Hot off the press – Ski Magazine’s annual poll just rated Aspen as the second-best ski area in North America for the 2016-17 ski season in their top-50 resorts list, just behind Canada’s Whistler Blackcomb!
Although the dazzling annual fall color display still glows on the beautiful surrounding mountain sides, we can’t think of a better time to plan a fun-filled winter vacation in Aspen and Snowmass. We’re looking forward to another fabulous season, and we hope you are too!
From the whirring of the lifts on opening day in November, and the World Snow Polo Championship and holiday celebrations in December, to thrilling events like Winterskol, Gay ski week, the Winter X-Games , and Spring Break, there is always something fun and exciting going on here – for everyone.
Also, this year we’re in for a special treat. In March, the 2017 Audi FIS SKI World Cup finals come to town for the very first time.
And perhaps best of all, getting here this winter is even easier with expanded non-stop winter airline service. In addition to the numerous existing direct flights into Aspen from nine major U.S. airports on United, American, and Delta airlines, Delta has added nonstop flights from Los Angeles and Salt Lake City.
Let Us Help Plan Your Vacation this Year
With so much to see and do all winter long, planning your visit here might seem a little overwhelming. But, have no fear – we can help! Contact our Aspen vacation rentals concierge today to find just the right accommodations and to make the most of your next Aspen Adventure. – Ph: (970) 205-9962 – firstname.lastname@example.org
In the meantime, here’s a glimpse of what you can look forward to when you visit.
Opening Day – Aspen Mountain, Snowmass Mountain (November 24, 2016)
Photo Credit: AspenSnowmass
Whether you ski or snowboard, opening day fills the air with giddy anticipation as Aspen and Snowmass come alive for the winter. Since opening day coincides with Thanksgiving, you will find plenty of ways to celebrate the holiday as well. Many of the local restaurants have inviting holiday specials, so you can truly feel at home away from home.
Snowmass, in particular, offers its own holiday: Thanksjibbing (November 25, 2016). At 2pm in Snowmass Base Village, invited snowboarders and skiers display their talents on the rails to win some cash while the crowd cheers them on.
Throughout the afternoon, enjoy some Turkey Bowling, a restaurant leftover challenge, kid’s activities, a live DJ and much more!
The other local mountains, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk, open December 10, 2016
World Snow Polo Championship (December 15, 2016 – December 18, 2016)
If polo is the “sport of kings”, then snow polo must be the sport of winter royalty. And in December the World Snow Polo Championship returns to reign over the town for a weekend.
This tournament draws the top players in the country and is one of the most distinguished snow polo events in the world. In recent years, the sport has become a popular spectator attraction locally and beyond.
Of course, any season is a great time for a vacation in Aspen and Snowmass, but the winter holidays here are especially exciting and vibrant. Here are a few of our favorite events and activities that make a holiday Aspen vacation so special:
12 Days of Aspen (December 20, 2016 – December 31, 2016)
Think the holidays are just about one or two specific days or celebrations? Not here!
In fact, here we take the old “12 Days of Christmas” theme seriously with a wonderful mix of glitz, old- fashioned activities, and lots of merriment. If you’re here with your family for the holidays, you’ll find dozens of activities designed to delight young and old, and locals and visitors, alike.
The festivities feature ice skating revelry, cheery carolers, and “make your own” holiday cards, stockings, ornaments, and cookies. Add in some hot live entertainment and film screenings, cool cocktail après parties, and over -the -top New Year’s Eve affairs, and you’ll find something lively, entertaining and fun for everyone in the family.
And, of course, we always look forward to the annual Sardy House holiday tree lighting and visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus.
Aspen Film Academy Screenings at the Wheeler Opera House (December 21, 2016 – January 1, 2017)
Part of the 12 Days of Aspen, but deserving of their own mention, are the Aspen Film Academy Screenings.
A favorite among local holiday traditions, the screenings showcase the movies actively seeking Academy Award consideration. Here’s your chance to preview the movies “everyone will be talking about” come Oscar season.
Winterskol (January 12, 2017 – January 15, 2017)
The holidays might wind down after New Year’s Day, but Aspen and Snowmass don’t. The winter fun continues with Winterskol, one of the most anticipated and unique events of the entire season.
Local entrepreneurs started this fun-filled annual “toast to winter” as a way to highlight Aspen’s unique Nordic lifestyle, and to keep the excitement going during a traditionally slow time of the year.
For many, the highlight of Winterskol is a torchlight descent of Aspen Mountain, accompanied by a vibrant fireworks show, but there’s much more to this festive occasion.
You won’t want to miss out on other entertaining activities and events such as:
- Wintersculpt snow sculpture competition
- Soupskol soup-cooking contest
- canine fashion show
- broomball tournament,
- fat-tire bike snow races.
Gay Ski Week (January 15, 2017 – January 22, 2017)
Right after Winterskol, the snowball keeps rolling with another popular Aspen vacation favorite, Aspen Gay Ski Week.
Gay Ski Week , the oldest annual week-long gay ski event in the country, features daily après ski, nightly dinners at select restaurants, late night dance parties, film events, and comedy shows, as well as fashion boutiques and gallery walks, and of course, plenty of skiing and snowboarding.
The event also raises money for AspenOUT, a local non-profit and 501C3 organization focused on anti-bullying and tolerance. AspenOUT helps fund local programs and supports national organizations that fit their mission.
Winter X-Games (January 26, 2017 – January 29, 2017)
* Photo Credit: Winter X | Flickr – Photo Sharing!
Do you like watching extreme sports?
If you do, you might want to plan your winter vacation in Aspen around the 16th consecutive annual Winter X-Games.
At the Games, the best extreme snow athletes in the world exhibit their phenomenal skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, and snow biking talents at Buttermilk. They compete in the following incredibly captivating events while a pumped-up crowd cheers them on:
- Big Air
- Super Pipe
- Best Trick
- and Snowmobile SnoCross,
In addition to the athletic events, concerts are held on the mountain at night, and you’ll find plenty of other live entertainment and parties going on all over town.
If you think the X-games are just for post-millennials, think again. Although many of the X-Games events and activities focus on the younger crowd, Millennials, Gen-Xers, Baby Boomers, and really just about everybody will find something entertaining during this high-profile event.
If you want to avoid the largest on-mountain crowds, ESPN offers special X-Game suite packages that allow you to watch the action from private seating and private viewing areas.
Or if you prefer, you can view the daily broadcasts of the events from the comfort of your own couch, or the privacy of the large-screen home theater in your luxury Aspen vacation rental home.
And of course, you can always take in the action at your favorite pub, restaurant, or bar.
Visitors and guests will find awesome skiing and a lot of fun on their spring vacation in Aspen. And, we’ll give you the specific scoop on spring break activities and events in upcoming posts, but we wanted to give you a big heads-up for a very special event scheduled for March: the 2017 Audi FIS Ski World Cup Finals (March 15,2017 – March 19, 2017).
It will be the first time the finals will be held outside of Europe in 20 years, and although Aspen has hosted numerous FIS World Cup ski races in the past, we have never hosted the finals (we did host the alpine world championships in 1950). It also marks the return of the very prestigious “America’s Downhill”.
This is a huge event – you won’t want to miss it!
Start Planning Your Trip Today!
We’ve given you just a sampling of what a winter Aspen vacation has to offer. To make your stay truly memorable, we can:
- provide you with the finest luxury accommodations and amenities. It all starts with having a first-class, comfortable, and convenient place to stay while you’re here
- recommend the best restaurants, shopping, activities, and events
- procure lift and event tickets
- assist you with reservations
- and more – just ask!
* : taken from – https://www.flickr.com/photos/holstphoto/3403734160/in/photolist-7BkA7f-6bGSyg-6bM2zJ-6bM2Gw-zoirL-6bM2q5-fz7ku2Author: Ryan Holst https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ – re-sized from the original.