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 the added bonus of fewer people, fun holiday activities, and the start of the ski season!
Here are some of our favorite reasons why you should spend your Thanksgiving in Aspen.
Everything in November is very family friendly with fewer people as the rush of the “party crowd” doesn’t tend to happen until after Christmas. Holiday dining options and special events provide ample opportunity to enjoy the festive atmosphere.
If you are planning on skiing or snowboarding at any of the four resorts, you will enjoy the smaller crowds that Thanksgiving and opening day weekend brings. Fewer visitors also translates to shorter lift lines and more time to get in a few turns before your Thanksgiving feast.
While things are still calm around the valley, the majority of dining and lodging establishments have reopened for ski season; and many 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 1-888-770-8974 or check out our available lodging options.
Colorado weather can be unpredictable, though early winter weather in Aspen tends to be bright and temperate. Early ski season typically means taking advantage of bluebird skies and the chill in the air of the upcoming winter while you ski and ride; it's also a great time to partake in holiday and outdoor activities and get into the spirit of the season.
While you’ll find a number of Thanksgiving Dinner options in Aspen each year, the exact details may vary. The Aspen Chamber 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.
A RESTAURANT THANKSGIVING
A number of restaurants in Aspen offer special Thanksgiving menus, though they may vary from year to year. Many local establishments such as the Hotel Jerome, Element 47, Ajax Tavern, Aspen Public House, and Mawa's Kitchen typically offer Thanksgiving specials every year; just make sure to confirm availability ahead of time.
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.
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 more fun Thanksgiving events that we recommend in case you get cabin fever or want to experience more of the community and culture during your holiday visit:
This fun and free event kicks off the winter season in Snowmass. Watch local freeskiers and snowboarders compete for cash prizes on urban-inspired terrain on Fanny Hill. The event also typically includes Turkey Bowling, a restaurant leftover challenge, live music, kids’ activities, and more.
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. This 5k run is a fun way to spend time with family and friends and work up an appetite for your holiday meal.
BASALT GOBBLE WOBBLE 5K
Every year, Basalt Elementary School hosts a casual, costumes-encouraged race to raise funds for the school, teachers, and administration. Participants can compete for best costumes, raffles, and more.
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 indoor triathlon consists of a 10 minute swim, 30 minute spin bike, and 20 minute treadmill run with transition time in between. It is a safe and fun way to be introduced to triathlon and an excellent workout for those with experience.
Event and registration information is available on the Aspen Rec Center website.
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.
Go to the Aspen Snowmass website for more information on opening day, lift tickets, and equipment rentals.
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 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).
HOST YOUR THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY IN ASPEN
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.