With winter giving way to warmer days, Vail steps into spring with a series of must-attend signature events. From the energic encores at Après at the Amp to the rugged rapids at the Vail Whitewater Race Series, there’s so much to explore and celebrate this season. Below, check out some highlights of Vail’s signature spring events — and catch some insider tips for making the most of your visit.
1. Après at The Amp, April
In April, the iconic Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater (nicknamed The Amp) still has a cool, white blanket of snow across the green. But that doesn’t stop Vail visitors from bundling up, cracking beers and jamming out to some upbeat spring performances at Après at the Amp. With two days of bass-thumping house music and electrifying EDM sets, you will be sure to warm up quickly from dancing and grooving with friends. Find the best après-ski spots in Vail.
2. Taste of Vail, April
Calling all wine lovers and foodies: Taste of Vail is the flavor-forward highlight of the season where you can try all the best sips and bites in the valley and beyond. The multi-day festival takes you on an epicurean journey, complete with four signature events. Day one kicks off with the Debut of the Rose, where you can swirl, smell and sip from a selection of more than 100 rosé wines. The next day’s Après Tasting takes over the streets of Vail, when more than 55 wineries, breweries and distilleries dole out tastes and vie for votes in the day’s competition. Then ascend to new heights at Friday’s Mountaintop Tasting, where snowcapped mountain views meet gourmet meals and divine wines at 10,530 feet above sea level. The finale? The Best of Grand Tasting, where all participating wineries and restaurants celebrate with a show-stopping, ultra-decadent feast.
3. Vail Mountain Closing Weekend, April
The end of ski season is always bittersweet — but a massive mountain celebration certainly brightens the mood! Vail Mountain Closing Weekend is when everyone puts on their craziest outfit (rainbow wigs, funky shades and Hawaiian shirts encouraged), straps on their skis and takes their final laps for spring. Once you’ve said your goodbyes to the slopes, head to the base area and snag an espresso martini at Express Lift Bar. Then, jam out to live music, grab a meal with friends and thank the ski patrol, ski-schoolers and lifties for another amazing winter at Vail Mountain.
4. SpringFree Bluegrass Festival, May
Over Memorial Day Weekend, remember to ramble over to Vail Village for the SpringFree Bluegrass Festival. This three-day-long, completely free event takes place at the Solaris, International Bridge and Gore Creek Plaza stages and is fun for the whole family. Stomp and holler to strumming bluegrass performances, snack on local eats and enjoy late May’s sunny weather and bluebird skies. Be sure to bring the kiddos along for rock ‘n’ roll performances by the Rock and Roll Playhouse, along with giggle-filled games, movement and stories, ideal for ages 1–7. Plus, the entire event is wheelchair accessible, so be sure to stop by and celebrate spring.
5. Vail Comedy Festival, May
Happening the same weekend as SpringFree Bluegrass Festival, Vail Comedy Festival will deliver the laughs. This event sells out every year, as more than 30 comedians take the stage and crack jokes, share stories and engage with the crowd. And you’ll be able to explore Vail’s best bars and restaurants the entire time with events taking place at seven different venues throughout the villages. Enjoy performances at iconic locations like Sarah’s Lounge in the Christiana at Vail, where you can grab a cocktail, settle into the bar’s bright-red chairs and have some laughs with friends and family.
6. Vail Whitewater Race Series, May–June
Splash into the excitement of the Vail Whitewater Race Series, where the rushing Gore Creek sets the stage for an adrenaline-packed, multi-week water-sports event. Whether you navigate a kayak, paddle a SUP, steer a raft or cheer from the riverside, you’re sure to have plenty of fun in the roaring rapids. A point system determines the winners for each competition and everyone ages 16 and up is welcome to join (if you have the skill to run class III whitewater). So, dust off your equipment, gear up and get paddling!
Insider Tips for Visiting Vail in Spring:
Layer up: Spring in the mountains means wintery weather is possible, even in May. So, be prepared for changing weather by shedding and adding clothing layers, hats and gloves.
Ride the bus: Buses provide free transport to and from Vail Mountain and throughout town. Going car-free means you’re getting around with ease while being kind to the environment.
Vail hotels: Book direct for the best spring rates (that means deals!)
Village dining: Reservations are always recommended, and check to see what’s open in Vail during shoulder season, particularly after the mountain closes.
- Discover five reasons to enjoy spring skiing in Vail.
- Build the perfect spring itinerary for your trip to Vail.
- Settle in for a drink at one (or more!) of these après ski spots in Vail.
Discover Vail events by season:
Looking for more Vail events throughout the year? Check out these resources:
- Bundle up for these magical winter events in Vail.
- Uncover Vail events you’ll return for every summer.
- Explore these colorful fall events in Vail.
- Take a bite out of our favorite culinary events in Vail.
- Check out Vail’s complete events calendar.
Hero image (top) courtesy of Zach Mahone