Spring is in the air, even as snow blankets Santa Fe County. Looking out the window, the world is awash in frosty white, and translucent icicles hang from the eaves. It's time to dream about warmer weather, longer days of sunshine, and the great adventures that lie just around the corner. From train adventures to trails in historic parks, encounters with friendly wildlife, and play time in a children's museum, spring brings a season of fun. As the natural world stirs with life once again, we welcome spring break with open arms and anticipation.
Amazing Train Adventures
Climb aboard Sky Railway for a thrilling train adventure, hailed as one of the Top 10 Awe-Inspiring New Train Trips to Take in 2023, by Shondaland.com. Co-founded by Game of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin and his creative partners, the themed train rides travel the tracks through stunning landscape, between Lamy and Santa Fe. The sky's the limit when it comes to range of immersive themed adventures to experience. The Flamenco Under the Stars train ride will inspire you with passionate performances of traditional music and dance. The Stargazer will carry you away on a celestial ride through New Mexico's starry night. In the mood for a mystery? Ride Murder on the Lamy Line and join your fellow passengers in solving a crime. If you're a fan of trains and history, the Lore of the Land ride will enthrall you, as storytellers bring the region's history to life accompanied by live music.
Trails through Time
More than a millennia of mining history, volcanic remnants, and dramatic landscape are yours to explore at the treasured Cerrillos Hills State Park, located on the Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway. Discover the rich history of Native American and Spanish mining efforts in this area along five hiking trails of interpretative history. The park is a great place for mountain biking, horseback riding, and enjoying a picnic surrounded by nature's splendor. Keep an eye out for a golden eagle or great horned owl, just two of the 30 bird species identified in the park.
The Joy of Play
Fun for all ages is always on tap at the Santa Fe Children's Museum, where children and families discover the joys of learning, play, and community. Through dynamic, hands-on activities, interactive exhibits, and creative programs, the museum has delighted visitors since opening in 1989. Kids can explore an adobe playhouse, dig and harvest in a community garden, play to their heart's delight at bubble and magnet tables, learn about gems and minerals, and revel in so many other engaging activities.
A rare chance to see pronghorns, red fox, elk and other amazing animals in their natural habitat awaits you at Wildlife West Nature Park, a 122-acre park and enhanced zoo in Edgewood that is home to rescued native New Mexico animals. Join in the fun at the 2nd Annual New Mexico Renaissance & Celtic Festival at Wildlife West Nature Park. The festival's exciting lineup includes entertainers from around the world, a Celtic Celebration, a Medieval Celebration, a Pirate & Viking Celebration and a Time Traveler Celebration, as well as Tea with the Queen, games, food and 150 vendors.
Saturday March 25 and Sunday, March 27
“Where Past is Present”
With 7,000 acres of stunning wilderness that harbors a history stretching back some 7,000 years. Pecos National Historical Park is a fascinating place to explore. Spend some time among the ancient ruins of the Pecos Pueblo, one of the largest pueblos in the Southwest. Walk among the remnants of an 18th-century Spanish mission church, whose adobe walls silently stand as a symbol of Spain's 200-year reign over the region. An interpretive trail traces the history of the Battle of Glorieta Pass, a pivotal Civil War Battle fought in 1862. You'll see Artillery Hill, where soldiers crouched in snow, and Pigeon's Ranch, a makeshift field hospital for the wounded. Before you go, stop at the Visitor Center, to pick up the trail access code. The South Pasture Loop Trail leads you on a peaceful hike through pasture lands, a cottonwood grove along the Pecos River, and majestic mountain views.
The legendary Mine Shaft Tavern in the old mining town of Madrid has been serving food and drinks in a rowdy atmosphere since 1947. Not only can you savor an award-winning green chile cheeseburger and a refreshing prickly pear margarita, you can tap your feet to live music while you eat. The March calendar is packed with musicians playing everything from folk and blues to Americana, honky tonk, country, and other happy sounds.
Celebrate Cajun food and foot-stomping blues during the 20th Annual Crawdaddy Blues Fest hosted by the Mine Shaft Tavern on Saturday, May 20 and Sunday, May 21. Mark your Calendar!
Please drink responsibly and always choose a designated driver.
Enjoy a room with a view at the Bobcat Inn, a romantic retreat on 10 glorious acres in the country. Everywhere you look, expansive views unfold. A serene stroll along the inn's walking trails will lead to bliss when you relax in the courtyard, with a koi pond and a melodic waterfall. Watch amazing sunsets then marvel at the deep starry skies that surround you from your room's panoramic views. Breakfast is included —hearty fare like blue corn pancakes, stuffed French toast and a signature Bobcat breakfast casserole—and it's worth getting up for.
New Mexico Travels with Darley
Darley Newman, host creator and producer of PBS Travels With Darley, returned to Santa Fe County to film the opening episodes of the10th season of her travel show, which airs on PBS and Amazon Prime. Darley was living and working in New Mexico when she began her career with Equitrekking, the TV series that debuted on New Mexico PBS in 2006. “New Mexico always holds a special place in my heart,” she has said. “This is why I always get back there." Highlights of the new season include a visit with George R.R. Martin about railroads; a look at the glamping life at Kit Fox; and hearing about Georgia O'Keeffe from David Manzanares, who grew up in Abiquiú and knew the iconic artist.
In the Footsteps of the Faithful
El Santuario de Chimayó is a place of pilgrimage, often referred as “the Lourdes of America.” This modest 19th-century adobe chapel and shrine is world-renowned for the dirt, held in a small well, that many believe possesses miraculous healing powers. Thousands of visitors of many faiths travel from around the world to see this beloved, beautiful Spanish Colonial-style church, and spend time in its powerful presence.
Upcoming Spring Events
Cerrillos Hills State Park Star Party
Take a celestial journey into the dark skies over Cerrillos Hills State Park during the park's Star Party, led by a sky guide. Explore constellations, star clusters, planets, and other out-of-this-world wonders in the serene setting of a timeless landscape.
Friday, March 10, 7 p.m.
El Rancho de las Golondrinas - Winter Lecture #3
Learn about the spies, secrets and scientists during historian Alan Carr's lecture "Manhattan Project Spies at Los Alamos." It's the final lecture of the season at El Rancho de Las Golondrinas Annual Award-Winning Winter Lecture Series, held in St. Francis Auditorium at the New Mexico Museum of Art. The $10 advance tickets are required, and are available at HoldMyTicket.
Tuesday, March 28, 6-7 p.m.
Go fly a kite at the Wind Festival, when kites of every color, size and shape fill the sky at Wildlife West Nature Park. Compete in kite flying contests, or just have fun flying a kite on an expansive grass field. You can bring your own kite, purchase one or simply watch in amazement as professional stunt kite fliers make the art of flying a kite in the wind look easy.
Saturday, May 6 and Sunday, May 7
Turquoise Trail Pack Burro Race
Cheer on your favorite burro during the Turquoise Trail Pack Burro Race in Cerrillos and Cerrillos Hills State Park. One of 14 pack races supported by the Western Pack Burro Association, this race a tune-up for the Leadville Buena Vista National Race, known as "The Superbowl of Burro Races."
Sunday, May 6, 10 a.m. start time.
Santa Fe Century
Ride through spectacular scenery during the annual Santa Fe Century. Thousands of cyclists from near and far compete on courses that wind through the Ortiz Mountains, the Galisteo Basin, and other stunning landscapes of northern New Mexico.
Friday May 19 through Sunday, May 21
El Rancho de las Golondrinas, the Santa Fe Children’s Museum, Wildlife West Nature Park and the Santa Fe Century are partially funded by the County of Santa Fe Lodgers’ Tax.