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 Aspen’s best traditional, ceremonial, familial, and party-centric activities not to miss from the Christmas countdown to New Year’s.
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 8, 2019
2) Party Like It’s 1989
Party Like It’s 1989 – the year The Little Nell opened! Come back to The Nell the following weekend for an après-ski extravaganza throughout the hotel with a DJ in Chair 9, activations in the courtyard and an ‘80s band in the Grand Salon. Enjoy hosted hors d’oeuvres while a cash bar will serve 80’s themed cocktails and other delights. Suggested attire: vintage ski apparel.
3 – 8 p.m.., December 14, 2019
3) 12 Days of Aspen
Over the holidays, Aspen is transformed into a Winter Wonderland. During the 12 Days of Aspen, December 20-31, downtown Aspen comes alive with everything from holiday treats to carolers. Santa joins in the celebration! To top it all off, join us in celebrating New Year’s Eve with fireworks over Aspen Mountain
December 20 – 31, 2019
4) ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
Come to a film screening at The Wheeler Opera House of Ken Ludwig’s ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, a new holiday tradition and wild adventure, where the whole family can help solve a Christmas mystery. When Santa’s naughty and nice list goes missing, a few dancing mice, a little girl and a wacky elf need to save the day before Santa boards his sleigh.
6:30 p.m., December 22, 2019
5) Snow Polo
The glitz, glamour and excitement takes center stage at one of the world’s top snow polo tournaments and only snow polo event in North America. In front of an expected sellout crowd and worldwide ChukkerTV audience, five days of events will be held during the final stop on the World Polo Tour.
December 18 – 22, 2019
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, 2019.
7) Christmas Dinner at The Nell
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, 2019.
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. Your all-inclusive ticket also provides access to top-shelf liquor, sweet and savory bites, oysters on the half-shell, a gourmet cheese bar and more. The hotel’s transformation into a chic circus scene translates to entertainment flowing throughout the outlets with musical acts and acrobats. Mingle in the Hennessy Lounge to savor the sounds of All That Jazz Sextet. Dance to DJ Cyn in the Belvedere Lounge. Party in the Dom Pérignon Lounge downstairs at The Nell with dueling DJs Niiko x Swae. Chill by the Ice Bar with a shot of Hennessy Cognac, paired with freshly-made donuts. Count down to midnight as dancers light up the courtyard with a fire show leading up to the fireworks display over Aspen Mountain. Bonus option: Enjoy the fireworks from Clicquot Cats at the top of Little Nell ski run.
December 31, 2019
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, 2019
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.
7 – 10:30 a.m., January 1, 2020.
For the holidays in Aspen, join us at The Little Nell.