Just because St. Paddy’s Day has come and gone doesn’t mean you have to wait until summer to let loose and party. There are plenty of rockin’ opportunities to be had this spring complete with concerts, parties and ridiculous revelry. The best part: You don’t have to head to Cancun or Panama City for this kind of spring break debauchery. No, ski resorts across North America are rolling out the white carpet, so you can crush corn snow and cocktails under the sun. Feast your eyes on 12 of the top spring skiing parties, festivals and events for 2016.
This April, the perennial top resort in North America once again hosts a party as large as the resort itself—The World Ski & Snowboard Festival (WSSF). Beginning April 8, on-snow competition, music and the arts collide for a 10-day rager in Whistler Village. Where else can you watch some of the world’s best athletes compete, shred your heart out, catch a Chromeo DJ set and take in an art show in the same day?
Note: The AFP World Tour Finals will not take place during WSSF this year, as it has for the past five seasons. So, you might not catch a glimpse of Bobby Brown out there, but you sure as hell may witness Sean Pettit owning the town, as he often does.
Where: Whistler Blackcomb, BC
When: April 8 – 17, 2016
What: Spring shredding, insane concerts and late nights in the Whistler Village
While the end of ski season can cause fits of depression, Aspenites and visitors alike treat Aspen Highlands’ closing day as an opportunity to forget about all of the bad things in life and focus on the great: like breaking out their best costumes, hiking and skiing Highland Bowl one last time, popping endless champagne on the Cloud Nine sundeck (mid-mountain) and dancing for hours before retreating down to the base area to continue the fun. Join this Aspen tradition on April 10 to enjoy some chalky Bowl turns before indulging in one of the absolute best-ever parties above 10,000 ft.
Where: Aspen Highlands, CO
When: April 10, 2016
What: Laps on Highland Bowl followed by one of the craziest closing day parties around
The Tetons will provide a majestic backdrop for the closing weekend of Jackson Hole’s 50th ski season on April 2 and 3. If stellar steeps and an iconic mountain town weren’t enough already, the final free Music Under the Tram concerts go down on Saturday and Sunday. Lazy Eyes takes the stage on Saturday with a mix of guitar-driven originals and covers. Major Zephyr closes out the season on Sunday with original Americana music.
Where: Jackson Hole, WY
When: April 2 – 3, 2016
What: Free concerts beneath the Tetons
If you’ve never had the opportunity to visit Sunshine Village, Lake Louise or Mt. Norquay in Banff National Park, fear not because spring is one of the best times to go. Whether you prefer Veuve and oysters on the patio of the Sunshine Mountain Lodge at Sunshine Village, an epic Pro-Am dual slalom race at Norquay or the Bikinis for Breast Cancer race at Lake Louise, Ski Big 3 is bumping this time of year. For those who enjoy the sweet serenades of the 80s, head to Mt. Norquay on April 9. Tight pants, bright colors, Iron Maiden t-shirts, Flock of Seagulls haircuts will all be encouraged. Music from the 1980s will be sounding through the speakers across the hill all day. Get that costume ready.
Where: Mt. Norquay, AB
When: April 9, 2016
What: A ski day dedicated to the 1980s
No East Coast resort can après quite like Killington and no East Coast resort pops off every spring quite like “The Beast.” The annual Nor’Beaster celebration, which features discounted ski passes, boasts an array of events throughout April. Whether it’s the “Shred Sessions” event in the Mouse Run terrain park (lap with the park crew and win prizes for tricks, challenges, etc.) or the Dos Equis Bear Mountain Mogul Challenge, Killington is the place for East Coast corn. This year’s Dazed & Defrosted party at the base of the K1 gondola will feature live music from The Mark Mercier Band with members from legendary New England jam band, Max Creek.
Where: Killington, VT
When: April 9, 2016
What: The 2016 Dos Equis Bear Mountain Mogul Challenge… slush bumps galore!
Spend your mornings in the halfpipe and stay irie in the afternoons at the 28th Annual Bud Light Reggae Festival, April 14-17 at Sugarloaf. Maine ups its iration level every spring with this kinky reggae party and 2016 is no exception. Music from Ballyhoo!, New Kingston and The Cliftones along with “Reggae Good Vibes” lodging packages make this weekend a can’t-miss in the Northeast.
Where: Sugarloaf, ME
When: April 14 – 17, 2016
What: Jammin’ good times, mon
Park City Resort closes out its first season as the largest ski area in the U.S. with a party as big as the resort’s expansive terrain. Head to Canyons Village to check out the final shows of the Spring Concert Series from the Umbrella Bar on April 9 and 10; Enjoy some smooth acoustic jams with MAW Band on April 9, then dust off your wig, neon one-piece and rear-entry ski boots for 80s cover band, The Breakfast Klub, after the lifts stop spinning on closing day, April 10.
Where: Park City, UT
When: April 9 – 10, 2016
What: Free concerts from MAW Band and The Breakfast Klub
When spring shredding comes to mind, we think of corn snow, hot dogs, beers, goggle tans and epic pond skimming. On Saturday, April 2 at Crested Butte, skiers can soak up some rays and attempt to conquer the resort’s homemade body of water. Starting at 2:00 p.m. MST, the event is sure to provide some all-time thrills, wicked spills and hopefully the extreme dude in the photo above.
To make things even sweeter, team FREESKIER will be in town all weekend long getting in on the fun. Be sure to join us at Bonez Tequila Bar and Grill for our season ender sender—the final stop of our 2016 FREESKIER Fest Party Tour (age 21+). Doors open at 10:00 p.m. and you can be sure that we’ll be there until last call. It’s bound to be a rockin’ weekend, folks.
Where: Crested Butte, CO
When: April 2, 2016
What: Epic pond skimming and the last stop of the 2016 FREESKIER Fest Party Tour
Heavenly brings the South Lake Tahoe party to the mountain on April 9. Heavenly tricked out a snowcat with 52 speakers and 12,000 watts of amps. Don’t miss some of Tahoe’s top DJs cruising around the mountain bumping beats for all to enjoy. The final Unbuckle Après Party of the season unfolds at 9,150 feet beginning at 3:30 p.m. at the top of the gondola. There will be half-price drinks, live DJs and the Heavenly Angels storming the dance floor.
Where: South Lake Tahoe, CA
When: April 9, 2016
What: Bumpin’ beats all over the mountain and the lovely Heavenly Angels on the dance floor
Breck’s Spring Fever is a never-ending party that stretches from mid-March until the resort’s closing day on April 24. The Mountain Dew Spring Open is a new slopestyle comp that goes down on April 2 in Park Lane. The Spring Fever Beer Fest will take over the streets of Breckenridge with over 35 participating breweries on April 9. With free shows from Michael Franti & Spearhead (April 9), Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real (April 16) and Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue (April 17) plus lodging deals of up to 30-percent off, there’s no reason not to be there.
Where: Breckenridge, CO
When: April 9, 2016
What: A non-stop party that stretches from mid-March until the resort’s closing day on April 24. April 9 will feature the talents of Michael Frant & Spearhead
The annual Spring Back to Vail closing weekend celebration is how the Vail Valley sends off the ski season in style. The weekend kicks off on Friday evening with a free concert from The Chris Robinson Brotherhood. Saturday is highlighted by a mid-mountain lunchtime luau and Sunday features the World Pond Skimming Championships on Golden Peak. Triple R Rewards discounts (Restaurant, Retail and Relaxation) are offered at various local businesses around town, just look for the “Triple R Rewards” window sticker.
Where: Vail, CO
When: April 10, 2016
What: Free concerts, pond skimming shenanigans and deep discounts in town
April 16, 2016 marks Red Bull SlopeSoakers’ fifth annual return to Copper Mountain, CO. In the past few years we’ve seen multi-tiered slopestyle features (i.e. skiers hit three or more jibs and jumps back to back) all constructed above, beside or across pools; typically, four or more pools are incorporated into the course design. And year after year, we bear witness to some genuinely spectacular stuntin’ and truly gut-wrenching slams, too. Add to the mix a raucous crowd of spectators, sunshine, ultra-weird outfits, Bloody Mary’s, pizza, pool toys, music and badass prizes, and you’ve got the recipe that yields a tasty serving of SlopeSoakers.
Where: Copper Mountain, CO
When: April 16, 2016
What: Spectacular, high-risk slopestyle skiing, head-turning slams and one huge party