A trip to Aspen Snowmass is unforgettable, no matter when you visit; however, visiting the Roaring Fork Valley during Thanksgiving creates truly inspired memories. If you’re in town during Thanksgiving week, you can enjoy a festive small-town ambiance with smaller crowds and additional activities.
You’ll be able to participate in opening day celebrations at the ski mountains, the arrival of holiday lights, and winter activities. Everything is family-friendly in November; the hard-core party crowds haven’t yet arrived to hit their stride (just wait for New Year’s!).
Why Visit Aspen Snowmass for Thanksgiving?
Here are some of our favorite excuses to spend the Thanksgiving holiday in Aspen, Colorado:
Have an Uncrowded Thanksgiving
The four ski mountains that are part of Aspen Snowmass are known for their short lift lines, but you’ll note shorter lines all over the valley during Thanksgiving week. Gone is the summer "tourist shuffle," and restaurants and pubs will eagerly welcome your business. Visit art galleries and fashion boutiques, stop by the Aspen Art Museum, or see a performance at The Belly-Up or Wheeler Opera House.
Low-Key Vibes and Family-Friendly Fun
Once ski season begins, Aspen Snowmass becomes more of a party destination. If you don't want to stay in the city for this family-focused holiday, late November is a great time to arrange a trip to Aspen. Whether or not you have children in tow, you’ll appreciate the slower, calmer pace of an Aspen mountain getaway. Relax in a hot tub or sip drinks by the fire when Thanksgiving dinner is complete.
Take Advantage of Off-Season Specials
While things are still calm around the valley, the majority of dining and lodging establishments have reopened for ski season, and many are offer deals and discounts to both tourists and locals. For restaurant and bar details, ask your concierge or look in the local publications. For Thanksgiving vacation rental deals, contact our team at Alpine Property to learn about available lodging options.
Enjoy Mild Thanksgiving Weather
Colorado weather often plays tricks on us, but in general, the days in Aspen are bright and temperate through December, so you're unlikely to miss a day of Thanksgiving fun due to a sudden whiteout. That said, always check the weather forecasts before heading out for your favorite Thanksgiving activities.
Thanksgiving Dinner in Aspen Snowmass
While you’ll find a number of Thanksgiving Dinner options in Aspen each year, the exact details may vary. The Aspen Chamber (ACRA) maintains an up-to-date listing of currently confirmed Thanksgiving specials on their website — be sure to check back for the latest updates as the holiday nears.
An Aspen Restaurant Thanksgiving
A few restaurants reliably maintain their annual Thanksgiving Specials, including Ajax Tavern, Element 47, Mawa’s Kitchen, and the Hotel Jerome. You’ll generally find their Thanksgiving updates on ACRA’s page, but you’re also welcome to contact each individual establishment. If you’re an Alpine Property guest, just contact our concierge at 866-209-1540 and we’ll help you cement your plans.
Reserve a Special Turkey for Thanksgiving
If you’re thinking of preparing your own Thanksgiving spread, our vacation rentals boast full kitchens and comfortable dining areas, making it easy to celebrate Thanksgiving with (or without) guests. 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 availability and plan to reserve your bird early! 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.
A Takeout Thanksgiving
If cooking and cleanup on vacation aren’t appealing, many local Aspen restaurants offer full Thanksgiving-specific 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. Call local restaurants (or ask our concierge) to inquire about takeout options on Thanksgiving Day.
Aspen Snowmass Thanksgiving Activities
While many outdoor activities depend on the weather, most November and December days stay sunny and mild in the Aspen valley. Planning a local Thanksgiving Day hike (from one of the many downtown trailheads) or taking a sightseeing drive are definitely possible. Here are some Thanksgiving activities we recommend in case you get cabin fever, or want to experience more of the community and culture during your holiday visit:
Each year, Snowmass Base Village invites skiers and snowboarders to compete for cash at the Rail Jam on Fanny Hill while listening to live music, engaging in Turkey Bowling, and enjoying a variety of kids’ activities. Admission is free, unless you’re planning on competing!
Aspen Turkey Trot
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. Sometimes, virtual options are offered in addition to the in-person race.
Basalt Gobble Wobble 5k
Every year, Basalt Elementary School hosts a casual, costumes-encouraged race to raise funds for the school, teachers, and administration. The top three runners win a Thanksgiving pie! Be sure to confirm whether the race is in-person or virtual during any given year before making the drive downvalley.
Indoor Turkey Triathlon
If running isn’t enough for you, you may be able to join the Aspen Recreation Center (the ARC) for an indoor triathlon on Thanksgiving Day. The rec center will usually post more information on its Facebook page if the race is happening during any given year.
While natural snow hasn’t always covered the slopes by Thanksgiving Day, enough snow has been made for opening day celebrations to take place with abundant skiing/snowboarding on Thanksgiving weekend. For opening day details and grooming reports, check the Aspen Snowmass website.
If the crowds on the slopes are too much hassle and there’s been enough snow on the ground for tracks to be groomed, you may be able to try Nordic skiing (classic or skate) on one of the many local cross country trails. Access to most of the cross country trails is free, and there aren’t any lift lines you’ll need to brave. It’s also a gentle and meditative activitiy. If you’ve never tried Nordic skiing, you can always get a quick lesson at the Aspen Nordic Center (located at the Aspen Golf Club during the winter).
Lodging in Aspen Snowmass during Thanksgiving
Stay in a luxury Alpine Property vacation rental during Thanksgiving week, and we’ll make sure your holiday is stress-free. Staying within walking distance from the shops and activities downtown makes your holiday infinitely more enjoyable. Let our concierge take care of your reservations and get you where you need to go.
Explore our Thanksgiving vacation rentals to start planning your Aspen Snowmass visit in November.