May 20, 2020 | Gary Feldman Group

Aspen Activities Summer 2020

Replacing Those Iconic Events:

To fill the void left by the cancellation of the Aspen Music Festival, why not fill a basket with home-cooked, farm-fresh goodies from Meat & Cheese; grab your checkered table cloth along with china, crystal, and silver; and head for an evening on the lawn outside of the Benedict Music Tent one evening. But, be sure to tune in to your favorite symphony station on Pandora via your iPhone to complete the “event”.
 
With the JAS June Festival canceled and the JAS Labor Day Festival postponed to 2021 (with the same artists), what is a contemporary music-lover to do this summer? For those with large yards and a home with a large windowless side (or else you can string up a king-sized, white sheet), you can project a favorite video concert. Set up a self-serve bar, pop some corn, and bake some cookies, but don’t forget to draw social-distancing circles before inviting families and friends to join you for a night of pure enjoyment with videos such as: 
 
  • Shine a Light or Gimme Shelter with the Rolling Stones
  • Live at Pompeii with Pink Floyd
  • Woodstock documentary by Michael Wadleigh
  • The Last Waltz by Martin Schorsese
Replacing Food & Wine is easy! Erect a big tent in your yard; invite family and friends to bring several bottles of their favorite wine; call European Catering to deliver platters of cheese/gourmet crackers; and voila you have a Grand-Tasting event of your own. Remind invitees to bring their own wine glass and to be prepared to talk about their favorite wine.
 
Disappointed you won’t be able to dress-to-the-nines this summer for one of the charity events such as Art Crush or Bash for the Buddies? Don’t despair! Create an intimate dinner with your special person(s): order a gourmet take-out dinner from one of Aspen’s renowned restaurants, set the table with candles and china/crystal/silver reserved for special occasions; and comb your closet for festive attire. Decorate the room with pieces of art or fill a table with mock auction items to complete the setting!
 
While the free, community event Dog Day Afternoon won’t go on this summer, you can do your part in keeping Aspen’s canines squeaky clean! Hook up hoses, borrow as many washtubs as you can, select your favorite dog shampoos (and conditioners), plug in a few hairdryers, and invite friends to bring their 4-legged “humans” for an afternoon of suds, bubbles, and laughs.
 

Forgotten Adventures or New Spins on Trustworthy Activities:

Bike or horse ride along the Rio Grande Trail to the Woody Creek Tavern where the Mexican food is the best in the valley-the tamales have attained near-mythic status-and the strong, blue agave margaritas are the best in Aspen. Look for more outside seating this summer as they strive to maintain social distancing. For more of a challenging ride, head all the way to Basalt on the Rio Grande for lunch along with the Frying Pan at The Tipsy Trout.
 
Select a favorite hike, stop by the Butcher's Block to fill your pack with scrumptious sandwiches, and head out early to find a favorite (and solitary) picnic spot on one of Aspen’s many trails.
 
What better way to social-distance then by fly-fishing one of the two gold-medal rivers in the Roaring Fork Valley. Hire a guide from one of the many experts in the valley that include: Taylor CreekElk Mountain AnglersAspen Fly Fishing. (Insider’s tip: book Taylor Logsdon at Taylor Creek.) Pack a brown-bag lunch and head out to zen out on the river.
 
Hike to Hanging Lake, but start planning now as permits/reservations are required.
 
Drive-In Movies at Crown Mountain Park! The Arts Campus at Willits (TACAW) and Crown Mountain Park are teaming up to bring a temporary drive-in movie theater to El Jebel. Limited to 150 cars at $10 each, the initial showing will be on June 19 and feature “Havana Moon: The Rolling Stones Live in Cuba”. It will be projected on a 40’ X 22’ screen with audio broadcast via FM radio. Reservations are highly recommended by going to TACAW and they hope this will not be a one and done!
 
No Aspen weekend would be complete without the Saturday Market; however, this year it will be a tad different. Beginning on June 13, it will primarily be comprised of food purveyors, spread out and with clearly marked social distancing paths/arrows. NOTE: Socializing will be highly discouraged with monitors moving folks along.
 
An overnight horse pack trip to the backcountry is the perfect way to escape and social distance. There are a number of outfitters in Aspen including Aspen Wilderness OutfittersMaroon Bells Guide and Outfitters or OutWest Guides. You can book day trips, but the overnight trips offer the true connection to the backcountry while enjoying steaks or lobsters over an open fire and the best peach cobbler we’ve ever had cooked over a fire! For a very special trip, book it as a private for just you and your close friends…don’t forget the wine and spirits!
 
Discovering and exploring Aspen’s neighboring mountain towns is always a great adventure as a day trip. The town of Marble has the original Slow Groovin restaurant for the best barbecue lunch ever. The drive to Crested Butte over Kebler Pass offers a scenic drive through tree tunnels in one of the country’s largest Aspen Groves…watch out for cows as this is free-range territory. Pick up a picnic lunch in Crested Butte and stop at one of the many perfect sites on the way back over the pass. For those craving farm-fresh food, a trip to Paonia never disappoints. You can find a list of the farms where you can purchase (and support) locally raised products here: Paonia Farms.
 

The Virtual Experiences:

The Aspen Chamber Resort Association has launched a new 360° Virtual Tour of Aspen so that you can explore Aspen's landscapes, historic sites, and activities from your computer!
 
All of Aspen Art Museum’s past exhibitions going back to 2009 are archived and offered virtually, including some images of each. 
 
The Anderson Ranch Arts Center offers The Ranch a well-organized Videos page featuring prominent artist talks from recent summer series and artists-in-residence.
 
Party at home with DJ Naka G’s Quarantunes. With his turntable setup, some black lights, a disco ball, and occasional cameos from his children, he has been at the helm of a popular virtual dance club in Aspen over the past month. The Aspen-native X Games and Olympics DJ has been streaming free Facebook Live sets from his home. Watch here.
 
Take a tour of The Fairy Caves, in Glenwood Springs! Dubbed “The 8th Wonder of the World.” Hidden inside Glenwood Spring’s Iron Mountain, this living cave network inspires awe. But the caverns were nearly lost to time and were closed for over 80 years – until an engineer who happened to be a caver had a vision of how to return the magic to this fantastical place.
 
Jimmy’s, An American Restaurant and Bar, is now offering live virtual tequila tastings and taped mezcal tastings, with tasting kits available for purchase. For more details about these kits and the tasting experience, click here.
 
02 Aspen is hosting free yoga classes through its “O2 Live” series on YouTube here.

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