Niki Haris performs at JAS Café this Friday and Saturday nights.

Friday and Saturday, December 20 & 21

JAS Café: Niki Haris with the James Horowitz Quartet
7 p.m. (early show sold out both nights) & 9:15 p.m., Downstairs at The Little Nell

Looking for a spirited way to get into the holiday vibe? Vocalist Haris returns to Aspen to perform four upbeat shows of holiday classics plus blues, soul, and more. Jazz Aspen Snowmass head honcho Jim Horowitz and his band accompany. Tickets $40, jazzaspensnowmass.org     

Saturday and Sunday, December 21 & 22

The Nutcracker
2 and 7:30 p.m. (Saturday), 1 and 5 p.m. (Sunday), Aspen District Theatre

For this favorite holiday tradition, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet dancers and guest artists join the ballet school’s local students to present Tchaikovsky’s beloved classic. The performance combines classical ballet with flamenco, aerial acrobatics, and circus artists for a truly magical experience. The best ticket availability is for the Saturday evening show. Tickets $36–$94, aspensantafeballet.com

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet performs holiday favorite The Nutcracker on Saturday and Sunday.

Sunday, December 22

Jingle Bell 5K Run
11 a.m. (race day registration starts at 9 a.m.), Independence Run and Hike, Carbondale

From the store, run through Carbondale, up White Hill, and back along with other merrymakers and burn off some of those holiday cookie calories. Extra style points: wear an ugly sweater—there will be a contest for the most dastardly one, as well as a post-race raffle. The event benefits the Glenwood high school track team. Entry $15 (first 50 people to register receive a free Dos Gringos burrito), independencerunandhike.com

Holiday Après Hours Opening Reception
3–5 p.m., Catto Center at Toklat

The Aspen Center for Environmental Studies hosts a conversation with Lynne Mace, owner of Basalt’s Toklat Gallery, along with cocktails and apps, to launch its holiday season at this special haven up the Castle Creek Valley (where Mace grew up). Also featured: the work of 10 local artists. The center will be open daily, starting December 21 through January 4, from noon–5 p.m. Free, aspennature.org

The Catto Center at Toklat hosts a holiday reception this Sunday to launch two weeks of open houses.

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas Live on Stage
6:30 p.m., Wheeler Opera House

When Santa’s naughty and nice list goes missing, a few dancing mice, a little girl, and a wacky elf try to save the day—or night, as it were—in this modern stage performance of the classic holiday poem. Tickets $55 (adult), $35 (child), wheeleroperahouse.com

 

 

 

 

 

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