Learning Vacations

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A lifelong love of learning is ingrained in the Aspen Idea of enriching your mind, body & spirit. Here are some programs that take the guess work out of adding a learning experience to your vacation.

Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES)

Wednesdays at 6pm at the Third Street Center in Carbondale (520 S. Third St, Carbondale)
Thursdays at 6pm at ACES at Hallam Lake (100 Puppy Smith St, Aspen) 
ACES, Wilderness Workshop, and Roaring Fork Audubon host visiting experts who present current environmental issues with a local/regional emphasis. This speaker series is held in both Aspen & Carbondale for 10 weeks from January through March. Naturalist Nights are free and open to the public. 
From January 2/3 to March 6/7th


Wednesdays at 6pm at ACES at Hallam Lake (100 Puppy Smith St, Aspen)

Potbelly Perspecives is an adventure/travel series featuring a narrated slide show presentation of pictures and videos. ACES has hosted the Potbelly Perspectives series for many years, providing Aspen locals and visitors the chance to share exciting accounts of world travel and adventure with out community through stories and visual media. Enjoy cookies, tea, and beer (for our 21+ guests). This series is free for ACES members/ $5 for non-ACES members.

10 week series from January 2nd to March 6th


Explore and learn about the Aspen area with ACES! Hire a Naturalist guide, available by the hour, to lead you on private adventures that may be customized to your interests such as birding, geology, snowshoe guides, and more. 


First Tuesdays of the Month

Join naturalist Rebecca Weiss on the first Tuesday of the month from October through April and open yourself to a new passion! Bring your binoculars and field guides (or borrow ours) and dress warmly: coat, gloves, hat, and appropriate footwear especially when snow's on the ground. Birding in fall, winter, and early spring is great for exercising your birding skills, learning some non-breeding plumages, and observing foraging behaviors of both migratory and resident species. We are often rewarded with nuthatches, woodpeckers, and other songbirds in better view in the absence of summer's foliage, as well as tracks in the frost and the soothing quiet of crisp mornings. Designed for all birders from novices to experts, we focus on birding skills, fun, and being in tune with nature. Every outing is a treasure hunt for birds and their wild neighbors!

October 2018 through April 2019

*photo courtesy of ACES

Aspen Music Festival & School

Aspen Music Festival and School: The Aspen Music Festival and School presents its popular Winter Music Recital Series with renowned classical artists at Harris Concert Hall (1/29, 2/7, 2/28), as well as encore airings of the Metropolitan Opera's acclaimed The Met: Live in HD series (1/22, 2/18, 3/7, 3/21) at the historic Wheeler Opera House. 


Event: 2019 Winter Music Recital Series
Date: Tuesday, January 29; Thursday, February 7; Thursday, February 28, 2019
Time: 6:30 pm
Details: Don't miss three intimate recitals with elegant programs by Yefim Bronfman, piano (1/29), Jennifer Koh, violin (2/7), and Marc-Andre Hamelin, piano (2/28). See full repertoire online.
Location: Harris Concert Hall
Price: $55 
Information: www.aspenmusicfestival.com or 970-925-9042

Event: The Met: Live in HD
Date: Tuesday, January 22; Monday, February 18; Thursday, March 7; Thursday March 21, 2019 
Time: 5:30 pm
Details: Enjoy encore presentations of the Metropolitan Opera's acclaimed The Met: Live in HD series in Aspen's own historic opera house. The 2019 season features the Met's productions of favorites such as Aida (1/22), La Fanciulla del West (2/18), La Traviata (3/7), and Carmen (3/21).
Location: Wheeler Opera House
Price: $20 adults ($15 for Wheeler Wins! members); $5 youth 18 and under 
Information: www.aspenmusicfestival.com or 970-925-9042


Please visit www.aspenmusicfestival.com for more information on upcoming Winter events. 



Aspen Words - For Readers & Writers

Writers Speaker Series
Event Name: 22nd Winter Words Series
Dates: January-March, 2019
Time: 5:30- 7:00 p.m.
Location: Paepcke Auditorium on the campus of Aspen Institute, 1000 N 3rd St, Aspen, CO 81611
Event Details:
In five events from January to March, the literary nonprofit and program of the Aspen Institute will welcome writers at the height of their careers, including professional rock climber and memoirist Tommy Caldwell, New York Times best-selling novelist Curtis Sittenfeld and her longtime friend and fellow novelist Emily Jeanne Miller, a former Aspen Words Writer in residence; divinity professor and best-selling author Kate Bowler, Pulitzer Price winner Colson Whitehead, and New Yorker staff writer and ward-winning author Jane Mayer. 
Price: $25 Individual Tickets/$60 AW Member Series Pass/ $80 Non-Member Series Pass
Contact information: [email protected]; 970-925-3122; www.aspenwords.org


JAS Aspen Snowmass

"Listen Up!"
Pre-concert talks with Jas Café artists dedicated to the history of the performing artist and the origin of the music they will perform. All talks are included with tickets to the evening's show and start 45 minutes prior.

Tickets and info at jazzaspensnowmass.org 

January 11, 2019 - Sammy Miller, 8 pm show
February 17, 2019 - Robin McKelle, 8 pm show 
February 22, 2019 - Shelly Berg, 8pm show
March 1, 2019 - Ola Onabule, 8pm show

March 15, 2019- Niki Haris, 7pm show

March 29, 2019- Deva Mahal, 8pm show


Free for Ticket Buyers, the sessions will allow attendees to hear the artists speak about their music and insight into where it fits in the jazz pantheon. For tickets and more information: jazzaspensnowmass.org or 970-920-4996.


JAS Café

Jas Café's Winter series line-up will have shows taking place Downstairs at The Little Nell and at the Cooking School of Aspen. Tickets go on sale Friday, November 9 at 10am mst and can be purchased at 970.920.4996 or at jazzaspensnowmass.org Individual show tickets range from $45-$75 while a series pass to the five shows of your choice is available at a $50 discount. This winter, JAS is adding a series of four aprés shows that will start at 5pm. 



Ski School

Women's Edge Skiing & Snowboarding Group Lessons
A program uniquely designed for intermediate to expert women, providing an amazing laughter filled four days of skiing and riding with friends.


Bumps for Boomers
A ski lesson program designed to quickly teach intermediate-level Baby Boomer and senior skiers how to ski moguls & powder.


The Magic of Skiing with Thomas Crum
Aspen Ski Company's longest-running special program. Magic of Skiing views the art of skiing & snowboarding as an adventure in self-awareness and an opportunity to unify mind and body and achieve inner peace.


Beginner's Magic Adult Group Lessons
First-timers and beginners age 18 and older, includes lesson, rental equipment and beginner area lift ticket.


All ski school learning opportunities.


4th of July Parade Waiver


PARADE STARTING/STAGING: The parade will begin at 11:00am. Parade positioning is “first come, first serve” and line up begins no earlier than 10:00am. There is no entry fee and the parade is open to the public. All 5 lanes of Main Street, from Aspen Street to 2nd Street, will be closed to all traffic & designated for parade staging only. Power is not provided in staging area and remember generators do need gas.

PARADE ROUTE: The parade will start East on Main Street. It will turn South onto Hunter Street, then West onto Cooper Avenue. The parade will continue West on Cooper Avenue to Galena Street. At Galena it heads North for 2 blocks before turning West onto Hopkins Avenue. The parade will continue South on Mill then West on Hyman Avenue. Parade participants will be directed to disperse at Hyman and Monarch Street.  PARADE JUDGING: Parade judging will take place in front of the Hotel Jerome. Participants will be limited to 1 minute or less for any performances in front of the judges. Security will be onsite monitoring all entries to help prevent gaps in the parade route. Recognition will be awarded to the best entries in the following categories: 

Most Patriotic | Most Humorous | Best Animal | Best Music | Most Outrageous | Best Children’s  


  • Consumption of alcohol is prohibited during the parade.
  • Candy, favors, etc. should not be thrown from your float/vehicle during the parade. This is for the safety of the spectators and to prevent children from running out into the street. 
  • Water balloons will not be permitted. According to city ordinances, those caught throwing balloons will be removed from the parade and could face citations and/or arrests. 
  • All parade entries must be in “good taste” and will be allowed in the parade per the director’s discretion. 
  • Maximum height restriction for any float entry is 13’5”.


The undersigned organization has elected to participate in the Fourth of July parade sponsored by the City of Aspen and Aspen Chamber Resort Association (“ACRA”). In consideration for City of Aspen and ACRA allowing the undersigned to participate in the festivities, the undersigned has read, understood, and willingly agreed to the terms of this INSURANCE LIABILITY AGREEMENT and WAIVER AND INDEMNITY AGREEMENT (collectively referred to herein as “RELEASE”).


                                    Participants are required to carry insurance adequate to cover any liability for damage, injury, economic loss, or other liability that may be incurred by individuals and/or organizations during the Fourth of July parade. All participants agree to carry such insurance, and also agree not to submit any claim against the insurance of City of Aspen, ACRA and/or any other sponsors of the parade, their officers, directors, agents, shareholders, employees, or anyone else directly or indirectly connected with production of the parade.


                                         The undersigned understands the potential dangers that could be encountered in participating in the Fourth of July parade. The dangers include, among other things, dangers relating to vehicular and pedestrian traffic; crowds of persons in close proximity to such traffic; animals that may react unpredictably in a parade environment; celebration and recreational activities; loud and unexpected noise; items that may be thrown to and from the crowd in connection with the parade; and other dangers traditionally associated with parades.  Understanding those risks, the undersigned for itself and for all persons who the undersigned invites or allows to participate in the parade with the undersigned, does hereby agree to indemnify, hold harmless, and release City of Aspen, ACRA and/or any other sponsors of the parade, their officers, directors, agents, shareholders, employees, and anyone else directly or indirectly connected with production of the parade from any and all liability, claims, demands, actions, or rights of action (including attorneys’ fees and costs) that are related to or are in any way connected with the undersigned’s participation in the parade. By signing this RELEASE, the undersigned intends to extinguish any and all liability and to indemnify against any loss on the part of City of Aspen, ACRA and/or any other sponsors of the parade, their officers, directors, agents, shareholders, employees, and anyone else directly or indirectly connected with production of the parade for any injury or damage of any nature (without regard to negligence or fault) to the undersigned and to all persons who the undersigned invites or allows to participate in the parade.

                                      The undersigned warrants and represents that it will not invite or allow any person to participate in the parade unless such person is bound to the terms of this RELEASE. To that end, the undersigned agrees that it shall take any steps necessary to secure agreement of such persons to the terms of this RELEASE, and that it shall be deemed a responsible person within the meaning of C.R.S. § 13-22-107 and § 19-1103(94) for all children who the undersigned invites or allows to participate in the parade.


   I am the official representative of the undersigned organization. On behalf of the organization, I acknowledge our responsibilities as set forth above. I also accept on behalf of the organization all of the terms and conditions of this



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