Summertime at Vail Resorts is synonymous with fun. Whether your idea of fun is sweating it out over a grueling obstacle course, mountain biking with the family, sipping wine and eating great food, or heading to the rodeo, there is no end to family activities.
Thursday Night Rodeo
Thursday nights starting June 28 and going through August 16
Ride the free shuttle from Beaver Creek Village to the rodeo grounds in Avon for classic rodeoing. You’ll see bronc riding, calf scramble, team roping, mutton bustin’, barrel racing, bull riding, and, yes, burro racing. There’s also pony rides, face painting, a mechanical bull, and delicious BBQ.
Rocky Mountain Antique Festival
Treasure hunters young and old will revel in this annual festival which features antique furniture, rugs, silver, dishes, artwork, jewelry, and more.
Appreciate and purchase art, then sample delicious food prepared by chefs participating in the Bon Apetit culinary demonstrations during this scenic weekend.
Wine & Spirits Festival
This annual celebration of wine and spirits brings showcases some of the best vintages over the course of a weekend. Not exactly family friendly, I suggest signing the kids up for one of Beaver Creek’s fantastic day camps and taking advantage of your free time to hone your taste buds.
Don’t let the name fool you! Oktoberfest marks summer’s end with leiderhosen, beer, brats, and of course oom-pah-pah music.
For a complete calendar of Breckenridge events, click here.
Summer Fun Park
The name says it all: with a mix of nature exploration and high octane activities, the Fun Park, located at the base of Peak 8, promises all-day fun. Choose from scenic chairlift rides, putt-putt golf, pony rides, an alpine slide, mountain biking, rock climbing, the Gold Runner Coaster, a 2,500-foot alpine slide, and more. Access the park through the free BreckConnect gondola.
Sure, the locals ride year-round, but visitors will love the group rides, bike-in movie nights, bike fits, kids’ races, Tour de France viewing parties, bike demos and more that comprise Breck Bike Week. For up to date info on events, like the Breck Bike Week facebook page.
PRCA Pro Rodeo
August 4- September 2
The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) will hold a sanctioned rodeo every Saturday and Sunday night in a special arena in the Airport Road parking lot on the north side of town.
Rodeos will begin at 5 p.m. and include the following events: Saddle Bronc, Bareback Riding, Bull Riding, Team Roping, Steer Wrestling, Tie-Down Roping, Barrel Racing, and 1-2 clown acts. There will also be kids’ events (think Mutton Busting and Calf Scrambles) open to the public.
Come early (doors open at 3:30) and enjoy all you can eat BBQ Cowboy Dinner, cotton candy, snow cones, alcohol, retail vendors, rodeo clowns, mechanical bulls, live music and so much more. At 4:00 p.m. there will be a free behind the chutes tour provided by the rodeo clown.
For a complete calendar of events, click here.
Keystone Science School Day Camp
Kids love to learn, and this award-winning science camp stimulates their imagination and fulfills their curiosity like no other. Appropriate for kids ages 5-13, the camp immerses kids in the natural environment. Prices start at $70 for a full day and $325 for a week. For more information, call 970-455-4228.
River Run Rocks Free Concert Series
This concert series has hosted bands like 10,000 maniacs, Seven Mary Three, and Robert Earl Keen. Located in the River Run Village Plaza, the series is a great opportunity to grab a bite, settle in, and enjoy music as good as the natural environment.
Kidtopia Kids Fest
On select Saturdays throughout the summer, Kidtopia presents a petting zoo, train rides, caricatures, face painters, balloon artists, crafts, spin art, a kid’s show, and more right in River Run Village. Kidtopia events take place June 30, July 7, July 28, and August 11.
Tubing at Adventure Point
Anchoring Keystone Village, Adventure Point offers tons of fun, including this rip-roaring tubing park. Kids and parents alike will be thrilled on this fun ride. With a unique state-of-the-art conveyer lift, you can pack in as many runs as you’d like.
Ground zero for boat rentals, fish feeding, snack and lunchtime, and much more, the Adventure Center is located in Lakeside Village, near Keystone Lodge. Beat the heat at the Indoor Arcade, or pick the brain of the friendly staff to find the best hiking, biking, and sightseeing trails for your family.
Bounce House, Bungee Trampoline, Climbing Wall
Often families go to the mountains to escape into the high country for tactile adventures. Other times, the kids want more concentrated action. You will find that in River Run Village where a concentration of fun is found in the bounce house, bungee trampoline and climbing wall trifecta.
Keystone Enduro Race
This three-race series takes place Thursday evenings on the mountain on June 21, July 19, and August 16. Participants race mountain bikes in a format that is like a cross between a car rally and motorbike endure racing. Minimum age is 14.
Like the other resorts, Vail has oodles of activities ranging from the regular farmers market to music festivals. Click here for a complete events list.
Vail also features stellar family hiking. Here are a few gems:
Since my kids were born, I’ve strapped them onto my back and hit the dirt hiking. This summer, my toddler insists on walking himself. I love sharing this hobby with my boys, and you will too. Fortunately Vail offers a range of hikes for the whole family.
Vail Mountain and Gondola Access Hikes
From top to bottom, the Eagle Bahn Gondola offers a range of hiking trails. Download a trail map here or pick one up from a lift ticket office. Here is a brief description of some of the more popular trails:
Eagle’s Loop: This short ridge-top loop at the top of the Gondola offers great views
of Mount of the Holy Cross. 1 mile (1.6 km), 15–20 minutes.
Fireweed: Enjoy a beautiful wooded trail between Adventure Ridge
and Mid-Vail. 1 mile (1.6 km), 30–40 minutes.
Berrypicker: Starting at Lower Fireweed, this intermediate
trail winds down from Mid-Vail or Adventure Ridge to Vail Village or
LionsHead. 3.2 miles (5.1 km), 2–3 hours one way.
Grand Escape: This trail offers an alternative hiking
experience with spectacular views and makes a great loop with Ridge
Route. 1.5 miles (2.4 km), 1.5–2 hours one way.
Ptarmigan Loop: A scenic trail through shaded woods, Ptarmigan
connects with Ridge Route at Wildwood to Ptarmigan Point and back.
1.2 miles (1.9 km), 30–40 minutes. Loop with Ridge Route: 4 miles
(4.2 km), 2.5–3 hours
Ridge Route: An intermediate ridge climb from Adventure Ridge
to Wildwood and back, the Ridge Route also offers spectacular views. 1.4 miles (2.3 km),
1.5–2 hours one way.