As the year winds down, there’s one Colorado mountain town that winds its celebrations up. Aspen transforms its downtown into a special winter wonderland, replete with one-of-a-kind parties and workshops, free holiday activities, and community-building special events for their annual 12 Days of Aspen. If you can’t make it the full 12 days, these are some of highlights curated for all types of interests, around which you can plan your trip. See the full list of activities here at aspenchamber.org.
Live Entertainment in Aspen
1. LeAnn Rimes Concert, Wednesday, December 20th
Popular country star LeAnn Rimes is the youngest artist ever to receive a Grammy Award, of which she already has two, plus 12 Billboard Music Awards and three Academy of Country Music Awards, among other accolades that would draw this sentence on too far. Needless to say, seeing this successful star on her Christmas Tour would be a safe bet for a special holiday gift.
2. Niki Haris with the James Horowitz Trio, Friday, December 22nd
Head over to the Cooking School of Aspen to see the latest of the JAS Café performances. Niki Haris, legendary pianist Gene Harris’ daughter, and the James Horowitz Trio will share “ebullient, swinging style” tunes “drenched in the sound of the blues,” sure to warm your holiday heart in the way only soulful sounds can.
3. A Charlie Brown Christmas Live on Stage, Saturday, December 23rd
Sit back and relax as Charlie Brown, Peppermint Patty, Linus, Lucy, and Snoopy bring Charles M. Schulz’s animated TV show to life. The play, set to Vince Guaraldi’s music, features an all-new touring cast — a great way to get into the holiday spirit with the whole family.
4. Neil Berg’s Broadway Holiday, Monday, December 25th
Fresh off the plane from New York, a handful of Broadway’s best will present the history of Broadway. The cast will take you on a journey through classic shows like “My Fair Lady” and “South Pacific,” then transition into the groundbreaking “West Side Story” and “Chicago,” before finishing with current best-hits “Jersey Boys” and “Wicked.” Talk about a bang for your buck.
5. Aspen Film Academy Screenings, Tuesday, December 26th
Three or four films will be presented each day at the Wheeler Opera House and Paepcke Auditorium. Each of the 20 or so films selected for screening are actively campaigning for consideration of the Academy Awards — meaning each film is sure to be good. Last year they played films like Moonlight, La La Land, and Manchester by the Sea.
6. Jason Latimer: Curator of Impossible Science, Saturday, December 30th
Not only has Jason Latimer won “The Grand Prix ‘Best Overall’ World Champion of Magic,” he’s also been named “one of magic’s most gifted creators” by Genii Magazine. Let him dazzle and amaze you on stage with his legendary science-based tricks and illusions.
Yoga in Aspen
1. Winter Solstice Yoga with Live DJ, Thursday, December 21st
The winter solstice only comes around once a year; make the most of it with Aspen Shakti’s resident DJ: Bhakti Tyler. The class will include yoga and a guided meditation, and will revolve around intention-setting themes. You’ll clear out the old and clarify new intentions for the year to come.
2. Christmas Eve Radiant Flow Yoga, Sunday, December 24th
Infuse the “Aspen spirit” into your being and rinse away any holiday-season stress. Let go of Christmas expectations and to-do lists when you step into the classroom, and focus on your own inner radiance for the hour. Leave feeling refreshed and ready for the day!
3. Radiant Winter DJ Yoga, Wednesday, December 27th
Come twist and flow with studio owner Jayne Gottlieb and DJ Bhakti. This signature Aspen Shakti vinyasa flow class is recommended for those with prior yoga experience; expect a blend of flowed sequencing, periods of stretching and balance, and a nourishing warm down — the perfect way to wind down and reconnect to the Self after a few days of holiday cheer.
Art in Aspen
1. Palm Tree Holiday Family Workshop, Saturday, December 23rd
Art, with the power to draw people of all sorts together, just might be the best preparation for civil holiday dinner table conversations. At the Aspen Art Museum, art supplies will be provided for families looking to “communicate, reflect, and produce” art together. The workshop is designed to draw inspiration from Zoe Crosher’s installation (LA Like: Prospecting Palm Fronds) on the museum’s Roof Deck Sculpture Garden. All the while, enjoy complimentary cookies and hot chocolate.
2. The Now, Thursday, December 28th
Head over to the Aspen Art Museum for its annual winter benefit. Enjoy an evening of live and silent auctions, a fabulous seated dinner, a curated selection of fine wine, and a special live performance. All proceeds from the night will benefit the museum’s award-winning educational and curatorial programming.
Sports and Adventure in Aspen
1. Elk Mountain Rescue Dogs & Mountain Rescue Aspen Volunteers Showcase, Thursday, December 28th
Join the rescue volunteers and their furry sidekicks at the St. Regis Santa Library. Learn more about what it takes to be a backcountry rescue and mountain safety steward, and meet the dogs that work alongside them to save lives in the wilderness.
2. AVSC’s ‘Audi AJAX Cup’, Saturday, December 30th
Round up a team of five skiers and you’ll receive one professional slalom racer (last year Chris Davenport, Casey Pucket, Daron Rahlves, and AJ Kitt made appearances) to add onto your team, making a six-person racing team. At the Little Nell run on Aspen Mountain, you’ll race head-to-head against other teams down a dual Giant Slalom course. Winner is awarded the famed Gorsuch Cup. Good luck!
Food and Drink in Aspen
1. New Year’s Eve Dinner, Sunday, December 31st
Reserve a seat at the St. Regis kitchen to enjoy a holiday feast fit for adults and kids alike. Expect seafood towers, carving stations, and the kind of treats holidays are known for. Stay a for the late seating and enjoy bottomless champagne, specialty cocktails, and other party goodies that compliment the live jazz quartet that’ll get you grooving.
2. New Year’s Eve in Mountain Social, Sunday, December 31st
Welcome the New Year with a live DJ performance and cocktail service hosted by Mountain Social, and don’t miss the complimentary midnight champagne toast. The event is free and open to the whole community, and provides an excellent viewing station for the Aspen Mountain fireworks, which light up at 8 p.m. and again at midnight.
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