On the surface, Santa Fe doesn’t seem like the obvious choice for a family vacation. The art galleries and historic landmarks will probably bore the kids, but don’t dismiss it out of hand. The color of the New Mexican capital will excite adults and youngsters alike.
Santa Fe Hotels Welcome Little Ones
There are a lot of Santa Fe hotels that suit families as well as couples. Unless you’re driving, it’s a good idea to look for centrally located hotels to keep public transport costs down. The Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza is a good choice as it offers two-bedroom suites along with its standard rooms to give parents privacy. The kids will also love the outdoor pool and lavish breakfast buffet. And if you feel like a night on the town, the employees are happy to babysit.
Road trippers may prefer to stay further out of town at The Bishop’s Lodge Ranch Resort & Spa. This family-friendly resort, just five minutes from downtown Santa Fe, is ideal for kids who love the outdoors. Sign them up for Camp Appaloosa, where they’ll enjoy swimming, hiking, pony rides, arts and crafts, lawn games, and heaps more. All villas have two or three bedrooms and patios for unwinding at the end of the day.
Santa Fe has plenty to entertain the kids. Its galleries might inspire eye rolls, but your little ones will love creating their own art. Non-profit group Fine Arts for Children & Teens runs painting, drawing, and sculpture workshops during summer. A make your own postcard class with local artist Lee K. will give them something personal to send to relatives back home.
The Santa Fe Children’s Museum, less than a mile from The Inn of the Five Graces, has interactive exhibitions designed to help kids learn about science and art while having fun. The outdoor garden, with its musical installations and mini adobe village, shouldn’t be missed. The Museum of International Folk Art doesn’t have such a child-friendly name, but the hundreds of thousands of international folk dolls windowed dioramas will delight little girls. There’s also a play area with toys and books for impatient brothers.
Venture out of the city for some real adventure. Children love the excitement of the Rodeo de Santa Fe and the thrill of white-water rafting on the Rio Grande.
Great Restaurants for Fussy Eaters
Fiery cuisine dominates in New Mexico, but Santa Fe has some great family-friendly restaurants to tempt fussy tastebuds.
There’s not a hint of chilli at the French Pastry Shop, a Parisian bakery and restaurant. The quiches and crepes are winners, and you can even order simple sandwiches. For a taste of the Mediterranean, head to Il Vicino. The wood-fired pizzas and calzones will bring smiles to your kids’ faces.
If they want to experience authentic New Mexican cuisine, then take them to La Choza. It’s a favorite local haunt with low prices and a relaxed atmosphere that’s ideal for families. There’s even a kids menu, with pint-sized tacos and quesadillas, as well as cheeseburgers for fussy diners.
Have you taken your kids to Santa Fe? Please add your experience to the comments below.
Lauren Katulka is a happily married Australian freelance writer contributing to a range of websites including Hipmunk.com, SoundsofOz.com, and many more. When she’s not playing around with words, she loves roller skating, spending time in the kitchen, watching indie films, and cuddling her Devon Rex cat, Gizmo.