Remedies for ‘shoulder season’ blues |

Remedies for ‘shoulder season’ blues

Briar Rose is one of the numerous restaurants participating in the Breckenridge Dining Passport event. The passports are valid from Sept. 26 to Nov. 17 and benefit the Summit County Cares.
Caroline Lewis / Summit to the D

When Summit starts to feel like a dead zone, it takes a little digging to see what’s happening. In mud season, locals all flee to warmer places like Moab. Shoulder season is a different beast. Summit, during the start of October, may feel eerily silent; however, that calm before the squall will give way to the ski bums and powder hounds who begin to trickle in for the winter season. But before the restaurants and bars are completely crowded by tourists again, now’s the time to take advantage of all the opportunities a quieter, gentler Summit has to offer.

live music

There are numerous music venues in Summit County that serve up concerts on a weekly basis and many of the shows are free.

Barkley Ballroom, 610 Main St., Frisco: The Barkley Ballroom is a local favorite. Almost every Thursday Barkley Ballroom has a free concert, and often enough they will provide a free keg before the show begins. Barkley often brings in small, eclectic bands from all over the country.

The Brown Hotel, 206 N. Ridge St., Breckenridge: After an almost year-long hiatus, the Brown reopened recently and is already providing musical experiences this fall. Over the last few weekends, the Brown has brought bands to Breckenridge for free: Last weekend saw two bands from Denver; this weekend brings a seven-piece band from Fairplay. Similarly to Barkley Ballroom, the Brown brings in many lesser-known bands.

The Snake River Saloon, 23074 Highway 6, Keystone: The Snake River Saloon is no newcomer to the Summit County music scene, having been open for 41 years. They play a wide variety of music, from rock ’n’ roll to reggae. Open until 2 a.m. every evening, the saloon is a lively venue that lends itself to a group of music-loving patrons. Snake River’s live music area is simultaneously cozy, yet allows for plenty of room to dance.


Colorado is by far one of the most active states in the U.S. Everyone here seems to have their hobbies, their sport obsessions. Get a rock climber started about quickdraws or a mountain biker about suspension, and you will find some serious passion. With all the amazing classes offered in Summit County, there are many chances to find a new obsession.

Breckenridge Creative Arts District: One of the most charming parts of historic downtown Breckenridge is the arts district. From multi-week Kundalini Yoga courses at the Old Masonic Hall to fiction and nonfiction writing classes, and pottery spinning classes the arts district offers something for everyone.

Breckenridge Recreation Center, 880 Airport Road: The Breckenridge Recreation Center is an athlete’s mecca. Daily drop-in courses offered are cycling, yoga, Pilates, core strength, aerobics.

Local recreational leagues: There are a variety of leagues available to those looking to try a new sport. From more traditional offerings like hockey to curling, there are plenty of options for those who are athletically inclined.

Volunteer shifts

It’s cleansing to volunteer, to devote time towards something or someone other than yourself. Summit County has dozens of nonprofits, and many are looking for volunteers. If you have extra time during shoulder season, local nonprofits would welcome you with open arms.

4-H Youth Development: Volunteer Summit County 4-H Leaders are needed to help offer afterschool programs in geology, leathercraft, robotics, rocketry, arts and crafts, and other STEM related topics.

Far View Horse Rescue: The ranch is located outside of Fairplay and rescues horses that have been abused, neglected or abandoned. They provide horses shelter and rehabilitation. Today, Oct. 1, the ranch is having a fall volunteer day where the public is invited to lend a hand and learn more about horse rescue.

CASA of the Continental Divide: CASA provides services for children who have been abused and neglected. They are actively seeking volunteers who are interested in making a difference.

Red, White & Blue Fire: The organization is seeking volunteers for their open house on Wednesday, Oct. 12. The volunteer session is to assist families and youth with orienting themselves with fire prevention. Witness the fire trucks and firehouse and learn about fire awareness.

Rotary Reading Buddy Program: This program is open to the public and is in need of folks who want to improve the literacy of young students in Summit County. Volunteers can have one reading buddy or many. All students are elementary aged with different reading levels.


With fewer people in town, prices in food and drinks go down, typically. Restaurants offer specials to their local supporters and often host fundraising dinners. Some of most popular restaurants, which are also some of the most expensive, are affordable this time of year with one-price events and specials. This is a great time to experience Summit’s vibrant dining scene.

Dining passport: From Sept. 26 until Nov. 17 dining passports are valid and redeemable. The passports benefit Summit County Cares, which includes Summit FIRC, Advocates for Victims of Assault and Summit County Social Services. Only during this time period, some of the county’s best restaurants offer promotions and special menus. There are over two dozen restaurants accepting passports, which can be used for two people.

Fundraiser dinners: For the eighth year in a row, Mi Casa is hosting a tequila dinner that will benefit Advocates for Victims of Assault. This Thursday, Oct. 6, the benefit event will include a live silent auction, four-course dinner and plenty of tequila. Hearthstone will also host a fundraising dinner on Tuesday, Oct 4. For one price, a four-course meal will be offered with wine pairings and proceeds going to local nonprofit FIRC and their parenting education and family support programs.

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