Vail Ski Resort- Colorado Family Ski Vacation

Coveted as one of the largest ski resorts in the world with more than 5,200 acres of developed ski and snowboard terrain, seven legendary Back Bowls spanning seven miles, and the most groomed terrain on the planet, Vail has been an extraordinary winter vacation destination for more than 50 years. From the awe-inspiring terrain and natural beauty of the surrounding Gore and Sawatch Ranges to world-class events, activities and festivals, shops and spas, and the abundant culinary experiences and luxurious accommodations that line the pedestrian-friendly streets of Vail Village and Lionshead. Vail is where outdoor pursuits meet village sophistication.
Best Gear for Keeping Families Warm. There are plenty of places to cut corners and save money on Colorado’s ski slopes but having quality gear is not among them. Our must-haves include these Smartwool Merino 250 Base Layer Top and Bottoms, Hestra Classic 3-Finger Snow Glove (also available in junior sizes), Minus33 Merino Wool Balaclava, and Obermeyer’s I-Grow Ski Jackets and Pants which provide a simple way to lengthen the sleeves and cuffs of your child’s jackets and pants (our quickly-growing kids could wear them 2-3 seasons!) Columbia has a similar line of expandable winter jackets for kids. Nothing kills a good ski day like having a whining, cold child so be sure to have a bulk supply of hand warmers available (and you can even find rechargeable hand warmers that are like a portable pocket heater). 

Let it snow!

Vail Ski Resort- Colorado Family Ski Vacation

Season dates and hours
November 11, 2022 – April 13, 2023; Hours of operations (MST) 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (Hours extend over the course of the season)
Area (acres)
5,289 acres
What family-friendly amenities does your resort offer? 
Adventure Ridge, located high atop the Eagle Bahn Gondola on Vail Mountain, is a hub of alternative winter activities sure to entertain the whole family. Ride the Adventure Skyway to tubing paradise, soar through the sky on the Zip Flyer zip line, bike on snow, catch big air off a trampoline, hear the roar of kids’ snowmobiles circling the track, or take a free guided nature snowshoe tour with an expert naturalist from Walking Mountains. The options are endless!
Adult lift ticket prices?
Child lift ticket prices and at what age kids ski free?
$144*.  Also, Vail Resorts Epic SchoolKids program provides free skiing and riding for all elementary school kids in Colorado and registration is open through October.
Is there on-site childcare and if so, what is the starting cost?
Small World Nursery located in Vail’s Golden Peak offers daycare for children as young as 2 months and up to 6 years old. The nursery is open seven days a week during the winter season from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. See website for updates. 
What is the starting cost of ski/ride school? Ages?
The Vail Ski & Snowboard School is located in the Lionshead base area as well as the Golden Peak base area and offers private and group lessons for children and adults of all ability levels. Half-day starts at $210.
Where can families go for deals on lift tickets/lodging or special promotions?
Families can find the best deals on lift tickets and lodging by visiting and purchasing in advance. Families who visit during off-peak time periods (early season and in between the popular holiday vacation periods) will find benefits like better deals on lodging and lift tickets, fantastic events, easier reservations at the most popular resort restaurants, and more of the mountain to yourself. Traditional off-peak periods fall between opening day and Christmas; after New Year’s Day and before the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday; between the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday and the Presidents Day holiday; after the Presidents Day holiday and into early-March and in mid-April until closing day.
What area (off-mountain) activities would appeal to families for their winter vacation?
Vail Mountain Nordic School: Need a day off the slopes? Maybe looking for something different? Try one of the Vail Mountain Nordic School experiences. Take a backcountry snowshoe or skiing tour in the beautiful White River National Forest, or learn new skills like telemark and Cross Country skiing.

Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum: Founded in 1976, the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum is a treasure trove of ski history. Its six themed galleries display artifacts, narratives and film documentaries that entertain and educate all age of visitors. Featured topics include Winter Olympics, Skiing and Snowboard history, Vail’s first 50 years, Ski Patrol, Hall of Fame and the famed 10th Mountain Division training for World War II at Camp Hale. Captivating speakers and guided tours are available several days each week. Located in Vail Village at the top of the Transportation Center and open Daily 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Entrance is free.   

Distance from Denver
100 miles west of Denver
PO Box 7
Vail, CO
(970) 754-8245
*Note: Information and prices are subject to change and most resorts offer discounted rates if you purchase online seven days in advance. Many resorts do not publish a set lift ticket price. When compiling our list, we used the date Saturday, January 8, 2022 as our base to compare prices. Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. While clicking these links won’t cost you extra money, they help us keep this site up and running. See our disclosure policy.