Vail, Colorado is an impressive playground for kids of all ages, but especially for teens. Any teen who enjoys nature, music, has an adventurous spirit or wants a little adrenaline rush is sure to fall in love with Vail. Known for its epic ski mountain, the Vail town and surrounding mountains actually have so much more to offer families with teens.
Vail is made up of two distinctive times of the year: winter and the rest of the year. From November to April the snow flies and the ski lifts open to skiing. The rest of the year other exciting outdoor adventures abound.
Things to do in Vail in winter with teens
The Town of Vail is quite a sight during the winter months. Lights twinkle in the snow throughout the valley. Most visitors come to ski this epic mountain, but there is so much more for families to do.
Ski or snowboard in Vail, Colorado
You came to ski or snowboard so that is how you and your teens will want to spend most of your time. Vail Mountain is huge, with 5289 skiable acres. If your teen is an intermediate skier there is no reason that they couldn’t explore the mountain on their own. If they like to go fast, they can try out the Epic Race Courses which is one of the best Vail activities for teens. If they are more into flips, they can try out one of the two terrain parks.
Insider Tip for visiting Vail in winter: Skiing Vail can be expensive. For the best deal on lift tickets plan and purchase early. Check out the new Epic for Everyone lift ticket deals only available as long as season passes are on sale.
Adventure Ridge Tubing
This may be our most favourite things do on the mountain in the winter, after skiing. Let a magic carpet pull you up the hill and then speed down in a tube. It is sledding on adrenaline but without all the work. Teens are sure to love it!
Vail sledding hills abound. All that is required is a cheap step. Several Vail hotels will offer loaner sleds for free. All that is required here is a little leg work to have a huge amount of fun with this Vail activity. It is a sure way to get out some energy and have fun doing it while breathing in that rest mountain air.
Moonlight Snowshoe Hike
Some of the Vail hotels will also loan out snowshoes. You just need to plan to be in the town of Vail for a full moon. It is a rare way to have fun late-night without getting into trouble. Meadow Mountain in Minturn is a local favourite spot to go for a moonlight snowshoe hike. But there are also a couple of great mountain hikes to take you to a lovely dinner. One of our favourites is hiking Bachelor Gulch (Beaver Creek) to Zach’s Cabin for dinner or appetizers and hot cocoa. Put this on the list of the best things to do in Vail with teens!
Ice Skate in Vail in winter
There’s an ice rink at Vail Square at The Arrabelle in Lionshead Village, and another at Solaris in Vail Village. Both are fun and have to be one of the most popular Vail activities for the whole family. Skates can be rented right there. And, the rinks are well maintained with pretty smooth ice. This really can be fun for the entire family. All it takes is a little balance.
Sleigh Rides through the town of Vail
What better way to entertain your teens while spending quality time with them than on a horse-drawn sleigh? You will have the chance to cuddle up together under blankets while taking in spectacular winter mountain views. Most sleigh rides end with a warm, cozy dinner.
Things to do in Vail in summer with teens
Not just a place to go in winter Vail summer activities can be just as fun and adventurous as the wintertime.
Epic Discovery is Vail’s ultimate summer mountain playground. From an alpine coaster that winds you down the mountain in a cart to challenge courses for a variety of abilities to a day of zip lining teens are sure to love Epic Discovery. This playground sits atop Vail Mountain and has plenty of fun for the entire family, but especially teens.
Vail Mountain sells a bike haul ticket. So you can let the gondola take you and your bike up the mountain and ride it down. You can soar down exciting single tracks or head down the mountain at a slightly slower speed on the catwalks. Up for a more vigorous workout?
Head down the valley to Eagle and check out one of their many challenging and fun mountain bike trails. The Colorado state high school mountain bike championships are held in this Vail Valley town, so you know that you will be bike riding fun trails.
Try the bikes and bites tour. On this mostly downhill tour you will stop along the way to sample food at various places and learn about the history and culture of the area. Click here for more details
White Water River Rafting
I am not a fan of cold water so managed to avoid this fun activity for several years, but the local outfitters have river rafting adventures for all abilities and ages. Let your teens put on wet suits and have some fun on the river rapids.
This is always a fun family activity but there is something about exploring the mountain and taking in the views via horseback. There are several horseback outfitters in the Vail area — Piney River Ranch, Vail Stables, Bearcat Stables and Beaver Creek Stables.
Kids Adventure Games
This race happens at the beginning of August for ages 6 to 14. So, only younger teens will be eligible. But if you have a teen who wants to be an American Ninja Warrior this is the activity for them. Kids get to challenge themselves on a mountainside racecourse full of fun obstacles.
The Vail Valley Escape Room opened a couple of years ago and we finally visited this summer. It is a great, fun team-building activity. They offer a few different adventures of varying difficulty. Save this one for a rainy day, or day when there’s just not enough energy for a mountain adventure.
Location: 12 Vail Rd #350, Vail, CO 81657, USA
The nearest cinema is cine bistro in Vail. What is cinebistro you may ask. Cinebistro Vail is a dinner-and-a-movie concept. A watch and dine experience featuring reserved seating in cozy, leather seats, full-service dining and movie viewing. You can order freshly cooked food, fine wines and signature cocktails. Why not take the kids for a movie, dinner and a cocktail for the parents
Location: 141 E Meadow Dr #104, Vail, CO 81657, USA
10 Pin Bowling
Why not get a bit of family competition going at Bol. Bol is a bowling alley combing food, drink and bowling for the whole family. You can eat drink and bowl all in the one location, sounds perfect for a night out with teenagers in Vail.
Location: 41 E. Meadow Drive // Suite 113 // Vail, CO 81657
Many Vail locals own their own paddleboards and just bring them out to whichever river area or lake they want to enjoy that particular day. But many spots in the Vail Valley offer rentals from Nottingham Lake in Avon to the new Eagle River Park in Eagle.
Segway in Vail
A new attraction for teenagers in Vail is Segway. Segway is a world of fun for kids, teens and parents. The vail segway tour starts with some safety rules and a short practice session to get you accustomed to the segway.
You will cruise off on a scenic tour of Vail Valley, Vail Golf Course, and Vail Village. You will see Vail like never before and left wondering why you have not tried Segway before. For more information and booking click here
Where to stay with teens in Vail, Colorado
Spacious creekside condos at the Antlers at Vail
Our favourite Vail hotel is the Antlers at Vail. It is located creekside in Lionshead Village with direct views of Vail Mountain. Watch the skiers make their turns, or listen to the creek. The spacious condos with cozy gas fireplaces and private balconies make this property. Teens will also love the creekside hot tubs and heated pool during both summer and winter.
Join our travel with teenagers group on Facebook today, Click here
Glamping at Piney River Ranch
Piney River Ranch is only open during the summer but is a special experience. Rent a cabin or go for clamping instead. There’s sure to be some family binding during the experience.
For more amazing accommodation options in Vail, we recommend using Booking.com for all your accommodation needs.
Insider Tip: Be sure to do your best to avoid altitude sickness by drinking plenty of water. Vail is located at 8150 feet, which makes it an ideal mountain playground. But you will want to be sure that the entire family can enjoy it to its fullest.
How to get to Vail Colorado
Vail is located in Colorado in the United States of America
Eagle County Airport is the closest airport to Vail Colorado. The airport is located 40 minutes west of Vail. Both American and United Airlines service Eagle County Airport
Denver Airport is located two hours away from Vail. You can hire a car and drive or alternatively, you book a shuttle to Vail.
Buses are available from Denver Bus Station to Vail for as little as $17.
Vail truly is a great place for families. Families in Vail will find things to do with teenagers right down to toddlers. Visit Vail today for your next family vacation.
This article is a guest post by Liana Moore who blogs at
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