Back when I was in college, one of the best times I remember having during winter when I wasn't skiing myself was at the Winter X Games. The extreme degree of many of the events makes the competition downright amazing to watch up close and personal. If you have watched the event on TV before, it is nothing like actually being there, and best of all the whole thing is completely free to attend! Even if you don't understand how the events are scored, it really doesn't detract from the fun as you don't really need to understand them to have a great time. This year the competition takes place in Aspen, Colorado on January 26th through the 29th. Having been in the past, I can say that the event is fun for all ages including groups of friends and families; the action is non-stop. Here is a look at the dates and times for the individual events this year and my reccomendations on which ones not to miss follow.

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While events start on Thursday morning, many times getting to Aspen that early isn't conducive to work and school schedules, but there are some great events that start on Friday evening. The SuperPipe and Big Air events that start at 6:30 Friday night are ones to watch. It does get a little chilly standing outside watching the events, so make sure to wear plety of clothing layers. The trick to having a great time watching the SuperPipe & Big Air events is to get in the line to enter the venue early, because if you do you can be lucky enough to watch the competition standing on the edges of the half pipe where competitors fly up in the air right before your eyes. It's quite the experience and you can see what I am talking about in the gallery of pictures located in the begining of this story.

Honestly all of the events are a great time to watch; you will see everything from racing to incredible stunts by the competitors which include many Olympic athletes like Shaun White. If I had to pick one more favorite event, it would have to be the Snowmobile races. Unfortuantely they don't fall at the best times this year, but they are quite the thing to see.

Another great aspect of the event is that there are all kinds of vendors and sponsors set up at the base area of the Winter X Games; they have all kinds of giveaways and one of my friends actually won a pair of skis one year. This gives more entertainment between the individual events and mixes things up a bit.

The last tidbit of information I will leave you with here has to do with saving money on lodging during the Winter X Games. When I attended this event with friends in college, as you can imagine, room rates in and around Aspen seemed pretty steep. However if you stay in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, which is about 40 miles from Aspen, motel rooms can be found very cheap. It is a great way to save money and as an added bonus there is a giant hot springs located right in the center of the town. You can quickly get to the Winter X Games from Glenwood Springs by parking in one of the shuttle lots and riding the free bus to the event. If you have never been to the Winter X Games I would highly reccomend it, and the trip won't break the bank either. For more great quick trips from Laramie check out our similar stories.