If you are looking for the perfect summer family vacation destination look no further! The Vail Valley is the place for fun and adventure with the entire family. From outdoor recreation and activities to cultural events and festivals, there is so much to do the options are literally endless. Here are a few ideas get you started:
Accessed via a ride up the Eagle Bahn Gondola in Lionshead, you’ll find ziplines, a mountain coaster, adventure courses, tubing hills, a climbing wall, bungee trampoline, and more. The options are endless! Almost all adventures have both adult and kid’s versions starting with Summer Tubing and Marmot Mini Tubing. There’s also the Golden Eagle and Little Eagle Ziplines, and Gore Range/ Holy Cross and Pine Cone (for kids) adventure courses. The Forest Flyer Mountain Coaster can be ridden by an adult with a small child, while bigger kids and adults can go on their own. The Paramount Peak climbing wall and Bungee Trampoline can accommodate all ages. One of the most thrilling adventures, requiring a full day, is the epic Game Creek Zipline Tour with nearly 2 miles of ziplining and aerial bridges coupled with incredible views.
Hiking, Biking, Rafting & more
If “the family that plays together, stays together” is your motto, we’ll help you pack your vacation full of mountain recreation. We are happy to recommend hiking trails, mountain biking trails and road biking routes. We can also book any number of tours or guided activities for you and your family – whitewater rafting, biking, stand up paddle boarding (SUP) on rivers or lakes, jeep and ATV tours, fly fishing, rock climbing, sporting clays, llama trekking, and more. Skill and thrill levels for almost all of these range from easy to moderate for families with younger kids to intermediate and advanced for families with teens and young adults.
If the kids want some adventure on their own, then a day or two at any of Vail’s day camps is sure to keep them entertained. Pre Kamp Vail (ages 2.5 to 5) and Camp Vail (ages 5-12) are offered daily and have a variety of different activities on any given day. There are also specialty camps like Camp Eco Fun, Extreme Camp Vail (think rafting or rock climbing) and Mad Scientists. Walking Mountains Science Center offers weekly programming for pre-K up to age 13 including Nature Tykes, EarthKeepers Preschool Programming, Nature Store Hour and more. Budding artists can check out the Alpine Arts Summer Camp. There are skill-building sports camps for almost every sport imaginable throughout the summer – soccer, volleyball, flag football, lacrosse, skateboarding, mountain biking, hockey, basketball, baseball, softball, tennis, pickleball, and more.
4 Eagle Ranch
Looking for something to do that celebrates Colorado’s western heritage? Try a day or evening at 4 Eagle Ranch. Located west of Vail in Wolcott, it is a quintessential Colorado ranch. During the day, you can go horseback riding or face off at the Double Diamond Paintball course. There are also jeep tours, ATV tours and Zip Adventures featuring 6 different zip lines crossing high above Alkali Creek. On Monday and Wednesday evenings, 4 Eagle Ranch hosts its popular Western Family Nights from 5:00 – 8:30pm. You’ll enjoy a delicious buffet dinner, live music, horse-drawn wagon rides, lawn games, and s’mores around the campfire.
For the Little Tykes
Families with kids 8 and older can do most of the activities above, but families with younger kids still have lots of options. There are a variety of parks with different themes around town, so kids (and their parents) don’t get bored going to the same one each day. Riding the gondola or the free in-town bus become adventures, too. The Vail Library, right next door, has story hours, free Bravo! Music festival concerts geared to kids and a great playroom with puzzles, books, games and more. How about a program at the Vail Nature Center like an Evening Beaver Pond Tour or S’mores and More? Imagination Station, across the street from Lodge at Lionshead, has games, art projects, musical instruments, costumes and more to help spark creative play.
On most Saturdays in Lionshead, families can visit stops like Creation Station, The Science Tent, and Play Town in a festival-like setting. There are also contests and group games throughout the day like the “Water Balloon Toss of Death”, The Blue Moose “Pizza Toss of Champions”, Hula Hoop Extravaganza and Ultimate Simon Says.