Aspen, Colorado is a magically beautiful mountain town snuggled in the Rocky Mountains, in the Roaring Fork Valley of Colorado. Experiencing an Aspen Christmas is very special! Aspen during the holiday season becomes a sparkling town of lights, holiday decorations, and festive Christmas and Hannukah events. It is a beautiful snowy mountain scene, straight out of a snow globe!
Aspen Snowmass is a popular travel destination for skiers, snowboarders, and mountain lovers in the winter season! Visiting Aspen, Colorado during Christmas is even more special.
Also in the summer season, Aspen attracts outdoor lovers such as hikers, mountain bikers, whitewater rafting enthusiasts, and families and friends who simply love the Colorado mountains!
In This Article
- Why Aspen During Christmas?
- Aspen Christmas Tree Lighting
- The Little Nell Holiday Tree Lighting
- Hotel Jerome – Festive Chef’s Christmas Eve Dinner
- Hotel Jerome – Festive Feast Christmas Dinner
- The Little Nell – The Wine Bar Opening Party
- The Little Nell – Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Dinner
- Ajax Tavern – Christmas Dinner
- Christmas Carolers in Aspen
- Holiday Cabaret SERIES With Theater Aspen
- Aspen Santa Fe Ballet presents The Nutcracker
- Aspen Film Academy Screenings
- Decade By Decade: Aspen Revealed Exhibition
- Snowmass Luminescence
- Ullr Nights in Snowmass
- Santa’s Workshop for the Kids
- Skiing and Snowboarding in Aspen Snowmass
- Aspen Cross Country Center
- Ice Skating in Aspen Snowmass
- Shopping in Aspen
- Aspen Art Museum
- Snowmobiling in Aspen Snowmass
- Aspen Snowshoe Tour
- Where to Experience the most Magical Christmas Vibe
- Where to Stay in Aspen Snowmass During Christmas
Why Aspen During Christmas?
If you’re looking for a special, enchanting mountain town to spend the holidays with your family or friends, Aspen during Christmas is a perfect mountain destination. You’ll be surrounded by mountain town charm, a great, fun-filled calendar of one-of-a-kind holiday events, and snowy mountain vistas everywhere you turn.
There are plenty of luxury hotels, spacious condominiums, slopeside accommodations in Aspen, and Snowmass to spend your holidays with friends and family.
When it comes to things to do in Aspen during Christmas and Hanukkah, there is a full list of fun festive activities to choose from!
There are tree lightings in downtown Aspen, special dinner menus planned for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at the best Aspen restaurants, Ullr Nights in Snowmass, and Christmas Carolers at the historic Hotel Jerome by the fire.
Plus, boutique holiday shopping and so much more that we’ll cover here in the complete guide to Aspen at Christmas!
You’ll love the twinkle of Christmas lights and festive energy throughout Aspen and Snowmass during this special season in the Colorado mountains. And the Aspen weather keeps the town looking festive and charming throughout the holiday season!
This post is all about Aspen for Christmas.
On December 4th, the Aspen Tree Lighting takes place at the Sardy House in downtown Aspen.
Aspen Christmas Tree Lighting at the Sardy House in 2022 is December 4th, 4PM – 6PM.
Free hot chocolate and cookies will be served. Enjoy holiday music on the front porch and of course, a visit from Santa!
The Sardy House is one of the most historic homes in Aspen, Colorado. Originally built in 1893 by John W. Atkinson who owned a brickyard in town. The Sardy House was built as a Queen Anne-style home during the mining era in Aspen. The house has since changed ownership and gone through a renovation.
Today, the famous Christmas tree lighting in Aspen takes place at the Sardy House.
This holiday event of the tree lighting in Aspen is a fun thing to do for the whole family! When you stay in Aspen, Colorado in December, it’s a great idea to visit the Sardy House and admire the Christmas tree.
PRO TIP: Make your holiday dining reservations early! Aspen is very popular during Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s and so are the best restaurants in town. Call and reserve tables at your favorites so you don’t miss the opportunity for a special holiday dining experience in Aspen.
The magnificent tree lighting at The Little Nell Aspen takes place on December 11th between 5PM and 6PM. The Little Nell is located slopeside on Aspen Mountain with gorgeous views of the ski slopes at Aspen Ski Resort.
Open to the Aspen community and guests, you’ll enjoy hot chocolate and festive holiday cookies while gathering together to sing Christmas carols!
Santa will be there for photos and joy to celebrate the festive Holiday season in Aspen, Colorado.
On Christmas Eve in 2022 at Prospect Restaurant in the historic Hotel Jerome, come and experience a five-course menu with optional wine pairings.
There are two seatings for Christmas Eve dinner at Hotel Jerome; the first seatings are 5:30PM, 5:45PM and 6PM and the second seating options are 8:30PM, 8:45PM and 9PM.
The cost for Christmas Eve dinner at Prospect in Hotel Jerome is $195 per person for Adults and $55 per child under 12. To include wine pairing with dinner is $145 per adult. The champagne pairing option is $295 per adult. Kids beverage pairing is $25.
Hotel Jerome is offering a festive feast on Christmas Day with a prix-fixe menu in the Grand Ballroom. Enjoy stunning views and music by the Aspen Carolers while you enjoy this spectacular Christmas dinner in Aspen.
To learn more and make reservations for Festive Feast Christmas Dinner at Hotel Jerome, go here.
Attend The Little Nell’s Wine Bar Opening Party on December 17th! Wear your favorite apres ski skiwear to fit into this vintage-themed chic party. This fun apres-ski party will take place 3:30PM – 6:30PM and is open to all. No cover.
For a very festive, holiday-memorable dining experience, plan on either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day at Element 47 inside The Little Nell Aspen hotel. You’ll enjoy a prix-fixe menu featuring indulgent favorites such as duck, lobster, wagyu beef, and more! Cost for dinner is $350++ per person with a wine pairing option $250. $50++ per child. Reservations are available from 6PM – 10PM. For reservations go here or email [email protected]
For a more relaxed Christmas dinner, enjoy your holiday meal at Ajax Tavern in Aspen. (inside The Little Nell) You’ll love the three-course menu that includes Gnocchi, Colorado Lamb, oysters, and more. Reservations are available from 5PM – 10PM. For reservations go here or email [email protected].
cost is $250++ per guest. For an additional wine pairing, $150. Children are $50++.
The Holiday Belle Tones Festive carolers singing holiday classic songs at the Hotel Jerome in Aspen is one of the most festive things to do in Aspen during Christmas! (and one of my personal favorites)
During the week of Christmas, visit the iconic Hotel Jerome on Main Street to enjoy some steaming hot cocoa and listen to all of your favorite Christmas music. You’ll enjoy a medley of holiday classics!
This is a wonderfully special thing to do in Aspen for Christmas for the whole family. It’s a fun time to sing along with the kids and creates wonderful holiday memories!
Dates & Times to enjoy the Holiday Belle Tones in the Hotel Jerome Lobby by the Fireplace:
Thursday, December 22nd: 5PM – 6PM
Friday, December 23rd: 5PM – 6PM
Saturday, December 24th: 5PM – 6PM
Sunday, December 25th: 1PM – 2PM, 3:45PM – 4:45PM, 6:15PM – 7:15PM
(Christmas Day’s performances are in the Hotel Jerome Ballroom as part of the Festive Feast, reservations are required)
photo by Jeremy Swanson
From December 19th to 23rd, celebrate the holiday season with the BEST OF BROADWAY at Hotel Jerome! Every evening features a seated chef’s dinner followed by a performance by Theater Aspen. Enjoy music celebrating the holidays and the very best performances by Theater Aspen.
The Hotel Jerome Ballroom will be transformed into a true performance venue designed to host Holiday Cabaret shows! You’ll be entertained by holiday songs and performances by Broadway performers.
Nightly performances by Theater Aspen at Hotel Jerome will be at 6PM.
$245 per person includes dinner and show.
$360 per person includes dinner with wine pairing and show.
$425 per person includes dinner with champagne pairing and show.
You may choose your seating and choice of wine or champagne pairings.
Aspen Santa Fe Ballet presents The Nutcracker, back in 2022! This wonderful holiday classic showcases dancers from around the country alongside students from Aspen Santa Fe Ballet School.
Guest stars from New York City will be featured this year and will join the production to create an unforgettable holiday experience in Aspen, Colorado.
The Nutcracker performance schedule for December 2022:
Saturday, December 17th: 2PM & 7:30PM
Sunday, December 18th: 1PM & 5PM
The Aspen Film Academy Screenings is one of the events I look forward to most in Aspen every year! This film series highlights films that are actively campaigning for Academy Award consideration. It’s such fun to get a first glimpse at the films that will be award-winning.
The Aspen Film Academy Screening will take place December 19 – 23, 2022 and the schedule can be found here!
Decade By Decade: Aspen Revealed Exhibition
This new exhibition can be experienced at the Wheeler/Stallard House in Aspen. This home in Aspen was built in 1888 and is an experience in itself. The first floor is interpreted as a Victorian Aspen home and the second-floor gallery features rotating exhibitions to explore local history.
The exhibition features stories from the mining boom to the quiet years to today’s international cultural resort that Aspen is now. Featuring photographs and artifacts that represent Aspen’s connection to national events and trends, you’ll learn about the community’s place in the larger historical landscape of the nation.
Starting on December 17th, you can experience an interactive art and light display! Stroll through the Tunnel, a series of LED-illuminated walkways and arches providing a special experience for kids and adults. There are three light installations inside the tunnel, all with different custom programming!
Snowmass Luminescence also has large-scale art installations scheduled, including Electric Dandelion by acclaimed artist Liquid PLX and Wave by Squidsoup.
To learn more about Snowmass Luminescence, go here.
ULLR Nights in Snowmass, Colorado is an exciting and fun way to spend the evening in Snowmass! ULLR Nights is a party on the mountain with music, snow tubing, a ride on the Breathtaker Coaster, snowbiking, s’mores, and hot chocolate. ULLR Nights is a joyous celebration and fun!
Take a ride up the Elk Camp Gondola to access ULLR Nights at the top of Snowmass Mountain. Tickets for ULLR Nights may be purchased in advance and reservations are strongly recommended. The Activities Pass will include the Elk Camp gondola ride, the bonfire, tubing on the snow, fire dancers entertainment, and your ride on the Breathtaker Coaster!
Learn more about making reservations for ULLR Nights and what’s included here.
photo courtesy of Aspen Snowmass
December 14th – January 8th at Hotel Jerome in the Garden Lobby
Bring the kids and enjoy a variety of festive holiday activities! The adults can enjoy an apres ski beverage in the Living Room while the kids create holiday crafts. Santa will join the Christmas festivities on December 22nd and 23rd!
Reservations are recommended, please visit Santa’s Workshop at Hotel Jerome
Skiing and Snowboarding at one of the four stellar ski resorts in Aspen Snowmass is the most popular winter activity in Aspen! The four ski resorts in Aspen Snowmass are Aspen Ski Resort, Snowmass Ski Resort, Aspen Highlands, and Buttermilk. All four of these ski resorts are accessible from the same lift ticket, which is very convenient and easy!
If you have an IKON Pass you may also ski at any of the four ski resorts that make up Aspen Snowmass for up to 7 days.
Aspen Mountain is located directly in the town of Aspen, easily accessible from downtown Aspen. Aspen is a small ski mountain with only 675 skiable acres which is mostly advanced ski terrain. So, if you have beginners in your group, it would be best (and safest) to head to Buttermilk and Snowmass first – and start there.
Aspen Highlands is the “local’s favorite” ski mountain and has fantastic advanced skier terrain also. Aspen Highlands is also a small ski mountain with 1,040 acres of ski terrain. You’ll also find mostly expert terrain here too, with some intermediate runs sprinkled in. Check out the Aspen Highland Trail Map here.
Buttermilk Mountain is the smallest mountain in the Aspen Snowmass group of ski resorts at 470 skiable acres. Buttermilk is a perfect beginner mountain for new skiers and snowboarders, or children joining ski school. Buttermilk Ski Resort is filled with great fun for the whole family.
The ski terrain is split evenly between beginner, intermediate, and advanced ski trails making it a great spot for the array of ski abilities that might be in your group! Take advantage of the free parking, jump onto the Summit Express, and take the kids over to Buttermilk West for an easy terrain park.
The intermediate skiers in the group can loop the Tiehack lift until it’s time to meet up for lunch at The Cliffhouse. Check out the Buttermilk Trail Map here.
Snowmass Mountain is the largest mountain (by far) of the four mountains at Aspen Snowmass. Snowmass Mountain has the most intermediate terrain, making it a super approachable ski resort for a wide range of skiers and snowboarders. With 3,342 skiable acres, there are so many ski runs on Snowmass to explore that you’ll never run out of new trails to try!
In Snowmass, you’re going to find some of the very best skiing in all of Aspen. Check out the Snowmass Trail Map here.
The Aspen Cross Country Center opens the day after Thanksgiving and offers access to the Aspen Snowmass Nordic Trail System right outside the front door!
They are a full-service cross-country ski and snowshoe center in Aspen with lessons and programs available. The Aspen Cross Country Center also offers demo gear, guided tours, and a lounge with hot drinks and snacks.
Ice Skating in Aspen Snowmass
There are some great spots to ice skate in Aspen Snowmass! Located directly in downtown Aspen, you’ll find the skating rink next to CP Burger.
This is the only outdoor skating rink in Aspen and is a fun, festive place for families to skate together and have fun. CP Burger is a great, casual place to have burgers, hot dogs, salads, and french fries before or after your ice skating in Aspen. This is a really fun thing to do to celebrate a downtown Aspen Colorado Christmas.
Aspen Ice Garden is an indoor skating rink also located in downtown Aspen on Hyman Street. Aspen Ice Garden has scheduled open rink time so you can bring the kids and enjoy some fun time together without going too far! Check the schedule here.
In Snowmass, you’ll find a very special outdoor ice rink with free skate rentals in the heart of Snowmass Base Village. The ice skating rink is located directly in front of the new Limelight Hotel Snowmass, super convenient to so many hotels, townhouses, and condos in Snowmass Village.
Shopping in Aspen
Do you love to shop? Do you want to pick up a cute new hat with the new Aspen logo on it? You’ll find an abundance of shops, boutiques, ski and snowboard shops, and galleries to explore in Aspen!
Especially during the holiday season, Aspen has a vibrant and charming downtown to stroll in and take in all of the festive vibes and fun.
Whether you’re window shopping or plan on indulging in a few special purchases, you’ll be thrilled with the array of shopping options found in downtown Aspen. From designer shops (Prada, Moncler, DIOR, and Ralph Lauren) to local western shops like Kemo Sabe Aspen, you’ll have a great day seeing what you can find browsing around town. When you’re experiencing an Aspen Colorado Christmas, shopping should be at the top of your to-do list!
Check out the brand new Aspen X Prada Collection designed by Prada with Aspen’s mountain professionals and artist Paula Crown.
Aspen Art Museum
Aspen Art Museum is located directly in downtown Aspen on East Hyman Avenue and is a non-collecting institution presenting contemporary art. The Aspen Art Museum offers community events, education, and immersive activities. Check the schedule before your trip to Aspen for Christmas to see if there are current happenings that interest you!
For an adventurous day out on the snow without your skis or snowboard, give snowmobiling a try! You can book a fun snowmobiling trip to the picturesque Maroon Bells that includes lunch and a tour guide. This is a perfect adventure for your Christmas vacation!
You’ll learn about the Aspen Snowmass area and be exhilarated by the speed and glide of the snowmobiles! Check out all the details here about snowmobiling with T-Lazy-7 Ranch.
photo courtesy of Aspen Snowmass
Aspen Snowshoe Tour
Join ACES (Aspen Center for Environmental Studies) on a 1.5-hour tour around fir forests and serene spruce. You’ll see views from Aspen’s incredible vista and learn about wildlife and Aspen’s history. Get outside and enjoy a memorable snowshoe tour with a naturalist guide to learn from.
Learn more about Aspen snowshoe opportunities here.
Where to Experience the most Magical Christmas Vibe
Aspen, Colorado has holiday magic sprinkled throughout the town during the Christmas season, so you won’t need to look far! The downtown streets of Aspen Colorado during Christmas become a winter wonderland with lights strewn about with a festive vibe in the air that you won’t miss.
Hotel Jerome on Main Street is fully decorated for the holidays with Christmas trees, lights, and candles. Stop into the Living Room for warm hot cocoa or hot toddy to snuggle into the holiday spirit in front of the fire. In December, the Hotel Jerome is also the place to hear the Holiday carolers singing classic holiday tunes.
St Regis Aspen is another local luxury Aspen hotel that celebrates the holiday season in full spirit! They have their own holiday tree lighting in the St Regis Aspen courtyard and the lobby is decorated with holiday cheer. Stop into St Regis Aspen for a festive cocktail at Mountain Social Bar & Lounge.
Where to Stay in Aspen Snowmass During Christmas
The Little Nell is a luxury boutique hotel, located ski-in ski-out on Aspen Mountain. With only 92 guestrooms The Little Nell in Aspen has a luxury boutique hotel feel. You’re in for an intimate experience of personalized luxury and service that will easily turn you into a repeat guest. The guest rooms at The Little Nell all feature gas fireplaces and most have private balconies. They offer world-class dining options at Element 47, spa services, and wine-tasting rooms which are all great reasons enough to book a stay at The Little Nell.
The Little Nell is Aspen’s only Forbes Five-Star, Five-Diamond hotel.
St Regis Aspen is a perfect Aspen hotel for a family vacation during the holiday season! With gorgeous guestrooms, suites and residences, wood-burning fireplace rooms, an amazing on-site spa, and stellar dining options, it’s a great hotel resort choice in Aspen.
With world-class skiing just a short walk up the road, St Regis Aspen boasts a prime location in town. Stroll straight into downtown Aspen for high-end boutique shopping or for your holiday dinner reservation. Or, sit down to a very special culinary experience in the one-of-kind Chef’s Club inside St. Regis Aspen!
The Remede Spa inside St Regis Aspen is a not-to-miss spa experience, boasting a mountain luxurious menu of indulgent treatments. Revitalize your body after a strenuous day of skiing or hiking in the bespoke setting of Remede Spa. A perfect touch to an Aspen Christmas!
Hotel Jerome is a one-of-a-kind iconic hotel in downtown Aspen. It was built in 1889 when the silver boom was happening in Aspen and it was the social place to be seen! Now today, it has been restored to its luxurious, unique beauty and is managed by Auberge Resorts. Hotel Jerome is designed with floor-ceiling windows and plush furnishings in their large guest rooms. You’ll find that the beautiful hotel interior design pays tribute to the historic mining days which is such an important part of Aspen’s storied past.
The Hotel Jerome is an experience of unassuming luxury with a feeling of warmth and welcome. Hotel Jerome is one of the best luxury hotels in Aspen, Colorado, and a very special place to spend the holidays in Aspen.
The dining options at Hotel Jerome are not to be missed! Stop into the famed J Bar for lunch or simply enjoy a classic cocktail at the historic bar. Prospect restaurant offers a cozy, bright space for breakfast, lunch, or dinner where the regional fare is featured. If you’re looking for a nightcap with an upscale mountain lodge vibe, you’ll want to find a seat in the Living Room and order your favorite cocktail from the snazzy bartenders.
You’ll experience personalized, impeccable service at Hotel Jerome. Enjoy the historic J Bar for craft cocktails, and consider dining in Prospect Restaurant for a very special Christmas Eve or Christmas Day dinner! (see the details above in this post) A vacation to Aspen is not complete without a drink at the J Bar!
Limelight Aspen is one of the top Aspen hotels for families, friends, and groups, especially during the holidays! Limelight Aspen just completed a refurbishment that provides a new, contemporary style design to its guests. They’re in a perfect location overlooking Aspen’s Wagner Park and walkable to restaurants and shopping in vibrant downtown Aspen.
You’ll experience a festive, social atmosphere that feels like home with a warm cozy fireplace in the lobby to enjoy your hot chocolate or soup. Limelight Aspen has spacious and comfortable guestrooms with nice guest amenities that await you as a guest of Limelight Aspen.
The Lounge, Limelight Aspen’s restaurant offers a savory breakfast buffet to begin your day the right way! The Limelight Aspen offers guests their wonderful outdoor pool and hot tubs for relaxation after a tough hike or hard day on the slopes!
The W Aspen is the newest addition to the Aspen luxury hotel inventory. The W Aspen opened at the end of 2019, close to the base of Aspen Mountain with a fun, swanky design.
You’ll love the mountain views, beautiful interior design, and top-notch service. You can walk right out the front door to early morning ski runs, or stroll the downtown Aspen streets for holiday shopping or special dinner reservations in town.
Frias Properties of Aspen are a collection of vacation condo rentals and private home rentals that are located in downtown Aspen and Aspen Highlands. They offer a wide variety of accommodations to please any size family or group. Their expert team will help you get all set up for your holiday stay in Aspen! Take a look at the available accommodations for your group here.
Frias Properties offer complimentary Aspen Airport transportation, health club passes, daily housekeeping, concierge services, and 24/7 support for their guests. They are a very reliable and well-known company in the Aspen Snowmass area!
Gifts for the snowboarder or skier in your life can be found here.