With ski season squarely in your Subaru’s rearview mirror, it’s officially time to start planning weekend outings that don’t center around snowfall totals, schlepping your snowboard around, and après activities.

If the thought of filling all those empty, powderless weekends inspires a bout of panic in you, look no further than our curated list of high-country happenings to fill the void. From a race honoring a celebrity elk to a boozy hot springs gathering to salsa classes, we promise you’ll find a function that’ll help you pass the time—until next ski season, that is.

Summit County

In mountain towns like Avon, you’re safe from the Sunday Scaries. That’s because instead of fretting about Monday morning’s problems, you can spend Sundays lounging and listening to live music at the Terrace at the Avon Performance Pavilion. Claim a spot on land or sidle up to the stage on a SUP board and let acts such as J. Goods Experience with Los Hermanos and eight-piece Chicano funk band Los Mocochetes stave off the scaries. May 26–Sept. 1; Sundays 6–8 p.m.; free

Vail and Beaver Creek

Derby Party at One Rooftop Bar
The Rocky Mountains might not have a ton topographically in common with Churchill Downs, but both locales share a similar bon-vivant ethos. Vail Valley residents can head to the new One Rooftop Bar on Derby Day to sip on craft cocktails like the Genuine Risk made from bourbon, grilled peaches, and carbonated black tea, and watch the two-minute race. Oh, and be sure to wear your finest duds; the ponies aren’t the only ones competing on Saturday. One Rooftop Bar will award prizes for best dressed and best hat after the main event. May 4; 4:30–5:30 p.m.; free attendance

Vail Comedy Festival
Each year, this comedy fest with national acts sells out—and one glance at the lineup of talent will reveal why. Comedians including Jenny Zigrino (Bad Santa 2), Mary Mack (The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon), and Monroe Martin (Last Comic Standing) will perform sets at venues around Vail. In addition to the headliners, don’t miss Travis Nye’s family-friendly magic routine. May 24–26; times vary; three-day pass: $219

Blues, Brews & BBQ
The barbecue-and-blues heartland might be a ways away from Beaver Creek, but luckily this annual gathering can help transport Southern transplants right back home. While you hear live arrangements from the likes of R&B singer-songwriter Don Bryant and Grammy Award–winner Booker T. Jones, you’ll get to watch—and taste the results of—competitions centered around beef and pork. Make sure to purchase a beer punch card so you can pair your entrees with a pint. May 24–26; times vary; free admission, event prices start at $15

SpringFree Bluegrass Festival
Those visiting Vail on a budget can enjoy a free night (or three) of entertainment thanks to the folks behind this annual bluegrass jamboree. Well-known acts such as the Infamous Stringdusters, Tenth Mountain Division, and Sierra Hull will provide the tunes. For a chance at more no-spend merriment, enter the event’s giveaway to win a two-night stay at the Lodge at Vail, two tickets to the Vail Comedy Festival, a $100 gift card to El Segundo, and more. May 24–26; Fri 4:30–7:30 p.m.; Sat–Sun noon–7:30 p.m.; free

Crested Butte and Gunnison

Mountain Words Festival
Typically, Crested Butte attracts ski bums, mountain bikers, and occasionally, film buffs. But, this weekend, the high-altitude locale will be swarmed with wordsmiths from across the state—and country. Authors such as Shelley Read (Go As a River), Justin Farrell (Billionaire Wilderness), and Suzi Q. Smith (Poems for the End of the World) will discuss their work, lead workshops, and host book signings. If you really want to up your Colorado cred, sign up for Mountain West–centric panels such as Public Lands and Future Threats and The Future of Ski Towns. May 24–26; event times vary; some events free, single events start at $40

Estes Park

Estes Park Rotary Duck Race

Photo courtesy of Visit Estes Park

The competitors in this for-charity race aren’t your average athletes. In fact, they haven’t been training at all, they don’t have legs, and they can only travel in water. OK—they’re plastic ducks. Attendees can purchase a miniature racer for $25 ($23 of which goes toward charity), then stick around for live music, food trucks, and kids activities. Two-legged athletes can sign up for the Duck Waddle 5K on the same day. May 4; starting 9 a.m.; free attendance

Samson’s Revenge
The namesake of this race series has been called “Estes Park’s most famous elk.” A frequent guest of YMCA of the Rockies’ land, Samson the elk became a local celebrity because of his remarkably friendly nature toward humans—that is until 1995 when a poacher illegally killed him. So, residents created these 10k, 27k, and 55k running races that ascend Estes Park’s Bible Point Trail in his memory. Winners receive a prize from Space Cowboy Tattoo, and each participant can look forward to a party at the summit of Bible Point. May 18; 9 a.m.; $120–$150

Winter Park

Kinky Boots
After a long winter of quad-busting ski sessions, we don’t blame you if you want to kick back and put your, ahem, boots up. During this Tony Award–winning musical, forget all about ski boots and focus on main character Charlie Price, his floundering footwear factory, and his shoe muse Lola, who might help him save his family business. May 31–Aug. 24; times vary; $35–$65

Steamboat Springs

Steamboat Creates’ Cabaret
There’s a type of vacationer that likes to do as the locals do—and if you’re in that category, you won’t want to miss this variety show from members of community arts nonprofit Steamboat Creates. The annual fundraiser—which benefits Steamboat Creates’ educational programs, exhibitions, and more—includes live music acts, comedy routines, and dances. May 1–4; times vary; $45

Bésame Salsa Classes

Photo courtesy of Bésame

The new dance-lesson series from this Steamboat Springs Latin restaurant is the perfect venue to learn salsa—nothing loosens you up like a little sangria, right? So order a glass, fuel up on tapas, and dance with your partner to live music. If boogying isn’t your thing (even after a little booze), Bésame’s three-course Cinco de Mayo celebration (think: pork carnitas tacos and spicy mango margaritas) is a no-dance-required way to get lit. May 17–June 14; Every other Friday, 9:30–11:30 p.m.; $10 cover


Ride for the Pass
Traversing Independence Pass is spectacular in a car, so what cyclist wouldn’t want to cross the iconic Colorado byway on their bike? Before the pass opens for the summer, bikers will have an opportunity to do just that. Choose a challenging 10-mile course up the Independence ghost town site (elevation gain: approximately 2,300 feet) or a more relaxing two-mile jaunt that ends at the Weller Lake turnout. End the outing with barbecue at the start line. May 18; 10:30 a.m.; $15–$45 per person

Pagosa Springs

Pagosa Paddle and Pints, Pools, and Paddles

Photo courtesy of the Springs Resort

The second weekend in May in Pagosa Springs presents a choose-your-own-adventure decision: participant or spectator? The former camp should sign up for the Pagosa Paddle, in which athletes race down the San Juan River in SUPs, kayaks, and R4 rafts. The latter group can watch the competition from the Springs Resorts’ geothermal hot springs pools during its Pints, Pools, and Paddles event. (Don’t miss the beer, cheese, and chocolate tastings throughout the weekend as well.) For the indecisive, there’s a third option: race, then head to the Springs Resort for a complimentary soak. Pagosa Paddle: May 11; 8 a.m.–6 p.m.; $45–$65;
Pints, Pools, and Paddles: May 10–12; times vary ; Starting at $50