With dry mountain air, beautiful green mountains, and bright sunshine, Vail, Colorado is a fabulous family travel destination in the summer. Although it’s known as a popular world-class ski destination, Vail has so much to offer for families. During my recent trip to Vail Colorado, I had the opportunity to experience some of these fun outdoor activities, and can’t wait to return with my family. Here are some great things to do in Vail in summer with kids.
Disclosure: I visited Vail at no cost as part of a press trip with the DoubleTree by Hilton Vail. All opinions are my own.
Regardless of what you choose to do, be aware of the mountain weather that you’ll experience in Vail. Layers are definitely recommended, and you’ll want to bring lots of sunscreen. It’s also important that you drink plenty of water and recognize that your body may react differently to the higher altitude.
Things to Do in Vail in Summer With Kids
Vail Mountain Resort Epic Discovery
You absolutely cannot visit Vail in the summer without spending a day at the Vail Mountain Resort. Their Epic Discovery Adventure Pass includes all-day access to the gondola, mountain coaster, adventure courses, and more (depending on the size/ages of your children). Even the littlest kids have activities to enjoy. There’s also mini golf right at the base. If you don’t want to buy the full Adventure Pass, you can purchase tickets a la carte for the individual activities.
For a special experience, add on the zip lining tour. This 3-4 hour tour is appropriate for kids aged 10 and up (weighing at least 75 lbs and accompanied by an adult). With the zip lining tour, you’ll also be able to return the next day to use the Adventure Pass.
Whichever option you choose, make sure you wear layers and closed-toed shoes. The weather changes frequently on the top of the mountain.
Read more about Vail Mountain Resort Epic Discovery here.
I love ski villages in the summer, and Vail Village is definitely something special. Older kids may enjoy visiting the quaint shops and boutiques, while younger kids will love the kids’ amenities. The pirate ship pictured above is a great place to get out energy.
There are also a number of little streams and rivers where kids can splash around. During my July visit, I saw lots of barefoot kids cooling down in the water. Vail Village is also home to a bowling alley and a movie theater so there is plenty to do, even when the weather isn’t cooperating.
Betty Ford Alpine Gardens
This botanical garden, founded by the former first lady of the US, is the highest botanical garden in the world. It’s filled with gorgeous alpine and mountain plants, as well as rock gardens and streams.
Kids will enjoy the children’s garden, the Vail Nature Center, and the playground. These areas are perfect for kids to explore, and to learn a little more about the mountain environment that they are visiting.
The gardens are definitely a beautiful place to visit in the summer – I enjoyed walking around and taking photos of all of the scenery and plants.
Learn more about the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens here.
Goat yoga is the newest yoga craze, and kids aged 8 and up can participate at the Vail Stables. Located about one mile from Downtown Vail, Vail Stables is an oasis for those who love animals.
During my trip to Vail, I loved my visit to the stables. The goat yoga class is about one hour, and doesn’t involve too much strenuous yoga. Instead, you’ll do some basis yoga poses while the goats snuggle up against you.
Kids aged 8 and above can do goat yoga, but will need to stay on their mats (which are provided). During our session, I was surrounded by goats. At the end of the hour, you’ll have some time to pose and get some photos that you weren’t able to get during the yoga. It’s definitely an experience you won’t easily forget. Be sure to bring yoga clothes and a water bottle.
Vail Stables also offers family horseback riding tours for kids aged 10 and up. These tours are either one hour or one and a half hours. You’ll get to see the gorgeous Vail scenery while on your horseback riding tour.
Read more about Vail Stables here.
Charter Sports, which has several Vail locations (including one at the DoubleTree by Hilton Vail), offers a Vail Pass bike tour. Families with kids aged 10 and up can rent bikes and participate in the tour. This two hour trip from Vail Pass to Lionshead Village is great for families. You can choose a guide or can use a map and ride on your own. The Charter Sports trip includes transportation to and from the trail.
Whatever you plan to do in Vail in summer with kids, you’ll definitely have a great time outdoors. Consider staying at the DoubleTree by Hilton Vail, where you can get either a room or a suite and enjoy an outdoor pool and other amenities.