Breckenridge is world renowned for its skiing/riding in a Victorian town with plenty of restaurants, bars and shopping. But not everyone thinks of Breckenridge as an arts and entertainment hub, which is surprising, because the A&E scene in Breck is busy enough to fill a couple weeks of vacation without one day on the lifts.

Here are a few places to start when it comes to art, theater and entertainment in Breckenridge.

Breckenridge Backstage Theatre

The award-winning Backstage Theatre has been around since 1974, and it just keeps getting better and better. In

The newly renovated Backstage Theatre is full of laughs.

The newly renovated Backstage Theatre is full of laughs.

fact, it’s expanding in 2015, with more seating and a larger lobby in which to mingle with cocktails (yes, they even sell specialty drinks to match various productions) before the show and during intermission.

This winter, it portrays stories of local Summit County women’s ski bumming romances, drinking, parenting and surviving a high elevation with “Curves Ahead” and acts as the regional premiere for “Dog Park: The Musical” — a modern love tale told through a dog’s eyes. And that’s not all it has in store; the intimate theater also screens films every so often and has a long season lineup; check the schedule for every production.

Arts District

Wow. The Town of Breckenridge infused millions of dollars into its new Arts District, and it just makes you want to quit your day job and become an artist. Luckily, they’ve created a schedule of art classes that fit in with a working person’s time frame, and budget.

The Tin Shop hosts resident artists from around the world. Photo by Liam Doran

The Tin Shop hosts resident artists from around the world. Photo by Liam Doran

If you’re in town for a few weeks, you can learn how to throw on the potter’s wheel and then glaze your ceramics with Raku Firing class.

Those who love all that sparkle and shine can learn to make rings, necklaces and earrings in jewelry classes (and we’re talking real silver, here, not just beads).

Then there’s figure drawing, creative writing, painting, photography, textiles — nearly any class to fit your needs, and your kids’, with special craft classes for the little ones.

Gallery scene

Want to see some of the finest artists’ paintings? Head to Breckenridge Art Gallery on 124 S. Main St. or Breckenridge Fine Art (yes, there’s a “fine” line between the two names) on 421 S. Main St.

Stunning art can be viewed at one of the many local art galleries on Main Street. Photo by Liam Doran

Stunning art can be viewed at one of the many local art galleries on Main Street. Photo by Liam Doran

Not into serious-minded art but want something that’s high in quality and will give you a good laugh? Check out Art on a Whim on 100 N. Main St.

Love what you see outside and want to take a stunning photograph of it home? Head to Collier Gallery on 100 N. Main St. or Gary Soles Gallery on 300 S. Main St.

Need something smaller, like jewelry, to wear as a keepsake? Stop into J&M Jewelry on 100 N. Main St. or one of Breck’s newest galleries, Flourish, on 226 S. Main St. The latter also sells paintings, mosaics and fiber art.

For a peek at local artists’ work, check out Arts Alive! at 500 S. Main St. They may be local, but they’re still really good!

Then, don’t miss the Gallery Walks, from 4-6 p.m. every second Saturday of the month. They showcase the above galleries, which stay open late that night, as well as happenings in the Arts District, from the Tin Shop to the Breckenridge Backstage Theatre.

Victorian architecture

A sometimes overlooked aspect of art lies in the architecture of Breckenridge.

Take a stroll through historic downtown check out the Victorian style buildings. Photo by Bob Winsett

Take a stroll through historic downtown check out the Victorian style buildings. Photo by Bob Winsett

 

You can drive around and look at the mix of historic homes and multi-million-dollar second homes, but Breck’s history is best seen through the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance’s Historic Walking Tour. The pros will take you through the Victorian town’s nationally registered Historic District and tell stories about everything from the most humble cabins to beautiful Victorian homes.

Cost is $10 for adults and $5 for kids and runs at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays in winter.

Snow sculptures

You have to catch it quick, because it lasts less than two weeks: The Budweiser International Snow Sculpture Championships are an incredible sight to behold, both day and night, when colored lights add new dimensions to the sculptures.

Downtown Breckenridge is transformed into an outdoor art gallery. Photo by Carl Scofield

Downtown Breckenridge is transformed into an outdoor art gallery. Photo by Carl Scofield

Teams of four people, from all over the world, come to Breckenridge’s Riverwalk Plaza to transform 2-ton, 12-foot tall blocks of snow into amazing sculptures that tell stories. This is definitely an event to revolve a trip to Breckenridge around; it all starts Jan. 27, 2015 and goes until Feb. 8 (as long as it doesn’t get too warm).

Keeping creativity alive

So whether you like your art “on ice” in the form of snow sculptures, or prefer the warmth of an oil painting or intimate art class, Breckenridge has something to keep your creative side alive.

For more information, visit www.breckcreate.org.

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About The Author

Kimberly Nicoletti always knew she was meant to escape gray Chicago winters and spend her days skiing the Colorado Rockies. So, two months after she turned 18, she moved to Breckenridge to be a ski bum "for a season," assuring her parent's she'd return to Illinois to finish college. But, the ski bum life stuck. After three years of full-time skiing in Summit County, she decided to finish her degree at CU-Boulder in Creative Writing (granted, she took a semester off to ski). Once free of classes, she took yet another year off to ski in Summit (do you see a pattern here?). Then, she moved back to Boulder to earn her master's degree in Somatic Psychology/Dance Therapy. Upon graduation, she spent a winter teaching skiing at Mammoth Mountain. (Surely you see the pattern now.) In 2002, she moved back to Summit full time, to work at the Summit Daily as the arts and entertainment editor. She stayed with the company for 10 years, enjoying Summit's great events and later working as the managing editor of magazines covering the High Country. She still revolves her life around adventure and creativity, taking time to travel, ski, paddleboard, dance, ice skate, play with her dogs, learn new things and generally enjoy life. She's highly addicted to powder skiing and keeps her winter mornings commitment-free so she can indulge in "deep play" when Mother Nature cooperates. Off the mountain, she's a freelance writer and editor and teaches fitness and mind/body classes throughout Summit County.

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