Free ski demos and snowshoe tours in Vail | Tricia's Top Weekend Picks |

Ski demos, snowshoe tours, gourmet dinners and more: Tricia’s weekend picks 1/11/19

Free Women’s Demo Day in Vail

The new year may mean it’s time for new ski equipment. Ladies, if it’s been a while since you’ve stepped into a new pair of skis, take advantage of the latest technology at the free Women’s Demo Day in Vail this Saturday.

Lionshead will be the headquarters for new women’s specific equipment where you can try a variety of makes and models to see which pair of skis works best for you. Take them out for a lap on Born Free and then grab another pair. Need a bit longer to see what the ski has to offer? Go up the Eagle Bahn Gondola and hop back into Game Creek Bowl or even into Sun Down Bowl. The best way to see if a ski feels right is to try before you buy.

Brands that are slated to be offered for test drives include Elan, Kastle, Scott, Blizzard, Volkl, Black Crows and more. Outdoor Divas, a women’s specific sports shop in Lionshead, has teamed up with Vail Resorts to offer hand selected skis designed for women. Take advantage of this free demo between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. For more information, please visit

Free snowshoe tours with Walking Mountains

Sometimes it’s nice to slow things down a bit. Instead of traveling at high speeds on your skis and snowboard, why not take a stroll through nature with Walking Mountains Science Center, which offers a variety of tours for kids and adults of all ability levels.

Nature Walks: Monday-Saturday | 2-3 p.m. | Free | Avon

Enjoy a gentle, educational hike right in Avon and discover the ecology and animal adaptations of our mountain region. Walks will be conducted on snowshoes depending on snow levels on trails adjacent to Walking Mountains’ main campus, so allow some time to visit the Science Center as well before or after the tour.

Family Snowshoe Exploration: Daily | 11 a.m.-12 p.m. | Free | Nature Discovery Center at Eagle’s Nest

It’s been said that if you can walk, you can snowshoe, so the littlest adventures will have fun trying snowshoeing and discovering a new world outdoors during the wintertime. This walk is geared toward families with children ages 4-9.

Guided Snowshoe Tours: Daily | 2-3 p.m. | Free | Nature Discovery Center at Eagle’s Nest

Spend an hour outside along the ridgeline of Vail Mountain where you will not only see great vistas but also a close up look at the ecology and winter adaptations of the animals that remain out in the elements. This tour is for ages 10 and up.

Evening Snowshoe Tours: Tuesday-Saturday | 5:30-6:30 p.m. | Free | Nature Discovery Center at Eagle’s Nest

Experience nature once the hustle and bustle of the day subsides with an hour-long tour conducted in the darkness or low light conditions. See the stars, hear the sounds and maybe spot a few critters along the way.

Snowshoes and a knowledgeable guide will be provided. Please wear proper footwear and outdoor clothing for the conditions. Keep in mind, while all the tours are free, you will need a foot passenger lift ticket for the Eagle Bahn Gondola or a pass to access the tours out of the Nature Discovery Center. The Eagle Bahn Gondola is free to foot passengers after 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Pre-registration is required by signing up online at

Snowshoe races

Snowshoes can also be used to go fast, very fast. Beyond the leisurely, guided trail tours, snowshoeing has long been used to help maintain fitness levels during the colder months of the year. One way to get motivated to keep in shape is by participating in the annual snowshoe races around the area. Beaver Creek hosts a monthly series and Pedal Powder Bicycle Shop in Eagle-Vail will test your fitness levels with their events as well.

This Sunday marks the kick off of the Beaver Creek Running Series: Snowshoe Edition. Distances include a 10k and a 5k course and draws everyone from the first-time snowshoer to the veteran runner. Registration is at 8:30-9:30 a.m. next to Beaver Creek Sports in Beaver Creek Village and the race will be held at Creekside Park at 10 a.m. Sign up for this race or commit to the whole series by going to There will also be races on Feb. 10 and March 3.

The folks at Pedal Power Bike Shop invite you to try your skills in a winter triathlon on Saturday in Leadville at the Colorado Mountain College campus. Starting at 10 a.m., participants will first do a 5k snowshoe, followed by a 10k snowbike ride and finish with an 8k skate-ski. The event is open to both individual competitors and teams. Register at or call Pedal Powder at 970.845.0931 for more details.

Bob Winsett | Vail Resorts

Allie’s Cabin Family Dinners

There are many places to have dinner in the Vail Valley, but how about traveling via an open-air sleigh to a dining destination with the whole family? Allie’s Cabin in Beaver Creek is hosting family dinners on select nights throughout the season with special pricing for adults and children.

The snowcat-driven sleigh departs from Beaver Creek Village at 5:45, 6:15, 7:00 and 7:30 p.m. On the ride view the stars and slopes at a time when hardly anyone is on the mountain. Once you arrive at Allie’s Cabin, exchange your boots for cozy slippers and enjoy the large fireplace and views before sitting down to a three-course dinner for adults and a buffet for the kids.

A few tasty items to note on the three-course menu include Colorado rack of lamb, pan fried ruby trout and a Wagyu strip steak. The kids’ appetite will be satisfied with crowd pleasers like white cheddar mac and cheese, roasted Boulder natural chicken and a sundae bar.

Reservations are required for the Allie’s Cabin Family Dinners, which are held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays through April 5. For more information, please visit or call 970.754.5545.

Vail Village History Walking Tour

Peter Fredin | Town of Vail

If you were in Vail last Friday night, then you may have seen the torchlight ski-down with skiers dressed up in traditional 10th Mountain Division Army gear followed by a parade of soldiers down Bridge Street to the 10th Mountain Division statue near the Covered Bridge and then programs at the Colorado Snowsports Museum. If that piqued your interest, you may want to learn more about how Vail started out over 50 years ago by joining a Vail Village History Walking Tour.

The Vail Village History Walking Tour is offered on Saturdays at 11 a.m. Unlike ski towns like Breckenridge and Aspen, which started out as mining towns and then became ski areas, Vail was started because of the vision of Pete Seibert and Earl Eaton and what they discovered about the terrain options in this area. Learn who these two men were and about other notables and interesting facts along the walk.

The walking tour is hosted by the Colorado Snowsports Museum, which houses a wide collection of artifacts from the 10th Mountain Division to the birth of snowboarding and Olympic memorabilia. For more information on the walking tours or the museum, please visit

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