Vail Family-Friendly Winter Activities

Vail family-friendly winter activities

The Antlers at Vail hotel is the perfect home base for families coming to ski Vail or coming to enjoy all of the other exciting mountain activities in Vail.

The Antlers at Vail hotel is the perfect home base for families coming to ski Vail or coming to enjoy all of the other exciting mountain activities in Vail.

The Antlers at Vail hotel loves families! Our spacious studio to four-bedroom condominiums are perfect for families of all ages and sizes. And, we even have pet-friendly lodging for those who don’t want to leave that important member of the family at home. Our location is perfect for those looking for something to do instead of – or in addition to – skiing Vail. Here are our family-friendly top five ways to have winter fun outdoors – including stepping out in the snowshoes that we provide free for guests.

Make like Bigfoot: Those who’ve never tried snowshoes might worry about learning curve, but the sport really is as easy as strapping them on and walking outside and the Antlers recently added snowshoes to the many complimentary amenities the hotel provides for guests. We love catering to families, and snowshoes are an easy family-friendly activity – and a great spontaneous way to enjoy Vail’s snow and scenery. Vail golf course has good beginner trails – and snowshoe rentals for those not lucky enough to be staying at Antlers – or just stroll along the Gore Creek path right outside our door.

"Arches" by local artist Paul Wertin on display now at the Vail Triumph Winterfest

“Arches” by local artist Paul Wertin on display now at the Vail Triumph Winterfest

Frozen Arches: Travel through undulating walls sculpted from 36,000 pounds of ice by Vail artist Paul Wertin along the Gore Creek Promenade in Vail Village. Inspired by the work of Christo, Wertin’s “Arches” is illuminated by programmed LED lights, and is the second Art in Public Places ice sculpture installation of this year’s Triumph Winterfest – on display until the ice melts.

The New Home Movies: Capture winter outdoor adventures as they happen with a GoPro camera. Playing in the snow is just that much more fun with a video record to share with friends and family. To help guests remember Vail’s epic snow, the Antlers at Vail provides complimentary GoPro loaner cameras at the front desk – and might just post your first-person video debut on its Facebook page.

Tube Time: Nothing says hair-raising fun in the snow like flying down a mountain on an oversized inner tube. Adventure Ridge on Vail Mountain offers a multi-lane tubing hill with an easy-access surface lift for a quick ride back to the top. And the perfect for families tubing hill is only one of the winter activities at Adventure Ridge, which also include ski biking, kids’ snowmobiling, and a new winter zipline.

Fun tubing on Vail Mountain. Photo courtesy Vail Resorts, Bob Winslett

Fun tubing on Vail Mountain. Photo courtesy Vail Resorts, Bob Winslett

Holiday on Ice: Vail Valley has several facilities for ice skating – both indoors and out – with perhaps the most picturesque experience to be had at the outdoor oval Alderhof Rink in the heart of Lionshead’s Vail Square, just steps from the Antlers. Ice skate rentals are available at the rink, which is open daily from 1:00 – 8:30 p.m.

With a policy of “The answer is ‘yes,’ now what was the question?” the Antlers offers a famously personalized guest experience. Want a cappuccino machine in your suite awaiting your arrival? Need a babysitter for a parents’ night out without the kids? Want groceries delivered before your arrival or during your stay? Just ask.

Families of all ages appreciate the Antlers at Vail’s comfortable condominium suites. Full-service kitchens allow families to serve homemade meals – with additional amenities including gas-fired barbeque grills and a “lending library” of upscale appliances from that cappuccino machine to a breadmaker. Large families can reserve a spacious multi-room suite, while smaller families may want to take advantage of the Antlers’ cozy one-bedroom condominiums – with a separate bunkroom included at no additional charge.

Check out special rates on an Antlers’ stay – including the opportunity to book a spring night April 7 – June 15, 2014, for $99 with any night’s stay during ski season.

The Best Place for Families to Stay in Vail


To relax after a fun day of skiing or other activities, cozy up by the fire with a book.

What is the best hotel in Vail for families to stay? Well, first I will fully admit that I am somewhat biased on the answer to this question. But, as a parent of two young children I am very particular about where we stay while on vacation. And, the Antlers at Vail meets and exceeds all of those requirements. So, here is why the Antlers is the best hotel for a family vacation in Vail, in my biased but expert opinion.

#1. Okay, it sounds basic, but… The Antlers’ multi-room condominiums all allow for separate living space, so that the adults can stay up and enjoy a glass of wine or the cozy fire after the kids go to bed. Even the studios have a privacy screen that can be pulled closed between the living area and bedroom. The one bedrooms with bunks are a perfect option for families with young children. The Antlers has so many different room, bedding and bath configurations that we are sure to be able to meet your needs.

Antlers at Vail 1-bedroom with bunk condos are the perfect configuration for families.

Antlers at Vail 1-bedroom with bunk condos are the perfect configuration for families.

#2 The one meal that I really don’t want to have to eat out every day on vacation is breakfast. The Antlers’ condominiums all have full kitchens that are so convenient for making breakfast while still in your PJs. The kitchens can accommodate a simple breakfast of cereal to pancakes, eggs, bacon and more. Feeling inspired and want to make waffles? If your condo doesn’t already have a waffle iron, the front desk has a loaner for you, and many other one-off items as well. Don’t feel like brewing coffee? You can just saunter up to the lobby and grab a couple of cups of freshly brewed coffee to get the day started.

#3 All Antlers units are condominiums, but we offer all of the amenities of a hotel, including daily housekeeping service. Okay, again basic if you are at a hotel. But, if you are renting through a site like VRBO don’t count on it.

#4 No extra fees or nickel and diming! As a family, extra fees add up fast. Buying anything for 4 or 5 people adds up much faster than 2 people. The Antlers prides itself on not charging for extras. There are no resort fees, no charge for parking, complimentary hot chocolate and apple cider in the lobby, and even free DVD rentals.

#5 Location. The location of the Antlers really can’t be beat. The hotel is located right on Gore Creek. The view from your room may include Vail Mountain, the bike path along Gore Creek, the spectacular pool or some lovely green foliage giving you the feeling of seclusion. The gondola is 150 yards away. The free in-town bus is just footsteps away and will drop you right at the multitude of activities and savory dining awaiting you. The Lionshead gondola takes you directly to the newly improved Adventure Ridge.

The entire family is sure to enjoy the Antlers pool and two hot tubs located on Gore Creek.

The entire family is sure to enjoy the Antlers pool and two hot tubs located on Gore Creek.

#6 The Pool. So, I know I’ve already mentioned the amenities, but the Antlers has a fabulous pool area that includes two large hot tubs. You will be hard pressed to keep the kids away regardless of the weather. Have you ever sat in a hot tub on the river while it is snowing? It is an experience that the kids won’t forget.

#7 The other guests. There is the possibility that your kids might get to see a moose family for the first time, or a fox. We have a moose family that has been visiting somewhat regularly lately. *You will want to watch from afar. Moose are not friendly, but they are magnificent.

#8 The service. Every lodging property in Vail prides itself on the highest standard of service. But, I would argue that the service you receive at the Antlers is different because it is genuine and personal. Employee retention at the Antlers is unmatched–from our General Manager who has been with the Antlers for 35 years to our head housekeeper who has been with the Antlers even longer. In reviews the staff regularly is called out.

Fun to watch the local Moose, but keep your distance!

Fun to watch the local Moose, but keep your distance!

#9 Need I say more? I hope that if you are traveling with a family to Vail that you will consider staying at the Antlers at Vail. We’d be honored to have you be a part of our extended family and discover yourself why our guests return year after year.

Posted by: Liana, the Antlers’ Marketing Gal

Antlers at Vail Awarded TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence

The Antlers is excited to share that we have been awarded TripAdvisor's Certificate of Excellence.

The Antlers is excited to share that we have been awarded TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence.

The Antlers at Vail is excited to share that we have received a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence award. The accolade, which honors hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Only the top-performing 10 percent of businesses listed on TripAdvisor receive this prestigious award.

To qualify for a Certificate of Excellence, businesses must maintain an overall rating of four or higher, out of a possible five, as reviewed by travelers on TripAdvisor, and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months. Additional criteria include the volume of reviews received within the last 12 months.

“TripAdvisor is delighted to celebrate the success of businesses around the globe, from Sydney to Chicago, Sao Paulo to Rome, which are consistently offering TripAdvisor travelers a great customer experience,” said Alison Copus, Vice President of Marketing for TripAdvisor for Business. “The Certificate of Excellence award provides top performing establishments around the world the recognition they deserve, based on feedback from those who matter most – their customers.”

Hiking Mt Sherman 2011

Mt Sherman Hike (14,036′)
A decent short 14er for those who want to notch the first one on their belts. It takes about 4 hours to reach the top and return. The land may seem brown and lifeless compared to some other 14ers however; it is rich in mining history as can be seen from the scattered mining structures all around the area. This was one I could see from the ridgeline very near to the top of Sherman.

When my fellow Antlers employee Dan and I hiked it on June 27th, it still had snow fields to cross at the start of the hike. However, we got through easy enough without too much post holing (and a slight deviation from the trail that turned into a lot more work than expected… DANNNN). Still, the rest of the trail was clear and easy going once we started gaining elevation. The most exhilarating thing about this hike was the wind that day. Sherman is very very exposed so a windbreaker/rain jacket is a MUST or you will risk being exposed to the elements that make hiking very uncomfortable.

A little bit windy up there

Only 40 a minute drive away from the Antlers here in Vail it was definitely a great day hike and a good first 14er for any moderate hiker looking to reach the next level. Make sure to add to the wind walls when you reach the top and sign the registry!!!

After we added another foot or so it still wasn't very helpful

Bighorn Cabin

Greetings hikers!

Bighorn cabin is a private property (although left open as a storm shelter) located at about 10800 feet in the Gore Range Wilderness. A good moderate hike and definitely one of the least steep in the area it is great for those looking to head into the mountains and photograph wildflowers, see some wildlife, and enjoy the great outdoors. The trail used to be a part of an old wagon trail so be sure to look for signs on the sides of the trail to be a part of the old homesteaders travels. You will reach some rock fields, to be sure of the way make sure to look for cairns (rocks stacked up like a tower). Not far from the Antlers in Vail this is a great hike accessible to all. One thing to remember is that parking there is limited so going early or taking the bus is recommended. Also, for the aggressive hiker this is a good way to reach the Grand Traverse which is a long ridge at the height of 12000 ft designed for mountain bikers and expert hikers.

Here is a terrain map provided by Google showing the basic route up to the cabin and some other trail heads in the area.

View Bighorn Cabin in a larger map



Son of middle creek Vail mountain bike trail

Son of middle creek mountain bike trail is a fantastic Vail mountain bike ride. It is around 8 miles and only takes 1 to 1.5 hours for a wonderful loop from the Antlers at Vail hotel and conference center. Click on the link below to print out the map and read about the directions etc. It has about 40 minutes of climbing and 30 minutes of single track ascent/descent.

View Son of middle creek in a larger map

Great views over the valley.

The leaves are starting to change…

Winter arrives in 2-12 weeks depending on what happens… Get that hike and bike ride in soon.

Two Elk mountain biking trail

Two Elk mountain biking trail is a LONG… ride.  Figure on 4-6 hours.  It starts at the Antlers at Vail hotel and conference center and ends up being a 30 mile loop.  It offers around 4000+ vertical feet of climbing.  Just click on the attached map for details or even to print out the route.  Two Elk mountain biking trail is usually open from July 1 – until the end of September and travels through Vail’s Back Bowls (see our Vail ski map).  It is a combination of double track, single track, regular road and Vail bike path.  If you do ride by yourself, mention to someone where you are going, because you’ll be a LONG way from anything on this ride.  And bring tools and tubes.  I seem to get one flat tire each time I do this ride.  Chris R.

View Two Elk Trail mountain biking trail Vail in a larger map

On the top of Benchmark overlooking the Gore Range and I-70.  Great place for a snack and a drink.

Up on top of Outer Mongolia Bowl ready to take the single track along the China Wall heading West above Vail’s Back Bowls.  We are at 11,600 feet at this point.

Looking up towards China Bowl from the Trail.  The base of the China Bowl lift is behind me.

Will this snow in Vail Colorado ever end?

This April has just been amazing for snow at the Antlers at Vail hotel in Vail Colorado.  Someone said we received 8 feet of fresh snow this past month and I believe them.  This Wed-Sat we received anywhere from 18-24 inches of additional snow.  Some pics nearVail mountain below were taken on Friday, others today on Sunday May 2nd.  You can easily ski all the way to the bottom of the Vail ski mountain at this time.  Up on top, the Forest Service snow depth shows 64 inches of base (or 5 feet of settled snow).  Not too bad for May 2nd.  Chris R.

April 30th, outside the Antlers at Vail hotel

Snow chair

Walking along the Vail Bike path April 30th

Sunday May 2nd photo towards the ski slopes

Vail grooming, Vail ski conditions March 1, reported by Antlers at Vail hotel

Here are the Vail ski conditions and Vail snow report for March 1st as reported by the Antles at Vail hotel:  Light snow, staying cold, 1-2 inches of new snow.  A few icy patches here and there but the snow is still soft, even in Vail’s Back Bowls.  Sunny skies and warm weather is predicted for this coming Tuesday and Wednesday before we get more snow again.  It is now March so get ready to bust out the sunscreen every other day between the snow.  Picture below is from the top of Chair 2 looking towards Gore Range and Chair #4.  Around 10 Vail groomers came by real quick.  Chris R.

Everyone out of the way !

Vail grooming operations in progress, one expensive cat