You can expect to have an unforgettable time in Aspen Snowmass no matter when you visit; however, visiting the valley during the holidays means even more priceless memories. If you’re in town during Thanksgiving, you’ll enjoy our festive small-town ambiance with fewer crowds and additional festivities. Think ski mountain opening day celebrations, the arrival of holiday lights, and winter mountain activities — all family-friendly; the hard-core party crowds of the winter season haven’t yet arrived and hit their stride (wait for New Year’s).
Thanksgiving Dinner in Aspen Snowmass
While you’ll find a number of Thanksgiving Dinner options in Aspen each year, the exact details will vary, depending on scheduling and circumstances. The COVID pandemic of 2020 has required changes to some of the usual dining arrangements in town. Luckily, the Aspen Chamber (ACRA) maintains an up-to-date listing of currently confirmed Thanksgiving specials on their website — be sure to check for updates.
A few restaurants reliably maintain their annual Thanksgiving Specials, including Ajax Tavern, Hickory House, Element 47, Mawa’s Kitchen, and the Hotel Jerome. You’ll generally find their information annually on ACRA’s Thanksgiving Specials page, or you’re welcome to contact each establishment individually. For Alpine Property guests, contact our concierge and we’ll assist you in cementing your plans.
If you’re thinking of preparing your own Thanksgiving spread, our Alpine Property vacation rentals boast full kitchens and dining areas, making it easy to celebrate Thanksgiving with or without guests of your own. The Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) offers its prime pasture-raised Thanksgiving turkeys for sale through Rock Bottom Ranch; check the ACES website for updates and availability. The Rock Bottom Ranch Broad-Breasted Bronze turkeys are known for “exceptional taste and quality” due to their ability to roam freely and feed off grasses, seeds, insects, worms and non-GMO feed.
Or, if cooking on vacation isn’t appealing, many local Aspen restaurants offer full Thanksgiving menus for takeout. You can choose select sides (like mashed potatoes or pumpkin pie), or opt to order your entire Thanksgiving meal and enjoy it by the fireplace in your Alpine Property rental.
Things to Do in Aspen Snowmass on Thanksgiving
While many outdoor activities depend on the weather, most days in Aspen stay sunny and mild through December, so planning a local hike (from one of the many downtown trailheads) or a sightseeing drive is often feasible. That said, one of Aspen’s biggest draws is the snow on the slopes.
Thanksjibbing at Snowmass
Each year, Snowmass Base Village invites skiers and snowboarders to compete for cash at the Rail Jam on Fanny Hill, as well hear music, participate in Turkey Bowling, and enjoy kids’ activities, to start. Admission is free if you prefer to watch rather than compete.
Turkey Trot in Aspen
If you want to stretch your legs before settling in for Turkey Day festivities, sign up for Aspen’s annual Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day.
Basalt Gobble Wobble 5k
If you’d like to explore more of the Aspen valley, drive down valley to Basalt. Basalt Elementary School hosts an annual casual (and fun — wear a costume!) race to raise funds for the school, teachers, and administration. The top three runners win a Thanksgiving pie!
Indoor Turkey Triathlon
If running isn’t enough for you, join the Aspen Recreation Center for its annual indoor triathlon event on Thanksgiving Day. The ARC will usually post more information on its Facebook page as plans get solidified each year.
While natural snow hasn’t always covered the slopes by Thanksgiving Day, enough snow has been made for opening day festivities and abundant skiing/snowboarding during Thanksgiving week. For opening day details and grooming reports, check the Aspen Snowmass announcements page. The resort will also be posting ongoing operations updates on Twitter at @FourtMTNUpdates.
If the crowds on the slopes are too much hassle, you can try Nordic skiing (classic or skate) on one of the many local cross country trails. Access to most of these trails is free, and there aren’t any lift lines to combat. The sport is also much more gentle on your body, and the repetitive striding can be quite relaxing. If you’ve never tried Nordic skiing, you can always get a quick lesson — often at the same place, you rented your gear (Aspen Nordic Center, just north of the roundabout).
Strolling Around Town
The sidewalks and Aspen’s downtown pedestrian mall are largely free from tourists during Thanksgiving, so you won’t be competing for space or getting cold waiting in lines. Thanksgiving is the best time to visit art galleries or the Aspen Art Museum, browse through the glamorous shops, check out a concert, or see a show. Check the event schedules of the Wheeler Opera House, the Isis movie theater, and the Belly Up concert venue for ticket availability.
Lodging in Aspen Snowmass during Thanksgiving
If you’re staying in an Alpine Property luxury vacation rental, we’ll make sure your holiday is stress-free. Staying within walking distance from the shops and activities in downtown already makes your holiday easier. Let our concierge take care of your reservations and get you where you need to go.
Explore our rentals and plan your next Thanksgiving vacation to Aspen Snowmass.