The Thanksgiving holiday tends to elicit feelings of warmth from family, friends, fireplaces — and, of course, food. With most schools closed over Thanksgiving week, families with children have the flexibility to travel and create even more memories together.
While a traditional Thanksgiving holiday often means staying at home and nourishing family and friends, Aspen’s unique mix of local workers, seasonal residents, and early-season tourists necessitates more flexible options and sometimes even adventure. An Aspen Thanksgiving might mean hitting the annual Turkey Triathlon at the ARC, dining on turkey and the fixings at the annual Thanksgiving Dinner at the Hickory House, then taking a few runs down the ski slopes. Or it could mean gathering the family at an Aspen hotel for a cozy meal, then relaxing around a fire or in the hot tubs. Whatever your company, schedule, or preferences, you’ll enjoy a Thanksgiving to remember in Aspen.
Why You Should Spend Thanksgiving in Aspen
- Space: Because the fair-weather crowds are gone and ski season isn’t yet in full swing, the town is yours for the taking. Roads and sidewalks will seem spacious, not-yet-packed bars and eateries will welcome you, and wait times will be minimal.
- Specials: Off-season specials still abound during Thanksgiving while local businesses wait for the season to get rolling. Restaurants, shops, and bars will tempt you with special deals. You’ll also find early-bird pricing on ski passes, lessons, and equipment.
- Convenience: If you’re going out to eat (or bringing a prepped meal in), you won’t have to worry about timing or clean-up. Which leaves more time for relaxation and/or adventure. And, because Aspen is a small town, you’ll be able to walk or take advantage of our free bus system to anywhere in town. Once you’re here you won’t need a car, so relax and enjoy the holiday!
Where to Eat on Thanksgiving in Aspen
Enjoy your Aspen, Colorado Thanksgiving meal with family and friends. You and the family (or all your friends) can feast on a delicious turkey dinner at numerous Aspen eateries. If you’re particularly interested in a specific restaurant’s Thanksgiving options, contact the Aspen Square Hotel concierge.
- The Farm Collaborative: The Farm Collaborative (formerly Aspen TREE) offers a free Farm-to-Table Community Meal each year. For 2019, though, the event has a new twist: it will be “Farm-to-FRIDGE,” meaning you’ll pick up your free ingredients and be all set for cooking your own creations. While it’s free, the meal does require "tickets" in order to coordinate pick up times. Beginning November 8, you can reserve your share by visiting The Farm Collaborative website. The Farm Collaborative believes that community is nourished by shared meals, and each ingredient is locally grown at carefully selected farms (mostly within 35 miles of Aspen).
- Hickory House Community Thanksgiving: For over 15 years, Hickory House has offered a free community dinner from 1-4pm on Thanksgiving Day. While usually a BBQ joint, the “Hick House” on Main Street offers a delicious, traditional meal for Thanksgiving. Donations are suggested, but not mandatory; the holiday meal is a fundraiser for local nonprofits.
- Mawa’s Kitchen: From 2pm to 8pm, sit down for a three-course Thanksgiving meal at Mawa’s Kitchen in the Aspen Business Center. For $78.00 (adults) or $48.00 (kids under 12).
- AJAX Tavern: From 6-9pm, enjoy Thanksgiving dinner at Ajax Tavern. You’ll find traditional Thanksgiving plates on the regular menu. Enjoy your roasted organic turkey and even some pecan pie!
- Element 47 at The Little Nell: From 3pm to 9pm, Element 47 is serving up a three-course dinner that combines your Turkey Day favorites with a gourmet twist.
- Hotel Jerome Thanksgiving Day Buffet: From 2-8pm on Thanksgiving Day, enjoy the Thanksgiving Buffet at the Hotel Jerome. $130 for adults and $45 for children under 10.
Things to Do in Aspen During Thanksgiving
While many establishments do close to honor the Thanksgiving holiday and allow staff to spend time with family, Aspen offers a few events on Thanksgiving Day that you’ll only find here in the valley.
- Hit the Thanksgiving Slopes: Aspen Mountain and Snowmass traditionally open for the winter season on Thanksgiving Day, so you can hit one mountain or two!
- Try a Turkey Tri: If you’re an early riser, try the Indoor Turkey Triathlon at the Aspen Recreation Center (ARC). You’ll compete to complete a 10-minute swim, 30-minute stationary spin bike and 20-minute treadmill run with 5 minute transitions. Whoever covers the most distance wins!
- Gratitude Flow Yoga at Aspen Shakti: Get into gratitude before meeting up with family for food. Enjoy a 90-minute moderate vinyasa flow with Laurel at 10am. Aspen Shakti offers this Thanksgiving Day class to open your heart and cultivate gratitude in every moment. All classes at Aspen Shakti are taught by highly sought-after professional instructors.
- Thanksjibbing at Snowmass: If you’re up for a small excursion, bus over to Fanny Hill at Snowmass to be wowed by Thanksjibbing. Some of the valley’s most talented freeskiers and snowboarders will be competing on a unique urban-inspired terrain course. You can watch the competition for free from 12–2pm.
Where to Stay for Your Aspen Colorado Thanksgiving Vacation … the Aspen Square
We’d be delighted to host your Thanksgiving holiday at Aspen Square. If you’re interested in making a reservation, please contact the Aspen Square Condominium Hotel at 1-866-286-2596. At Aspen Square, we strive to provide you with a Happy Thanksgiving!