ALL Colorado K-5th Grade Kids Get 16 days of FREE Skiing! Find out how…

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Elementary kids in Colorado – It’s your lucky day! Colorado elementary school kids don’t have to wait until they are in 5th/6th grade to get their own ski pass – Vail Resorts’ Epic School Kids now offers FREE skiing to ALL elementary school children.

The catch? Get your kids registered by October 8, 2016!

Q: WHAT IS THE EPIC SCHOOL KIDS?

Epic School Kids is a FREE program for Kindergarten through 5th graders that provides skiing and riding at some of Colorado’s best areas – Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, and Keystone. That means 4 days of FREE Skiing at each area or 16 days in all.

The pass also includes one FREE first-timer ski or ride lesson with equipment rental.

Q: ARE THERE RESTRICTIONS?

The following are blackout dates: 11/25/16-11/26/16, 12/26/16-12/31/16, 1/14/17 and 2/18/17-2/19/17

Q. HOW CAN PARENTS ENROLL THEIR CHILDREN IN EPIC SCHOOL KIDS?

Parents can take their children to a participating Front Range Colorado Ski & Golf, or Boulder Ski Deals location to register their child in person. In Boulder – just head to Boulder Ski Deals. Take a look at what you need to bring below.

Want more details? Epic School Kids

2016-17 Ski Passes: Family Deals Are Happening Right Now!

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What are the best ski deals for families right now? There are some good ones that are time limited, so it may be time to get your passes soon. Don’t delay, the best deals are in the Spring when these areas are trying to entice you to purchase for the 2016-17 ski season.

Rocky Mountain Super Pass+*

Included: Copper Mountain, Winter Park and Eldora, and days at Steamboat, Crested Butte and some others

Cost: $499/adult, $409/teen, $299/child [The price of these passes are only guaranteed through April 5, 2016.]

KIDS SKI FREE! One free child pass [12 & under] with the purchase of an adult RMSP and RMSP+ until June 1, 2016. 

*You can purchase the regular Rocky Mountain Super Pass, but it’s the same price as the RMSP+, so I think it’s a clear decision. 

 

Mountain Collective

This is a new one to me, but might be attractive to some adventurous, traveling families. The Mountain Collective gives you 2 free passes to 12 areas in the United States so 24 days of skiing if you can make it to all locations. Think Alta, Whistler/Blackcomb, Taos, and many more! The only local areas are those in Aspen. But if you are ready to go to the snow, this pass may be a fun one to add to your list.

Cost:$379/adult, $1/child

KIDS SKI FREE! Their child pass is $1 when you purchase an adult pass [limited time]. 

 

Vail Resorts/Epic School Kids

The Epic Pass products are on sale. Again this year they will be offering their Epic School Kids program which offers children through 5th grade a pass that allowed them to ski free for 4 days at Vail, Beaver Creek, Keystone and Breckenridge. Not too bad! Time to get on this one as this is a limited time offer and there were lots of families sad about not jumping on this one earlier!

The other thing to consider is adults need to get passes that align with these free kids’ passes, so you want to look at the whole package.

KIDS SKI FREE! 4 free days at Vail, Beaver Creek, Keystone and Breckenridge

What passes will your family get?

 

Kid Friendly Vail, Colorado

Awesome playground in Vail at Lionshead

Awesome playground in Vail at Lionshead

“What Is There To Do With Kids In Vail?” Is Vail, Colorado family-friendly?

Vail doesn’t always conjure up the image of happy families skipping through Vail Village. If your kids are not old enough to ski or you are looking for options when they are not skiing these suggestions will help you get dialed in to the family-friendly Vail scene. Most weekends there is something going on in Vail. During the winter season they offer free live music with big name acts, fireworks, tree lighting, and lots more. Check the Vail Events Calendar for details of what’s coming up.

Vail is our family’s favorite ski mountain. Sure there are tons of mountains to ski in the mountains of Colorado, but Vail gives us lots of diverse terrain, a great park and pipe area, back bowls, trees, groomers and lots more to entertain everyone in the family! The food is expensive and buying a ticket at the counter is very expensive indeed. Last weekend it was $165 for the day for adults which is not so family-friendly, but if you think ahead and get a pass it’s a great spot for the family.

Skiing is the obvious option for families in Vail, but I want to point out the other fun things to do in Vail with your family as a day off or after skiing.

Playgrounds:

  • Our favorite is the pirate ship playground in Vail Village. This is located just to the left of the Gondola, right at the base of the slope, through Vail Village. This ship is great year around and you will always see kids playing on it rain, snow or sun.
  • Another option is the funky playground at Lions Head, located just above the ice skating rink.

Other Things To Do:

  • Ice Skate at Solaris. Kids and adults can have fun skating all day and into the night at this cool skate rink close to Vail Village.
  • Ice Skate at Lions Head. Located in Lions Head Village at Vail, this is another fun ice rink for the whole family.
  • Adventure Ridge. This is family fun on the mountain where you can choose snow mobile riding, serious sledding, bungee jumping, and XXX. Expensive, but a blast for the kids!
  • Bol. This is high tech, over the top, bowling at its best. Kids and adults have a blast here. Reserve a lane ahead of time. You can order pizza, drinks, lane side. Expensive, but very entertaining.
  • Fuzzywigs candy store. This is always a fun place to take the kids. This is just in Vail Village.
  • The Vail Library. This is an under utilized resource for families. With programs like Toddler and Preschooler Story Time, Après-Ski Puppetry, games, art projects, and wifi, the Vail Library is a chill and fun place for all kinds of kids. Free.
  • Colorado Ski Museum. If your kids are old enough to appreciate the history of skiing and snowboarding the museum has some great displays and videos showing the 10th Mountain Division and the progression of the sports of skiing and snowboarding. Free.
  • Cinnebistro. Dine and watch at the Cinnebistro at Solaris just outside of Vail Village. Kids love it! It’s not cheap, but the memories last of being served right at your seat in a movie theater. Moderate to Expensive.
  • Take a Walk Along The River. Take a walk along the river in Vail Village. There are beautiful statues, ice carvings, and lots to look at. Free.
  • Vail Events Calendar. This calendar from Vail.com gives you the scoop on upcoming events and activities on and around the mountain. Most events are free. http://www.vail.com/events/event-calendar.aspx

Vail is a super fun family destination. Ski. Skate. Play. Watch a Movie. Learn. Bowl. Sled. Have fun!

#Vail #Colorado #Family #Vacation #Kids #Children

Skiing Every Month in 2014 = Building Grit in this 12 Year Old!

My oldest son has a goal to ski every month this year. Good goal for a ski obsessed kid! [See this 12 year old’s ski video] So this weekend my husband took him to St. Mary’s Glacier to get in his August skiing. It turns out skiing has become a great opportunity for father-son bonding. It’s also great overall family bonding, but this was of the father-son genre. The take home for our family – It’s the Process that Matter Most, Not the End Result!

The process is so much more than making the turns – but it includes the turns! The process is talking about open ended questions on the way up the mountain to the destination. The process is getting on the pack and loading it up with boots and skis and gear and stuff, then putting said pack on this 12 year olds back and hiking up about a mile to get a few turns. A mile up hill. A mile to find just enough snow to make those necessary turns that he committed to earlier this year.

Sometimes the skiing happens at #Vail or #Breckenridge or #CopperMountain, but in the summer it has happened by earning his turns. I’ve got to believe this process helps create grit in my son! Grit that will help him in get through the tough parts in his life. Grit that he will call upon when he needs to hike that last mile or finish that tough homework assignment. There is nothing as important as having grit, so when Kai tells me about his experience and how it was tough but he did it, I take a deep breath that fills me up inside. I know the process and these experiences will fill him up in the end.

Take Homes from this Adventure:

  • Follow your passion
  • Do it even when it’s tough
  • Enjoy the process
  • Find a way to bond – something you enjoy doing together!

Interested in what a 12 year old can do skiing? Check out this video Kai made of his skiing!

 

Vail Offers Families More Than Skiing and Snowboarding! Here is what Skyler and I found when we took off our skis

The crew is ready!

The crew is ready!

Recently I was asked to attend a media day at Vail. Gladly I accepted. My family has loved skiing Vail since our kids were young and we feel like the area is our second winter home. It really is. So I boldly took Skyler, my 4th grader, out of school [TCAPs happening and all] and we headed up the mountain. This was going to be a day of experiential education! 

We pulled up to the Arrabelle and valet parked our car [Thanks, Vail and yes, I would love to stay with my family at the Arrabelle one day!]. All the little touches that ensure you know you are at a high end resort were present and made this space subtly magnificent. But alas we were not checking in so we gave our keys over to parking attendant, poured ourselves some hot chocolate and coffee, and headed out to our Vail playground destination.

We made our way to the gondola [right around the corner] and met up with our media day crew. Many of these writers brought their kids along too which made it even more fun! We immediately headed up to Adventure Ridge with the intention of trying out their zipline, tubing, & snowmobiles. We wanted to know what families with kids who don’t ski, or families wanting to take a day off, can expect from the on-mountain activity center. It turns out Adventure Ridge is a great option!

Tubing

I have to be honest. I am scared of heights and going too fast. I ski fast only to keep up with my family at this point. But I was not going out there with a bunch of kids and parents and not getting on the activities. I had to save face at all costs. So Skyler and I grabbed our tubes and got on the sort of odd conveyor belt that took us to our destination at the top of the hill. The other option was walking up, so we were fine with the ride. Skyler went first. He plopped the tube down, asked the attendant a few questions [he likes to make sure he does things the right way], and off he went. So quickly I almost missed his ride.

Me on the other hand, I slowly and cautiously got in my tube trying not to make eye contact with the ride organizer. But I didn’t go unnoticed so she made her way over and gave me a gentle shove off the edge. It was really fast! So fast.  But it was exhilarating and awesome at the same time. I was sold. I jumped off my tube and ran to catch up with Skyler to take another run. This time we went together. He wanted a spin. We settled on just going down forward this time. Next time we spun. And spun. And spun. Smiles!!!!

Snowmobiling

Then we headed over to the snowmobiles because the kids were ready for the ride of their lives. The kids donned extra cool helmets and got on their steads. These snowmobiles are super cool and the kids clearly felt like rock stars as they took off around the track. At times the scene looked like bumper cars, but the Vail staff had it fully under control. Deep breath for us helicopter parents…

Ziplining

IMG_4673 To top the morning off we got back on the conveyor belt and headed up to zip down the mountain. This is a highly technical activity! You get to put on cool harnesses, weigh in, and fly over the ski slopes on a wire. On a wire! Once again I let Skyler go first. I hung back and checked this one out. I watched as Skyler happily put on the harness and was prepped for his flight. He was methodical and careful as he got ready [his style]. But then before I knew it he had his feet up on the gate, hanging in mid-air, ready to fly. Then he was off… At the end I checked in and all he could say was, “I wish it went faster!”

More Family-Friendly Vail Options

Adventure Ridge offers amazing on-mountain family-friendly things to do in Vail when you are not skiing.  But depending on how old your kids are, if they ski yet, or you just don’t want them in ski school yet, you can check out ice skating at Lionshead, the Pirate Boat Playground and the water fountain at the base of the mountain in Vail Village, head to Fuzziwigs for a sweet old fashioned treat, or downstairs to Joe’s Famous Deli and Ice Cream for some delicious ice cream. These are all things my kids still love to do in Vail when the skis are off and have for a long time!

Thanks to the Vail Communications Crew for letting us experience Adventure Ridge! We will be back to play with the whole family again. What are your favorite non-skiing/boarding family-friendly options in Vail?

#Vail #LikeNothingOnEarth #AdventureRidge #family #familyfriendly #kids

Kids Learn to Love Snowboarding at Burton’s FREE Riglet Park in Vail [Friday/Saturday]

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It turns out the Burton US Open is not only for the pros because they have brought along Riglet Park Program is a FREE program that offers kids ages 3 to 6 an opportunity to check out snowboarding. They get geared up with demos and get to mess around on small scale snow features.

For the next few days at the Vail base area of Lionshead you will find Burton’s Riglet Park. What is a Riglet you ask? A Riglet is somewhat like a Grom [skate and surf speak for beginner], but younger still. Riglet Park is a magical opportunity for your young ones [ages 3 to 6] to try out snowboarding in a really safe environment–with instructors who work with them one-on-one. Riglet Park is open and ready to have your little Riglet join them and find the joy in snowboarding!

I was invited to take a media tour of Vail’s family friendly activities and Riglet Park was one of them. Skyler got a chance to strap on a snowboard and try out the mini-park Burton created just for the little ones. Of course Skyler is 10, so he was on the large side, but the Riglet Park folks were happy to oblige and found him boots right away. They got him on a snowboard and in no time he was pulling 180s on their mini half pipe. He was in love!

Here is how Burton describes their Riglet Program:

The Burton Riglet program is a snowboard learning experience geared towards kids ages 3-6. A Riglet Park has the allure of a bouncy castle and is as safe as one too. Mellow rollers, small berms and ground level features allow young riders to feel the balance they need to ride—and they do it while they’re riding. Two feet strapped in, being pulled through a zone set up just for them with safety, fun and learning in mind. From the kids to the instructors, everyone wins.

We will have a Free Riglet park setup in Lionshead village right next to the Eagle Bahn lift. Stop in with your child to experience everything they’ll need to get started riding. We’ll provide free demos of board, boots, and bindings designed specifically for the youngest kids, as well as Burton’s specialized Riglet reel. Certified instructors will be on hand to teach kids the basics and get them having fun standing sideways. This program is free and open to the public. Sign ups will take place at the Riglet tent near the Eagle Bahn lift in Lionshead.

Details here.

Riglet Park Operating Hours:

March 7 & 8 [Fri/Sat]
10am – 12pm
1pm – 3pm
4pm – 6pm

#Vail, #Snowboard, #Burton, #BurtonUSOpen, #Snow

Kids Can Learn to Ride at Burton’s FREE Riglet Park in Vail During the Burton US Open

Screen Shot 2014-02-15 at 9.30.25 AMThis year Burton is bringing the Burton US Open to Vail, March 5 through 8. It turns out the event is not only for the pros because they are creating a learning experience for the young ones. Burton’s Riglet Park is a FREE program that offers kids ages 3 to 6 an opportunity to check out snowboarding. They get geared up with demos and get to mess around on small scale snow features. Instructors are available to help the kids. Plus your kids can get inspired by some of the best snowboarders in the US who will be in town competing.

I cannot wait to see the Riglet Park Program in action!

Here is how Burton describes their Riglet Program:

The Burton Riglet program is a snowboard learning experience geared towards kids ages 3-6. A Riglet Park has the allure of a bouncy castle and is as safe as one too. Mellow rollers, small berms and ground level features allow young riders to feel the balance they need to ride—and they do it while they’re riding. Two feet strapped in, being pulled through a zone set up just for them with safety, fun and learning in mind. From the kids to the instructors, everyone wins.

We will have a Free Riglet park setup in Lionshead village right next to the Eagle Bahn lift. Stop in with your child to experience everything they’ll need to get started riding. We’ll provide free demos of board, boots, and bindings designed specifically for the youngest kids, as well as Burton’s specialized Riglet reel. Certified instructors will be on hand to teach kids the basics and get them having fun standing sideways. This program is free and open to the public. Sign ups will take place at the Riglet tent near the Eagle Bahn lift in Lionshead.

Details here.

Riglet Park Operating Hours:

March 5 & 6 [Weds/Thurs]
10am – 12pm
2pm – 4pm

March 7 & 8 [Fri/Sat]
10am – 12pm
1pm – 3pm
4pm – 6pm

#Vail, #Snowboard, #Burton, #BurtonUSOpen, #Snow