Aspen loves to throw a party, and, boy, do we know-how. To this day, Aspen is known for hosting the best celebrations in the world and its annual summer and winter fêtes are no exception.
Arts & Cultural Events
Enjoy world-class music, dance, film, theatre, lectures, writers workshops, history tours, galleries, museums, artist workshops, and more.
- Aspen is lucky to hold a cultural cache attracting many top politicians, musicians, and other celebrities. They enjoy Aspen for the authentic laid-back vibe, and we encourage visitors and locals to leave them alone when you see them out and about in town.
- In the summer months you will frequently see the music students playing on the walking malls in the downtown core, don't forget to tip them!
- Question & Answer sessions are just that - meant for you to ask a question to the moderator or presenter. Please save your life story for your memoir, and then present at an Aspen Words event.
- With the exception of performances at the Aspen District Theater, parking is limited for all other performance venues, so please take alternative transportation when possible.
- The bus is a must for the JAS Aspen Snowmass Labor Day Experience held in Snowmass town park, the experience is seamless & safe. Keep an eye out for Blind Faith tickets, which offer discounted pricing prior to the artists being announced.
- The Aspen Art Museum offers free admission daily and is closed on Mondays. The rooftop cafe has one of the best views in town.
- The Aspen Music Festival and School offers over 400 performances at venues throughout Aspen, including the Benedict Music Tent, Harris Concert Hall, and the Wheeler Opera House. If you prefer the beauty of a lawn seat, one can opt to sit on the free David Karetsky Lawn outside of Benedict Music Tent. Bring your lawn chairs, pack a picnic, a bottle of wine, and enjoy the music easily heard from the tent. Lawn seating is also a great option for families with young children and leashed pets, where there is ample room in the back for running and playing throughout the show, but please remember to be quiet on the lawn.
- Aspen Words has a "Catch & Release" program, which provides FREE books authored by the current month Writer in Residence, the only requirement is you need to pass the book on once you finish for someone else to enjoy.
- Theatre Aspen's performance venue is located in the heart of Rio Grande Park alongside the John Denver Sanctuary. Pack a picnic and enjoy dinner among the flowers prior to entering the Hurst Theatre for the evening.
- Roaring Fork Valley Residents can purchase a Wheeler Wins pass for the Wheeler Opera House, granting access to special members pricing for certain shows.
- The Red Brick Center for the Arts offers Aspen's only paint and wine experience for adults, Masterpiece Mine.
More Arts & Culture in Aspen
FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen
- Every third weekend of June when the white Grand Tasting tents in Wagner Park are raised for four days of decadent tastings, seminars, and parties at the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen.
- One of the first festivals of its kind, over 30 years the Classic has grown from a small tasting event to “the granddaddy” of all food and wine festivals.
- The intimate nature of the Classic – which hosts the best wine and food producers from around the world, but limited ticket sales mean guests can get up close and personal with their favorite celebrity chefs, winemakers, and influencers.
- Remember that attending the FOOD & WINE Classic is a marathon, not a sprint. You’re at altitude! Drink lots of water, pace yourself throughout the day, and don’t be afraid to use the spittoons!
- Wondering what to wear? Sundresses, shorts, and button-down shirts are the choice of most attendees, paired with low-heel shoes that won’t sink into the grass and can get you from venue to venue in a flash.
- Weather in the mountains is unpredictable and afternoon showers are common, so be prepared with a sweater or a wrap and rain gear, especially for evening events.
Aspen Saturday Market
- Aspen's own farmers’ market each and every Saturday, is a community staple.
- From mid-June through early October, Colorado vendors from the Roaring Fork Valley, the North Fork Valley, and Palisade/Grand Junction area drive to Aspen before dawn to set up stalls in the downtown core, taking over portions of Galena, Hunter, and Hopkins avenues.
- The market, showcase for talented local makers creating treasures from glassware to leatherwear to hats, clothing, jewelry, wood products, paintings, and more, as well as traditional farmer’s market offerings of fruits, vegetables, flowers, local meats, baked goods, locally distilled spirits, and more runs early morning until mid-afternoon.
- It’s a great place to grab a cup of coffee, a freshly baked croissant, and chat with friends, new and old.
- Leashed dogs are welcome, but be aware that as the day progresses the pavement can become very hot for a dog’s feet. (Speaking of dogs, be sure to meet the new puppies from the Aspen Animal Shelter while you’re there!)
- Please note that the market eliminates 3 blocks of parking in the downtown core, so plan your transportation accordingly.
ESPN Winter X Games
- For two decades, Aspen’s Buttermilk mountain has been home to the annual ESPN Winter X Games.
- The world’s finest female and male snow sports athletes bring their A-game every January to compete in events like SuperPipe, Slopestyle, Big Air, and Speed & Style Snowmobiling.
- All sporting events are free and open to the public, and the mountain runs as usual for ticketed skiers and snowboarders.
- In addition to the on-mountain events, ESPN hosts live concerts at Buttermilk, adding a festival atmosphere to the four days of competition.
- X Games attracts some of the biggest crowds of the year to Aspen. There is no public parking at the venue. Riding the bus from the Brush Creek and the Hwy. 82 Intercept lot, or from downtown Aspen, is the easiest way to get to and from Buttermilk.
Fourth of July
- Aspen’s Old Fashioned Fourth of July means a grand parade with decorated floats, Aspen’s fleet of fire trucks spraying water and throwing candy – even a steam calliope, playing music along the route.
- The annual Boogie’s Buddy Race kicks off the day. The five-mile road race begins in Rio Grande Park, speeds down the Rio Grande Trail, uphill along Cemetery Lane, through the West End, and finally to the finish line back at the park.
- The annual parade begins late morning and travels east along Main Street winding through town.
- Everyone is encouraged to participate in the parade by decorating their bikes, unicycles, or scooters in Paepcke Park before the parade and riding along.
- Aspen Music Festival & School offers a Free Fourth of July Concert at the Benedict Music Tent in the afternoon.
- The night ends with ACRA’s Dancing in the Streets commencing with fireworks over Aspen Mountain.
- To attend the days’ festivities, be sure to take a RFTA bus in and out of town. If you’re coming from downvalley or Snowmass Village, park at the Intercept Lot and catch any bus into town. It’s free
- Aspen's winter celebration dates back to 1951.
- Enjoy snow sculptures along the pedestrian malls.
- Saturday night watch skiers descent Aspen Mountain with torches burning, lighting up the white snow beneath them.
- Following the torchlight descent, awe over fireworks lighting up the winter snow!
Learn more about Aspen's Wintersköl™ celebration.
12 Days of Aspen
- The 12 Days of Aspen begin every December 20 and run through the end of the year.
Celebrate the holiday season with the 12 Days of Aspen