5 things to do around Vail this weekend | VailDaily.com

5 things to do around Vail this weekend

Tricia Swenson gives her inside scoop on the best things to do over St. Patrick's Day weekend

1. Kreuger Family Shamrock Shuffle (Vail)

Shamrock ShuffleThis St. Patrick's Day, check out the seventh annual Krueger Family Shamrock Shuffle at the Vail Nordic Center on March 17. It's a great family event with a kids fun run and a 5K, as well as a competitive 10K that can bring out some heavy hitters.

Why is it called the Krueger Family Shamrock Shuffle?

It was the Vail Rec District's idea to have a new race in their quiver, and since Ben Krueger built the golf course back in the 1960s and the event would be held there, they offered the family the sponsorship.

Ben and Celine Krueger came to Vail in 1967 when he took a job as superintendent of the Vail Golf Course. The four Krueger children all went off to college in various places, but returned to the valley to raise their children.

"They also jokingly suggested that with all of the red headed Irish Kruegers, it was a natural. The Kruegers are mostly German, but they do enjoy an Irish whiskey," Pavan Krueger said.

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Prizes will be awarded for the top three in each catergory. If going fast isn't your thing, then you may be able to take home a prize for best costume or enjoy some of the raffle prizes like hotel stays, snowshoes, Salomon running shoes or Yaktrax.

This event is held snow, rain or shine.

If you go …

What: Krueger Family Shamrock Shuffle.

Where: Vail Nordic Center.

When: Saturday, March 17, 4 p.m.

Cost: Various prices based on pre- or day-of registration.

More information: Visit http://www.vailrec.com.

2. Thompson Square at Vilar Center (Beaver Creek)

Thompson Square
Keifer and Shawna Thompson make up Thompson Square. The country music duo perform at the Vilar Performing Arts Center on Friday, March 16.

Country Music duo Thompson Square is traveling the nation on their "This is Us Acoustic Tour" and the Vilar Performing Arts Center is the perfect venue for this type of performance.

Thompson Square is known for their international No. 1 hits like "Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not," "If I Didn't Have You" and "Everything I Shouldn't Be Thinking About" as well as many Grammy nominations and "Duo of the Year" awards from the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association.

Keifer and Shawna Thompson have put on big shows on tour with the likes of Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line and Jason Aldean, but this will be a stripped down version with just an acoustic guitar and two bar stools in an intimate setting. The Vilar's 535-seat horseshoe-shaped theater with unobstructed views will allow you to feel almost like you're in a living room listening to the stories of TS2, and they have great stories to tell, from growing up a Johnny Cash fan or working odd jobs until they made it big.

A bit of loval trivia, Thompson Square took the stage in Eagle County when they packed the Lundgren theater lawn for Gypsum Days in 2012. Check out this acoustic performance at the Vilar on March 16 for a different type of show.

If you go …

What: Thompson Square in concert.

Where: Vilar Performing Arts Center, Beaver Creek.

When: Friday, March 16, 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $58 for general admission.

More information: Visit http://www.vilarpac.org.

3. Beaver Creek SpringFest (Beaver Creek)

photo- child-hoola-hoop-Beaver Creek- SpringFest
Beaver Creek’s SpringFest takes place Sunday, March 11, through Friday, April 6.

Beaver Creek SpringFest

3SpringFest continues at Beaver Creek this week with more zany characters, music, parades and carnival-style games. On Fridays through Sundays until April 6, you'll find the SpringFest characters on the plaza from 3:30 to 6 p.m. interacting with the kids and leading the parade at 4 p.m.

On Friday, March 16, look for Popi's Magic Trunk. He'll have two shows at 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. featuring juggling, magic and a comedy show. On Saturday, March 17, St. Patrick's Day, enjoy live Irish music with troubadour, Donny O'Watson.

Sunday, March 18, brings out the Kids Creation Station.

"With the warmer weather and later daylight hours, we're able to do more outdoor activities like the Kids Creation Station, where children get to make festive, seasonal arts and crafts," said Brian Hall, of Blue Creek Productions.

Parents, let the kids loose on the plaza and watch them be entertained. Free activities and events occur daily on the Beaver Creek village plaza, next to the ice rink, during après ski hours (3-6 p.m.).

If you go …

What: SpringFest.

Where: Beaver Creek Plaza/Ice Rink.

When: Now through April 6.

Cost: Free.

More Information: Visit http://www.beavercreek.com.

4. Take a lesson (Vail, Beaver Creek)

If you are looking to enhance your vacation experience, hop into one of the many ski and snowboard lessons available at Vail and Beaver Creek.

Maybe I am biased, I was a ski instructor at Beaver Creek Children's Ski School, but I do believe lessons can make the vacation go smoother for everyone in the family.

Parents, if you are worried about your kids going too fast and not listening to mom and dad anymore, then a lesson would be a controlled environment where they are not only on terrain that is appropriate for their skill level, but also with their peers and with an instructor who is trained to teach that age group and capture their attention. Safety, fun and learning are the cornerstones of ski and snowboard schools and they weave the Skier and Snowboarder Responsibility Code into each lesson.

Do you find you get tired on the hill quickly? Maybe you aren't using the most efficient technique, therefore wearing yourself out before fatigue is due. Lessons can teach you how to utilize your skeletal structure and muscles efficiently to improve form, therefore improving the experience on the mountain.

If you are coming off of an injury, then surgery or maybe something like a collision has spooked you from getting back on the mountain, then taking a lesson will build confidence and an affinity for the sport again.

And couples, believe me, your dinner conversations will be a lot smoother if you don't try to teach each other while out on the slopes. Let the professional instructors provide a nice experience on the hill so that maybe someday you can ski or ride the same terrain and enjoy it versus argue.

Invest in a lesson so you and your family can all enjoy winter sports for years to come.

5. Watch the basketball, and ski (Vail, Beaver Creek)

March Madness has just begun and your bracket is all ready, but you're also here for a week of skiing. How can you still hit the slopes and be able to keep track of the first and second rounds of the NCAA basketball tournament?

First of all, the lifts open at 8:30 a.m. on each mountain, so get out there before the games start to get a few good runs in. On Friday, March 16, the games will begin at 10:15 a.m. Over the weekend, the games will begin at 10 a.m. both days.

If you are near the base of Beaver Creek, The C-Bar is slopeside and has seven flat-screen televisions and plenty of bar or table seating to grab a bite to eat or drink while watching the games. Arrowhead will have the games on in case you find yourself at the western portal of Beaver Creek resort.

If you are on Vail Mountain, then stop by Mid Vail and catch the score by heading into the Look Ma level. Beaver Creek will have the games on their three flat screens at Spruce Saddle's upper bar area.

Vail's base areas will have several places to watch also, be it Garfinkle's or Bart & Yeti's at the base of Lionshead or The Lift in Vail Village or the classic Red Lion. Just keep in mind that many other people may have the same idea to view the games as you do, so seating may be at a premium at some of these locations.