Vail Family-Friendly Winter Activities

Vail family-friendly winter activities

The Antlers at Vail hotel is the perfect home base for families coming to ski Vail or coming to enjoy all of the other exciting mountain activities in Vail.

The Antlers at Vail hotel is the perfect home base for families coming to ski Vail or coming to enjoy all of the other exciting mountain activities in Vail.

The Antlers at Vail hotel loves families! Our spacious studio to four-bedroom condominiums are perfect for families of all ages and sizes. And, we even have pet-friendly lodging for those who don’t want to leave that important member of the family at home. Our location is perfect for those looking for something to do instead of – or in addition to – skiing Vail. Here are our family-friendly top five ways to have winter fun outdoors – including stepping out in the snowshoes that we provide free for guests.

Make like Bigfoot: Those who’ve never tried snowshoes might worry about learning curve, but the sport really is as easy as strapping them on and walking outside and the Antlers recently added snowshoes to the many complimentary amenities the hotel provides for guests. We love catering to families, and snowshoes are an easy family-friendly activity – and a great spontaneous way to enjoy Vail’s snow and scenery. Vail golf course has good beginner trails – and snowshoe rentals for those not lucky enough to be staying at Antlers – or just stroll along the Gore Creek path right outside our door.

"Arches" by local artist Paul Wertin on display now at the Vail Triumph Winterfest

“Arches” by local artist Paul Wertin on display now at the Vail Triumph Winterfest

Frozen Arches: Travel through undulating walls sculpted from 36,000 pounds of ice by Vail artist Paul Wertin along the Gore Creek Promenade in Vail Village. Inspired by the work of Christo, Wertin’s “Arches” is illuminated by programmed LED lights, and is the second Art in Public Places ice sculpture installation of this year’s Triumph Winterfest – on display until the ice melts.

The New Home Movies: Capture winter outdoor adventures as they happen with a GoPro camera. Playing in the snow is just that much more fun with a video record to share with friends and family. To help guests remember Vail’s epic snow, the Antlers at Vail provides complimentary GoPro loaner cameras at the front desk – and might just post your first-person video debut on its Facebook page.

Tube Time: Nothing says hair-raising fun in the snow like flying down a mountain on an oversized inner tube. Adventure Ridge on Vail Mountain offers a multi-lane tubing hill with an easy-access surface lift for a quick ride back to the top. And the perfect for families tubing hill is only one of the winter activities at Adventure Ridge, which also include ski biking, kids’ snowmobiling, and a new winter zipline.

Fun tubing on Vail Mountain. Photo courtesy Vail Resorts, Bob Winslett

Fun tubing on Vail Mountain. Photo courtesy Vail Resorts, Bob Winslett

Holiday on Ice: Vail Valley has several facilities for ice skating – both indoors and out – with perhaps the most picturesque experience to be had at the outdoor oval Alderhof Rink in the heart of Lionshead’s Vail Square, just steps from the Antlers. Ice skate rentals are available at the rink, which is open daily from 1:00 – 8:30 p.m.

With a policy of “The answer is ‘yes,’ now what was the question?” the Antlers offers a famously personalized guest experience. Want a cappuccino machine in your suite awaiting your arrival? Need a babysitter for a parents’ night out without the kids? Want groceries delivered before your arrival or during your stay? Just ask.

Families of all ages appreciate the Antlers at Vail’s comfortable condominium suites. Full-service kitchens allow families to serve homemade meals – with additional amenities including gas-fired barbeque grills and a “lending library” of upscale appliances from that cappuccino machine to a breadmaker. Large families can reserve a spacious multi-room suite, while smaller families may want to take advantage of the Antlers’ cozy one-bedroom condominiums – with a separate bunkroom included at no additional charge.

Check out special rates on an Antlers’ stay – including the opportunity to book a spring night April 7 – June 15, 2014, for $99 with any night’s stay during ski season.

Terra Bistro Appy Hour

Last week some friends and I went to Terra Bistro for their “Appy Hour” . You may think I’ve left out the “H” but that is not the case. Appy Hour is like a traditional happy hour but with better food. It is daily from 5 – 6pm in the bar area of the restaurant. Terra Bistro is located in Vail Village, just a short distance from the Antlers at Vail condos. They have a large, creative menu of appetizers and drinks. Appetizers priced from $5, mixed drinks from $4, and specialty cocktails from $6. It was the perfect place to go before we headed over to the Ford Amphitheater to see the  Vail International Dance Festival. We didn’t sample everything on the menu but here are a few of the apps we tried. (We polished off the truffle pizza and mussels before we could take a picture.)

Sweet Potato Ravioli

Tequila Chicken Tamale

Inside Out Spicy Tuna Roll & Peach Infused Vodka Soda

~ Darci

Recipe of the Week from Chef Angelee at the Antlers at Vail


Chef Angelee

Hi Everyone!  It is Angelee, the Chef at the Antlers at Vail!  Every time it seems winter is coming to an end, our wish gets granted and we are blessed with more snow…This recipe is one of my favorites and perfect for an unexpected cold day: A warm, roasted beet salad with oozing Brie.  Don’t rush this recipe if you don’t have to: roast the beets a day ahead, let them rest and they will reward you with an unexpected sweetness.  But do try to have some disposable gloves on hand; otherwise they will leave your finger tips a lovely shade of purple!  Pair this salad with a roasted loin of pork and couscous, garlic bread and a nice Pinot Noir for a fabulous meal!!

Roasted Beet, Watercress and Warmed Brie Salad

4-5 Red or Golden Beets (I like to use both) **

1.5T Vegetable Oil

2 Bunches Micro Watercress (or use Baby Arugula if Watercress is unavailable)

4 individual wedges of Brie (I would use half of a small wheel for 4 portions)

1/3 C White Balsamic Vinegar

1T Honey

1 ¼ C Olive Oil (Mix ¾C Extra Virgin and ½C Pure or Grapeseed Oil)


Fresh Thyme Leaves to garnish

Freshly Ground Pepper to garnish, if desired

Preheat oven to 350*.  Cut off just the tip and bottom of the beets.  In a bowl, toss the beets with the oil.  Wrap lightly in aluminum foil and roast until tender, about 1-1.5 hours.  (You can test for doneness by sticking a knife into the thickest part of the beet.  If it slides in and out easily, they are finished roasting.  You will also know they are finished because the skin will slide off easily.)

While the beets are roasting, make the vinaigrette.  In a bowl, add the vinegar and the honey.  Whisk to dissolve the honey.  (Warmed honey dissolves the easiest…)  Season with salt then begin to slowly drizzle the oil into the vinegar, whisking to emulsify.  (If you put a folded kitchen towel under the bowl, it will stay in place making it much easier to whisk…)   Continue until you have a nice, emulsified vinaigrette.  Put aside until ready to use.

Once the beets have finished roasting, either let them rest at room temperature OR peel, quarter and season with salt.  Put aside and keep warm if you will be serving it immediately.  Leave the oven at 350*.  When ready to serve, cut off the root end and at least 1/3 of the stem of the watercress.  Gently pat dry.  Put the beets (still in their foil) into the oven for 5 minutes and then add the Brie for another 3 minutes or so, to warm through.  In a bowl, add the beets, toss with some of the vinaigrette (adjusting the amount to your taste), season with salt and gently fold in the watercress and the fresh thyme leaves.

Divide the salad onto four plates.  I like to put the tip of the wedge of the warmed Brie resting on the salad at 4 o’clock, if you were looking at a clock.  Sprinkle some reserved thyme leaves and freshly cracked pepper, if you would like and serve!!! It is delicious!!  If you really want to go over the top, drizzle some white truffle oil if you have it over the salad…Magnifique!!

**If the Golden Beets are extremely small, either double the amount or omit them and use only Red.  I like the variety in color; it looks great on a plate.  Be sure to keep the Red and Golden separate because the Red will bleed onto the Golden and they will become red…

Ask an Antler!

That’s right, I have unofficially decided that the singular title for an employee at the Antlers at Vail Condos is “Antler.” This is largely because I really like the alliteration it gives the title. But enough digression. I’m looking to bring you loyal readers a new regular column here on the blog. Not to compete with, but to supplement Ratz’s regular snow updates. I endeavor here to bring you a local’s insight into anything and everything Vail through interviews with our loyal and dedicated staff. First up is Amy Scherm, a 2 season veteran of the Antlers front desk and even longer Vail local.

Favorite Chair or Run on Vail: Chair 2.
Ed’s Note: She’s not exactly lying, but to really find out you’ll need to go skiing with her (and try to keep up).

Best Pizza: Old Forge Pizza. The garlic knots are the best.

Best Apres Ski: Garf’s. It’s got a good scene and plenty of TV’s to watch the game.
Ed’s Note: On a sunny day they have a killer deck too. And I suppose its there on a not sunny day. But its best enjoyed on a sunny day.

Best Fine Dining Restaurant: Lancelot. Great steaks, and great portions for the price.

Best Non-Skiing Activity: Ski Biking. Its fast, and its dark out.

Best Gear/Rental Shop: Ski Base.

Best Nightlife: Is it cheesy to say The Club?

Best Reason to Look Forward to the Snow Going Away: The activities: mountain biking, hiking, whitewater rafting… and the weather.

Best Reason to Go Downvalley: The movie theater (the only one within 20 miles of Vail) and Loaded Joe’s. Loaded Joe’s is great for morning coffee and drinks at night.

Anything Else? Best Lodging: Antlers at Vail

So there we have it, straight from the local’s mouth. Tune in again sometime soon when I will interview whoever else happens to be working with me the next time I remember to write one of these. In the meantime, if there’s anything you’d like someone’s take on next week, leave me a comment or drop me a line at

Amy dropping some cliffs.  Again…

Where Does All That Stuff Go

 We here at the Antlers do a pretty, darn good job when it comes to recycling stuff and we were wondering what happens to it after it’s picked up. We decided to find out and organized a good old fashion field trip to investigate.
Some of the gang in “class”
The Eagle County Land Fill is now home to one of the newest, most advanced recycle facilities in Colorado. In operation since January 12 of this year, Jesse Masten, our host for the tour, explained that the facility is operating no where near its capacity. “Most recycle materials are still being trucked to Denver because of existing contracts. We hope to gather and process more materials as time goes on”. He gave us some figures on what they process now and it is still staggering. Some of the numbers? How about 48,000 lbs of aluminum and tin, 90,000 lbs of card board, 40,000 lbs of plastic, 46,000 lbs of newspaper and all this in one week on average. All of this from curbside pick-ups and a few drop centers in Eagle and Pitkin Counties. 
…It starts here…

…And ends here.  

I was most impressed with the machine that does all the work. It’s not a lot of machines and equipment, but just one, great, big machine with ramps and belts and pumps and blowers and crushers and pokers and magnets. Everything, except for cardboard and newspaper, is pushed onto the belt and comes out separated and bailed and ready to ship to whomever is buying the material.     

...It starts here... One Big Machine

One question from the group, “What is the worst (or most mis-understood) material to be recycled”?  Without hesitation, Jesse said “The plastic grocery bags. They are not recyclable and need to be hand picked off the conveyor belt”. He also asked if we could “please wash out the barbecue sauce, mayonnaise, and ragu from the empty bottles. It really starts to smell when the glass is crushed”.      

So that’s what happens to that stuff. I’m now curios to know what happens after it arrives in Oklahoma, China, Arizona and Texas after it’s purchased. I see another field trip in our future.      

Thanks to our tour guide and everyone from the Antlers at Vail condos that took some time away from their busy day to join us. (And thanks for the photos Kate)      


Vail ski conditions from the Antlers at Vail condos, February 19

Here is the Vail ski condition report from the Antlers at Vail condos for February 19th.  The skiing is GREAT!  Although we had been short on snow for the early ski season, the last two weeks have been really good.  Another 5 inches of snow reported today.  As I was heading up the Born Free Express lift I was having my doubts on the 5 inches, as it only looked like 3 inches down here in Lionshead.  Well, there was plenty up high.  Most of my runs were done in Game Creek Bowl ( see the Vail ski area map ).  It started snowing pretty good again around 3pm this Friday afternoon.  Chris R.

Some powder in Game Creek Bowl

More storm clouds rolling in from the West

A look back at some powder turns