During the winter holidays, a great deal of the charm of Aspen, Colorado revolves around parties, clubs, concerts, art events, theatre shows and generally hanging out with friends and family – indoors. There are, however, a lot of outdoor family activities in Aspen over the holidays as well.
Here are a few of the favorites:
Sledding: This is one of the best kept secrets for awesome outdoor family activities in Aspen over the holidays because you don’t have to strap on skis or a snowboard (or pay a lot of money!) to have a blast sliding down the hill. Grab the whole family and a couple of sleds and head just outside of the city limits to the “Whoa Nellie” sledding hill next to the Aspen Recreation Center (ARC). If you don’t have your own sleds, you can rent them from the ARC.
Slip, slide, spin (and sometimes tumble) down the moderate slope, then hike the short distance back up and do it again!
If you’re looking for more than just sledding, head out to nearby Snowmass Village and experience Ullr Nights, a “nighttime winter wonderland” in honor of the Norse God of Snow. Ullr Nights feature “old-fashioned winter outdoor activities such as a visit to the Viking Ghost Ship, the Viking sledding hill, snowbiking, s’mores and hot chocolate by the bonfire and ice skating on Rayburn’s pond. ” – http://www.aspensnowmass.com/en/events-and-activities/winter-activities/ullr-nights
Cross-country skiing: There are several fabulous trails for cross-country skiing in Aspen, as well as a few only a bit farther away. One of the most convenient trails is the Aspen Municipal Golf Course trail at the edge of town. You can rent all of the necessary equipment right on site at the Aspen Cross-Country center, and you can even use snow-shoes on the side of the trail if you want to go at a slower pace.
For the slightly more adventurous, check out the Ashcroft Ski Touring trails, about 11 miles outside of Aspen.
Outdoor Ice Skating at the Silver Circle Ice Rink: Located one-block away from the Aspen Mountain Gondola in front of the Hyatt Grand Aspen, this cozy little outdoor skating rink provides great outdoor winter fun right in the heart of Aspen.
Visiting the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES): This non-profit environmental science education center provides several nature-oriented outdoor family activities in Aspen over the holidays, including guided snowshoe tours around the preserve.
In the early evening, you might even be able to catch a glimpse of waterfowl arriving at Hallam Lake for the night.
Face painting on the mall: Another favorite among outdoor family activities in Aspen over the holidays is relaxing by the Cooper Avenue Fire Pit while clowns entertain, paint faces and fashion creative, memorable balloon animals for the kids.
Watching the fireworks and torchlight descent down Aspen Mountain on New Year’s Eve: Yes, you can always find a warm, cozy place to watch from the indoors as well, but it’s not quite the same as standing out in the cool, fresh air while the magnificent fireworks boom and shower down from above.
More information regarding the various indoor and outdoor family activities in Aspen over the holidays may be found at the Aspen Chamber Resort Association’s website: – http://www.aspenchamber.org/calendar-of-events/annual-special-events/12days/.