Summer fun can be inexpensive in Vail Valley |

Summer fun can be inexpensive in Vail Valley

Chris Outcalt
Vail, CO Colorado
Chris Outcalt/coutcalt@vaildaily.comBrad McFall works on casting his fly rod in Donovan Park in Vail, Colorado Thursday afternoon. The Vail Valley provides plenty of opportunities to have some inexpensive fun this summer.

VAIL VALLEY, Colorado – Finding some entertainment and exercise in the Colorado’s Vail Valley doesn’t have to be a costly endeavor.

“This is it right here,” said Jordan Harrill, who tossed a neon green softball up in the air a few feet and caught it.

Harrill and his roommate, Pete Cranston, spent part of their Thursday afternoon playing catch in Nottingham Park in Avon. They were warming up for a softball league they’re playing in.

Harrill quickly came up with a handful of other events he spends his summer doing: Playing Frisbee, hiking, biking, fishing.

He and his roommate don’t spend much money doing them. Some nice weather helps, though, Cranston said.

“It’s nice to see some sun,” Cranston said.

Steve Barela and his son Alex, who live in Leadville, had the same idea Thursday afternoon. They were working on Alex’s baseball skills at Donovan Park.

“Just being outside is nice,” Barela said. “We’re getting warmed up for little league,”

After a week of rain in Leadville, they got outside the first chance they had, Barela said.

Andrea Fulton, who lives in Eagle-Vail, plans to get her outside recreation and entertainment between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the summer. You never know if it’s going to rain after that, she said.

Freedom Park is a great spot to go even though her five-and-a-half-month-old twin sons aren’t quite ready to the playground, she said. The Edwards park has a couple athletic fields, a skate park, a playground, a park that sprays water, volleyball courts and a pavilion.

“It’s my favorite,” Fulton said. “It’s a lot of fun.”

It’s a popular spot for parents to bring their kids, she said.

Edwards resident Stephen Mapes brought his 3- and 5-year-old kids to Freedom Park Thursday. They live in Miller Ranch and use the fields to play croquet, soccer and tee-ball.

His son Miles was enjoying the spray park Thursday.

“This is a great spot,” Mapes said.

The Avon Recreation Center and the Avon Library are two other spots Fulton likes to find some inexpensive entertainment in the summer.

The Eagle Valley Library District – which has branches in Avon, Eagle and Gypsum – offers a variety of summer reading programs for kids and adults, and free art exhibits and movie nights.

Kari Thorne, youth services librarian in Avon, expects it to be a busy summer.

“We’ve already heard from parents that say ‘I don’t think I’m going to that week-long camp, I’ll just go to the library’.”

Anne Vassar doesn’t need any money to go for a jog around Nottingham Lake.

“This is my exercise area,” Vassar said. “I try to get out here as often as I can.”

But Vassar said she doesn’t have a shortage of choices for free exercise and entertainment.

“There’s so much to do here,” she said. “You can go anywhere and go for a walk or a hike.”

Staff Writer Chris Outcalt can be reached at 970-748-2931 or

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