Five Free Things |

Five Free Things

How to enjoy summer in Aspen on the cheap

Staff report

Aspen is notorious for its ultra-luxe, ultra-expensive lifestyle. And indeed, that exists. But take it from us full-time, hard-working locals, there is a way to enjoy all that our resort town has to offer on a dime — or even for free.

The best known of the free offerings — aside from the great outdoors — is probably the music: Thursday night concerts in Snowmass, Bluegrass Sundays atop Aspen Mountain, the lawn outside the Benedict Music Tent, to name a few. But there are plenty of other free — or nearly free — activities to enjoy.

Here are five of our favorite penny-savers:



The Aspen Center for Physics isn’t just for scientists. In fact, the center’s “Physics is for Kids” Family BBQs are always packed with plenty of fun for the whole family. The Wednesday night BBQs feature a free outdoor picnic for families complete with liquid nitrogen ice cream, hands-on science demonstrations, experiments and games, with brief lectures by visiting scientists tailored to families and school-age children.

WHEN: Wednesdays, June 6 to July 25, 5-7 p.m.

WHERE: Aspen Center for Physics campus, 700 E. Gillespie Ave.




It might cost you to shop at the Market, but strolling the streets is free and an excellent way to begin your summer Saturday.

The 19-year-old market features nearly 100 local vendors selling products — from farm-fresh vegetables and locally sourced meats to handcrafted clothes and one-of-a-kind art pieces — that are all made, grown or produced in Colorado.

WHEN: Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Saturday through early October (hours shift from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. after Labor Day)

WHERE: Downtown Aspen (the market makes a U-shape from the corner of Galena Street and Hopkins Avenue to Hunter Street and back to the intersection of Hyman Avenue and Galena Street)




There are plenty of studios to get your yoga fix while visiting Aspen. But for a true Rocky Mountain experience, we suggest getting outside. While not “free,” the classes offered by Aspen Center for Environmental Studies and Aspen Skiing Co. are well worth the small price.

Aspen Skiing Co.: Open-air yoga with local studio Aspen Shakti at the top of Aspen Mountain.

WHEN: Monday-Friday, June 19 to Aug. 25, 10:30 a.m.

WHERE: Top of Silver Queen Gondola

COST: $5, paid to instructor (note: must have foot passenger ticket to ride the gondola)


Aspen Center for Environmental Studies: Outdoor yoga along the edge of Hallam Lake.

WHEN: Tuesdays, June 20 to Aug. 15 (no class July 4), 5:15 to 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: ACES’ Hallam Lake, 100 Puppy Smith St.

COST: $10, suggested donation

INFO: learn/programs/wild-yoga-17



You won’t find this in the official tour guide to Aspen, but it’s free, fun and a uniquely local community event. Join some 100-plus bikers as they cruise through town, with the ultimate destination being a cold one at Aspen’s only local brewery.

WHEN: Tuesdays, 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: The rides begin and end at Aspen Tap, 121 S. Galena St.

COST: Free, but a bike is mandatory




For a small mountain town, Aspen boasts a top-notch art museum. And admission is totally free, as are drop-in spotlight tours (led by museum staffer every Saturday and Wednesday at 1 p.m.), exhibition Opening Receptions, regular Artist Talks, Movies at the Museum and more.

WHERE: Aspen Art Museum, 637 E. Hyman Ave.

WHEN: Open Tuesdays to Sundays, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.