From GoPro Mountain Games and Bravo! Vail Music Festival to Hot Summer Nights, Vail’s signature summer events lineup is bountiful June through August. So, slather yourself in sunscreen and dive — Chacos first, if you’ve got ’em — into all this mountain-town fun. Check the Vail calendar for exact dates.
1. GoPro Mountain Games, June
Experience an exciting fusion of adventure sports, art and live music at the GoPro Mountain Games. From tossing a frisbee at the disc-golf tournament to cheering a runner on in the Adidas Terrex 10K Spring Runoff, there are things to do for participants and spectators. Get your face painted, visit a YETI “hydration station” with your reusable water bottle (part of Vail’s “Protect Our Playground” efforts) and settle down on the soft grass at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater to enjoy concerts during Mountains of Music.
2. Vail Arts Festival, June
Come marvel at the works of more than 60 artists at the three-day Vail Arts Festival. You’ll explore a myriad of mediums, including metalwork, photography, woodwork, ceramics, glass and more. Travel through the idyllic Lionshead Mall while admiring hand-painted canvases, carefully crafted sculpture and handmade jewelry. Learn more about the Vail art scene from the artists themselves or let the kiddos create their own masterpieces in classes.
3. Vail Craft Beer Classic, June
Vail Craft Beer Classic is the ultimate hops-lover’s event. With 50-plus breweries represented from across Colorado, you’ll experience the delights of some of the state’s greatest beer-makers. Sip on a fruity saison from Great Divide or a flavorful IPA from Launch Pad Brewery while tapping your foot to live music or getting a strike in keg bowling.
4. Vail Farmers’ Market & Art Show, June–October
Summer in Vail means more than sunshine. It’s also when the iconic Vail Farmers’ Market & Art Show happens every Sunday. With around 40 food vendors presenting artisanal food, art and gifts, this event will have you returning week after week to walk along Meadow Drive. You may find a hand-poured candle, rustic jewelry, fresh-baked treats, organic produce and more while you’re there.
5. Bravo! Vail Music Festival, June–August
The Bravo! Vail Music Festival is a haven for classical and orchestral music fans. From indoor community quartet concerts at Vail Interfaith Chapel to outdoor amphitheater performances amplified by the rugged backdrop of mountains and pine trees, each concert is unforgettable. Don’t miss the interactive opportunities for little ones at the library or informative masterclasses with Inside the Music, where you’ll glean expert insights into the many ways of interpreting music scores.
Kick off the Fourth of July with all the patriotism, live music and parade entertainment you could ask for with one of Vail’s most popular holiday celebrations. Don your red, white and blue and lather on SPF 50 before you head into the village on foot, bike or via bus to grab a spot along the parade route. After watching the drumline, flags and balloons, enjoy the Patriotic Concert featuring rock and Americana music. Then finish the day with a dazzling professional fireworks show — you’ll be able to view these bright, glowing bursts of colorful lights from anywhere you can see Vail Mountain.
7. Vail Dance Festival, July–August
The Vail Dance Festival is your chance to see performers from around the world excel in styles like tap, contemporary and hip-hop. Want to participate in group dances or get behind-the-scenes knowledge? Take a masterclass to perfect your pointe technique or enroll the kiddos — no matter their skill level — in Pop Hop Camp.
8. Vail Wine Classic, August
Is your ideal summer experience sipping wine with a mountain backdrop? Then Vail Wine Classic is a must. Taste wines from award-winning vineyards spanning California to the French countryside. Delight in more than 300 wine choices at the grand tasting, including Napa Valley zinfandels, Australian cabernets and Tuscan Chiantis. Or grab some friends and enjoy curated lunch and dinner tastings before lacing up your boots for leisurely wine-paired hikes and nature outings. You’ll also get the chance to ask your burning questions to winemakers and sommeliers during live seminars.
9. Hot Summer Nights, select nights, June–September
Claim your spot on the grass at The Amp (locals’ affectionate nickname for the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater) and boogie down to free live tunes put on by Hot Summer Nights. Here you can breathe in the refreshing mountain air and watch the sunset paint the sky orange as you munch on picnic fixins and slurp down some of your kid’s juice box. Find the most up-to-date Hot Summer Nights lineup here.
10. Kids Adventure Games, August
Help your tots expel their wild energy at the Kids Adventure Games, where they can race in obstacle and rope courses, learn how to work as a supportive team and climb on the rock wall. Most activities include the opportunity to win prizes, but none are as rewarding as overcoming a challenge, making new friends and spending time with the fam. This Vail event provides all the obstacles while kids bring their own bikes, protective gear and go-get-’em attitude.
Insider Tips for Summer Event Attendance:
Parking: Road-tripping to Vail? Grab a spot at one of six daytime parking areas and get ready to hit the town just a short walk away. Find more information about Vail parking.
Bus Routes: Ditch your car and take the bus. Vail is easy to explore via public transportation and has a variety of pick-up and drop-off locations for your convenience. Check out Vail bus schedules.
Pets: Busy events can be stressful for pets; that’s why we recommend leaving them at home. If you decide to bring your furry friend, be sure to keep them leashed and under voice command.
Fourth of July: Stay hydrated at various water-refill stations as you check out the festivities during the Vail America Days Celebration & Parade, including live entertainment and the fireworks show. Plan out your itinerary and routes ahead of time as bus services may be rerouted during the celebrations. Find Vail’s event-specific bus routes.
Photos courtesy of GoPro Mountain Games & Vail Dance Festival/Chris Kendig.