Vail Winter – Kids Activities in Vail, Colorado


Welcome to ThinkVail – we hope you find this article about winter kid activities in Vail, CO  helpful.

Winter in the Vail Valley is a magical place and offers so many family-friendly activities and fun things to do for kids of all ages. Families can enjoy a variety of wonderfully, unique programs, experiences and adventures. Whether its skiing, tubing, ski-biking, snowshoeing, horse drawn sleigh rides, ice-skating, bowling, creating art, reading a good book or one of the may other family friendly activities available in Vail, Colorado, you are sure to find something fun for everyone in your group.



See Also: Vail Souvenir Gifts for Kids 

Vail and Beaver Creek Ski & Snowboard School

Kids love Ski School, whether they are riding or skiing, it is a chance for them to get out and explore the ski mountain and have a blast meeting and skiing with kids their own age and skill level WITHOUT their parents. They can enjoy fun and freedom under the watchful eye of their super-fun ski instructor. Both Vail and Beaver Creek’s world-renowned ski and snowboard school offer unparalleled instruction and dedicated children’s lessons. Kids learn, grow, and have fun while learning the skills necessary to love skiing or snowboarding. Each lesson consists of cool, educational themes that make learning fun. Make the day easier – Add rentals and lift ticket! Book ahead of time and online to guarantee the lowest price.

Once your kiddo has the basics down from the pros they can enjoy other programs such as Race Day, SKE-COLOGY, and the Terrain Parks, making every lesson different and a ton of fun.

Adventure Ridge

Talk about the PERFECT place for families. Adventure Ridge has it all – in one place. Vail Mountain Adventure Ridge is a stadium-sized snow park full of fun times for the whole family. All the fun starts in the afternoon and well into the night with ski bikes, kids’ snowmobile track and mini-snowmobiles, awesome multi-lane tubing hill with a dedicated lift back up, bungee trampoline, and guided snowshoe tours with a naturalist. The gondola operates from morning till night so you have all day to make the most of your time the mountain, taking part in one or all of the activities or just sit and sip hot chocolate as the sun sets over the world-famous Vail back bowls. This Must-Do family experience at Adventure Ridge is usually open through Mid April.

Please Note: A lift pass must be purchased to reach Adventure Ridge ($30/adult, $19/child)
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday (11am-7pm); Sunday/Monday (11am-4pm); Located at top of Eagle Bahn Gondola.

Fireside S’mores

Nothing says winter like putting your ski boots up, sitting back in front of a nice crackling fire and eating an s’more… DELICIOUS. There are a couple of places in town that allow you to do just that.

Vail Marriott Resort 4pm S’mores and Fire Pits

  • Enjoy nightly live music, daily s’mores & hot chocolate at the fire pit after the lifts closed.

Beaver Creek Park Hyatt S’more Happy Hour

  • Enjoy s’mores around the beautiful fire pit looking out onto Beaver Creek Mountain. The perfect close to a perfect day.

Arrowhead Ski Resort Fire Pit

  • Beaver Creek and Arrowhead are connected like a European ski village so it is very easy to ski to Arrowhead. Purchase an s’more kit from the Broken Arrow Restaurant and make s’mores out by the slope side fire pit and watch as the skiers and snowboarders come down the hill. Take the free bus back to Beaver Creek.

Beaver Creek Village and Arrabelle at Vail Square in Lionshead both have wonderful, modern fire pits.

4 Eagle Ranch Horse Drawn Sleigh Ride Dinner

Crisp mountain air, starlit skies, and a horse-drawn sleigh are the perfect components for an unforgettable night of family fun. Snuggle under cozy blankets for an unforgettable sleigh ride beneath the starry winter skies. After, enjoy a sumptuous buffet with some of the finest cooking this side of the Continental Divide. Take as many sleigh rides as you’d like, and throughout the evening you’ll be entertained by a solo guitarist. If you aren’t already full from dinner, a campfire will entice you to make a s’more or two before it’s time to leave.  Reservation required.  Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays, 6–8:30 pm

Walking Mountain Science Center

The Walking Mountain Science Center is a wonderful hands-on nature museum. Bring the whole family here to re-connect to nature and enjoy the natural surroundings of our mountain community.

Kids can enjoy:

  • Interactive geology, mountain communities and sustainability exhibits
  • Simulated beaver lodge
  • Examine scat types, skulls and pelts of our local animals
  • Kids interactive learning lab
  • A gift shop

Kids and their families can also enjoy

  • Daily, free naturalist guided snowshoe tours and nature walks
  • Interpretive trails meandering through a beautiful landscape of wetland areas, a spring-fed pond, aspen forests and National Forest at the Avon campus.

Vail Nature Discovery Center

The Vail Nature Discovery Center lets folks explore an array of natural history exhibits about local wildlife such as ravens, weasels, lynx, and black bears. Nature Hikes and Snowshoe Tours are also offered from the Nature Discovery Center. The Discovery Center is located in a yurt and accessed via the Eagle Bahn gondola out of Lionshead in Vail. All ages welcome, free admission. A valid ski pass (in winter) or Vail Scenic Ride Ticket is needed to ride the gondola.

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

Glenwood Springs is about a 45 minute drive from Vail but it is America’s Only Mountain-Top Theme Park, and well worth the extra effort. Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is burstin’ at the seams with family friendly fun. Explore stunning caverns and formations in Colorado’s largest show cave. During the Winter Season, you can fly down the mountain on USA’s first alpine coaster, hang on to your seat in Colorado’s first 4D Ride Theater and fly through the air high above Glenwood Springs, out over scenic Glenwood Canyon in our Glenwood Canyon Flyer. The Adventure Park sits on top of Iron Mountain with breathtaking views of the Roaring Fork Valley and surrounding mountains.

Ice Skating

Dobson Ice Arena

Dobson Ice Arena is an indoor skating rink located in the heart of Vail on the in-town bus route on West Meadow Drive across from the Vail Library. Dobson Ice Arena hosts open skating sessions for all ages and abilities, which means it is perfect for families. Parking for Dobson Ice Arena is available in the Lionshead Parking Structure, including some short-term parking spots that are free during the winter (up to 90 minutes).

  • Story Time Skating at Dobson Ice ArenaBring your children to enjoy story hour at the Town of Vail Library coupled with skating at Dobson Ice Arena, with skating time at either 10 am or 11 am on Wednesdays. Skating is $10 per child and includes skates and instruction. There is no charge for story time at the library, toddler story time is at 10am followed by pre-school story time at 11am. Just drop in, no registration is required, call 970-479-2271 for more details. Perfect for children ages 2-5 and seasonally available September – April.

Alderhof Skating Rink

Nestled within Vail’s Lionshead Village, Alderhof Ice Rink is a place for families to enjoy gliding on the ice. With fire pits to warm spectators, it’s also possible to stay cozy while catching some of the action from the sidelines. So parents can relax and watch and kids can get there and spend more of their never-ending energy. If you work up an appetite while ice-skating then head to one of the many restaurants and snack stops. Alderhof Ice Rink is open daily during winter,  ice skates are available for rent or bring your own.

Beaver Creek Village Ice Skating Rink

Enjoy ice-skating in Beaver Creek in the center of quaint Beaver Creek Village. An outdoor skating rink in the middle of the village provides endless fun for everyone in the family. There are several fire pits with comfortable chairs and couches around the ice rink to warm up while taking a break from the ice. The ice rink is open daily during winter. Skate and helmet rentals are available at the walk-up booth located next to Base Mountain Sports.

Click to check out more places to ice skate in the Vail Valley.

Imagination Station

If you’re looking for a super kid-friendly indoor activity in Vail, visit to the Imagination Station. Kids can spend all day here having fun. This indoor play space is conveniently located at the southwest end of the Lionshead Parking Structure, close to Lionshead Village’s restaurants and shopping venues.

Kids can play with a light table and building boards challenge problem-solving skills; a really cool hyperbolic funnel that models planetary motion; and a play wall that is designed to inspire mind-body connection. The Imagination Station fosters play that helps kids develop cognitive and social skills and physical awareness.

Paint on paper as much as your kids would like every day, they can take home art made with the sand-pendulum. The Art Studio is open every day with projects they can create and keep as souvenirs! Paint Your Own Pottery is available every day.

Play and explore in the Virtual Rooms. One room dedicated to active play where you can slice fruit with ninja swords, box without getting hit and many other options. One room is dedicated to artistic and thoughtful play where you can paint in three dimensions, build inventions for rolling a ball down a hill, or visit anywhere on planet earth.

Vilar Performing Arts Center – STARS Program

It’s Showtime! The STARS Program is the perfect way to introduce your little ones to the performing arts. Approximately 20 family-friendly, kid specific shows are brought to the VPAC each year. The shows are educational and entertaining, often integrating with teachers’ lesson plans and sometimes providing a platform for discussion of childhood issues such as bullying, cultural awareness or how to deal with challenging homework. Most shows are in matinee format. This is a great way to enjoy an affordable, family friendly show at the prestigious Vilar Center in Beaver Creek.


Bol Bowling Alley and Restaurant

Families come and get your bol on, bowling that is. Bol is an extraordinary 10 lane bowling alley in the very heart of Vail Village. It is the perfect place to have fun with your kids, bowling and dinner and cocktails (for Mom and Dad). Bol offers modern bowling (big screens, automated scoring, etc.) and great food and drink in an ultra cool lounge atmosphere. Come and enjoy the most exquisite bowling alley in the world. Our full menu is served at the bar, as well as at the lanes. Also, be sure to check out our regularly hosted DJ’s for an even more lively night of fun. Located in Solaris Plaza in Vail CO. bol provides nightly entertainment, ice-skating rentals for the Vail ice rink and a grab and go style restaurant.

Back Bowl Bowling Alley and Bowlmor Cafe

Welcome to the Back Bowl Family Entertainment Center! The award-winning Back Bowl, located in Eagle, Colorado, is full of FUN, offering twenty computerized bowling lanes, a full-service restaurant and lounge and the area’s largest game arcade…perfect for kids of all ages! Daily dining specials is a perfect affordable way to feed the whole family. The Bowlmor offers high-definition LCD screens at every lane and in the cafe and sports lounge, it’s also the place to be for all of your favorite sporting events. This kid-friendly bowling alley offers bumpers and kid ramps to make bowling fun and easy even for the youngest in the family.

Alpine Arts Center

Bring your kids to the Alpine Arts Center and let them work out their artistic expression. Your kids can choose from Drawing, Painting, Ceramics, Photography, Sculpture, Computer Graphics, Jewelry Making, and Arts and Crafts. Alpine Arts Center offers art for all ages at all stages.

Cupcakes & Canvas A family friendly version of Cocktails & Canvas and Cocktails & Clay classes. An instructor will guide you and your little ones through a step by step demonstration of the featured project; all supplies and cupcakes are included. Wine, beer and champagne can be purchased during the class. So much fun for everybody, perfect if you are looking for an excuse to take a day away from skiing.

Mommy and Me Get Messy Mom and Dad and Grandparents come and explore art with your children. Toddlers will be encouraged to use their wonderful imaginations as they are guided through a variety of creative, fun, and nurturing art projects. Lots and lots of paper towels are available for clean up.

Drop -In Art Classes – All ages can stop by anytime during regular business hours for art activities such as painting, crafts, sculpture, clay hand building, pottery wheel, and mixed-media.

Reading and Story Times

The Bookworm of Edwards is a magical, locally-owned bookstore that has an incredible selection of kids books as well as really cool and unique gifts that every child would want. There is also a delightful coffee shop in the bookstore that is perfect for recharging with delicious coffees, teas, crepes, salads and pastries. They also have a weekly Toddler Story Time that is a lot of fun for smaller kids. Located in the Riverwalk in Edwards.

Vail Library has lots of programming for kids including story time, movies and a great selection of kids books to rent during your vacation. Located next to Dobson Ice Arena.

The Avon Library Also has a great selection of kids books to borrow as well as a lot of children and teen programming. Located next to the Avon Rec Center.

Mountain Recreation Field House in Edwards

This place ROCKS! It is another indoor facility where kids can spend hours playing. The Mountain Recreation Field House is a state-of-the-art facility that offers a wide variety of indoor sports basketball, soccer and football in addition to inflatables, trampolines and a climbing wall. Looking to perfect a new snowboard or freestyle ski aerial? Check out the new Anti-Gravity Center. The Field House is located near Battle Mountain High School and Colorado Mountain College.

Avon Recreation Center

Fun is their middle name, well actually recreation is, but you get the idea. The Avon Rec Center is a 15,000 square foot aquatics facility has something for everyone. Here is what you get when you come to the rec center, a Lazy River that both kids and parents can spend all day in. The zero depth entry kids pool makes it easy for your little ones to get in, and if they get scared they can stay in with the water just around their ankles. There is a 140-ft water slide for the bigger kids and a smaller slide for the younger ones. There is also water guns and splashing mechanisms and fountains that always surprise young swimmers. The 5-lane lap pool, Aquaclimb climbing wall and Diving well makes it fun for adults and older kids and teens too. After the pools relax in the hot tub, sauna and steam room. There is also an indoor climbing wall in the lobby and a large fitness center upstairs.




Leave a Comment


Please leave a comment if you think I have left out any family fun activities in the Vail Valley or if you have any personal experience doing theses fun adventures with your family.

Related Articles: Teaching Young Kids to Snowboard



View Comments

  • These are great ideas for getting kids involved in the family vacation. Adventure Ridge sounds like a really cool place for the family.

    • Thank you so much, yes these are great winter activities for kids visiting the Vail valley. And yes, Adventure Ridge is AWESOME, just a ton of fun for everyone, with lots of fun activities, the gondola, restaurants and a bar and endless views of the ski mountain. It really should not be missed.

  • We are heading to Colorado really soon and I grew up there. I forgot all about the Glenwood Hot Springs! My son is 18, so he would like the springs and the snowboarding. But I think it is a bit early in the season (September) for snowboarding. I have not been to the Avon Rec Center, and this sounds like something we would also enjoy. Thanks for the great ideas!

    • Yes, Glenwood Hot Springs and Avon Rec Center are great family fun centers. Yes it is probably to early for snowboarding but you never know, the snow can always come. have a wonderful time while your visiting our neck of the woods.

  • Wow, this looks amazing! So many activities to choose from. I was undecided, but after reading this post I will definitely put my daughter, age 12 in Ski School. I think she will love it and learn a lot. Thanks for the info.

  • Wow Great Post! So many awesome ideas for fun in the Vail valley!! I'm planing a trip with some friends, I will definitely share this with them.


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