Between heart-thrilling ski runs and circles around the ice skating rink, Aspen continues to draw boundless smiles throughout the holidays. That snowflake landing on your eyelashes. Opening a bottle of champagne to celebrate the days passed. Sitting around an effervescent table with loved ones, glowing conversation, and a flavorful, warm meal. The holidays in Aspen are unforgettable—and as calm or as wild as you need them to be. Here are a range of traditional, ceremonial, familial, and party-centric activities not to miss from the Christmas countdown to New Years.
1) Tree Lighting Ceremony
The Little Nell’s annual tree lighting ceremony warms families’ hearts with cookies, hot cocoa, carolers, the one and only Santa Claus, and ‘reindeer’ pups from the Aspen Animal Shelter. Come count down the tree lighting in the courtyard at The Little Nell. 5 – 6 p.m.; December 10, 2017
2) Snowmass 50th Birthday Party
Snowmass Ski Area opened an entire half-century ago, and this year they’re celebrating like it’s 1967. Don your retro ski outfit, arrive at the resort on the anniversary morning, and purchase a 50th Anniversary lift ticket on December 15, for $6.50 (with lodging). DJ GeoDecibel will perform at Base Village all afternoon, kids can enjoy face painting, and a retro party kicks off at Elk Camp Restaurant that evening. 8:15 a.m., December 15-17, 2017
3) Hanukkah Celebration
Join the Aspen Jewish Congregation to light the Menorah in the St. Regis lobby each night of Hanukkah. On the final night, classic latkes and treats will be shared. 5 – 5:15 p.m., December 12-20, 2017
4) Santa in Winter Wonderland
Santa Claus will be laughing heartily with the kiddos all afternoon in a Winter Wonderful along the Cooper Avenue Mall. It’s the perfect spot for Instagram-worthy photos of your children. 12 – 3 p.m., December 21, 2017
5) A Charlie Brown Christmas
To celebrate the holidays in Aspen, the iconic Peanuts characters will be sharing an energetic Christmas play at the Wheeler Opera House. Watch this entirely new iteration of the Charles M. Schulz classic award-winning animated television series set to Vince Guaraldi’s music. 3:30 p.m.; 6:30 p.m.; December 23, 2017
6) Christmas Eve Service at Aspen Chapel
Gather with local families and friends for the traditional Christmas Eve Service at the Aspen Chapel. 4:30 p.m.; 6:30 p.m.; 8:30 p.m.; December 24, 2017
7) Christmas Dinner
Share a special Christmas Dinner with loved ones. At element 47, Executive Chef Matt Zubrod will prepare a 4-course prix fixe menu. If you’re looking for a more casual, family environment, Ajax Tavern will also offer a 4-course prix fixe menu with holiday favorites. 6 – 10 p.m.; December 25, 2017
8) New Year’s at The Nell
Ring in the new year at The Dom Perignon Party – New Year’s at The Nell with a multi-performance event and fireworks show above Aspen Mountain. Each space—including Chair 9, element 47, and the Grand Salon—will feature a musical act throughout the night. DJ Amy Robbins will bring the dance party in The Belvedere Lounge with breakdancers, while DJ Cyn spins in The Dom Perignon Lounge with Brazilian Samba dancers, and live jazz music will play in the Hennessy Lounge. Bonus option: Enjoy the fireworks from the Clicquot Snowcats at the top of Little Nell ski run. 7:45 p.m. – 1:30 a.m.; December 31, 2017
9) New Year’s Fireworks
New Year’s Eve is the pinnacle of celebrations in Aspen’s mountains. Twice throughout the night, fireworks will dance over Aspen Mountain, so you and yours truly can’t miss them. 8 p.m.; 12 a.m./midnight; December 31, 2017
10) A Breakfast Cure
Start your year off right with breakfast or brunch at element 47. It’ll instantly cure last night’s headache and leave you feeling right for a day on the slopes.
For the holidays in Aspen, join us at The Little Nell.