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205 S. Mills St. #221A
Aspen, CO
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6 Family-Friendly Ways to Celebrate Thanksgiving in Aspen

Josh Lewis

Thanksgiving is a magical time in Aspen. Turkey Day almost always either coincides with or falls after the opening of Aspen Mountain, so there’s lots of buzz around town as another highly anticipated ski season begins. Whether you’re local or visiting, here are six ways for the whole family to have a blast in Aspen over Thanksgiving Weekend.

1. Aspen T.R.E.E. Dinner
Every year, Aspen T.R.E.E. (Together Regenerating the Environment Through Education) hosts a free farm-to-table community meal several days before Thanksgiving. This is a wonderful event for families a great way for visitors to get a local taste of Aspen. All food is grown or raised by Aspen T.R.E.E. or purchased from local farmers. This year there will be six local chefs preparing each course. The ninth annual T.R.E.E. dinner will be held November 22nd at 5pm at the Hotel Jerome Ballroom. Pre-register here!

2. Go Ice Skating at the CP Burger Rink
Aspen’s favorite burger joint, CP Burger, features an ice skating rink in its backyard starting at the end of November or early December and lasting through the winter season. This makes the skating rink a great family destination for locals and anyone visiting around Thanksgiving. After you take the little ones for a fun spin around the rink in the crisp mountain air, satisfy your appetite with burgers and fries. And parents – there’s Peppermint Schnapps cocoa just for you!

3. Turkey Day Arts & Crafts at Home
For a quieter at-home activity, try some easy, fun Thanksgiving art and game ideas for the whole family. From a “Tabletop Turkey” to the Thanksgiving equivalent of an Easter-egg hunt to pumpkin painting, these fun crafts will keep the kids busy while parents prep the cranberry sauce.

4. The St. Regis Aspen
Bring your tots to Aspen’s St. Regis resort for the perfect family-friendly evening. First, dine at Trecento Quindici Decano for a delicious Italian meal complete with kid-friendly amenities. The menu offers kid-friendly dishes, but the best part? Children get a pre-dinner platter of raw cookie dough alongside an assortment of trimmings. Kids can play with the dough pre-dinner and design their own cookies, which will be baked and then served for dessert. Want even more sugar? The St. Regis features outdoor fire pits where families can top off the evening roasting s’mores at the base of Aspen Mountain.

5. Hickory House Thanksgiving Day Buffet
A longtime Aspen tradition, Hickory House offers a free Thanksgiving dinner to anyone and everyone, complete with awesome company and all the Turkey Day fixings. The dinner usually serves around 450 guests, locals and out-of-towners alike. The event begins at noon on Thanksgiving Day and typically lasts until 4pm, or when all the food is gone. If you want the true local Turkey Day experience that embraces Aspen’s close-knit community, bring the kids to Hickory House and enjoy a delicious meal at no cost.

6. A Family Walk on the Rio Grande Trail
Get outside and experience the beauty of Aspen during a family stroll along the Rio Grande trail. This forty-four mile trail runs from Aspen to Glenwood Springs, but much of it is paved so it’s perfect for a brief family excursion even in the colder months. The trail is also great for jogging, dog walking, road biking, and inline skating. Get some fresh air and tell each other what you’re thankful for this year!

5 Fun Summer Activities for Your Littles

Josh Lewis

1. Aspen Center for Environmental Studies
Give your kids a taste of outdoor farming life in the Roaring Fork Valley. ACES hosts a number of kids programs at Rock Bottom Ranch throughout the year, including a whole summer line-up of weeklong classes. These classes are divided by age groups, from Little Ducklings to teenage Trail Blazers and Ranch Hands. Featured activities include making ice cream, milking goats, playing with live snakes, and hiking around the ranch. Check out ACES programs here.

2. Ghost Town
Drive up Castle Creek Road to Ashcroft Ghost Town, an old western village that faded after a silver mine bust in 1885. Nine original buildings remain, and The Aspen Historical society offers tours through Labor Day, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Kids will love this dose of cool western history while soaking in the mountain scenery around olds saloons and newspaper factories. It’s a pretty great experience for parents, too!

3. Sunday Gondola Music
Bring the whole fam up the Silverqueen Gondola on Sundays for lively bluegrass music just outside the Sundeck. This Aspen summer staple happens every Sunday from June through September, noon til 3 p.m. The cost is free with the purchase of gondola ticket. Dance to the music while enjoying breathtaking views from the top of Aspen Mountain. Locals love this event, which features Colorado’s top bluegrass musicians.

4. Yellow Canary Art for Kids
If your little ones love to color and paint, the Yellow Canary is the perfect place to keep them entertained. It’s an art studio for children ages 20 months to 10 years, and offers drop-in classes as well as art camps. Check out the online schedule to see the various classes and camps. And come to a special Yellow Canary class at the Katebaby store in town on Mondays from 9:15 a.m. – 10:15 a.m., featuring stories, snacks, and crafts of the day! Pre-registration is required; call (970) 927-0205.

5. Hike to Weller Lake
If your little ones are feeling active, a hike to Weller Lake is the perfect summer excursion. Weller Lake Trail is just 0.6 miles one way – a relatively quick trip and a good hike for all abilities. The trailhead is located nine miles east of Aspen towards Independence Pass, and the hike offers gorgeous lake and waterfall views. Kids will love the sound of rushing water and the beautiful setting. Pack a picnic and stop for lunch!