Friday is the day to learn a little of the history of Aspen Mountain for free.

Friday, December 7

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     

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

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    

Everest: The End of Ice
5 p.m., Wheer Opera House
Renowned mountaineer and cinematographer David Breashears gives a multimedia presentation of his work to save receding glaciers, followed by a discussion with Mario Molina, executive director of Protect Our Winters, and local Jackie Francis, director of the Keeling Curve Prize. $15/$55 includes post-show reception, aspenshowtix.com

First Friday: Light Up Carbondale
5–9 p.m., Downtown Main Street
Santa's coming to town early! He'll make a special visit to the Launchpad (3–7 p.m.) for photo ops and 
will also magically light the trees on Main Street and Weant at 5:15 p.m. Music by the Renaissance (Cowboy) Christmas Chorale follows on the Fourth Street Plaza, along with sleigh rides, hot chocolate, caroling, and a fire pit. The Crystal River Ballet dancers will also perform excerpts from The Nutcracker at the Launchpad (6 p.m.). As if that's not enough, Carbondale Arts' Deck The Walls Show will be open for holiday shopping until 8 p.m. Free, carbondale.com

Annual Cup Auction
5:30–8:30 p.m., Carbondale Clay Center
Join the Carbondale Clay Center for this 20th annual event, which features hundreds of handmade ceramic cups up for grabs in a silent auction. Bidding ends promptly at 8:30 p.m., and you can pay for your cups and take them home right after. Free, carbondaleclay.org

Joyous Songs of the Holiday Season
5:30–6:30 p.m., Basalt Regional Library
The Roaring Fork Youth Orchestra performs traditional works, representing many cultures, in this sing-along event. Free, basaltlibrary.org

Wine and Dine for Life
6 p.m., Shlomo's
Kick off the Summit for Life weekend of events with dinner at Shlomo's, no uphilling required. $250, summitforlife.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

Da Vinci & Michelangelo: The Titans Experience
8 p.m., The Temporary, Basalt
Take a journey through the Italian Renaissance from the perspective of these two masterful innovators, via movies, videos, 3-D animation, and images. $22 in advance/$27 day of the performance, tacaw.org

Saturday, December 8

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  

Opening Day at Buttermilk
9 a.m., Buttermilk Mountain
It's also Chocolate Day, with sampling stations set up around the mountain. Ski over to No Problem run for the 1 p.m. ribbon-cutting at the brand-new Fort Frog, with hot chocolate for all.
The fort's interior, which includes a small ski school museum, will be open to the public; enjoy a complimentary treat from the new candy bar until 2:30 p.m. aspensnowmass.com 

Make: Family Workshop
10 a.m., Aspen Art Museum
Come with your family to explore the galleries and create works of art of your own. This week's workshop theme is Art Beats. Free, aspenartmuseum.org

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

Author Reading: How Guinness Found His Family
10:30–11:30 a.m, Explore Booksellers
Join local author Karen Barger as she reads her charming children's tale about a kitty named Guinness. Free, explorebooksellers.com

Shibori Silk Scarves: Jill Scher
12:30–4:30 p.m., The Art Base, Basalt
Learn how to make beautiful silk scarves using an 8th-century Japanese technique that employs hand stitching, folding, tying, wrapping, clamping, and dyeing. You'll take home three scarves (one for you and two to give away). $80 members/$95 non-members, facebook.com

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   

Celebration of Bob Beattie
1–3:30 p.m., Aspen Highlands
The Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club hosts an afternoon gathering to honor the legendary ski coach, broadcaster, and World Cup co-founder, who passed away in April. Cheer on competitors in the dual-GS Bob Beattie Memorial Ski Race, watch a rail jam, and enjoy apps and beverages from the Alehouse. A more formal memorial celebration—already at capacity—takes place at the Hotel Jerome that evening, with a video presentation and reception. bobbeattiecelebration.com

The Nutcracker
2 & 7:30 p.m., District Theatre
For this favorite holiday tradition, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet dancers and guest artists join the ballet school’s students to present Tchaikovsky’s beloved classic. The performance combines classical ballet with flamenco, aerial acrobatics, and circus artists for a truly magical experience. $36–$94, aspensantafeballet.com 

Chair 9 Opening Party
4–7 p.m., The Little Nell
Ski in for the bar's official opening party. This year's theme is Give A Fl*ke, in support of Aspen Snowmass' new consciousness-raising winter campaign. Free, thelittlenell.com

Ready or not, Saturday is the night to make your way to the top of Aspen Mountain for Summit for Life. 

Summit for Life
5:30 p.m., Aspen Mountain
Race some 3,000 vertical feet to the top of Aspen Mountain—in the dark? You bet, when it’s to benefit the Chris Klug Foundation’s mission of raising awareness for organ and tissue donation. If you’re more into spectating than a lung-busting physical challenge, ride the gondola to the lasagna dinner and after-party at the summit ($70, adult; $35, child). $75 entry fee plus minimum $100 raised,  summitforlife.org

Light Up the Night
6:30 p.m., Snowmass Chapel
Hang out with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, enjoy cookies and hot cocoa, and sing some carols as you wait for the countdown to the tree-lighting on the chapel grounds. Free, snowmasschapel.org
 

Kimberly Akimbo
7:30 p.m., Thunder River Theatre Company, Carbondale
In this black 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  

Library Cinema: The Guilty
7:30pm, Pitkin County Library
This Danish crime thriller will have you on the edge of your seat. $10 (includes free popcorn while supplies last), pitcolib.org

Comedian Mike Stanley
8 p.m., The Temporary, Basalt
Wry, witty, cunning and crass, Detroit native Mike Stanley brings his stand-up act to Basalt for an entertaining evening. $17 members/$19 in advance/$24 in day of/$125 VIP table for 4 with wine, tacaw.org

It's time to brush up on your favorite AC/DC lyrics because Hell's Belles is back in town!

Hell's Belles
8:30 p.m., Belly Up Aspen
Ready to shake all night? You better be with the passionate antics of this all-female AC/DC tribute band. $18 GA, bellyupaspen.com

Sunday, December 9

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. $50 per ornament, 970-274-1192 or message Spiro Lyon Glass on Facebook

Make your very own blown-glass ornament this Sunday at Spiro Lyon Glass. 

The Nutcracker
1 & 5 p.m., District Theatre
For this favorite holiday tradition, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet dancers and guest artists join the ballet school’s students to present Tchaikovsky’s beloved classic. The performance combines classical ballet with flamenco, aerial acrobatics, and circus artists for a truly magical experience. $36–$94,  aspensantafeballet.com 

Kimberly Akimbo
2:00 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

Little Nell Tree Lighting
5–6 p.m., The Little Nell
Gather ’round the tree in The Nell’s courtyard for cookies, hot cocoa, and caroling, with visits from Santa and pups from the Aspen Animal Shelter. Free, thelittlenell.com

Sunday Night Football 
6:20 p.m., Belly Up Aspen
Watch the Los Angeles Rams play the Chicago Bears on a 16-foot screen, with sliders, wings, beer, and more served right to your table. Talk about easy. No cover, bellyupaspen.com   

 

Coffeehouse: B.H.S. Choir Program All-Stars
7 p.m., The Temporary, Basalt

Basalt High School Choir presents the first night of Coffeehouse, featuring top student vocalists. Proceeds from ticket sales will directly benefit the program, with a paddle raise to further support choir needs. $12 in advance/$15 day of, tacaw.org 

Library Cinema: The Guilty
7:30pm, Pitkin County Library
This Danish crime thriller will have you on the edge of your seat. $10 (includes free popcorn while supplies last), pitcolib.org

An Evening with the Wood Brothers
10 p.m., Belly Up Aspen
Touring to promote their sixth album, this trio delights with a blend of folk, blues, gospel, and jazz. $30 GA advance purchase/$35 GA day of show, bellyupaspen.com

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