Aspen Nightlife Finding things to do in Aspen, Colorado during the day isn't difficult -- get out on the slopes and ski or enjoy one of the other winter sports that you love. At night, however, Aspen really comes to life with Aspen nightlife! No matter how old or young you are, there is something to do in Aspen twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Music and dancing are the biggest Aspen nightlife attractions, but there is more to do than just that -- so if you aren't quite old enough to get into the various bars and clubs in the area, don't think that you will be bored at night -- you won't be! Start by finding out what activities are planned for the evening at your lodge or hotel. Most lodges and hotels have events planned throughout the season -- and this is a good place to start finding things to do after the slopes have closed for the day. Shopping in Aspen is another highlight. There are many galleries and specialty shops that you won't find in your own hometown. Take advantage of this. Most shops are open after the slopes have closed for the day, and many stay open late because they understand that you want to spend your daylight hours out on the slopes. If you aren't old enough for the club scene, take advantage of the teen nights that are offered by many of the resorts. These are safe fun nights for teens, which parents will approve of. Teens also enjoy the offerings at many of the spas. Spas aren't just for adults. Enjoy the skin treatments, massages, saunas, and hot tubs. Some resorts also have game rooms for the teens and younger kids. If you are old enough for the bars and clubs -- finding something to do won't be hard at all. Again, find out what is happening in the evening at your lodge or hotel first. If you aren't interested, hit the streets. Almost everything is within walking distance in Aspen, and anything that is out of walking distance is accessible by bus or taxi. If you will be drinking, do not drive your car to the bar or club -- find alternate transportation. The Aspen Recreation center has many planned events throughout the season that are appropriate for adults and kids. However, if you are planning to bring the kids, but you want to enjoy some adult Aspen nightlife as well, child care may be available through your lodge or hotel. Aspen Nightlife -- Getting Around After a day on the slopes, you may be wondering what there is to do for the rest of the evening. Well, don't use up all of your energy, and leave the slopes early enough to get in a short nap -- you will need all of the energy you can muster for the Aspen nightlife. No matter how much skiing you get in or how many of the runs you have mastered, you have not truly experienced Aspen until you venture out after dark! Aspen has three basic areas: downtown, the West end, and the East end. The town is remarkably small, considering how many people venture here each season -- but surprisingly, everyone and everything just fits. The town is actually small enough to leave your car parked at your lodge or hotel and walk anywhere that you want to go. In fact, this is recommended. Not everyone pays heed to this advice, which can make driving around and parking very difficult. You can also take a free shuttle from one mountain to another, take the Roaring Fork Transit Authority Bus, or go to the Rubey Park Transportation Center to get a ride anywhere in the valley. Don't worry about getting lost. The town is well laid out. Starting on the West end, you will find a quiet Victorian neighborhood. While this is a residential district, where locals live, you will also find many hotels and condos on the West end, particularly on Main Street. You will also find the Aspen Meadows Conference Center and Hotel. This is a 40-acre area where you will also find the Aspen Institute, the Music Tent, the Harris Concert Hall, the Paepcke Auditorium, the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, the Hallam Lake Nature Preserve, and the Aspen Center for Physics. In the East end of Aspen you will find another residential area, as well as the Roaring Fork River and the Aspen Club and Spa. The East end features more forests than the West end, which has been developed a great deal more. Between the West End and the East End, you will find downtown Aspen. Downtown is where most of the action is. Featuring old Victorian buildings, downtown Aspen boasts pubs, restaurants, shops, and everything else you could ever possibly need -- all housed in beautiful historical landmark buildings. Down the valley a ways, you will find Snowmass Village. To the west, you will also find Roaring Fork Valley. These two villages are compliments of Aspen, and you should take the time to visit them as well. Aspen Nightlife -- The Sneaker Ball You may have been to many balls in your lifetime, such as Christmas Balls, Spring Balls, and even Debutante Balls -- but if you haven't been to the Sneaker Ball in Aspen, Colorado, you are missing out on all the fun! Known as"Aspen's Greatest Party,' the Sneaker Ball is held annually at the St. Regis Hotel on East Dean Street every March. Back in 1986, the very first Sneaker Ball was held by Al Gross and David Nauss of Paine Weber, Inc -- in Boston. The party was a celebration of Reebok shares trading on the stock market for the very first time. This black tie event was much like other balls -- but everyone was wearing Reeboks, and the first Sneaker Ball was born. The following year, Al Gross decided that this was the kind of party that people really liked -- but instead of being limited to white Reeboks, the idea would be for the guests to wear formal gowns and tuxedos, with decorated tennis shoes. The party was moved to Aspen, where people know how to party -- and thousands of people from all over the world fly into Aspen to attend. One of the nicest things guests like about the Sneaker Ball is that it is for a good cause. All of the proceeds go to Grass Roots, which is a program designed to help inner-city kids. These kids are brought to Aspen to experience what life outside the city is. Many of these kids don't even realize that places like Aspen really exist. Tickets cost $125 per person, which isn't too bad considering that the money is for a good cause. People from diverse backgrounds attend the Sneaker Ball each year. Famous people are there, infamous people, and people who are neither famous nor infamous attend -- and every one has a fantastic time. The party gets started at about 9:30pm and ends around 1:30am -- followed by many"after parties' in various locations throughout Aspen. If you've ever wanted to attend one of those glitzy"Hollywood type' parties, here is your chance! You will rub elbows with the famous, show off your custom designed sneakers along with your formal wear, and dance the night away -- and all for a very good cause. This is an event that sells out fast. Contact the Chamber of Commerce in Aspen to find out when the Sneaker Ball is scheduled, and purchase your tickets right away. Also check with the various hotels and lodges to inquire about package deals and get your reservations set before everything is sold out! Aspen Nightlife -- The Crystal Palace If you like comedy, you should visit The Crystal Palace. This Aspen landmark was established in 1957, and has been offering quality dining with satire comedy ever since. The interior of the restaurant is done in a Victorian style, with beautiful stained glass windows, sparkling chandeliers, and vintage furnishings. If you take politics very seriously, this may not be the type of comedy you enjoy. The majority of the comedy acts and musicals have a political slant to them, and the staff performs most of the acts. The Crystal Palace is located in the heart of downtown Aspen, on Hyman Avenue. The food is the best you can find anywhere. Prime Rib, Rack of Lamb, Fish, Seafood, and Roast Duckling are served. Don't make the mistake of just showing up -- call ahead for reservations. The Crystal Palace is open Tuesday through Sunday in the evening for dinner and a show. You should definitely make it a point to eat here at least once while you are on your Aspen vacation, as this is a traditional part of Aspen nightlife for locals and guests. Aspen Nightlife -- The Caribou Club According to The New York Post, the Caribou Club is the absolute best private club in America. This is a member's only private club, and the membership fee is quite high -- but the ambiance is top-notch! The Caribou Club is located in Aspen, Colorado on East Hopkins Avenue. The club is open from 6:30pm until 2am every day, and you can enjoy dinner and dancing, or lounge in the Great Room before a roaring fireplace with a fine cigar. The wine cellar houses over 5000 wines from around the world. There is more to The Caribou Club than fine dining and dancing, however. When you enter the club, you are entering a world of elegance that can only be experienced here. The walls are covered with 19th century paintings. There is a coat room, where your coat will be taken from you, and you are made to feel like a very welcome houseguest. You can then go to the bar, the Great Room, or be seated for dinner -- the choice is yours. The Caribou Club has only been open for about ten years, but it has become an integral part of Aspen nightlife for the rich and famous -- and even for those who are not famous, nor rich, but who can afford to pay the membership fees. When you enter the Great Room at The Caribou Club, you will probably see faces that you know -- even if you don't know these famous people on a personal level. You don't even have to be in Aspen to enjoy the cuisine offered by The Caribou Club. Your event can be catered by the club, no matter how large or small it is, or where it is located. You can have your event catered anywhere in the world! Private parties can also be held at The Caribou Club. Again, the cost is fairly high. Lifetime membership for a couple is $10,000. Individual membership for two people is $3000 for the first year, and $1000 for each additional year, paid annually. Family membership for up to five people costs $4000 per year. A temporary membership is available for one week. The cost is $500 and covers one couple. However, during Holidays and President's Weekend, the cost is $1000. As you can see, The Caribou Club is quite exclusive -- but depending on the type of nightlife you enjoy, the cost of membership is well worth it -- even if you only visit once a year. Aspen Nightlife -- Taste Festival Winter time isn't the only time to visit Aspen. There is a great deal going on each summer, and one of the highlights each June is the Taste Festival. This is also called the Food & Wine Magazine Classic, and people from all over the world arrive in droves for this three day event. Cookbook authors, wine experts, restaurateurs, and famous chefs can all be found here. Wolfgang Puck, Jacques Pepin, and Andrea Immer have all attended the Taste Fest in Aspen -- because if food is your life, this is the place to be! Each year, there are over eighty cooking and food demonstrations, and visitors can get a taste of it all. There are many seminars and wine tasting sessions held throughout Aspen during these three days as well. If you want to attend this incredible mouth watering event, make your reservations months in advance -- or you will miss out! If you don't make your reservations early, try to find a hotel with space available in a nearby town, and drive back and forth to the event -- check the local camp grounds as well. Just make sure you don't miss this event! Aspen Nightlife -- Syzygy Syzygy, which is located on East Hyman Avenue in Aspen, Colorado, has repeatedly won awards for being one of the best restaurants in this ski town. Featuring outstanding jazz music and food that is out of this world, Syzygy is the place to be when it comes to Aspen nightlife and fine dining. This is an Aspen landmark that is not to be missed. The chef at Syzygy combines European and Asian dishes, and presents them in a modern American way. These combinations are what set the cuisine at Syzygy apart from the food you find at most restaurants. Along with this outstanding fare, you can select wine from a list of over 300 Italian, American, and French wines. If you aren't sure which wine will work with the fine food you have ordered -- simply ask your waiter. They always seem to know exactly which wine will enhance the flavor of the food the best. One of the nice touches about the service at Syzygy's is that the Chef likes to send gifts to the table, such as goat cheese, potato crisps, and osemary bread. Syzygy is famous for their atmosphere as well. The glass enclosed waterfalls inside the restaurant are talked about all over the world -- and they are really something to see! Every part of the interior of this Aspen landmark works well together to create a mood that makes the food, the wine, the music, and the company absolutely enjoyable. You may be overwhelmed with all of the wonderful menu choices, and all of the delicious smells coming from nearby tables. You may not be able to make a choice! Syzygy's has you covered. Simply order the Tasting Menu, and sample everything. Enjoy the music while you are eating -- and after your meal as well. Some of the finest jazz artists in the world have performed at Syzygy's. Call ahead to find out who will be performing -- you will be glad that you did. Syzygy's is closed on Monday's and Tuesdays during the off-season. During the season, they are open from 6pm to 10pm each day, and you should definitely call ahead for a reservation. Remember, this is an integral part of experiencing Aspen nightlife, so make sure you get by Syzygy's at least once while you are in Aspen -- the chances are very good that your first visit will not be your last! If possible, try to make it to the Sunday Jazz Brunch. Aspen Nightlife -- Music in the Mountains There is always something of interest going on in Aspen, and September is no different. During the month of September, every year, JAS comes to Snowmass. JAS, or Jazz Aspen Snowmass, began in 1991 to honor the art of Jazz in the Roaring Fork Valley. It has now become a music attraction that lasts all summer long, with the biggest celebration coinciding with Labor Day weekend. While this is a Jazz celebration, for all intents and purposes, all types of music are celebrated, including reggae and rock-n-roll. Famous musicians and singers from around the world attend the four day Music in the Mountains celebration. All events take place in the breathtaking Snowmass Town Park, located on Brush Creek Road in Snowmass. Snowmass Village is one of the most beautiful places in the United States, and this festival is extremely popular. It is vital that you purchase your tickets well in advance, and arrange lodging well in advance also. Snowmass advises that if you do not have a ticket, to not show up for the festival -- it will be sold out. Aspen Nightlife -- How to Find the Entertainment No matter what time of year it is when you visit Aspen, there is always something going on -- even in the off season. The town is small, but there are usually several types of entertainment offered each evening in different parts of the small town. Generally, you won't have to search too hard to find some entertainment -- but it is better to know exactly what is going on all over town, so you can choose the Aspen nightlife that best suits your interests. First, call the Chamber of Commerce in Aspen a few months before your trip if possible. Ask them what events are planned for the time period that you will be there. Events are usually scheduled well in advance, and finding out about these events well in advance will not only help you to better make your plans, but it will also allow you to purchase needed tickets in advance. Nothing will be more disappointing than arriving in Aspen and finding out that your favorite band is in town for a sold out show! Events can come up at the last minute as well. Upon your arrival to your lodge or hotel, ask the concierge about events that will be taking place during your stay. If you have already contacted the Chamber of Commerce, you will know most of what is going on around town -- but there may be a few surprises in store for you. Don't forget to check with the Chamber of Commerce offices in nearby towns and villages! Snowmass is a village that almost seems to be a part of Aspen -- but it isn't. Contact the Snowmass town hall to find out what events are scheduled in the village during your visit. Have a plan before you arrive in Aspen. Use Internet resources, as well as the information that you learn from the various Chambers of Commerce and your lodge to plan your daytime and night time activities while you will be in Aspen. Again, there is always something to do in Aspen, and if you don't plan ahead, you will waste a lot of time trying to decide what you want to do. While you want to go in with a plan, leave a day or two open -- with no plans. Use these days for shopping expeditions or simply take a quiet walk through the quiet Victorian neighborhoods. Go to a restaurant that isn't in your plans, or spend some time in the Great Room at your lodge. There is always something to do:but sometimes, it is nice to have nothing to do as well! Aspen Nightlife -- Harris Concert Hall There is always something going on in Aspen, Colorado and the Aspen nightlife is very active. You can find a wide variety of things to do -- but if you want a little culture, you should definitely find out what events are planned at the Harris Concert Hall. At the Harris Concert Hall, you will find everything from Piano Recitals to Rock-n-Roll Concerts. Events are planned well in advance, so you should be able to find out what concerts and events are scheduled to coincide with your Aspen vacation. The Harris Concert Hall is located in the West end of Aspen, in a quaint residential neighborhood. Due to parking and traffic problems, you should strongly consider walking to the concert hall. It is a short ten minute walk from the downtown area. Other transportation options include biking or taking the bus. When there are events at the concert, it is very difficult to find parking. The Aspen Music Festival and School were founded in 1949 by Walter and Elizabeth Paepcke from Chicago. Many music professionals train here and all of the school and festival performances take place in the Harris Concert Hall, which seats over 2000 people. You should definitely try to visit Aspen during the Music Festival. This takes place over a nine week period in the summer, and there are usually more than 200 planned events. People from all over the world come to the Aspen Music Festival, so be sure that you make your plans and reservations early! Another exciting event that takes place at the Harris Concert Hall is the Aspen Film Festival. This festival takes place three times each year. The Aspen Shortsfest is held in the Spring. The spen Filmfest is held during the Fall, and the Aspen Academy Screenings are held during the Winter. Again, people come from all over the world for these events, so make your plans early. The Harris Concert Hall is full of history, even though the newest section of it wasn't built until recently. This is a major part of Aspen's history and culture, and you should try to attend at least one event at the Harris Concert Hall while you are in Aspen. Most events take place in the evening; however there are also events that take place during the day. You can check with your lodge or hotel to find out what events are planned at the Concert Hall each day. Also inquire about the need to purchase advance tickets for specific events. Aspen Nightlife -- Country & Western Dancing Believe it or not, there is only one place in Aspen where you can scoot a boot across the dance floor to the sounds of George Strait, and other Country & Western favorites -- Shooter's Salon. Shooter's Salon is located on South Galena Street, and they are open from 6:30pm to 2am every day, and again, this club has the distinction of being the only Country & Western club in the whole town of Aspen, Colorado. Here, cowboy hats, creased jeans, and boots are the expected attire. During the week, the music is provided by a DJ, and on weekends live bands provide the tunes. If you don't know how to do the Texas Two-Step, you can learn how on any Thursday night which is when Shooter's offers free Country dance lessons. Good beer, good music, great dancing, friendly games of pool or darts -- Shooter's is a place where all cowboy's and cowgirl's will feel right at home. If you want to let your hair down, without having to worry about breaking any of the rules set by "polite society" in the other fine establishments located in Aspen, Shooter's is the place to do it! Aspen Nightlife -- Club Chelsea The Club Chelsea is a fashionable club that is a traditional part of the Aspen nightlife social scene. Featuring a piano bar, a dining area, a dance floor, and a private smoking room, this is high-toned entertainment at its very best. The Club Chelsea bar offers single malts, cognacs, martinis, and ports, and in the smoking room, you will find Havana and A. Fuente cigars. The club is open from 8pm to 2am daily, and is located on East Hyman Avenue. A light menu is offered, featuring gourmet dishes such as pastas, tenderloins, and tamales. Everything about Club Chelsea screams elegance. The chances are good that you will not run into the college crowd here. The majority of the patrons seem to be older -- starting with the 30 and 40 year old crowds, with some seniors thrown in for good measure. This is elegant"grown up' entertainment, where you won't find a lot of noise or people who have had too much to drink. So, if you are past the college drinking contests and wet T-shirt competition age, you will find Club Chelsea a delightful and elegant place where you can while away the evening with great food, fabulous drinks, wonderful piano music, and outstanding cigars.
Aspen Nightlife -- Aspen Recreation Center While the Aspen Recreation Center closes just before 9pm, there is quite a bit of enjoyment to be had here after a day on the slopes. If you get there right after leaving the slopes, and eat a late dinner -- after the center closes -- you will have plenty of time to enjoy what the ARC has to offer. The climbing walls at the center are the biggest attraction. The ARC features approximately 3100 feet of climbing walls for your enjoyment. There is also a 3-D climbing tower with more than 25 routes and four auto belays. Another nice feature at the Aspen Recreation Center is the pool area. The James E. Moore Pool area features two pools. One pool is 25 yards in length and features six lanes, while the other pool is for recreation and has a two story slide, a lazy river, and spray features. You will also find a dry sauna, a steam room, and hot tubs in the pool area. The Lewis Ice Arena is also located at the Aspen Recreation Center. Completed in the Spring of 2003, the arena features an NHL regulation size skating surface, grandstand seating for 450, a skate shop, locker rooms, and shower rooms. Public skating, skating lessons, figure skating, youth and adult hockey, and skating shows are available. You can also host private parties at the arena. High altitude training is also offered here. You will also find cardio and weight rooms at the center, and many fitness classes are also offered. The Aspen Recreation Center hosts many off-site activities in the Aspen area as well, such as golf, tennis, climbing, aquatics, sailing, skateboarding, ceramics classes, baseball, softball, soccer, hockey, and various camps. Babysitting services are available at the center as well. This place is a great way to wrap up a day of activity and wind down before your evening meal. Again, the Aspen Recreation Center closes just before 9pm, so make sure you head there right after leaving the slopes for the day. Admission for guests is $13 for youths and $15 for adults. Admission includes access to the climbing towers, swimming pool area, ice skating rink, weight room, cardio room, adult fitness classes, water aerobics, climbing wall and playhouse, and tennis courts. The Aspen Recreation Center is a great place for every member of the family. Call ahead to find out about any planned events that are going on for even more entertainment options. Aspen Nightlife -- Aspen Dance Fest If you have the opportunity to visit Aspen during July and August, you absolutely must use the opportunity to see many of the performances that are part of the Aspen Dance Fest. The Aspen Dance Fest features critically acclaimed contemporary dance companies from around the United States. The Aspen Dance fest runs for five consecutive weeks each summer. The Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Company hosts and performs in the Aspen Dance Fest. The company is made up of eleven dancers who were all classically trained. The school was founded in 1995 by Bebe Schweppe. The company's debut was in 1996 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. All performances for The Aspen Dance Fest are held at the Aspen District Theatre, which is located inside the Aspen Elementary School on Maroon Creek Road. For a wonderful evening of entertainment and culture, be sure to catch at least one performance during the Aspen Dance Fest -- even if you have to make a special summer trip to Aspen to do it. You may also catch performances by the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Company closer to home when they go on tour each year. Aspen Nightlife -- Art Galleries Aspen is famous for more than skiing. There are currently more than thirty art galleries in and around the Aspen area, where art created by famous artists around the world resides. Visiting the art galleries in Aspen is a must, and no Aspen vacation will be complete without this taste of culture. Most of the art galleries are within walking distance of each other, arranged in a three by four block area. This area is located between Spring Street and Monarch Street, and Hopkins Avenue and Durant Street. You will find everything from vintage poster art at the Omnibus Gallery to Impressionism art at the Galerie Du Bois. Visit the Highline Gallery for glass art and the Pam Driscol Gallery for bronze sculpture art. Contemporary collections can be found at the Baldwin Gallery. While some galleries are open after hours, many close around 5pm. It is important to find out the operating hours of the galleries that you want to visit ahead of time. Many shows and events are planned at the galleries for the evening hours as well. Aspen Nightlife -- Christmas In Aspen Aspen, Colorado is a great place to spend your Christmas vacation. You can spend your days on the slopes, and your nights taking advantage of all of the planned Christmas activities, as well as the usual Aspen nightlife. No matter what your interests are, there is always something to do in Aspen. During the Christmas season, "Its A Wonderful Life" is presented at the Wheeler Opera House. Santa's Village can be found in Snowmass Village and you will hear carolers there as well. White Elephant Parties are common Christmas activities, and you can even enjoy the Aspen Film festival. The Holiday Torchlight Parade in Snowmass village is a sight to behold. Make sure that you don't miss this! You can even participate in this parade! There are many Christmas arts and crafts programs offered around Aspen that your children will love to participate in as well. Make plans to attend the Winter Wonderland Christmas Party at the Aspen Recreation Center also. For the ultimate Christmas adventure, make sure that you get in on the sledding and hot chocolate festivities and go for a sleigh ride as well. Christmas in Aspen is a very magical time of the year, and you should plan to spend at least one Christmas vacation here. Plan to stay at Snowmass. Aspen Nightlife -- The Club Scene After a day on the slopes in Aspen, Colorado, you are probably ready to do some partying. The Aspen club scene starts hopping shortly before the slopes close. Many of the clubs have planned events -- and some are just free-for-alls with music and dancing all night long. No matter what kind of music you are into, you will find it in Aspen. Most of the lodges and hotels in Aspen have bars or clubs. Some have multiple bars, clubs, or lounges -- so start your search for Aspen nighttime entertainment at your lodge or hotel. You can usually find a friendly game of pool in almost any bar before the music and dancing begin. The easiest way to find the type of music and dancing that is most enjoyable to you is to pick up a copy of Aspen Magazine's Traveler's Guide. This guide will provide you with a list of Aspen hotspots, and let you know what you can expect at each club or bar. If you will be drinking, make sure that you don't drive your car. Walk or take advantage of the public transportation or taxi services in the Aspen area. Aspen Nightlife -- Aspen Center for Environmental Studies Aspen Nightlife isn't always about music and dancing. The Aspen Center for Environmental Studies is a great place to go at night! There are many planned activities related to environmental studies, and you shouldn't miss the weekly Potbelly Perspective Series. The Potbelly Perspective Series takes place one night each week, usually starting about 7pm. This is a lecture series presented by local people, as well as visiting guests. Adventures, pictures and stories are presented that are very interesting to anyone who has a love of nature or the environment. This series is not only interesting; it is also a very inexpensive way to spend an evening. Admission for adults is only $3. Naturalist's nights are also offered once each week. Here, you will learn facts about the natural world, and issues concerning the natural world. With expert speakers, many topics are covered, and these nights are planned in advance. This is a wonderful learning experience, and a great way to spend an evening in Aspen. Many daytime programs are also offered through the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, including ski tours and snowshoe tours. Call ahead to find out what events are planned, and to make reservations as necessary. Aspen Nightlife -- World Link Cafe While on your wonderful vacation in Aspen, you will enjoy many of the finer things in life -- including fresh open air and natural surroundings. It is wonderful and peaceful -- but since we have become a technical society, you might start having email withdrawals. The World Link Cafe in Aspen has a solution. This wonderful Internet Cafe is located in the heart of downtown Aspen on Hyman Avenue. It is open until 10pm each day, and serves wonderful cappuccinos, mochas, and lattes, as well as pastries, cookies, sausage rolls and meat pies. The Internet is also served with a bank of computers with Internet Access -- where you can access your email. Of course, there are fees for using the computers, and it isn't cheap. It costs about $10 per hour -- but if you are having Internet or email withdrawals, it may be well worth it to spend twenty bucks or so for a couple of hours of computer time. Then, get right back out there and enjoy more of the fresh air and peace that Aspen has to offer you. Aspen Nightlife -- Winterskol Since Aspen is a wintertime playground for so many people, it is only fitting that everyone in Aspen during the month of January participates in Winterskol. This is literally a celebration of winter, cold, and snow -- which is a great deal of what makes Aspen, well, Aspen! Winterskol is the ultimate Aspen party. Winterskol is held during the month of January each year, and it is the wildest winter celebration you will ever experience. The highlight of Winterskol is the Canine Fashion Show, where pets are dressed up in crazy clothing, such as miniature bridal gowns. Winterskol has been an Aspen tradition for more than fifty years -- and it will continue for at least another fifty! The first Winterskol celebration was held in 1951. During Winterskol, more than 40 events are scheduled in the downtown area, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk Mountain, and Snowmass Mountain. The entire area gets involved in the activities. Winterskol is a celebration of Aspen's Nordic ancestry, as well as a celebration of winter. While most events are scheduled in advance, Winterskol also brings several surprises as well. You just never know what you will find at the Winterskol celebration -- until you are there. Favorite traditional activities include the Canine Fashion Show, Winter sculpt, the Buttermilk Uphill Race, and Snowmass Splash. Don't miss the torchlight descent and the fireworks display over Aspen Mountain. Don't miss the unique competitions happening all over town. There is constant live entertainment all around town as well. If you are planning a ski vacation, and you want to have the time of your life -- your destination should be Aspen, and your arrival date should coincide with the start of Winterskol. Winterskol is an ongoing week long party with something for everyone. Amusement, entertainment, parties, and celebration are top priorities during the week of Winterskol. You have to experience Winterskol at least once in your lifetime -- and after you have been once, you will be back. Winterskol is a celebration that is comparable with Mardi Gras in New Orleans -- but a lot safer, and in many opinions, more enjoyable. As they do for Mardi Gras, people come from all over the world for Winterskol. Event packages are available, but all of the lodges, hotels, motels, condos, cabins, and campgrounds sell out early. Make sure that you book lodging for Winterskol well in advance, and take advantage of the packages that the various lodges offer. Packages typically include lodging, airfare, rental cars, and other things that you may require as well. Aspen Nightlife -- US Comedy Arts Festival If you can visit Aspen in March, make sure that you catch the US Comedy Arts Festival that is held in various venues throughout Aspen. This is one of the major events for comedians all over the country -- and it is some of the best entertainment you will ever experience. The US Comedy Arts Festival features every type of comedy you can imagine, including Stand-up comedy, film shorts, alternative comedy, and sketch comedy. Tribute is given to some of the greatest comedians from the past, such as Rodney Dangerfield, Monty Python, and George Carlin. You will also have the opportunity to enjoy many of today's famous comedians, and hear some unknown or up and coming comedians as well. Make sure that you don't miss this festival -- and make sure that you make your plans and reservations very early. The lodges and hotels will fill up fast for this festival, and according to locals, this is the hardest time of the year to find lodging in Aspen -- which is a good indication of how good the entertainment is! Aspen Nightlife -- Theatre in the Park Founded in 1983 by Kent Reed, Theatre in the Park has become an Aspen tradition that adds to the delight of Aspen nightlife. Theatre in the Park once actually was theatre that was performed in a tent in the park. Now, however, Theatre in the Park has changed its name to Theatre Aspen, and a new permanent structure is in development. This will allow Theatre in the Park to hold year-round performances, instead of summer-only performances. Contemporary and classical plays are all presented by the theatre. If you are in Aspen around Christmas time, make sure that you see the theatre's presentation of "Its A Wonderful Life." As a summer- only venue, sixty shows are performed each year. Once the company has its permanent structure, we can expect many more each year. The Theatre Aspen also has many training programs for adults and children. Currently, performances are held between June and August. The Theatre in the Park is located in the Rio Grande Park. Heat is provided on chilly nights, and there is an area to enjoy cocktails during intermissions, as well as before and after performances. Aspen Nightlife -- The Wheeler Opera House The Wheeler Opera House has been an integral part of Aspen nightlife, history, and culture since 1889 when Mr. J.B Wheeler and the Conried Company presented The King's Fool. While the building started out as an Opera House, it was only used for town meetings and such by 1893, when the silver mines had played out. The Wheeler Opera House remained open until 1912 when it was gutted by not one, but two fires in one week! The Opera House did not open again until June of 1946 when it was leased by the Aspen Company. The total restoration went on until 1960. Between the years of 1912 and 1946 the Wheeler Opera House remained empty, and it was used as a playground by the local children. During the 1960's and 1970's, The Wheeler Opera House was mainly used as a movie theater. However, in 1979, the city decided to restore the Opera House to its original grandeur, and this restoration was completed in 1984. The cost was 4.5 million dollars. Today, the Wheeler Opera House is on the National Registrar of Historical Places. Many events, such as lectures, concerts, plays, films, and musicals are held at The Wheeler Opera House today. You can see Broadway shows, jazz concerts, country and rock concerts, and even children's theater here. Any type of cultural event you can imagine is held here -- and shows are scheduled throughout the year. Locals consider the Wheeler Opera House the"crown jewel of Aspen. Nationwide, it is considered a world class theater -- and with the detailed woodwork it is certainly a sight to behold! The Opera House is still in its original location on Hyman Avenue, in the heart of downtown Aspen. You can call to find out what events are planned, and to purchase tickets. Remember that this is a popular place, and shows do sell out quickly -- so purchase your tickets as early as possible. You should also be aware that children under the age of three years old are not permitted for live performances, unless the performance is for children specifically. Cameras and recording devices are not permitted for performances. The Wheeler Opera House can also be rented for a variety of special occasions and events, such as parties, receptions, weddings, conferences, and seminars. Events such as these are usually held on the second floor, where guests will enjoy a breathtaking view of Aspen Mountain, as well as the city. Aspen Nightlife -- The Ultimate Taxi This isn't your ordinary taxi ride! The Ultimate Taxi is actually entertainment that is not to be missed. This is a thirty to forty minute musical ride around Aspen -- but it's not like any other ride you will take in your lifetime. The taxi you will be riding in is a 1978 Checker cab. It has been greatly modified and boasts four red lasers, a laser projector, black light effects, light washers, light orbs, mini-strobes, color changing fiber optics, a sound system, stage lights, a mirror ball, a fog machine, a keyboard, digital drums, a digital camera, a DV cam, a notebook computer, a printer, and much, much more. Your driver will be Jon Barnes, and he has been driving tourists around Aspen since 1984. He throws in a pair of 3-D glasses, so you can view Aspen as you never have before. Featured online, in radio interviews, magazines, and newspapers, the Ultimate Taxi has become very popular. Many famous people have taken this cab ride as well, including Clint Eastwood and Jerry Seinfeld. Get ready for a wild ride! Jon plays the keyboard and the horn while driving! With your 3-D glasses and the other toys that are included in the ride, combined with the psychedelic lighting effects, this is one ride that you will never forget! In fact, Jon makes sure of it, because there will be pictures to help you remember the event. Make sure you buy some souvenirs before you leave. The Ultimate Taxi gift store is located right outside the doors, in the trunk. You will also have a web page memory of your ride in the Ultimate Taxi hosted on Jon's server for all time. Take your toys and 3-D glasses home with you as well. The Ultimate Taxi is not a"normal' taxi ride. You don't call Jon Barnes to take you where you want to go. The Ultimate Taxi is more of a musical show and adventure. It has been called the world's smallest recording studio. Make sure that you get your Ultimate Taxi ride while you are in Aspen, and join the ranks of Ivana, Kevin Costner, George Hamilton, Jerry Jeff Walker, Dudley Moore, the Beatles, Clint Eastwood, Jerry Seinfeld, and even Regis Philbin! Due to the popularity of the Ultimate Taxi, it is probably best to call in advance for a reservation. The Ultimate Taxi is in operation from 7pm to 10pm most nights. Aspen Nightlife and the Altitude There is more to do in Aspen than ski! The Aspen nightlife is like nothing you will experience elsewhere. The warmth and camaraderie of all of the skiers, from all of the different lodges is quite special, and remarkable. You will have a good time in Aspen, no matter what you choose to do, but there is one thing that you should be very aware of before you start your party -- the altitude. Aspen sits about 8000 feet above sea level. Unless you live in a high altitude area, you will need to adjust to this altitude. You may find yourself feeling dizzy or light headed, and you may even find it a bit difficult to breath. Altitude Sickness is a serious problem, and if your symptoms become extreme, you should seek medical attention. If you will be drinking, you need to know that the altitude will have a large impact on the way your body handles the alcohol. Many people who are not used to such a high altitude find that they become drunker on much less alcohol, in a very short period of time. It is best that you avoid drinking alcohol at all until you have adjusted to the altitude. It is also important to recognize the signs of both Altitude sickness and Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). Altitude sickness can be recognized by hyperventilation, shortness of breath during exertion, increased urination, changed breathing patterns at night, strange dreams, and frequently waking from sleep during the night. Acute Mountain Sickness, on the other hand, is recognized by loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue or weakness, dizziness, light-headedness, difficulty sleeping, confusion, and a staggering gait. As you can see, the symptoms of both Altitude Sickness and Acute Mountain Sickness somewhat resemble the symptoms of drinking too much alcohol. The only way to rule out being drunk is to not drink for at least 48 hours after your arrival in the higher altitude. You should also seek medical attention if your symptoms last more than 48 hours, or if you show signs of Acute Mountain Sickness. AMS can be deadly if it is not treated. Health care professionals suggest that you avoid drinking alcohol because the effects are magnified at a high altitude. Avoid strenuous activity for the first couple of days after arriving at the higher altitude. Drink extra fluid and visit a doctor if you have symptoms of AMS immediately for treatment.
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