Santa Fe With The Kids!

Santa Fe, nestled in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and a longtime mecca for artists and history buffs, is also a wonderful kid-friendly destination with many diverse activities. Here’s how to keep everyone happy on your next visit.

Copy of Kid-Friendly Badge (Green & Orange)


Santa Fe’s Children Museum (has a miniature adobe village), the Museum of International Folk Art (with 106,000 dolls from around the world), the Harrell House of Natural Oddities and Bug Museum, the Georgia O’Keefe Museum (with free family art programs) are all wonderful places to spend a few hours.


Santa Fe Climbing Center, the Genoveva Chavez Center (swimming and ice skating year round), Fort Marcy Playground and Recreation Center, and many hiking and biking possibilities make Santa Fe a sports lover’s dream. There is also great skiing and snowboarding in the winter.


Visit the Santa Fe Rail Yard for some different souveniers, free live music, a farmers’ market and an artisans’ market showcasing local crafts. Ride the rails from downtown Santa Fe to Lamy (4 hours round trip through the desert in real 1920’s cars).


It’s easy at El Rancho de las Golodrinas (an open air museum), the Wilford Gallery Wind Sculpture Garden, free summer movies in the park, the Randall Davey Audubon Center & Sanctuary, the Santa Fe Botanical Garden at Museum Hill.


Step outside your comfort zone and catch a rodeo in June where during intermission, little ones can ride gentle ewes. Or try a hot air balloon ride over the Rio Grande Gorge (calmest at dawn and takes an hour). Learn rock climbing in Las Conchas canyon or Santa Fe Climbing Gym (ages 5 and up).


The Loretto Chapel has a spiral staircase built without nails, dowels or any visible support. See the mysteries of the universe unfold at the Planetarium of Santa Fe Community College. Unearth something at a model dig in an underground home in the Museum of Archeology.

With wonderful places to eat, listen to music, catch a movie or shop, Santa Fe has something for everyone. And if all else fails, do what the locals do for fun: go fly a kite.


  • If a hot air balloon ride is on your bucket list, this is the place to try it. The early one (about 7 am) is beautiful – sunrise and the mountains. Wear a hat – it gets windy and when they fire up, the top of your head will feel it.

  • Ask about the old mining towns, Indian pueblos and historic railroads around Santa Fe. Kids love to explore! Many biking trails, too, for all different levels.

    • When visiting authentic Indian villages and reservations, please ask before taking photos, especially of the older people. In some Indian tribes, it is considered very rude to do this without permission. Children should be taught this before they go to avoid problems.

  • Santa Fe is at 7,000 feet and desert climate. Stay hydrated and use sunscreen!

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