The My City, with kids! series is a lovely way to meet families around the world, to plan your own holidays or, even, a relocation.
In this guest post Liana Moore from Insider Families shares her top things to do in Vail, Colorado with kids…
Liana moved to Vail, Colorado twenty years ago, long before children were even a thought. However, Vail really is a special place to raise children.
While the cost of living is high, so is the quality of life. The fresh mountain air, outdoor recreation and small town safety of knowing neighbors are also looking out for your kids top the list of reasons to visit, or live here.
There’s an incredible cultural scene that almost rivals the outdoor lifestyle. Kids can see world class orchestras and ballet performances or ski, mountain bike and rock climb.
Liana has two children, aged eleven and seven and they have grown up in Vail so she has a great list of recommendations of fun things to do with kids in Vail — from toddlers to teens.
Family-friendly things to do in Vail, Colorado
If you visit Vail, you have probably come for the mountain. During the winter it offers epic skiing and during the summer it offers other even more exciting mountain adventures. The alpine cobblestone streets are charming year round. The river and parks are relaxing playgrounds to keep the children entertained. You’ll even discover fountains where the children are encouraged to splash and play.
Town of Vail
Sounds fun, right? It is but it is also surprising the things that will be favorites of the kids. As toddlers our children LOVED taking the free in-town bus. We would come into town during the late spring or late fall when few visitors were around. And, we’d find a bus that we could almost have to ourselves. We’d take a seat and just loop around town. For toddlers this is the best.
The parks and the gondola ride up the mountain are close seconds.
A bike ride on the bike path along the river to one of the many parks is always a fun excursion.
Vail Farmers Market
As the kids grew older, the Vail Farmers Market also was a favorite. There we could listen to music, dance, jump in a bouncy castle and people watch. The lovely smells and tastes of food from local restaurants is a bonus. Detouring to splash in the river, play in the park or enjoy lunch on an open air deck is a great way to finish the day.
Where to Stay in Vail
Now, when we go into town we try to plan a staycation and stay at the Antlers at Vail. The pool and hot tubs are the best in town. Natural stone lines the hot tubs. The sounds of the river sooth the parents as the kids splash in the pool, and then the hot tubs to warm up.
Vail Winter Fun
During the winter a visit to the ice skating rink at Vail Square is always on our list. And, for the ultimate adrenaline rush we head up the mountain at dusk to see the sunset and speed down the snow tubing hill at Adventure Ridge.
Vail Indoor Fun
There are very few days that aren’t beautiful outside. And, we are adept at weathering snow and even rain. But if we need a day of indoor fun the Solaris movie theater is a fun place to kick back and enjoy a movie with lunch or dinner served to your seat.
There’s also an escape room that is a fun indoor activity for tweens and teens. Solve a mystery to be released. Rest assured, plenty of clues will be provided if needed.
Family-Friendly Vail Restaurants
Our favorite casual family restaurant is Blue Moose Pizza. The food is good and affordable. The atmosphere is friendly. And, the location next to the ice skating rink in the winter, or Vail Square concerts in the summer is ideal.
Our favorite upscale restaurant to visit as a family is La Tour They offer a kids menu ideal for young kids up to tweens. Special lemonades with fresh fruit is a treat and all kids meals come with a scoop of gelato. It is more upscale, so better for kids who are able to sit through a meal. That is still hard for our seven-year-old son at times.
Getting Around Vail
If you are staying within the town of Vail there is no need for a car. Save yourself from driving and take a shuttle to your hotel. Once there, you will find almost anything you need within walking distance along the quaint cobblestone streets of the town. There is a free bus system within the villages. And, many hotels offer shuttles to the larger grocery stores just across the highway.
Vail Insider Tips
Vail is not a cheap place to visit. But, surprisingly, there are a few things that are free. The gondola ride up the mountain is free after 3:30 p.m. in the winter. Kids also ride the gondola free with a paid adult. The town bus is free. Many hotels offer free bike rentals, loaner sleds and snowshoes.
Go for a hike. There is never a cost to hiking. And, there are many beautiful hiking trails in the Vail area. Get out and enjoy nature at its finest.
Colorado for Families
Vail is only one of many fantastic destinations in Colorado. Be sure to check out the many other fun things to do in Colorado with kids!
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About the Author
Liana Moore lived overseas growing up, attending British public school for kindergarten in London. She then moved to Stavanger, Norway for nine years until age 15, growing up with friends of different cultures. Summers involved camps in Switzerland and Wales, plus USA time in East Texas and Minnesota. Liana sees things from others’ viewpoints, believing those experiences shaped the woman she is today. She’s instilling that empathy in her children, having fun along the way. Currently based in the mountains of Colorado, much of her time is spent exploring the Rocky Mountains. When she’s not marketing a resort property professionally, or traveling and writing, find her trying out new sports like BMX biking with her eleven-year-old daughter or debating with her seven-year-old son (and occasionally winning).
Follow Liana’s adventures at Insider Families.
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