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Fun for everyone

Preston Utley/Vail DailyFor outdoor old-fashion ice skating head to the ice rink in Beaver Creek.
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Fun on the run

A short gondola ride up Vail Mountain will take you straight to Adventure Ridge, Vail’s mountaintop activity center.

Adventure Ridge offers multi-lane tubing, ski biking on specially crafted bikes that have skis instead of wheels, ice skating, orienteering, snowshoe tours, kids snowmobiling, and trampolining ” a favorite for children.



For more information on Adventure Ridge,

call 476-9090



On edge

For those who want to get away from the crowded ski slopes, ice skating rinks may be a great option. Ice-skating is offered throughout the area

If you prefer to skate outside, in a peaceful atmosphere and surrounded by panoramic mountain views, the outdoor ice rink at Beaver Creek or the mountain-top rink at Adventure Ridge will be your best choice.



If, on the other hand, you are looking for refuge from the elements and the best ice in the valley, Dobson Ice Arena in Lionshead is the place to be.

“We are in a very good location and a beautiful building with wooden beams and high ceilings,” says Jared Biniecki, the manager of the Dobson Ice Arena. “But above all, we have the best ice in the valley,”

Dobson offers open ice skating sessions and is also a great place to watch club and high school games. The arena also hosts a holiday skating show in late December.

For more information on Dobson Ice Arena,

call 479-2271

Making tracks

According to Tom Gaylord, the programs director at the Nature Center and Diane Johnson, youth services supervisor for the Vail Recreation District, snowshoeing is a great winter activity for literally everyone. But besides being great exercise, it is also a relaxing and

rejuvenating experience.

“It’s enough that you go 40 feet into the woods and you are in a completely different world – so quiet and peaceful,” says Johnson.

The Vail Nordic Center offers 5K of snowshoe trails and 15K of groomed trails for cross-country skiing. They organize both back country snowshoe tours and tours along designated trails, which start at the Vail Golf Course, conveniently located on a free town shuttle route, a short ride from the Vail Village.

The Nature Center, although closed in winter to the public, offers special, educational group and family winter tours around the Nature Center or in the backcountry. A special attraction this coming winter will be moonlight snowshoe tours.

“Snowshoeing is a wonderful way to get out and great exercise. Everybody can snowshoe – if you walk you can snowshoe!” says Gaylord.

For more information on Vail Nordic Center and the Nature Center, call 479-2291

Something especially for parents with children

Imagination station, located above Subway in the Lionshead parking structure, is something every kid will appreciate. According to Johnson it’s a great evening indoor option for parents to spend time with their kids. There is an abundance of art and science activities waiting for children to explore. “It’s designed in the way that kids can learn how to affect change.

They are provoked to try again and again,” Johnson says. More curious kids, according to Johnson, can easily spend two or three hours occupied with different activities at the imagination station. It’s also a perfect learning and bonding environment for parents and their children.

“We always have one staff person helping facilitate an interaction between parents and their children while they are using different science or art stations,” Johnson says.

For more information on the imagination station, call 479-2292

Dashing through the snow

The best way to enjoy the charms of a winter scenery and get some fresh alpine air without even standing up has got to be a sleigh ride. Add on a tasty meal and the whole experience is bound to become memorable.

Vail Horse-Drawn Sleigh Rides, in cooperation with The Clubhouse Restaurant at the Vail Public Golf Course, provide this memorable combination to all those who like to admire white peaks and low Colorado temperatures from under a comfy blanket.

“It’s a multi-generational activity that can be fun for kids, parents and grandparents,” says Kimberly Adams, owner of Vail Horse-Drawn Sleigh Rides.

What makes these sleigh rides even more special, according to Adams, is that what’s ahead of them. “It’s quite an experience to see big Belgian horses and have a chance to admire their impressive size and ability. Little kids with big horses are always fun to watch,” Adams says.

For more information on sleigh rides, call Vail Horse-Drawn Sleigh Rides at 476-8057.

Kick adventure into high gear

According to Dacia Halford of Nova Guides, snowmobiling is a great way to enjoy snow and give ski-weary legs a nice break. Whether you are a novice or an experienced rider, who is seeking more speed and challenge, Nova Guides will find something for you to enjoy and have fun.

“If you’re a first-time rider a guided tour would be your best choice,” says Halford. “A guide will teach you how to ride safely and will keep it at your level – nice and easy or fast, depending on your limits.”

Nova Guides offers guided and unguided tours, lasting from a couple of hours to a full day. The tours explore endless stretches of open terrain, giving riders a choice between groomed trails and powder fields all under panoramic views of four surrounding mountain ranges.

For history buffs, Nova Guides offers snowmobiling at Camp Hale, near Tennessee Pass, just a half hour drive from Vail. Camp Hale was used during World War II as an Army training camp for the 10th Mountain Division, America’s only armed division trained to fight in mountainous and snowy conditions.

Riding through the remains of Army barracks and looking up at the nearby hills, where these brave soldiers learned to ski, easily adds an extra dose of adrenaline to an already thrilling experience.

For more information on snowmobiling tours, call Nova Guides at 486-2656.

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