Located at 7,000 feet in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Santa Fe offers classic western scenery of snow-topped mountains, wind-swept mesas, and historic adobe buildings. In the city and nearby, you and your family can learn about Native American and western history, go on a chocolate trail, and explore the high mountain desert. The deals and dates for the discounts vary.
Here are some top must-dos for families in Santa Fe:
Take in the Plaza and the New Mexico History Museum
The Plaza has served as Santa Fe’s heart since the settlement’s birth in 1610. For background on the city’s Native American and Spanish heritage, visit the New Mexico History Museum, housed in the 400-year-old Palace of the Governors. Outside browse the silver buckles and bracelets as well as beaded jewelry and leather goods crafted by local artisans.
Visit Museum Hill
Not far from downtown, Museum Hill offers sweeping mountain vistas and four museums.
At the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, admire Native American art and jewelry. At the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, learn about Native American traditions and culture through everyday objects such as dough bowls, woven baskets, rugs, and moccasins. At the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art, kids learn about the Spanish Colonial era and its art and architecture. Save the most time for the Museum of International Folk Art. The whimsical 10,000-piece collection of colorful masks, detailed Spanish and Mexican dollhouse villages, carved Kachinas, and tin work from Mexico delight kids as will the special Flamenco exhibit on view through Sept. 11.
Savor the Chocolate Trail
Reward yourself and your kids with the sweet taste of artisanal chocolates. Five shops sell handcrafted chocolate as well as espresso and chocolate drinks. Kakawa also specializes in chocolate elixir drinks—rich, steamy cups of a hot cocoa-like drink.
Explore the Desert and Mountains
Climb aboard a Pinzgauer, a Jeep-like military vehicle, for off-road adventures that take you through high mountain deserts to forests and mountain foothills. 4×4 By Fun offers a variety of tours.
Properties offering packages include:
Hotel Santa Fe
Anchoring the Railyard District, a revitalized area of boutiques, galleries, and weekend farmers’ and flea markets, the Hotel Santa Fe features an Allan Houser sculpture outside and Native American blankets, paintings, and pottery inside. During Spring Break the hotel adds a daily children’s activity such as storytelling, crafts, or cooking.
Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado
With the Spring Break package at this full service resort tucked in the hills outside downtown, you can get 50% off the rate for a second room for children, free meals for children 5 and younger with an adult dining at the Terra restaurant, and complimentary excursions with Adventure Partners for children 12 and younger with a paid adult.
What are your favorite Sante Fe spots? Comment below or connect with me on Twitter, @familyitrips.