We can all agree that there are a lot of moving parts during a ski vacation with the kids, but there is absolutely no need for those moving parts to make your experience at Vail anything less than spectacular. We have created a list with several suggestions that will make your stay and skiing in Vail a vacation second to none.
Where to stay
You’re ready for your fun-filled family vacation, now, it’s time to decide where to stay. When planning a ski trip with the family consider how easy it will be to get to the mountain each day, how close the hotel is to family friendly dining options, and whether or not there is a pool or hot-tub on site. Vail has several options right in the village, within a short walk to the base of the mountain, and is close to plenty of kid friendly dining options. For a true ski-in, ski-out experience, we love staying at the Lodge at Vail. More importantly, your kids will absolutely approve of the outdoor heated pool and hot tub. If you prefer to stay outside the Vail villages, Avon offers some more affordable lodging options for families with an adorable little village of its own.
Vail’s Ski School is anything but basic. With a long list of offerings, the Vail Ski School has a specific class designed for your family’s needs. Whether your little one is wearing ski boots for their first time ever or is wanting a more advanced class to explore the Back Bowls, the instructors at Vail are going to help your little one build confidence and love being on their skis. In each class, instructors focus on FUN, and use games and activities to help little ones build the life long skills that they need. You can be confident that your kids are in great hands while you search for powder stashes in the Back Bowls or enjoy a long lunch at one of the many world-class options.
Where to Ski
Skiing available for everyone in your family. While Vail offers some of the steepest and most fun terrain in Colorado, don’t be fooled into thinking this is an experts-only mountain. There are over 11 different Kid Adventure Zones in Vail. When you get to town, make sure you pick up a Kid’s Specific trail map so you can plan your day. These “hidden” Adventure Zones offer tunnels, box jumps, and banked turns to help your little one learn new skills, and build confidence in a fun way. More importantly, it helps families find appropriate terrain for new skiers.
The Sourdough Express lift is a Mecca of beginner terrain. While it takes a few lift rides to access this corner of Vail, you’ll be happy to see that it remains relatively uncrowded. This is a perfect area for beginners to build confidence on their skis.
Grab a Cookie and Cocoa
Warm up your entire family with a cookie and cocoa break! When you notice your little one’s beaming smile start to fade a little, it’s time to head inside for such a break. You want to take a break before they get too frustrated or overwhelmed with learning to ski. Pop into one of Vail’s many lodges on the mountain for a cookie and cocoa, and don’t forget to order a treat for yourself.
Family Friendly Restaurants/Bars
We’re all about finding the best mac n cheese when we visit a new ski town. You too? While Vail offers plenty of high end dining from award winning chefs, there are a few restaurants that cater especially well to families. La Tour is our favorite high end dining restaurant with a killer menu for kids. Try the duck confit with roasted mushrooms and a cognac cream sauce, and sneak a few bites of the buccatinna from your kid’s plate. If you want to plan something extra fun and special for your family, head to Bol. This is our favorite bowling alley at 8,120 feet. This is anything but your typical bowling alley, offering incredible food, creative cocktails, and fun modern atmosphere. If you want something super laid back (like the kids in their base-layers level of laid back), head to Vendettas and grab a pizza for the family (and a pitcher for mom and dad).
Give those legs a break
Now, hear us out: we know you’re going to want to ski every day in Vail. And for good reasons! But your little ones might also love mixing it up a bit during your trip. We’re willing to bet that they’d love another high-speed adventure on the mountain like Tubing at Eagles Nest. Your more curious kids will be enthralled by a visit to the nation’s highest altitude Nature Discovery Center as they spend time with an ecologist outside learning about animals and winter ecology. If you really want to impress your kids 10+, sign them up for a nighttime ski bike tour off of Adventure Ridge. For some night time magic as a family, we recommend heading to the Adlerhof Ice Rink in the Lionshead Village.
A Few Tips For Skiing With Kids
Skiing with your kids and raising lifelong ski buddies can be super rewarding. Instead of focusing on accomplishing technical goals, keeping it lighthearted and playful, and not being shy about heading inside for a cookie when a break is a recipe for a great time. If you’re having fun, they usually have fun, and after a day of high fives and cold toes, heading to Mid Vail Lodge, at the top of Gondola 1 is a great way to end on a high. Order a plate of sweet potato fries to share with your little skier and a cold pint of something local for yourself.
We are looking forward to seeing you at Vail and helping you get set for the mountain. Make your reservations here to have your gear delivered right to your door.
Is Vail already checked off your list? Let Ski Butlers take care of you at one of our other locations around the world. See you on the slopes!