Offseason chock full of events to entertain until it’s time to ski and ride |

Offseason chock full of events to entertain until it’s time to ski and ride

The Vilar Performing Arts Center will be getting jazzy on Tuesday, Oct. 18, when Igor Butman and the Moscow Jazz Orchestra come to Beaver Creek as part of the Underground Sound Series. The final concert in the series is Monday, Nov. 7, and series passes are still available.
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Resort Opening Days

• Vail Mountain — Friday, Nov. 18.

• Beaver Creek Mountain — Wednesday, Nov. 23.

The snow is so close, yet so far. Though recent snowfall has brought cheers and excitement, there’s still about six weeks before Vail Mountain opens.

Luckily, there’s still plenty going on across the valley to entertain before skis and snowboards become the norm. From a lecture by Sir Ken Robinson, the man behind the most-viewed TEDTalk, to Fright at the Museum to backcountry hikes, there’s lots to fill the calendar before November.

Here are a few things to check out during the offseason, shoulder season — really, the final few weeks before ski and snowboard season begins.


The Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek is still thumping during the offseason, bringing in a variety of musicians and performers for the Underground Sound Series.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

It’s a “love for the locals” series that brings up-and-coming acts to the Vilar stage. The series pass costs $100 and gets you into each concert, plus a drink at each one. It’s transferrable, so it’s great for groups and businesses to share the sound of music.

Whether it’s date night, Spanish night or ladies night, there’s something for everyone at the Underground Sound Series.

Next up in the series, on Thursday, is Southern folk duo Mandolin Orange, who played last year at the Vilar Center as part of the WinterWonderGrass Festival. The duo of Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz are coming from North Carolina to perform, and they’ll be playing some songs from their newest album released Friday, Sept. 30, “Blindfaller.”

“The inspiration is kind of all over the map on this one,” Marlin said of “Blindfaller.” “We don’t really think about albums as far as a conceptual thing. It’s kind of just a collection of tunes that we feel like fit together.”

The Vilar Center will be getting jazzy on Tuesday, Oct. 18, when Igor Butman and the Moscow Jazz Orchestra come to Beaver Creek. The world-renowned jazz saxophonist and his orchestra will be returning for their fourth Underground Sound performance.

Ottmar Liebert and his Luna Negra band bring their Santana-influenced tunes to Beaver Creek on Sunday, Oct. 23. Liebert helped bring flamenco to mainstream America with his class and accessibility.

Then on Friday, Oct. 28, K Phillips adds his West Texas flair to the series. He started playing the guitar when he was 5 years old, and by 14, he was playing piano and the organ.

Closing out the Underground Sound Series at Beaver Creek on Monday, Nov. 7, is singer-songwriter Mandy Harvey, a vocal music education major at Colorado State University. She’s deaf, and she sings without her shoes because she can feel the vibrations from her powerful voice in the floor beneath her.

“We pride ourselves on bringing the world to our local stage,” said Ruthie Hamrick, of the Vail Valley Foundation. “There’s a little something for everyone.”

The Vilar Center is also continuing its STARS series, where students from local schools get to see free daytime performances.

For more information and tickets, visit


Three open discussions put on by the Vail Symposium are bringing in brilliant minds of all ages.

The knowledge starts flowing with Robinson’s lecture on Friday, Oct. 14. His “Do Schools Kill Creativity” TEDTalk is the most-viewed TEDTalk in history, and he’ll be trying to tackles some of the hardest questions facing education today.

Robinson also will share his vision for what schools of the future can offer our community and how schools can better serve the needs of students here and around the world.

Following his talk, a detailed panel discussion will ensue, featuring an address by Sen. Michael Johnston about the impact and necessity of public education and the realities of funding public education.

The Symposium then turns its attention on Thursday, Oct. 20, to the advancements of 3-D printing. Nowadays, 3-D printing is being used for all sorts of things, from creating NASA rocket engines to internal organs.

This program will feature Andy Christensen and Terry Wohlers and will be moderated by Charles Overy — all three visionaries in the field of 3-D printing.

To wrap up before the winter season, the Symposium brings a bit of fun to the valley on Wednesday, Oct. 26, with a spirited political discussion, not between party candidates, but between generations.

The Great Divide Debate will stand young voters alongside their more mature voting counterparts to expose the generational divide that is sure to impact the election in November. Minturn Mayor Matt Scherr will moderate the program.

“We are putting a lot of excitement into October,” said Kris Sabel, executive director of the Vail Symposium. “There is a lot of energy around these programs. Sir Ken Robinson visiting Vail is a highlight, not just of the month, but perhaps the year. The 3-D printing program will surprise everyone who attends. The Great Divide Debate is going to be a lot of fun. All of it comes with a huge dose of important discussion for the community.”

For more information, visit


The fall foliage is falling to the valley floor, but the Colorado scenery is still beautiful, and Walking Mountains Science Center is guiding hikes for all abilities and ages before the snow covers the trails.

Walking Mountains naturalists guide nature walks Mondays through Saturdays, offering the opportunity to stroll the campus and learn about local ecology.

For the little hikers, children 6 months to 2 years old, Walking Mountains will get them outdoors on Thursdays through Oct. 20. And for the next level of hikers, children 3 to 5 years old, there are hikes on Mondays and Fridays through Oct. 21.

Through the end of October, Walking Mountains will be leading backcountry full-day excursions on Tuesdays and Fridays, and the family hikes will take place Wednesdays. To register and see details of each hike, visit

On Wednesday, Oct. 12, the Science Behind monthly series continues with Neurology & The Way You Move, an interactive presentation that will enrich the understanding of the body-mind connection. There will be a special emphasis on the education and empowerment of girls and women. This event is free, with a $5 suggested donation to the Science Center.

Toward the end of the month, on Saturday, Oct. 22, family fun will fill the Walking Mountains Science Center in Avon. This year’s Fright at the Museum theme is Mad Scientists. There will be electrifying fun where kids can make magnetic slime, create a monster, test out giant bubble experiments and also a costume parade. Cost is $15 for Fright at the Museum, with children 3 and younger free.

For more information or to sign up for a hike, the Science Behind series or Fright at the Museum, visit http://www.walking


This can be a year-round activity, but now’s a great time to get out and explore what Art in Public Places has done around Vail.

A collection of art is all over public places in Vail, providing education and adding to the overall aesthetic quality of the town. There are paintings, sculptures, murals, playgrounds and site-integrated art.

A new full-color printed map of the town of Vail’s public art collection is available at the Vail Village and Lionshead welcome centers. There are 36 works of art on the walkable map, as well as art beyond the town center.

Art in Public Places also has developed a new user-friendly website and interactive virtual map for visitors and residents.

The new virtual public art map provides users with numerous options for navigating and interacting with the variety of works in Vail’s public art collection. Highlights of the application include details and photos for each work of art, links to articles for specific works, accessibility on any device and the ability for a user to view his or her real-time location in context to the map. This enables a virtual tour for the collection while off site or strolling through the town of Vail.

For more information or to view the interactive map, visit


There are many talented people in the valley, and the Vail Valley Art Guild puts our crafty artists on display across Eagle County.

Three public libraries feature Vail Valley Art Guild member exhibits. At the Avon Public Library, there is the “Figures” exhibit, featuring both paintings and photographs. The Eagle Public Library is displaying works from the recent Colorado Mountain College Art Show. And in Gypsum, the library is currently exhibiting “Western Art,” both paintings and photos.

The Art of the Valley Gallery in Avon has a new exhibit called “Far Away Places,” featuring works from more than 30 artists and including pastels, watercolors, photos and more with subject matter ranging from the red rocks of Sedona, Arizona, to abstract interpretations of stars.

“Far Away Places” joins an already existing exhibit, “Features.”

The Vail Valley Art Guild is made up of 180 members, artists, photographers and ceramic artists. The Art Guild hosts monthly First Friday receptions at the gallery in Avon.

A Treasure Room Gift Chest event is being planned, where small original works of art will be for sale for less than $50.

For more information about the Vail Valley Art Guild, visit


Winter is coming, but try being a tourist in the meantime and seeing something or doing something new in the valley. Or, keep being a regular at the wonderful offerings across the valley.

The valley will be covered in the white fluffy goodness soon — but not yet.

Reporter Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2915 and Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.

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