Frost flowers, ice bikes, live music, Valentine’s Day ideas, Nordic activities and more: Tricia’s February picks 1/29/21 |

Frost flowers, ice bikes, live music, Valentine’s Day ideas, Nordic activities and more: Tricia’s February picks 1/29/21

If you’re traveling to the Vail Valley this February, here’s a few events and activities you won’t want to miss.

Catch the ice sculptures before they melt at the 14th annual Vail Winterfest along Gore Creek in Vail Village. (Daily file photo)

Vail and Beaver Creek Mountains are open

We’re pleased to have a ski season at both Vail and Beaver Creek this year. As anticipated, there are certain criteria that need to be followed in order for Vail Resorts to safely keep the slopes open. Here’s what you need to know before hitting Vail and Beaver Creek Mountains this month:

Face coverings – required to access the mountain, in all indoor spaces, in any line, in chairlifts and gondolas and whenever you are unable to maintain physical distance.

Reservations – A reservation system has been put into place for all pass holders and will be required for access to Vail and Beaver Creek Mountains before you arrive at the chairlift. There are various Epic Pass offerings, from just a few days on the hill to purchasing the whole season. Learn more at

Mountain Dining – Vail Resorts is managing capacity at all of its dining facilities in accordance to local and state regulations.

  • Quick Service: The menus at the quick-service restaurants have been updated and are geared to get you fueled and back out on the mountain quickly. Ready-to-go hot and cold food options will be sold at these locations.
  • Time to Dine: book a mealtime space at a table by going to the EpicMix app. Time slots open daily at 7 a.m.
  • Fine Dining: The resort’s fine-dining experiences have reduced capacities. The 10th restaurant will require reservations through the Time to Dine platform on the EpicMix app.

Ski School – Lessons must be booked at least 48 hours in advance, no walk-ups. Each lesson comes with a mountain reservation for the lesson taker(s) only. A pass or lift ticket will be required for all lesson participants. Face coverings will be required.

For full details about how Vail and Beaver Creek Mountains will operate this year, visit and

Vail Winterfest

The 14th annual Vail Winterfest features ice sculptures along Gore Creek. This year’s theme is lanterns to coincide with the lantern installation that is displayed on the International Bridge. Look for 112 lanterns strung across the International Bridge as well as some new lanterns flashing colors reminiscent of spring in the mix along the bridge.

Vail Winterfest is free and is something that can be viewed during the daytime or night. Once the sun goes down, LED lights illuminate the ice sculptures. For more information about Winterfest, visit

Just Announced: An Intimate Evening with John Popper and Ben Wilson of Blues Traveler at the Vilar Performing Arts Center Feb. 12, 13 and 14 at 7:30 p.m. The show is part of The Residency Series, which is new this season. (Denise Truscello
Special to the Daily)

The Residency at Vilar Performing Arts Center

The Residency at the Vilar Performing Arts Center is a brand new “COVID-19 offering” that was designed to showcase musicians in a unique, collaborative setting and allow music fans to enjoy some live music in a socially distanced way. The Residency has been such a success for the musicians and fans that the Vilar Performing Arts Center decided to add more shows this winter. Just announced: An Intimate Evening with John Popper and Ben Wilson of Blues Traveler over Presidents’ Day Weekend.

The boys from Blues Traveler will hit the stage after a successful string of acts including Micaela Taylor and her All Star Band, Robert Randolph featuring G. Love, and Michael Kang and Leftover Salmon. Keller Williams takes the stage this weekend and the Oteil Burbridge Trio and special guests head to the Vilar on March 18-20. The Vilar plans to announce another show later this week, so stay tuned for that special announcement.

Popper and Wilson will play plenty of your favorite Blues Traveler tunes with Popper on harmonica and Wilson on the keyboard. They will also get the crowd laughing by sharing intimate stories from their decades of experience, which are vast, revealing and comical.

John Popper and Ben Wilson will perform on the Vilar stage at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 12, 13 and 14 with the last show streamed on Seats are available to a maximum of 50 people for the in-person shows. (The Vilar normally seats over 530 people during non-COVID-19 times). Tickets are $68 and go on sale Friday at 11 a.m. Go to for more information.

Discover Vail

Go to to learn more about what’s happening in Vail this winter.

Après Vail – listen for the ringing of the bells to herald the beginning of après ski. “Après” means “after” in French and it’s a French and European tradition to enjoy time with friends – and quite possibly an adult beverage – while swapping stories about the day on the slopes.

Roaming Entertainment – Follow the sounds of live music and keep an eye out for characters like the stilt walker snow princess, penguin, polar bear and spaceman in Vail and Lionshead between 1 and 4 p.m. Fridays – Sundays.

Story Walk with Vail Public Library – head to Bighorn Park in East Vail and follow the numbered signs to read “The Mitten” by Jan Brett. This is a free, outdoor and socially distanced way to entertain the kids or even entertain yourself while taking the dog for a walk.

Self Guided Art Walk – View an interactive art map on and learn about the art that surrounds you in Vail.

Warming Areas – Warm up in one of four “snow globes” in both villages or beside the fire pits, which are lit between 3 and 10 p.m. daily.

The Frost Flowers change colors near the ice rink at Beaver Creek. The Frost Flowers are a part of Wonder, brand new this year at the resort. (Beaver Creek Resort Company
Special to the Daily)

Beaver Creek happenings

Wonder – Beaver Creek has installed five photo-friendly, oversized sculptures throughout the village as part of Beaver Creek Wonder. Learn about Chips, Reflections, Snowed In, Frost Flowers and Super G during the complimentary tours that are available at 4, 4:30, 5, and 5:30 p.m. on Thursdays throughout March. Sign up at

Thursday Night Wonder:

  • Trunk shows at shops throughout the day
  • 3 p.m. – Story Time
  • 4 p.m. – Fossil Posse Dinosaur Adventures
  • 5-6:30 p.m. – Live Music
  • 5-8 p.m. – Silent Disco
  • 7-8:30 p.m. – Live Music
  • 8 p.m. Fireworks – please note, due to COVID-19 restrictions, this is not the usual Glow Stick Ski Down from the past, it is just a short fireworks show that can be viewed from near and far while maintaining social distance.

Saturday Family Après Ski:

  • 3-5 p.m. – Fossil Posse Dinosaur Adventures
  • 3-5 p.m. – Family-friendly DJ
  • 5-8 p.m. – Silent Disco

Tree Light Show – Watch as the huge evergreen tree in the heart of Beaver Creek Village turns colors at the top of the hour at 6, 7 and 8 p.m.

Ice Bikesrent beach cruiser-style bikes for use on the rink before and after the skating rink is open to skaters. For $25, you can ride the bikes for 30 minutes at 12, 12:30, 8 or 8:30 p.m. daily.

For more information, download Beaver Creek’s new app or check’s calendar of events for more information.

Valentine’s Day falls within the Presidents Day holiday weekend. Plan ahead and reserve your spa treatment or dinner reservation early and remember to shop local to help out area businesses. (Sarah McCutcheon for Unsplash
Special to the Daily)

Valentine’s Day and Presidents Day Weekend

Keep in mind that Valentine’s Day falls during the three-day Presidents Day Weekend. With possibly more people coming to town during the holiday, book that Valentine’s Day massage, dinner for two or romantic escape early. Reservations have been essential since restaurants have limited capacity. Don’t forget about take home meals or caterers or massage therapists coming to your residence, too. Flowers, chocolates and a quiet hike or snowshoe can be a nice alternative to dinner out as well. Support local businesses as much as you can when buying flowers, gifts and consider take out meals or dining in-person. A little help goes a long way for area retailers and restaurant staff.

Nordic activities

Discover the other side of winter with Nordic activities all throughout the Vail Valley.

Beaver Creek Nordic Center

The Beaver Creek Nordic Center is located across from the covered bridge in the Strawberry Park building. The rental shop has classical, skate, telemark, and snowshoe equipment rentals. Scheduled classes and private lessons, tours, ticket sales, retail items and snacks are also available. From the Nordic Center, head up to McCoy Park, which features 32-plus kilometers of groomed and rustic trails for cross country skiing and snowshoeing.

The process is a little different for riding Strawberry Park lift this season. Epic Pass holders don’t need a reservation but they do need to stop at the Nordic Ticket window to get a free (with Epic Pass in-hand) foot traffic ticket for the lift. Otherwise they still sell lift tickets for McCoy Park access at the ticket window for non-pass holders. McCoy Park Lift/Track Access passes are $48 for adults and $34 for children.

As of press time, Beaver Creek added a few Nordic events to the February calendar:

  • Skimo Uphill Race – see how fast you can get up (and down if you choose) in a timed race on Arrowhead Mountain on Feb. 7, registration is between 5:30-6 a.m. and the race begins at 6:30 a.m. Save on registration by purchasing in advance.
  • Snowshoe Race – tests your skills on the 10k or 5k course, or just take in the views and go at your own pace on Feb. 28. Registration is between 8:30-9:30 a.m. and the race begins at 10 a.m. Save on registration by purchasing in advance.
  • Nordic Race – get out the skinny skis and put your lungs and legs to work with the Beaver Creek Nordic races on Feb. 21. Registration is between 8:30-9:30 a.m. and the race begins at 10 a.m. Save on registration by purchasing in advance.

To book a reservation or learn more about the Beaver Creek Nordic Center or upcoming events, please call 970-754-5313 or email

It’ been said, if you can walk, you can snowshoe. Discover another way to travel on snow with the snowshoe tours and races throughout the valley. (Tom Cohen
Special to the Daily)

Nordic Activities at Vail Mountain

Stop by the Vail Nordic Desk at Golden Peak and learn more about snowshoe, cross-country and backcountry ski tours and lessons. Vail Nordic School operates under a special use permit with the White River National Forest.

Due to COVID protocols, Vail Mountain will only be offering private lessons and tours with a max group size of three people. If your group is bigger than three and you have your own vehicle to follow the guide to the trail head, the group can be up to six people. If you do not have your own vehicle, you will need to book a second private group. Half-day and full-day lessons and tours are available for all disciplines.

For more information contact the Vail Nordic Desk at Golden Peak between 8:30 & 9:45 a.m. at 970-754-3210 or to book your Nordic Private call our office at 970-754-4390.

Vail Nordic Center

The Vail Nordic Center is a great place to go for classic cross-country and skate skiing, snowshoeing, fat-tire biking and more. Enjoy getting out on 17 kilometers of daily-groomed skate and classic track or snowshoe on 10 kilometers of scenic trails. There are also 13 kilometers of fat bike trails. Rentals are available and any other needs can be taken care of at the full-service retail shop. Go to for more information and upcoming events.

Walking Mountains snowshoe tours

Walking Mountains is once again offering its free snowshoe tours this winter. Choose from guided walks going out of Walking Mountain’s campus in Avon or the Nature Discovery Center at the top of the Eagle Bahn gondola (No. 19) out of Lionshead Village.

The tours themselves are free and snowshoes are provided, but keep in mind if you are doing a tour out of the Nature Discovery Center on Vail Mountain, you will need a valid ski pass or Vail Scenic Ride Ticket in order to ride the gondola. get you up there. Each tour is limited to 10 participants per COVID-19 restrictions and reservations are required. Go to to register.


  • 12:30-1:30 p.m. – Guided snowshoe tour – Vail Mountain
  • 2-3 p.m. – Free Nature Walk – Avon Campus
  • 2-3 p.m. – Guided snowshoe tour – Vail Mountain


  • 12:30-1:30 p.m. – Guided snowshoe tour – Vail Mountain
  • 2-3 p.m. – Free Nature Walk – Avon Campus
  • 2-3 p.m. – Guided snowshoe tour – Vail Mountain
The Colorado Snowsports Museum offers exhibits that will engage all ages and is open from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. daily and located at the top level of the Vail Village Parking Structure. (Special to the Daily)

Colorado Snowsports Museum

Located on the top level of the Vail Village parking structure, the Colorado Snowsports Museum and Hall of Fame is a place you must stop when you are heading to or from the slopes. The recently renovated museum houses seven main sections highlighting the famed 10th Mountain Division, Hall of Fame, history of competitions, evolution of snowboarding, 100 years of ski fashion and function, information about Colorado’s active ski areas and lost resorts and the history of skiing from Scandinavia and the early days of the sport in the U.S.

The museum is open from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. daily and in addition to the exhibits you can join a staff member for a Vail History Walking Tour on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. until 12 p.m. The price is $5 per person and the tour is limited to 8 people. Call 970-476-1876 to reserve your spot. Virtual programs like the Through the Lens are offered as well. Check the events calendar at for more information.

Vail Scavenger Hunt

The Town of Vail and the Colorado Snowsports Museum have teamed up to bring a scavenger hunt based on Vail’s history. All you need is your phone to download the app. Working alone or as a team, players will learn unique facts about Vail’s history as you visit various points of interest in Golden Peak, Vail Village and Lionshead. This new, fun, educational and socially distanced activity is a free and interactive challenge that you can do until Vail Mountain closes on April 11.

Each clue on the hunt is worth various point values. For those who complete the hunt, a free prize awaits you from the Colorado Snowsports Museum. The participant with the most points at the end of the season will win $500 to use at Vail restaurant and retail locations.

Simply download the free Eventzee app for Apple or Android from your mobile device. Then create a login and enter the code: VailHunt. For more information visit

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