Programs & Events

Aspen trees in the snow, circa 1980. Aspen Historical Society, Durrance Collection

Click here for the winter tour schedule, beginning December 6, 2019. Select tours are offered by appointment during the fall, dependent on guide availability.

History on Tap | Magic in Snowmass with Doc Eason

Monday, December 16
5:30 p.m.
The Collective Snowmass
Click here to purchase tickets in advance online (advance ticketing closes 12/15)
$10 in advance / $15 at the door if available
Ticket includes one beer, $5 extra beer
History on Tap is generously sponsored by Aspen Brewing Company
Join Aspen Historical Society for an Aspen Brewing Company beer and the magical history behind the best show in town with beloved local magician Doc Eason. Twice named Close Up Magician of the Year and a regular performer at the exclusive Magic Castle in Los Angeles, Doc Eason’s magic shows are a decades-long barside tradition in Snowmass. Don’t miss the magic of this first History on Tap of the winter season.

Holiday Cookie Exchange & Caroling

Tuesday, December 17
4 – 6 p.m.
Wheeler/Stallard Museum
Free
Bring cookies, eat cookies and take cookies home! The annual cookie exchange features holiday caroling led by pianist David Dyer, hot chocolate, cider and mulled wine, and most of all…cookies! Guests are encouraged to bring a dozen cookies or more to exchange while enjoying this all-ages traditional holiday event, a celebration of the season! The galleries featuring “bayer & bauhaus: how design shaped aspen” will be open throughout the party – don’t miss your chance to see this beloved exhibit before it closes in April.

Teddy Bear Story Hour

Monday & Tuesday, December 23 & 24
10:30 a.m. (1 hour)
Wheeler/Stallard Museum
$3 per child
Presented in partnership with Spellbinders as part of ACRA’s 12 Days of Aspen events
Celebrate the holiday season with classic tales from around the world, shared by Spellbinders storytellers. Kids are invited to bring their teddy bears or stuffed animals for this beloved holiday tradition. School groups and families of all ages welcome!

Aspen History 101 and Aspen Extreme at Wintersköl™

Thursday, January 9
Aspen History 101, 5:30 p.m. 
Aspen Extreme, 7:30 p.m. 
Wheeler Opera House, 320 E. Hyman Ave.
Free in partnership with ACRA and the Wheeler Opera House for Wintersköl™ 2020
Advance reservations recommended, to secure your seat call the Wheeler Box Office at 970.920.5770
Kick off the Wintersköl™ weekend with Aspen History 101 and a screening of Aspen Extreme. Aspen History 101, a theatrical crash course in local lore, was born from the no-credit, all-fun college of the Rockies, also known as the Aspen State Teachers College. The performance features actors, actresses, song, dance, resurrecting the party-loving atmosphere of Aspen State Teachers College, arguably one of the more entertaining aspects of area history! Attendees will receive an Aspen State Teacher’s College “student ID” which is good for one free beer at the bar following the “course.” The evening ends with a screening of the iconic 1993 film Aspen Extreme, which tells the well-known and oft-repeated story of two ski bums who ditch everything to live the ski instructor dream in Aspen. Get out your “onsies” and come in costume for just Aspen History 101, the film screening, or both!

History Lessons with Larry

Third Thursday of each month, January – March
3 – 4 p.m.
AHS Archive Building, 620 W. Bleeker St. (In the Community Gallery)
Free
Longtime Aspen Historical Society volunteer Larry Fredrick will share in-depth but timely lessons in specific areas of Aspen history. A mining expert, Larry’s breadth of knowledge and enthusiasm for stories from the past will entertain budding historians of all ages and interest!

  • January 16th – Unravelling the Real Silver Queen Story
  • February 20th – Recreation in the Early Years
  • March 19th –  Durant Avenue: Then & Now

Sundays LIVE in Snowmass | History “On Stage” Aspen’s Ski Pioneers

Third Sunday of each month, January – March
7 – 8 p.m.
The Collective, Snowmass Base Village
$10 suggested donation at the door – limited seating – first come first serve
Join history scholars and actors from Aspen Historical Society for first-person accounts of area ski pioneers in LIVE museum theatre character performances on Sundays at The Collective in Snowmass. Hear from legendary Aspenites “in their own words” during these special programs presented in partnership with the Town of Snowmass.

  • January 19th – Billy Fiske performed by Mike Monroney
  • February 16th – Fred Iselin performed by Alexander Hunter
  • March 15th –  Gretl Uhl performed by Nina Gabianelli


Time Travel Tuesdays | Aspen in Focus: A Look at the AHS Photo Collections

Tuesday, February 4
5:30 – 7 p.m.
Wheeler Opera House Lobby, 320 E. Hyman Ave.
$10 / free for AHS Lixiviator members
Tickets at aspenshowtix.com
Join AHS staff for the inside scoop on the Society’s most robust historical photo collections. From mining era photographer Col. John Bowman and prolific early-Aspen photographer Horsethief Kelly to the Aspen Illustrated News to the Durrance, Berko and Mary Eshbaugh Hayes collections, you’ll learn about collection’s origins and plans for one of the largest public photo archives in the region in this first Time Travel Tuesdays program in The Vault at the Wheeler Opera House.

Time Travel Tuesdays | History “On Stage” Fred Iselin & Gretl Uhl

Tuesday, February 11
5:30 – 7 p.m.
Wheeler Opera House Lobby, 320 E. Hyman Ave.
$10 / free for AHS Lixiviator members
Tickets at aspenshowtix.com
History scholars and actors Alexander Hunter and Nina Gabianelli will present first-person accounts of ski pioneers Fred Iselin and Gretl Uhl in two Chautauqua-style character performances. Iselin, a successful European ski racer, moved to Aspen from Switzerland (via Sun Valley) in 1947. Iselin became the ski resort’s iconic instructor, pioneering a unique style of skiing and a fresh approach to instructing. Uhl, a Germon-born skier and the “Queen of Strudel” arrived in Aspen in 1953. After working as an instructor, Gretl took over a newly built ski-in restaurant in Tourtelotte Park on Aspen Mountain that quickly grew famous among local and visiting skiers. Hear from these legendary Aspenites “in their own words” during the conversation-style museum theatre performances for Time Travel Tuesdays in The Vault at the Wheeler Opera House.

Retro Film Series

Partnership with Limelight Hotel Aspen
Second Thursday of each month, February – April
5:30 – 6:45 p.m.
Limelight Hotel, 355 S Monarch St. (Screenings in the Monarch room off the lobby)
$10 suggested donation at the door – limited seating – first come first serve
Join Aspen Historical Society at the Limelight Hotel to explore skiing’s illustrious past in the Aspen/Snowmass area. This community series features a wide range of vintage films from the Aspen Historical Society collection. Spanning several decades, the visual histories bring retro skiing to life on the big screen! Food and beverage specials offered at the Limelight bar may be enjoyed during the screenings.

  • Thursday, February 13th
    Film #1 – Yoo Hoo I’m a Bird – (1955) (26 minutes) Film by Fred Iselin
    Film #2 – ski footage from Taos, Vail & Aspen (~1965) (23 minutes) Footage by John Jay
  • Thursday, March 12th
    Film #1 – Big Week in Aspen (1964) (23 minutes) Film by Jack Douglas
    Film #2 – ski footage from Aspen (late 1960s) (22 minutes) Footage by Dick Barrymore
  • Thursday, April 9th
    Film #1 – 10th Mountain Division footage from Camp Hale (1940s) (15 minutes)
    Film #2 – tbd 

Time Travel Tuesdays | History “On Stage” Davis Hanson Waite & Eve Homeyer

Tuesday, February 18
5:30 – 7 p.m.
Wheeler Opera House Lobby, 320 E. Hyman Ave.
$10 / free for AHS Lixiviator members
Tickets at aspenshowtix.com
In honor of the centennial anniversary of woman’s suffrage in 2020, history scholars and actors Mike Monroney and Lynn Aliya will present first-person accounts of Aspenites Davis Hanson Waite and Eve Homeyer in conversation style museum theatre performances. Waite, the Populist eighth Governor of Colorado, was an instrumental champion of the suffrage journey in CO. A lawyer who moved to Leadville and then Aspen around 1880, Waite also started the newspaper that is now the Aspen Times. Eve Homeyer was Aspen’s first female mayor, serving for two terms from 1970 – 1973. A Nebraska native, Eve moved to Aspen in 1959 to “ski bum.” Ten year’s later, she ran for mayor on a platform that prioritized preserving open space through strategic community development, the public transportation, and many other causes that define modern Aspen. Get inspired during this election year with stories from impactful local politicians “in their own words” during Time Travel Tuesdays in The Vault at the Wheeler Opera House.

Time Travel Tuesdays | Selections from “The Mother of Us All,” Susan B. Anthony Opera presented by University of Northern Colorado

Tuesday, March 3
5:30 – 7 p.m.
Wheeler Opera House, 320 E. Hyman Ave.
$10 / free for AHS Lixiviator members
Tickets at aspenshowtix.com

Aspen Historical Society brings the University of Northern Colorado Theatre Department to Aspen this March to present selections from “The Mother of Us All” in honor of the centennial anniversary of the 19th Amendment that granted women the right to vote in the United States. The fanciful historical opera, written by Virgil Thomson to a libretto by Gertrude Stein, chronicles the life of Susan B. Anthony, a force in the fight for woman’s suffrage. Thanks to statewide grassroots efforts, Colorado passed a popular referendum in 1893, becoming the first state to grant woman the right to vote. Throughout the 2020 election year, AHS will honor the state’s progressive suffrage journey and nation’s largest expansion of voting rights in history, beginning with this special performance that celebrates inclusive democracy.

History on Tap | Skiing in Colorado with Dr. Duane Vandenbusche

Thursday, March 19th
5:30 – 7 p.m.
Downstairs at The Little Nell, 675 E Durant Ave
Click HERE to purchase tickets online in advance (advance ticketing closes 3/18)
$10 in advance / $15 at the door if available
Ticket includes one beer, $5 extra beer
History on Tap is generously sponsored by Aspen Brewing Company

Join Aspen Historical Society and the incoming CO State Historian Dr. Duane Vandenbusche for an Aspen Brewing Company beer and the history of skiing in Aspen.