One of the most special aspects of Vail is that it is truly a place where kids can feel safe and free to roam (at a certain age) on their own. Older kids/teens will find their independence, with plenty of room to grow! Vail gives them the space to wander – watch as they step (or climb) into their own!
- Chill in the Villages
Because both Vail Village and Lionshead are pedestrian (no cars), it’s a great place for teens to chill and explore on their own. There are plenty of casual, fashion, and gear stores to entice teen shoppers, and candy shops (Fuzziwigs Candy Shop and Rocket Fizz) and ice cream (Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Häagen-Dazs) for a sugar rush. They can even duck in to one of the casual restaurants (Big Bear Bistro, French Deli) to grab a sandwich and fuel up.
- Hang in Solaris Plaza
Located in the heart of Vail Village, Solaris Plaza is home to a large turf field complete with lawn sports – it’s the perfect place to hang out!
Located in Solaris Plaza, Bol is, you guessed it – a bowling alley! Open day and night, teens can meet up and bowl to their hearts’ content. Bol also serves casual food for lunch and dinner, so they won’t go hungry before, after or during bowling.
- Get wet in Gore Creek
Once the spring runoff water levels have subsided, Gore Creek from East Vail to Lionshead offers teens tons of options to explore and get wet! Explore along Vail Village and Lionshead — the go-to spots are in front of Mountain Standard, by Ford Park, in front of the library and in front of Lionsquare Lodge. Come August, pick up an inner tube (local gas stations sell them) for tubing fun from Ford Park to Lionshead! The recreation path from East Vail along the Vail Golf Course has several spots to hang out and get wet — and even a swimming hole.
- Hop on a bike
Two wheels = freedom. For the ultimate adventure, they can haul their bike up one of the gondolas and bike down – Gitalong Road is an easy-rated option or for the more advanced, any of the other Vail mountain bike trails. And of course biking in town is a great way to explore. Check out our biking & rental recommendations.
- Hit the trail
Teens want freedom to explore on their own, and hiking right out of the Villages is a perfect way to get away into the woods with trails like Berry Picker (out of Lionshead) or Strawberry Lane (out of Vail Village). Or, point them to the gondolas which they can ride up to hike Meadow Loop or the Grand Escape for a more ambitious adventure. Check out Vail Mountain Hiking Trail Map. And, find more hiking recommendations here!
- Epic Discovery
The ultimate mountain playground, Epic Discovery is located atop Vail Mountain via the Eagle Bahn Gondola. Set your teens loose for a day of adventure and freedom! Adrenaline junkies will love the zipline, alpine coaster, ropes courses, summer tubing, climbing wall, bungee trampoline, disk golf, and lawn sports – all at 10,000’. Purchase an Adventure Pass for all-day entertainment and be sure to book the zipline and rope courses in advance.
- Movie Time!
If an afternoon storm rolls in or they’ve had a full day and want to kick back, kids, teens, and adults can catch the latest movie at Riverwalk Theatre in Edwards – a perfect après-play or rainy day activity. The night-time drive in theater experience is back with Blue Starlight Drive In theater in Minturn!
- Live Music
Live music is always flowing in Vail during the summer. Pop-up musicians play in the streets of Vail and Lionshead regularly. Tuesday nights, head to the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater for free summer concerts for all ages. And, on Wednesday nights mid-June through mid-July, wander down to Solaris Plaza for a Summer Bluegrass concert series.
- Vail Farmers’ Market & Art Show
If you’re lucky enough to be in Vail on a Sunday, explore Vail’s Farmers’ Market & Art Show. Running along Meadow Drive, teens can explore to their hearts’ content and check out the hundreds of booths showcasing food, art, and more.
Vail’s event calendar is packed all year-long and give kids and teens options for spectating or even participating!!