As we approach the month of December, Aspen becomes a true winter wonderland. Wreaths festooned with red ribbons hang on the lamp posts in downtown Aspen; lights adorn nearly every tree; store windows display festive decorations; kids build snowmen in Wagner Park; and ice skaters zip around the outdoor rink bundled up in woolen scarves, hats, and mittens. And since it’s Aspen, so in addition to these wintry scenes, you’ll also spot people with their gear headed to the Silver Queen Gondola in their colorful ski and snowboard wear.
We can’t think of a more jovial place to spend the holidays.
Here are more reasons why we love the holiday season in Aspen.
12 Days of Aspen
The 12 Days of Aspen is a celebration of the final 12 days of the year. Each day, expect fun, free activities for the entire family from morning to evening, both on-mountain and in town. The 12 Days of Aspen activities include performances by carolers, visits with Santa, holiday craft making, free hot chocolate and cookies, shows at the Wheeler Opera House, New Year’s Eve parties, and of course, fireworks on Aspen Mountain.
Ski Aspen Mountain
When in Aspen, we suggest you ski in Aspen! And if you book lodging at the Aspen Square Condominium Hotel, you’re right across the street from the Aspen Mountain Gondola Plaza. Of course, exploring the three other ski areas ― Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk, and Snowmass — is easy, too, since the city’s free buses can take you to the base of each mountain.
Aspen takes après-ski seriously, with just about every restaurant, lounge and bar in downtown Aspen offering après-ski specials. You can’t go wrong with any of Aspen’s options, still, with Ajax Tavern located right in the Gondola Plaza, it’s hard to not want to pull up a chair right there. Whichever après spot you choose, sip on your favorite winter cocktail, surround yourself with friends and family, and enjoy this traditional alpine social hour.
Snow Tubing on Snowmass Mountain
You’ll feel like a kid again when you snow tube on Snowmass Mountain. With its lift-served tubing lanes, it’s all fun and no work getting back to the top of your lane.
Snowshoeing at Ski Areas
Strap on a pair of snowshoes, and head out into the winter forests at the top of Aspen Mountain and Snowmass Mountain. Naturalist guides from the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) lead snowshoe tours, and share their knowledge about the native animals, plants and geology that surround us in our mountain backyards.
In Aspen, you can ice skate under strings of holiday lights at the Silver Circle Ice Rink, located only a block from the Aspen Square Condominium Hotel, or you can enjoy open skating at the Aspen Ice Garden or the Aspen Recreation Center.
If you’re traveling to Aspen for the holidays, you can avoid packing all of your gifts by doing your holiday shopping in downtown Aspen. Grab a cup of hot chocolate before you head out, and enjoy all of the decorations and wintry window displays as you work your way through your gift list.
After experiencing the holidays in Aspen, we think you’ll agree that there isn’t a more magical place to be for this special month than Aspen, Colorado!
Book your stay at the Aspen Square Hotel — a condominium hotel in downtown Aspen. To make a reservation, call 1-866-285-7876.
Image: Chris Council / Aspen Daily News