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5 fun Things to Do in Aspen in September (2018 Update)

Off-season is a great time to visit Aspen (and Snowmass), and if you are a local it is also a fantastic time to relax a little bit after a busy summer and to truly enjoy some of the benefits of living here. Come the end of August, the Food and Wine Classic is long gone, the high-profile Aspen Institute hosted events have passed, and the Aspen Music Festival performances have faded out, but that does not mean that the fun is all over until winter.

We could, of course, easily add to this list, but here are 5 fun things to do in Aspen in September – PLUS 1 MORE FOR 2018!:

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Ruggerfest - Aspen

Do you like Rugby? Have you ever watched it up close? If you haven’t had the opportunity to do so, you will not want to miss Ruggerfest. This exciting annual Aspen event features world-class athletes competing in one of the premier rugby tournaments in the country. Drawing approximately fifty teams from across the continental USA, Hawaii, the southern hemisphere and Europe, this event is practically synonymous with Aspen in September. This year, the event takes place from September 13th through September 16th. Come cheer on the local “Gentlemen of Aspen” as they continue their quest to once again vie for the Ruggerfest title.

Snowmass Balloon Festival

Snowmass Balloon Festival

Check out the Snowmass Balloon festival (September 7th through September 9th), just a few miles down the road in Snowmass Village. This annual extravaganza showcases beautiful hot air balloons coordinating and competing in several events, and just generally showing off for anyone who cares to watch.

The competitions include a race to see who can fly the farthest down the Roaring Fork valley within a set time frame, a contest to see who is the most accurate in maneuvering over targets on the ground and hitting them with weighted baggies, and a “Balloon Dance” where balloon pairs compete to see which pair can keep a flagging tape intact between them as the float along.

In between, be sure not to miss the very colorful and festive “Balloon Glow” and “Glow Show” spectacles, and the “Evening Glow” event on Fanny Hill. The festival also features a free concert, barbecue, and a specialized kid’s elevation station with a free bounce house, face painting, and more.


Aspen Filmfest

Film Reels

Another classic event, the annual Filmfest, also returns to Aspen in September. The film festival is a cinematic celebration of award-winning features and documentaries, previews of fall releases, interactions with guest filmmakers and more. Held at the historic Wheeler Opera house, Filmfest is timed to coincide with the spectacular fall colors on display in the surrounding mountains.

Jazz Aspen Snowmass Labor Day Experience

Festival Singer

Join the party at the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Labor Day Experience festival at the Snowmass Town Park in Snowmass Village. With incredible surrounding mountain vistas in the background, this annual extravaganza features a festive outdoor dance party atmosphere, fueled by popular rock, blues, R&B, soul, world and funk musical acts.

This year’s festival runs from August 31st, through September 2nd, 2018, and features the Zac Brown Band, Lionel Richie, Jack Johnson ,Fitz & The Tantrums, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Gary Clark Jr., The Record Company & Bahamas, as well as some lesser-known, but highly entertaining, acts.

For an extra epic experience, treat your party to the JAS Deck to get away from the crowd and enjoy an elevated viewing area, complimentary beverages, grille Fare, and private restrooms & bars.

Motherlode Volleyball Classic

Volleyball Spiker

Have you ever watched “beach” volleyball in the mountains?

Ok, technically, Aspen doesn’t have an ocean beach, but we do have sand courts and what is considered to be one of the most popular beach doubles volleyball tournaments in North America.

Every Labor Day weekend, hundreds of teams descend (or ascend) on Aspen to compete in the annual Motherlode Volleyball Classic. The Men’s and Women’s championship matches typically draw scores of rambunctious spectators to Aspen’s volleyball “center courts” at Koch Lumber park to watch some of the top amateur and professional doubles beach volleyball players in the country showcase their skills and determination.

This year’s event will be held Labor Day Weekend – August 29, through September 3, 2018.

Annual Fall Color Viewing

Fall Colors Near Aspen
Last, but certainly not least on our list of fun things to do in Aspen in September, is reveling in our annual fall present from Mother Nature. This spectacular explosion of red, orange and yellow leaves on the hillsides and in town is not to be missed, and is truly one of the best parts of being in Aspen in September. We suggest taking a drive up Independence Pass, Castle Creek Road to Ashcroft, Maroon Creek Road to the Maroon Bells or Owl Creek Road between Aspen and Snowmass in order to view this magnificent scene in its full splendor!

For more information about fun things to do in Aspen in September please visit the aspenchamber.org website, or give us a call at (970) 618-8290.  


Whether you are looking for a place to stay, concierge services, or a complete vacation plan, we are eager to assist. Allow our highly experienced and skilled staff to help you make the most of your trip to Aspen or Snowmass – fall, winter, spring or summer!

Contact one our luxury concierges today at (970) 205-9962
, or email us at concierge@aspenluxuryvacationrentals.com

We look forward to hosting your next Aspen adventure!