COLORADO: Beaver Creek & Vail

By Francesca Tombolini London

Editor’s Note: Top Twelve Travel Tipsheet is a series on favorite FAMILY-FRIENDLY places and activities outside Houston. Francesca Tombolini London is a Houston SuperMom with two daughters. She lived in Italy and Venezuela before moving to Houston. She attended St. Thomas University.


Beaver Creek, 970-827-5715
This is a beautiful hiking trail for the whole family. Depending on the ages of your children, you can walk just parts of it, and still see majestic scenery and wildlife. It follows Beaver Creek through aspen trees and thimbleberry shrubs. The trail extends up from Beaver Creek Village, and you may pass ponds and waterfalls. Beaver Lake offers plenty of picturesque picnic spots.

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Vail, 970-827-5715
This trail begins at Piney Lake. Already a stunning spot, you can hike as much or as little as you would like. Many families walk through a meadow, a forest and finish at the waterfalls. The trail becomes more difficult past the waterfalls.

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Avon, Beaver Creek, Vail Base Camp, 970-949-1318
Riding bikes together is a wonderful family experience, and it’s even more unforgettable in the setting of the Colorado mountains. You can rent bicycles in excellent condition and at more reasonable rates from Venture Sports. They have a friendly and knowledgeable staff. They even provide pick-up service from certain spots, in case you just want to bike ride a route one way.


45 West Thomas Place, Avon, 970-845-7770
The Colorado Rockies on horseback is exciting and memorable. Younger children can ride ponies at the stable. Riders who are 7 years old and older can enjoy all the trail rides offered from 1-hour trail rides to 3-hour picnic rides, even a sunset dinner ride to Beano’s Cabin.


Beaver Creek Village, 970-845-0438
This outdoor rink in the heart of Beaver Creek Village allows families to glide on ice in the summer! Weekly events include Family Night at the Firepits and Disco Skate Night. Several fire pits surround the ice skating rink so families can snuggle with hot cocoa during skating breaks.


Traer Creek, Avon, 970-845-9090
You don’t have to wait until next year for the Houston Rodeo. Each Thursday night, families can enjoy all the traditional rodeo events including bull riding, and calf roping. Kids can participate in the mutton busting and calf scramble. Local chefs offer Western barbecue.

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136 East Thomas Place, Avon, 970-949-1234
This hotel is famous for its family friendly Fridays, when it offers free afternoon S’mores, pony rides, popcorn. Families enjoy the absolutely glorious outdoors roasting marshmallows and riding the gondolas up and down the mountain for free.


RIMINI GELATO – Two locations: Beaver Creek & Vail – 970-949-6156 – Pick up delicious fresh basked croissants, ice cream and other desserts and paninis.
BLUE MOOSE PIZZA – Two locations: Beaver Creek & Vail, 970-845-8666 – An all-around great place for families!
FOXNUT SLOPESIDE SUSHI – 15 W. Thomas Place, 970-845-0700 – Enjoy fresh fish with breathtaking views of the mountains.
SPLENDIDO – 17 Chateau Lane, 970-845-8808 – A large kids’ menu selection with healthy ingredients. They offer to serve any dish cut into bite-size pieces. Rustic American fare with piano bar.
BEANO’S CABIN – 970-754-3463 – Getting to this restaurant on Beaver Creek Mountain is part of the dining adventure. You can arrange to arrive by horseback or a tractor-pulled wagon. It’s also accessible by shuttle. Reduced rates for kids ages 11 and under.
MIRABELLE RESTAURANT – 55 Village Road, 970-949-7728 – This one’s for a romantic date night.


210 Plaza Way, 970-926-5855
The interactive exhibits are designed to entertain children from infants to 12 years old. Younger ones can enjoy Toddler Town, a soft play area with mechanical exhibits that will allow them to exercise their motor skills. Older ones up to Tweens can make their own creations at the working theatrical stage, science lab, building and construction workshops, and computer zone.


141 E. Meadow Drive, 970-476-5300
This combination bowling alley and restaurant is a hit with kids and parents. It offers the family fun of bowling with an international menu that includes everything from simple burgers to lobster personal pizza.

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BEAVER CREEK KIDS DAY CAMP – Beaver Creek Children’s Ski School, Gerard R. Ford Hall, 970-754-5464, 24-hour advanced reservation recommended. This licensed day camp offers activities for children ages 5-13. The itinerary varies daily and can include horseback riding, rock climbing, mountain biking, river rafting and jeep tours!
SMALL WORLD PLAY SCHOOL AND CHILDCARE – Beaver Creek Village, 970-754-5325, reservations are highly recommended. The friendly staff is trained to care for children 2 months old to 6 years old. Depending on your child’s age, activities include playground visits, art and crafts, field trips to the Children’s Museum and Children’s Theatre and picnics.


68 Avondale Lane, 970-845-8497
World-class performers make their way through the Vilar. This summer Diana Krall, K.D. Lang and Al Green are on the concert schedule.

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