May - Oct
Gardens & Parks
Vail, Colorado, is more than just a winter wonderland; it’s a playground for families, especially for kids eager to explore the great outdoors. With interconnected pedestrian walkways linking all villages, Vail offers a myriad of parks, playgrounds, and water features. Whether you’re a local family or a visitor, these recreational spots provide endless opportunities for fun and adventure. Here’s a guide to the various types of recreational spaces you can find in Vail.
Playful Parks and Unique Playgrounds
Vail’s parks are a haven for kids of all ages. Each park features a custom-designed playground, complete with slides, swings, and climbing structures. Ford Park, nestled in Vail Village, boasts a comprehensive recreational area, offering everything from basketball courts to grassy open spaces. The Pirate Ship Park in the heart of Vail Village is a favorite among kids, with its life-sized pirate ship, swings, and climbing nets. Additionally, parks like Donovan Park, Red Sandstone Park, and Ellefson Park provide diverse play structures, ensuring endless entertainment for little ones.
Art-Inspired Play Structures
What sets Vail’s playgrounds apart are their art-inspired play structures. Cloud Park, located between Vendetta’s and The Lodge at Vail, features imaginative cloud-shaped installations, encouraging kids to climb, play, and create their own music with hanging chimes. The emphasis on creativity and aesthetics enhances the play experience, making these parks both visually stimulating and entertaining.
Water Features and Cooling Off
Vail’s recreational spaces also include water features perfect for cooling off on a hot day. The Children’s Fountain in Vail Village, with its spraying fountains and bronze sculptures, provides a safe and refreshing space for kids to play. Additionally, Sunbird Park in Lionshead offers jumping fountains, adding an element of excitement. When the winter runoff subsides, families can dip their toes into Gore Creek, but caution is advised to ensure safety, especially for children.
Skateboarding Adventure at Zeke M. Pierce Skatepark
For young skateboard enthusiasts, Vail offers the Zeke M. Pierce Skatepark in Lionshead. This well-designed park, featuring colorful mosaic murals created by artist Valerie Theberge, provides a safe space for skaters to practice their skills. Open daily from dawn to 11 p.m., the park ensures endless hours of skateboarding fun for thrill-seeking kids.
Athletic Fields and Sports Tournaments
Vail’s recreational offerings extend to athletic fields that host various sports activities throughout the spring, summer, and fall. Fields in Ford Park and Donovan Park accommodate sports like softball, soccer, lacrosse, rugby, and football. These fields are not just for local sports camps but also serve as venues for tournaments such as the Vail Lacrosse Tournament and 3v3 Soccer Tournament, creating an atmosphere of competitive fun for young athletes.
Recognizing the importance of furry family members, Vail allows dogs on leashes in most town parks, except Ford Park and within 100 feet of athletic fields. Two parks, Bighorn Park in East Vail and Stephens Park in West Vail, have an “off-leash” program, providing a safe space for dogs to run and play. Dog owners are encouraged to clean up after their pets and ensure their safety, creating a pet-friendly environment for families exploring Vail’s recreational spaces.