From an epic train ride to ornament making, Taos has a number of festive activities to have some Christmas fun with your children and relive holiday magic through your child’s eyes.
Here is a list of great things to do with kids in Northern New Mexico during the Christmas season:
31st Annual Yuletide Caroling and Tree Lighting
Get the Christmas party started on Nov. 30 when the town of Taos lights the Town Christmas Tree at Historic Taos Plaza. From 4 to 6 p.m., there will be Yuletide singers, local entertainment, a meet and greet with special guests Mr. & Mrs. Claus and be prepared for an appearance by the “Mean One,” Mr. Grinch, who loves to crash the party. Complimentary hot chocolate and cookies will be served. No admittance charge. taos.org
21st annual Holiday Fiesta
Face painting, Flower Fairies, Wish Tree, picture with Santa, retablo (images of saints) painting, Christmas card creating, Ojo de Dios (God’s Eye) ornament making and a Channukah room — it’s all free and all fun during the 21st annual Holiday Fiesta Dec. 1, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Millicent Rogers Museum in Taos. 1504 Millicent Rogers Road, (575) 758-2462, millicentrogers.org
Ornament and craft making
The Taos Youth and Family Center invites kids of all ages to make ornaments at no charge Dec. 15 from 1 to 4 p.m. Children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult. Materials and examples are provided. 407 Paseo del Cañon East, Taos, (575) 758-4160, taosyouth.com
Christmas steam-engine train ride
All aboard with Santa, Mrs. Claus and their merry elves on the longest and highest narrow-gauge steam railroad in the nation and the most scenic; crossing the border of Colorado and New Mexico 11 times as it chugs its way up and over 10,015 foot high Cumbres Pass.
On Dec. 8 and 9, the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad Christmas Train will depart from Chama, New Mexico (less than a 2-hour drive from Taos on U.S. Highway 64 west) on a ride through a "living museum" where things haven't changed much since 1930. Or take the train from Antonito, Colorado (1-hour drive north from Taos on U.S Highway 64 west and U.S. Highway 285 north) on Dec. 15 and 16. The train ride offers spectacular scenery atop the same tracks once used by silver barons, cowboys and the settlers of the real Old West. The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad takes you into the past to re-live an era when steam-powered locomotives and the trains they hauled were an essential part of everyday life.
The first train departs the depot at 10 a.m. and last train departs at 4 p.m. on both days. Other trains depart at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 per person and the donation of an unwrapped toy or nonperishable food item per person.
A family friendly event at Angel Fire Resort Jan. 1 through 6. In addition to skiing and tubing, there will be face painting, giant yard games, tray tobogganing, live music and karaoke. For your tubing fun Angel Fire features the Polar Coaster complete with a 700-foot surface lift to take the hiking out of it, plus a traditional sledding hill, indoor pools and a hot tub. As conditions permit, the tubing hill is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tubing is offered in 1-hour blocks and is $25 per person.
Swoosh with Santa
Kids can ski or board with Santa and Mrs. Claus all day on Christmas Eve at Angel Fire Resort (angelfireresort.com) with a photo shoot from 2 to 4 p.m. at The Lodge lobby. The event also features other family-friendly activities. And on Christmas Day, Santa takes to the slopes at Red River (redriverskiarea.com) from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
And for a list of family-friendly movies being released in December, see "Big Screen Cheer."
— Compiled by Scott Gerdes
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