Seven date ideas for adventurous couples to explore the Vail Valley
Sometimes, cheap dates are the best dates:
• Embark upon a full-moon snowshoe or skin adventure up Meadow Mountain near Minturn. Tip: Dress warmly in layers, and bring a backup light source and a thermos of hot chocolate to share.
• Pack a winter picnic and layer up to sit and share a meal alongside Gore Creek in Vail Village. Tip: Eat! Drink! in Edwards has everything you need for a show-stopping spread.
• Plan an art gallery walk through Vail and/or Beaver Creek villages. It’s free until you decide to take a piece of art home. Tip: Check out at least one of the new galleries in Vail, including the Bo Bridges Galley and the Hint of Asia gallery.
• Meet for a warm-up drink at Yeti’s Grind in Vail Village or Eagle, or browse books and gifts at The Bookworm of Edwards. Tip: Share a vegan chocolate chip cookie from Yeti’s or a sweet or savory crepe at The Bookworm.
• Visit one of the valley’s dog parks to show your furry best friend some love, too. Tip: Always pick up what your dog leaves behind.
• Grab your cross-country skis or fat bike and head over to make some tracks on the Eagle-Vail golf course. Tip: Park in the lot off of Eagle Drive, about 100 yards past the community garden on the right-hand side.
• Sit on a sunny patio for apres, whether you went skiing or not. Tip: Check out the happy hour at Hooked in Beaver Creek or watch football at The Remedy in the Four Seasons in Vail.
• Walk through the beautiful and quiet winter scene at the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens in Vail. Tip: Go inside their new Education Center and see what they have growing during the colder months.
• Hike like a local on Davos Trail in West Vail. Tip: Wear a traction device on your shoes to avoid slipping and sliding.
Spontaneity is fun, but a little bit of planning can make an experience all the more special. Whether you are surprising your sweetie or creating a grandiose holiday gift package for your parents, we’ve got some ideas here to help you put together a first-class string of date days.
Triumph Mountain Properties concierge Meridith Lowe is a master of “what to do in the valley,” whether it’s getting a coveted restaurant reservation or putting together a string of experiences to create the perfect date night.
“We’re here, we’re your neighbors, we’re a part of the community, and we’re so dedicated to supporting our community and helping small business thrive,” she said. “We do it with such an incredible amount of passion because we know what this valley has to offer.”
Some of Lowe’s ideas are included in this list; to get a little bit of personal concierge help, contact her at 970-479-9990 or email@example.com.
If you’re on a ski-town schedule, then there’s no reason to wait until the evening to have a date. Beaver Creek’s Winter Wine Excursions begin at the Beaver Creek Nordic Center, continue along the snowshoe trails of McCoy Park and end with a warming finale at The Osprey Fireside Grill, complete with a roaring fireplace and a selection of charcuteries and wine pairings.
“Snowshoers trade their boots for warm slippers at the foyer of The Osprey Hotel,” said Nate Goldberg, of the Beaver Creek Nordic Center. “A cozy fireplace and intimate dining setting creates the perfect place for family and friends to warm up, enjoy apres gourmet decadence and recap their adventures together.”
Find more information at beavercreek.com/events-and-activities/gourmet-snowshoe-adventures, and contact the Beaver Creek Nordic Sports Center at 970-754-5313 to reserve a Winter Wine Excursion; 24 hours advanced reservation is required.
Cocktails & Canvas is offered every Wednesday and Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at Alpine Arts Center in Edwards. Other art-inspired events offered by Alpine Arts include Cocktails & Clay, Wax & Wine, glass etching and wine-bottle painting.
“These events are great for a date night because they are fun and social and a creative activity couples can do together,” said Lauren Merrill, owner of Alpine Arts Center. “It’s nice to share experiences that are not your typical night out at the bar, but where you can still loosen up with a few glasses of wine while getting messy with paint or clay.”
At the end of the date, you can take your masterpiece home. Specific projects for each evening are posted on the Alpine Arts Center event calendar at alpineartscenter.org/upcoming-events.
Dinner and a movie
Keep date night classic with food and a flick. Cobb CineBistro at Solaris Plaza in Vail Village has a gourmet burger bar and a lounge with libations. Place your order and wait for your pager to flash that your food is ready, and then pick up your meal and have dinner in the lounge or take it into the theater to eat during the feature film of your choice.
Watch from high-back leather rocking chairs that are ideal for snuggling, and a ticket to the movies also means you get a four-hour parking validation for the Solaris lot. Validate your parking ticket at the CineBistro concierge desk. Check the schedule at cinebistro.com/solaris/.
Fondue at home
Going out is fun, but sometimes staying at home for an evening makes for the best date night. Fondue at Home is a Swiss fondue delivery service in the Vail Valley, providing a full meal that includes salad, main course, dessert, beverages, fondue pot and forks. A chef shows up to set it up for you with instructions and then will return the next day to pick up the pot and forks you place in a convenient container.
Of course, you can keep it an intimate date, but you may be tempted to invite friends.
“Fondue at home is a communal dining experience,” said owner Derek George. “To me, that’s what makes it so special — everyone gathered around a pot of bubbly cheese, sharing stories and creating memories.”
Visit fondueathome.com for a full menu and more information, or call 844-436-6383.
Sleigh ride to a wine dinner
An aspen grove hides Allie’s Cabin, set back in a quiet pocket of Beaver Creek’s front side slope. The cabin offers on-mountain dining, and throughout the winter, Allie’s Featured Wine Dinners combine cozy romance with culinary prowess. Every Thursday, Allie’s features a different winery, highlighting big names in the business such as Far Niente, Chateau Montelena and Simi Winery.
An open-air sleigh takes you up the slope of Beaver Creek to arrive at the gourmet experience. Five courses and wine pairings are accompanied by the fireworks of Thursday Night Lights right out the window.
For more information visit beavercreek.com/events-and-activities/allies-wine-dinners, and for reservations call 970-754-5545.
Ice-skating and a show
Beaver Creek Village is magical in the winter months, adorned with accents of snow all around and twinkle lights lined between bustling storefronts. In the center of it all, an ice rink is the focal point for joy and fun throughout the season. Bring a friend or your sweetie for $5 admission with your own skates, or $15 admission and rentals. Hours are noon to 9 p.m. daily, so you can either skate out in the sunshine or under the stars.
After making an on-ice memory, walk into the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek with your date and a 17-foot Christmas tree will greet you in the spirit of the season. The holiday lineup at this Vail Valley venue includes headliners such as LeAnn Rimes, Adam Trent, George Winston and The Ten Tenors.
“Nothing can replace the feeling of seeing a live show,” said Ruthie Hamrick, marketing lead for the Vilar Performing Arts Center. “The thrill of on-stage performance is then doubled when you can share that experience with someone you love.”
Get the full lineup for the season and purchase tickets at vilarpac.org, or call 970-845-8497.
Wine class and adventure
If you’re not skiing, or you’re looking for an early-afternoon activity, then Root & Flower in Vail Village has wine and spirit classes every Tuesday from noon to 1 p.m. Class themes range from plain and simple, such as how to taste wine, to wine and chocolate or cheese pairings to the spirits of Mexico.
“The tasting classes we do are pretty special,” said Samantha Biszantz, who co-owns Root & Flower with advanced sommelier Jeremy Campbell. “Each of our sommeliers have a very approachable way of teaching, so anyone from the novice to the expert feel comfortable.”
See rootandflowervail.com/classes/ for a list of upcoming tastings.
Rest a little or shop around before heading up to Adventure Ridge for the evening. The mountaintop fun zone is a catalyst for laughter.
“You can enjoy fun for all ages at Adventure Ridge, where you can bike on snow, take a free guided nature snowshoe tour, fly through the forest on the Forest Flyer — an alpine coaster — to ride the Adventure Skyway to tubing paradise,” said Maggie Meisinger, senior specialist of communications for Vail Mountain. “The options for fun and entertainment are endless and make for a great date night.”
Catch a preview of Adventure Ridge activities at vail.com/activities/adventure-ridge.