Go Ahead, Take a Break 8 great things to do with kids around Vail

  • Activities, Food, and Fun
  • Town of Vail Public Library
  • Dobson Ice Arena
  • Avon Rec Center
  • Adventure Ridge
  • Dog Sledding
  • Alpine Arts Center
  • Blue Moose Pizza

There are lots of reasons to skip a day on the slopes, whether it’s fatigue, record-low temps, or a desire to experience the Vail Valley beyond the gondola.

This can be especially true for families, where kids may not want to spend every day skiing.

Fortunately, there are plenty of options to explore, from free to a tad more spendy.


Town of Vail Public Library

Like a beacon in a storm, the children’s room at this beautiful, modern library is one of the most popular spots to spend a blustery morning.

In addition to stacks of books and DVDs—visitors can apply for a guest pass and check them out—the room has a playhouse, costumes, train sets, and other toys guaranteed to delight the 5-and-under set.

Dobson Ice Arena

Whether you’ve got fledgling hockey players or just sports fans who like to watch the action (or the Zambonis), check out Dobson Ice Arena.

Offering public skating, classes, story time, and broomball, the facility is open year-round.

Avon Recreation Center

Burn off energy at this cool rec center, where you’ll find a zero-entry kids' pool complete with bubblers, fountains, and slides.

More intrepid kids (and their parents) will appreciate the 140-foot water slide, and adults can savor the hot tub, sauna, and steam room.


Adventure Ridge

Whoever said the slopes are exclusively for skiing or snowboarding has never been to Adventure Ridge.

Located at the top of the Eagle Bahn Gondola, Adventure Ridge is a football stadium–size snow park with ski bikes, kids snowmobile track, tubing, and more.

Mountain Musher Dog Sledding

Some outdoor activities can be done almost anywhere; dogsledding is not one of them. 

Mushing through the Vail Valley is a unique experience, and Mountain Musher offers pick-ups in Vail and Beaver Creek with morning and afternoon options.

Sled rides travel about six miles in two hours. Six sleds (two people per sled) depart with each tour, and riders must be at least 4 years old.

Review: Arrowhead Village CondosBy Kristen Lummis

How often do you walk into a condo you’ve rented for a family vacation and think, “this is absolutely perfect?”

My guess is almost never. That’s why I was so surprised when it happened to us at Arrowhead Village on our last ski trip to Beaver Creek.

Arrowhead is a small, private community at the base of the Arrow Bahn Express lift on the west side of Beaver Creek. Since the ski lift is right in the center of the village, all accommodations are just a short walk, making them essentially ski-in/ski-out.

We stayed in the Spruce Tree Lodge when we visited in February. While Beaver Creek Village was bustling and packed, Arrowhead Village was quiet, relaxed, friendly, and comfortable.

Our unit really was perfect. Spacious, with abundant natural light from a wall of two-story windows, it was seriously the cleanest condo, in the cleanest building, we’ve seen. Even the hallway carpeting was immaculate, thanks to large, convenient ski and boot lockers on the first floor.

The three-bedroom condo had a full kitchen, dining area, and living room, and the two main floor bedrooms had king beds and private bathrooms. Up on the second floor, our kids had their own suite, complete with a full bathroom, TV, and two daybeds that converted to queens.

Since we had a kitchen-equipped condo where we were happy to cook, we opted for the hot tubs, meeting up with other families from around the world, each of us pleased, and feeling rather smug, to be staying at Arrowhead.

Food, Drink, and Entertainment


Don’t be intimidated by the sleek, modern interior: kids are celebrated and welcome here.

With 10 bowling lanes, a full-service dining room, and a stocked bar, this restaurant/bowling alley/bistro is diverse and eclectic.

The Alpine Arts Center

Edwards is a thriving town just west of Beaver Creek and within 20 minutes of Vail.

The Alpine Arts Center there offers a “visual arts on vacation” program where participants can create a custom class or choose from existing options.

From painting pottery and watercolors to clay sculptures, this studio has expert instruction and facilities.

They’ll even provide transportation to and from your lodging.

Blue Moose Pizza

With locations in Vail and Beaver Creek, Blue Moose is a go-to for families, thanks to consistent quality and friendly staff.

Photo by: @andrewwelchphoto

Blue Moose’s menu appeals to everyone, from the pickiest to the most adventurous eaters.

Kids can opt for a classic cheese ’za, chicken fingers, noodles, or mac ’n’ cheese, while Mom and Dad enjoy gourmet options like the Vonnderful, a pizza with chicken, artichoke hearts, pesto, roasted garlic, and goat cheese.

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