It's time for the grand opening of Snowmass Base Village and the Limelight Hotel, with a full schedule of celebratory events planned for Saturday. 

Friday, December 14

Redstone Castle Tours
10:30 a.m., Redstone
Built in 1902 by robber baron, industrialist, and coal magnate John Cleveland Osgood, the castle was originally a hunting retreat and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. On this 90-minute tour of the 42-room estate, experience the social culture of America's 1 percent at the turn of the 20th century. Tours are also offered on Saturday and Sunday. $25 adults/$20 seniors/$10 youth, theredstonecastle.com     

Rock Bottom Ranch Winter Farmyard Tour
11 a.m., Rock Bottom Ranch, Basalt
Staff and educators lead explorations of the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies' working ranch, including the animal paddocks, hoop houses, and gardens. They will also share the science behind vegetable production and livestock rotational grazing. Tours are appropriate for all ages. $5 per person/$10 per family/free for members, aspennature.org    

History Ski Tour: Aspen Mountain
11 a.m. & 1 p.m., Guest Service Cabin below the Sundeck
Learn about the amazing mining and ski history lying literally beneath your feet as you tour Aspen Mountain with a long-time local historian. Free, (lift ticket required), aspenhistory.org

Crafts and Cocoa
4 p.m., Carbondale Branch Library
This program for teens includes hot cocoa and making paperback Christmas trees and 3D snowflakes. Free, gcpld.org

Nancy Schultz's work is on display at the Basalt Regional Library for the month of December. 

Art After Hours: Nancy Schultz
5–6 p.m., Basalt Regional Library
Visit the library during Basalt's 2nd Fridays Artwalk to meet local artist Nancy Schultz and enjoy her display of whimsical still-life paintings. Free, basaltlibrary.org

Fire & Ice Release Party
6–8 p.m., Marble Distilling Co., Carbondale
The distillery launches Fire and Ice, two limited-edition vodkas, as a way to give back to the community. Twenty-five percent of proceeds from the sale of these spirits—one pepper flavored, one smooth and straight—will support the Zach Burn Foundation, an organization helping youth burn survivors and their families. The vodka will also be available at local liquor stores ($19.99 per bottle). Free, marbledistilling.com

Beyond Skiing Everest
7 p.m., Wheeler Opera House
This documentary film follows local identical twins Mike and Steve Marolt, and lifelong friend Jim Gile, as the three progress from ski mountaineering on the peaks around Aspen to the Himalaya and Andes over 40 years. The film will be followed by a Q&A, and the evening benefits the Jimmie Heuga Legacy Foundation. $25, wheeleroperahouse.com

Kimberly Akimbo
7:30 p.m., Thunder River Theatre Company, Carbondale
In this dark comedy by Pulitzer-winning playwright David Lindsay-Abaire, teenaged Kimberly has a rare genetic disorder that causes her body to age faster than others, including her hypochondriac mother, alcoholic father, ex-con aunt, and her first crush, the wacky kid who works at the drive-through. Adult (40+) $30/ages 20–39 $20/full-time student with ID $15, thunderrivertheatre.com 

Shakey Graves will be playing his signature sounds at the Belly Up on Friday night. 

Shakey Graves
9 p.m., Belly Up Aspen
Austin native Alejandro Rose-Garcia (a.k.a. Shakey Graves) performs his bluesy rock and Americana sounds at this much-anticipated, sold-out show. Denver-based rock band Kid Reverie opens. $70 GA/$105 Reserved, bellyupaspen.com

Saturday, December 15

Aspen Parkrun 
8 a.m., Aspen Golf Course (southwest corner near the tennis courts)
Every Saturday, the Aspen Recreation department hosts weekly 5K timed runs. Now at a new location, the Parkrun is on a more user-friendly (read: flatter) course consisting entirely of concrete paths that are cleared of ice and snow throughout the winter. Parkrun is an international movement that encourages communities to sponsor free runs open to all. Free, parkrun.us/aspen  

CrafterDay
10 a.m.–2 p.m., Basalt Regional Library
Drop in for a fun craft project. Free, basaltlibrary.org  

Guided Tour
1 p.m., Aspen Art Museum
Drop in for a spotlight tour of the latest exhibitions led by museum staff. Free, aspenartmuseum.org   

Champagne Shopping at the Deck the Walls Artisanal Market
3–5 p.m., The Launchpad, Carbondale
Receive a complimentary glass of bubbly as you shop the curated offerings of local and regional artists, designers, and hand-makers. Free, carbondalearts.com

Snowmass Base Village Grand Opening
2 p.m., Snowmass Base Village
Snowmass has a lot to celebrate this weekend as the long-awaited next phase of Base Village opens to all. In addition to a concert by Karl Denson and a holiday bazaar (see below for both), festivities include kids' entertainment, tours of the new Limelight Hotel, music by DJ Naka G in the plaza (5:45–7:45 p.m.), a competition on the Limelight’s climbing wall (5 p.m.), an exhibition by local skating clubs featuring Olympian Paul Wylie as MC and choreographer (5  p.m.), the official ribbon-cutting at 5:15 p.m., and—to watch if you’re still standing by that point—fireworks at 6:15 p.m. to ring in a new era. Free, aspensnowmass.com

Karl Denson's Tiny Universe
3:30 p.m., Snowmass Base Village
The Bud Light HiFi Concert Series kicks off early in honor of the grand opening of the new Snowmass Base Village with Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, who will be sharing new songs from their forthcoming studio album. Free, aspensnowmass.com

Holiday Bazaar
5–8 p.m., The Collective Snowmass (formerly Building 6)
This chance to accomplish a chunk of your holiday shopping includes goods from Basalt’s Hollyann boutique, Lululemon, Woodland, All Things Sweet, iOmounts, and Anderson Ranch Arts Center. Open noon–5 p.m. until December 31, closed Christmas Day. thecollectivesnowmass.com

Get festive with the annual  tree lighting at the St. Regis. 

7th Annual Tree Lighting
5–7 p.m., St. Regis, Aspen
Come for the illumination of the 40-foot tree, and stay for music by the Aspen High School band and singers, a photo booth with Santa, holiday cookies, festive beverages, and a dual Champagne sabering. Free, stregisaspen.com  

The Aspen Choral Society presents Handel’s Messiah at the Wheeler Opera House on Saturday. 

Handel’s Messiah
7 p.m., Wheeler Opera House
The Aspen Choral Society performs one of its four annual presentations of the beloved Christmas oratorio on the Wheeler Stage, where the “Hallelujah” chorus resonates even more inspiringly in the historic trappings. $15 in advance/$20 at the door/kids 12 and under free, wheeleroperahouse.com

Library Cinema: Hal
7:30pm, Pitkin County Library
This look at the life of Hollywood director Hal Ashby presents an exuberant portrait of the artist via archival materials, interviews, personal letters, and audio recordings. $10 (includes free popcorn while supplies last), pitcolib.org

Kimberly Akimbo
7:30 p.m., Thunder River Theatre Company, Carbondale
In this dark comedy by Pulitzer-winning playwright David Lindsay-Abaire, teenaged Kimberly has a rare genetic disorder that causes her body to age faster than others, including her hypochondriac mother, alcoholic father, ex-con aunt, and her first crush, the wacky kid who works at the drive-through. Adult (40+) $30/ages 20–39 $20/full-time student with ID $15, thunderrivertheatre.com

Dubbed as one of Rolling Stone’s “Artists You Need to Know,” Tim Montana will perform at The Temporary on Saturday night. 

Tim Montana
8 p.m., The Temporary, Basalt
Country rocker Montana has collaborated with legends like ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons and Kid Rock and performed on Fox & Friends and The Late Show with David Letterman. Now he's bringing his hard-charging sounds to Basalt. $10 members/$12 advance/$17 day of, tacaw.org

Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats
8 p.m., Belly Up Aspen
Rateliff and his band will knock your socks off with their high-energy show. They are performing for two sold-out nights, but it's definitely worth it to try and score a ticket. $90 GA/$215 reserved, bellyupaspen.com

Sunday, December 16

Audubon Christmas Bird Count
7:30 a.m.–3 p.m., ACES Hallam Lake
Help take inventory of local bird life at this 119th count, the longest-running citizen science survey in the world. Reservations appreciated. Free, aspennature.org

Glass-Blown Ornament Workshop
10 a.m.–3 p.m., Spiro Lyon Glass, Carbondale
Design and make your own blown-glass ornament as a holiday gift with one of the glass blowers at Spiro Lyon. Reservations required for a time slot. $50 per ornament, 970-274-1192 or message Spiro Lyon Glass on Facebook

Dig up your favorite ugly sweater for Independence Run & Hike's 5K Jingle Bell Run!

5K Jingle Bell Run
11 a.m.–2 p.m., Independence Run & Hike, Carbondale
Don your favorite ugly sweater, bells, lights, or holiday costume to wind your way through Carbondale in this annual running party. The race benefits Roaring Fork High School's track and cross-country teams, plus all signed-up runners get a free burrito certificate (valued at $10). $10, independencerunandhike.com

Visit Santa at the Aspen Recreation Center
2–5 p.m., ARC
Enjoy holiday crafts, cookie decorating, and a visit with Santa. Bring in your gingerbread house for a contest from 2–2:30 p.m. Plus, mini-gingerbread house decorating costs $3 (while supplies last). Free, aspenrecreation.com

Literature Out Loud: Stories by John Cheever
3 p.m., Pitkin County Library
"Christmas Is a Sad Season for the Poor," a classic tale about the power of giving, will be brought to life by Graham Northrup; Ed Foran will read "Goodbye, My Brother," a chronicle based on Cheever's own relationship with his sibling. Free, pitcolib.org

Whether you're a native Spanish speaker, learning the language, or want to dive deeper into the vibrant culture, the Aspen Art Museum's Arte en Español program will be an enriching experience. 

Arte en Español
3 p.m., Aspen Art Museum
Drawing on the wealth of Spanish speakers in the Roaring Fork Valley, this program includes guided tours, family art-making activities, and more, all en Español. Free, aspenartmuseum.org

Holiday Skating Party
5 p.m., Aspen Recreation Center
This holiday family skate includes skates and snacks. Free, aspenfigureskatingclub.com

This Mountain Life
6:30 p.m., Wheeler Opera House
Aspen Film replays this documentary from Filmfest about a mother and daughter on a six-month, self-supported journey through the British Columbian wilderness and the characters they meet along the way. $15, wheeleroperahouse.com

Library Cinema: Hal
7:30pm, Pitkin County Library
This look at the life of Hollywood director Hal Ashby presents an exuberant portrait of the artist via archival materials, interviews, personal letters, and audio recordings. $10 (includes free popcorn while supplies last), pitcolib.org  

Belly Up Aspen will be rocking when Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats take the stage on both Saturday and Sunday. 

Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats
8 p.m., Belly Up Aspen
Rateliff and his band will knock your socks off with their high-energy show. They are performing for two sold-out nights,, but it's definitely worth it to try and score a ticket. $90 GA/$215 reserved, bellyupaspen.com

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