the Colorado River. Dinosaur experts help paint a picture of what life was like during pre-historic times as you travel down the river.

There are even dinosaur footprints and bones that kids can interact with, too.

Horseback Riding

Obviously another choice for the spring or summer, horseback riding is a great way for families to explore the landscape.

Beaver Creek Stables is one of the top providers of horseback adventures.

Younger children are able to access the Pony Camp, which offers a safe, supervised introduction to horseback riding.

Lessons are available for those who are inexperienced, and the three-hour picnic ride is the perfect way to spend an afternoon.

Check out the Parks

Playground at Ford Park in Vail

Don't want to hike or ski? There are less intensive ways to see the outdoors without being on a horse.

There are plenty of gardens and nature trails that families can visit to relax and enjoy the fresh mountain air.

For something a little more active for the kids, there are plenty of playgrounds.

Ford Park has tucked away behind Vail's trees and trails. Surrounded by lush scenery, it's a great way to relax and enjoy yourself.

Just make sure to plan your visit during the spring or summer.

Dog Sled Tours

Dog Sledding

You can ride a horse in most parts of the US. How many can you have a team of dogs take you on an adventure?

Long ago, there weren't snowmobiles or other vehicles to travel with. When winter had come, dogs were the only option.

There are tours specifically for families, and they typically last a couple of hours. Since they are much less involved than horseback riding, dog sled tours are a more relaxing choice to see what Colorado has to offer.

Contrary to what we've been telling you recently, this tour is only available during the winter.

The Public Library

Vail Public Library

Many would assume the last thing kids want to do on a vacation is going to the library.

But, one of the most interesting things to do in Vail is to look through the many books on Colorado's history and culture.

For younger ones, the library offers story time throughout the week. On Saturdays, staff readers hold an all-ages, bilingual story time. There are also audiobooks for kids to listen to.

For adults, there are also various classes held. These include yoga, meditation, and even a writer's group.

One of the Best Things to Do in Vail Is to Just Be

Sometimes, it's best to just enjoy the world around you. While staying in Vail, even taking a walk to see the village or trying one of the many restaurants in the area can be enough.

Full of visitors and residents alike, Vail is a bustling melting pot with a unique, colorful history. It's worth exploring in its entirety.

Vail has proven to be one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. To find more things to do in Vail, check out our calendar of events.



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