Christmas is coming, and the events calendar is getting fat, but if you’re old enough to get that allusion you may be concerned that in trendy, young Glitter Gulch there’s nothing for people of your generation to do during the holiday season. Don’t worry; this is Aspen, where Christmas is about as all-inclusive as it can get and old traditions never really die. There are plenty of spirit-rousing events this week for kids from 1 to 92 (and if you get that allusion, too, you may just barely make it under the age limit). Here are some suggestions for every age group.
Families have a couple of great choices today, starting with a presentation of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” at the Wheeler Opera House at 6:30 p.m. The classic holiday tale will come to life in this brand-new adaptation. Tickets, starting at $38, are available through aspenshowtix.com. If you’re looking for something more affordable, or you’ll be in the midvalley this afternoon, The Temporary will be hosting a free Community Celebration at 4:30 p.m. with cider, treats and a screening of the movie “Elf,” the comedic tale of an oversized elf who leaves the North Pole in search of his real father. Visit tacaw.org for more tickets and information.
Starting today and running through Monday, Snowmass will be hosting Santa’s Village at both Base Village and the mall. Santa will be around for photos and last-minute present requests, and there will be caroling, as well as free après-ski s’mores and free skating on the new ice rink. Check out gosnowmass.com for more info. Meanwhile, in Aspen, the 12 Days of Christmas celebration started yesterday and continues through Dec. 31 with great holiday-themed events throughout downtown. For a full schedule, visit aspenchamber.com. And don’t forget Teddy Bear Story Hour at the Aspen Historical Society’s Wheeler/Stallard Museum at 10:30 a.m. today and tomorrow. Kids are invited to bring their teddy bears to hear classic holiday tales from around the world. More information can be found at aspenhistory.org.
Tomorrow, be sure to catch one of the two performances, at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., of Mike Super: Magic and Illusion at the Wheeler. If you’ll be skiing with the kids in Snowmass, take a lunch break at one of the new restaurants in Base Village and enjoy the Aspen Skating Club Holiday Performance at 1 p.m. Sunday, bring the youngsters to the Aspen Chapel from 2-4 p.m. for Holiday Story Time & Ornaments, along with hot cocoa and Christmas stories. And on Wednesday, Dec. 26, the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies at Hallam Lake will be hosting its annual Holiday Open House, with guided snowshoe tours around the preserve, hot chocolate, seasonal libations, snacks, activities for kids and more.
The young-adult genre
As always, the Belly Up has pulled in a slate of huge names for the holidays, and if dance music is your thing, you’re really in luck. Los Angeles-based DJ and producer Dillon Francis headlines the venue tonight, followed by BoomBox tomorrow and Cedric Gervais on Sunday. Fans of ’90s music can get their fill after Christmas with Ms. Lauryn Hill (Dec. 26) and Third Eye Blind (Dec. 27). Hill returns for another show Dec. 28 before ceding the stage to electronic music bigwigs Diplo (Dec. 29) and Justice (Dec. 30-31).
If you’re the type who likes to combine physical exertion and the outdoors with your merry-making, you can take your pick of al fresco festivities tomorrow, with both the Cliffhouse Full Moon Dinner at Buttermilk, which requires diners to skin or hike up to the Cliffhouse, or the Moonlit Trek at the Snowmass Cross Country Center, which concludes with a family-style pasta dinner and s’mores at the Black Saddle Bar and Grille. For more on both, check out today’s Happenings column on page 4 of Time Out.
Sunday, Dec. 23, fans of “Saturday Night Live” are in luck when the Wheeler and the Aspen Laugh Festival present comedian Melissa Villaseñor, a cast member of SNL and a semifinalist on “America’s Got Talent.”
Thirty- and forty-somethings
Kick off your holiday home stretch downstairs at the Little Nell tonight or tomorrow with one of three shows by jazz vocalist and composer Sweet Lu Olutosin. The first JAS Café artist of the winter season, Olutosin will be singing Christmas standards as part of his Red Hot Holiday show. The series will switch to the Cooking School of Aspen Dec. 28-29 for four shows from Cory Henry & The Funk Apostles. Visit jazzaspensnowmass.org for tickets and more information.
Also tonight and tomorrow, Carbondale’s Thunder River Theatre Company presents Diva Cabaret: Home for the Holidays, a musical celebration featuring four of the valley’s most talented young singers in Lyon Hamill, Talitha Jones, Becca Maniscalchi and Izzi Rojo. The popular Diva Cabaret series will be back next week for two New Year’s Eve shows of The Crystal Palace Review, with many performers from Aspen’s beloved former dinner theater. Check out thunderrivertheatre.com to learn more.
Baby boomers and beyond
Those of a certain age will get their very own live holiday music today at 12:30 p.m. when Julie and Tom Paxton, the Dickens Duo, visit the Pitkin County Senior Center for a concert. Tonight, make your way to the Aspen Community Church for a Winter Solstice Concert with Jan Garrett and JD Martin at 7 p.m., featuring Jan and JD’s original songs, carols and candle lighting. For more on Jan and JD, visit garrett-martin.com.
Tomorrow night, feast on even more traditional musical fare at The Temporary (tacaw.org), which will be hosting A Jazzy Christmas with Jeannie Walla and Friends at 8 p.m. Then, on Christmas Day, take a break from all the carols with a different kind of traditional music when The Fab Four: The Ultimate Tribute comes to the Wheeler at 6:30 p.m. for one of the best Beatles cover acts going. Tickets are available at aspenshowtix.com.
Of course, if you really like to keep your holidays traditional, head to the Wheeler on Dec. 24 for Crossroads Church Christmas Eve Services at 5 p.m. or 7 p.m. An annual tradition that’s fun for the whole family, the evening includes sing-along Christmas carols with a full band and an inspiring Christmas message. Admission is free and open to everyone regardless of faith, and more information is available at ccaspen.com.