Holiday Magic in Santa Fe County

Softly falling snow, the merry glow of farolitos and the fragrant scent of burning piñon logs in a kiva fireplace. These are just a few of the timeless traditions that transform Santa Fe County into a bedazzling winter wonderland during the holiday season. Enjoy an adventurous day skiing the powdery slopes in the foothills of the Rockies.Take a magical train ride with Santa to a wintry elf village. Spend some time with us this holiday season, and rejoice in the joys and wonder of this enchanting region.

Ski the Spectacular Southwest

From the summit of Ski Santa Fe, you'll feel as if you're on top of the world. More than 80 powdery trails descend from the 12,075-foot summit, offering stunning views, gorgeous glade runs and magnificent moguls. The trails delight everyone, whether you're a skier or snowboarder, novice or expert. This family-friendly ski area also offers a ski school, downhill races, winter events and more. With 225 inches of average annual snowfall and expansive turquoise skies , this is one of the top ski destinations in the Southwest. Ski Santa Fe generally operates from Thanksgiving Day through early April. The tentative opening date for 2022 is November 24. See you on the slopes!

Festive Feasts

Kick off the holiday season with Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe during the holiday tree unveiling Friday, December 2, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM. Celebrate with the community and guests over festive food and beverages, including assorted holiday cookies, apple cider, and spiced hot chocolate.

Find more info here: Four Seasons Festivities

Santa Express

Meet Santa on a magical train ride to Lamy, where Santa's elves have turned the historic train depot into an enchanting winter wonderland. Aboard Sky Railway's Pablo the Dragon train, you and your family will hear Santa tell the tale of how he helped Pablito save Christmas in New Mexico. The hour-long adventure through wondrous New Mexico landscape includes cocoa and cookies, holiday sing-a-longs and a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus. The holiday trains are scheduled to run on November 25-27 and December 3, 10, 17 and 18-24. Book your train ride and find more info here: Sky Railway Holiday Journey

Holiday Traditions

Steeped in a rich blend of cultures, Santa Fe County offers unique holiday traditions treasured by New Mexicans and visitors alike. The season officially kicks off with the dazzling Holiday Lighting on the Santa Fe Plaza, the day after Thanksgiving, (Friday, November 25, starting around 3:30 p.m.). A rollicking Christmas parade, led by a red-nosed yak, brings a crowd to the historic mining town of Madrid (Saturday, December 3 at 4 p.m.) where historical Christmas light displays have captivated visitors for decades. The Madrid Christmas Open House ( weekends from December 3-24) offers a chance to shop for gifts while enjoying activities and refreshment in unique shops and galleries.

The treasured tradition of Las Posadas takes place on Sunday, December 11, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. The Spanish term Posadas means “inn” or “lodging,” and this  candle-lit procession around the Santa Fe Plaza re-enacts the Christmas story of Mary and Joseph's search for shelter before the birth of Jesus. Chanukah is celebrated on the Santa Fe Plaza on Sunday, December 18, from 3 to 5 p.m. Hosted by the Chabad Jewish Center, the celebration includes a Santa Fe Chile Menorah lighting, latkes and music.

On Christmas Eve, starting at dusk, take part in Santa Fe's beloved annual farolito walk on Canyon Road, which is filled with glowing lanterns—small paper bags containing sand and votive candles. In Spanish, farol means lantern, and the farolitos that line Canyon Road's sidewalks, adobe walls, rooftops and terraces bring joy to a dark December night. These are but a few of the many holiday highlights that are yours to explore and experience. For a full calendar of events, visit our website. Santa Fe County Events

Holiday Cheer

Ring in the holiday season at Bishop's Lodge, Auberge Resorts Collection with the 2nd Annual Lighting of the Farolito Tree on the Bishop's Lodge plaza. The merry glow of farolitos provides a warm and inviting setting for singing carols and enjoying festive beverages and bites. The event takes place on Friday, December 2, and again on Friday, December 23. Find more info here:

Happy New Year!

Welcome 2023 in Santa Fe style, with the annual New Year's Eve On The Plaza celebration. Enjoy hot chocolate and biscochitos, piñon bonfires and live music as you get ready to ring out the old and ring in the New Year . At midnight, a handcrafted Zia symbol rises up into a sky aglow with fireworks.

Join us for the holidays and all the magic that this season brings in Santa Fe County. To get you in the mood for your holiday getaway, here's a recipe for a New Mexico Christmas classic. Traditionally cut in a fleur-de-lis shape, flavored with anise and dusted with cinnamon sugar, this cookie is so delicious, you may find yourself making it anytime of year. The recipe is printed courtesy of the author of “The Maverick Cookbook: Iconic Recipes and Tales From New Mexico.”

The Maverick Cookbook Biscochitos (Makes about 6 dozen)

1 cup lard, chilled
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon anise seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups all-purpose flour
 2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup brandy, whiskey or sweet wine
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons sugar

Preheat the oven to 375 ° F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cream the lard and sugar together using an electric beater in a large mixing bowl until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, anise and vanilla.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in another bow. Stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture, add the brandy or other liquor and mix into a stiff dough.

Roll out the dough on a floured surface to about 1/4-inch thick. Using a fleur-de-lis or other shape of cookie cutter, cut out the cookies. You can also cut the dough into 2 to 3-inch circles.

Combine the cinnamon and sugar in a bowl and dip the top of each cookie into the mixture. Place on

the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 12 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.