Aspen Summer Events: Fun Ways to Celebrate With Locals

Located in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, summer in Aspen means spending time outdoors and mild temperatures. One of the best ways to celebrate the season is attending one of these signature Aspen summer events, which showcase the city’s culture, laid-back vibe and tons of local goodies. Learn about the top events and gear up for a quick weekend getaway or extended Aspen summer vacation.

Aspen Summer Events: Where to Meet Locals and Have Fun

aspen summer festival food wine

Dine in Style

Each June, Aspen welcomes celebrity chefs and foodies to Food and Wine Classic. This festival ranks as one of the top of its kind in the U.S., featuring three days of cooking demonstrations, wine tastings and panel discussions.

While strolling, meet local and international vendors and sample flavors from all over the world. This festival is only suited for guests ages 21 and older and welcomes some 5,000 attendees.

Have a Cold One

Can’t make it to Food and Wine Classic? Then plan to attend Snowmass Rendezvous Craft Beer Festival in Snowmass, which runs for a full Saturday in June.

Start by meeting brewers and sampling craft beer from more than 30 Colorado craft breweries. Later when the sun sets, visitors kick back to live music with friends and family. The Rendezvous is more fun for guests over the age of 21, and discounts are available for groups.

aspen summer july 4th events itrip

Celebrate Your Independence

Get ready for lights in the sky as Aspen hosts an old-fashioned July 4th celebration for all ages. The event kicks off as early as 8 a.m., with a Boogies Buddy Race, then moves onto the America’s Birthday Carnival packed with games, bounce houses, live music and a BBQ lunch.

Around 11 a.m., the parade starts on Main Street. The afternoon brings a community picnic, free concerts and theater performances. After enjoying dinner with loved ones, experience the fireworks extravaganza over Aspen Mountain.

Browse Antiques

For more than 15 years, downtown Aspen has hosted Aspen Antiques and Fine Arts Fair. Head to the Aspen Ice Garden, where visitors find antiques, fine art, jewelry, silver and furniture from vendors all over the U.S. The show is open to the public and runs for nine days, giving visitors plenty of time to find special pieces.

aspen summer concerts free vacation

Enjoy the Sounds

With summer comes outdoor concerts. One top spot to hear both local and international performers is Aspen Music Festival and School, which runs the entire summer season.

A typical eight-week season offers more than 400 classical music events, complete with full orchestras, solo artists, operas, lectures and children’s programs. Many of these Aspen summer events and concerts are free, providing a great date-night idea or place for the family to spend time together.

Jazz It Up

In nearby Snowmass, Fanny Hill hosts Summer of Free Music. On select days in June through September, visitors enjoy rock, R&B, soul, jazz and Latin American performances from artists all over the U.S.

Guests are welcome bring a picnic and blanket, however no glass or outside alcohol are permitted. In addition to tunes, visitors can buy food and refreshments, including cocktails and beer. During select performances, kids are welcome in the Kids Zone full of fun things to do. Check the schedule for more information about Snowmass Summer of Free Music.

Buy Local Art

From life-size sculptures to jewelry, Aspen Arts Festival occurs in late July. This two-day festival has welcomed the art community to enjoy locally created pieces and meet the artists.

Aspen Arts Festival welcomes all ages to browse photography, glass, paintings, ceramics and other mediums. While browsing, try local goodies and enjoy scenic mountain views. Admission is free.

aspen summer festival kids science

Experiment With Science

Take kids to Science Street Fair in early August, packed full of interactive exhibits, games and shows. Held in Paepcke Park, families enjoy dozens of exhibits and special performances from Dr. Kabaoom!, a German physicist and Mr. Freeze, a specialist in Cryogenic shows.

The whole family can learn how things work, try new things and celebrate all things science-related. This event is free and open to the public.

Cool Off

Salute summer and cool off at the Ice Cream Social hosted by Wheeler/Stallard Museum. In early August – for only $3 to $5 per person – the museum welcomes all ages to dig into ice cream or sip adult-only alcoholic shakes.

While sampling sweet treats, listen to a live performance from Aspen Music Festival and School and learn about Aspen’s history. Those who can’t attend the social should try ghost town tours in mid-August or full-moon cemetery tours, both offered by the museum.

Read for these Aspen summer events? Check out these Aspen-Snowmass summer rental homes.

Need more things to do? Read about more Aspen signature events.