If you are heading to New Mexico for the holidays, prepare to be dazzled. Oh sure there’s the sparkling fluffy snow against the bisbee blue skies during the days. But it’s the brilliantly illuminated evenings that put the winter version of the word “enchantment” into our state’s nickname.
No matter which town or resort you visit, and whether or not you’ll be skiing, bask in our glow of holiday lights and events:
IN SANTA FE
Christmas on the historic Santa Fe Plaza
Nothing short of magical, the downtown plaza of “The City Different” is aglow in lights and farolitos from Thanksgiving to New Years Day, as are the Guadalupe and Railyard Districts nearby. The Santa Fe Botanic Garden on Museum Hill is another luminary destination. If you’re looking for a church on Christmas Eve, Midnight Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi on the Plaza is an experience to behold.
Christmas Eve Canyon Road Farolito Walk
Dec. 24, 2021 | 5:00-9:00 pm
Join the tens of thousands of people who turn out for this slow promenade in the heart of Santa Fe. Enjoy farolitos and carolers. Many of the galleries and restaurants are open; some serve hot drinks and offer a warm, welcome shelter from the cold.
56th Annual Luminaria Tour
Dec. 24, 2021
Take a self-guided tour or join an ABQRIDE tour through the Old Town plaza and several surrounding neighborhoods to view the city’s most impressive light and luminaria displays. (You can also stroll through Old Town any night of the month of December to see the picturesque white lights, but without the luminarias.)
River of Lights
Through Dec. 30, 2021 | 6:00 – 9:30 (Closed Dec. 24 & 25)
ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden hosts New Mexico’s largest walk-through light show featuring millions of twinkling lights.
There’s plenty of holiday cheer for the whole family at and around the ski areas as well. From Santa to fireworks, there’s something for everyone. Several ski areas host traditional torchlight parades. These breathtaking displays on the slopes of the mountains are celebrations put on by the host ski area and skiing community and are considered a gift to the visitors who attend.
Christmas at the Flying J Ranch
Saturday, Dec. 25, 2021 | 5:30-9:00 pm
Celebrate Christmas at the Flying J Ranch with a Christmas show, holiday lights, a delicious cowboy supper and a winter hayride, New Mexico-style.
Christmas Eve Luminarias at Lincoln Historic Site
Friday, Dec. 24, 2021 | 4:00-8:00 pm
The town will be adorned with luminarias. Santa Claus arrives on a longhorn steer. Hot chocolate will be served.
Ski and Snowboard with Santa
Dec. 24 & 25, 2021 | 10:00 am-3:00 pm
Come ski and snowboard with Santa and Mrs. Claus on the mountain. Don’t forget a camera; this is one photo op you don’t want to miss. You can get a picture with Mr. and Mrs. Claus following this event in the Lodge Lobby too!
Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade & Fireworks
Dec. 24, 2021 | 6:00-7:00 pm
Bundle up the family and join us at the base of the ski mountain for our annual Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade & Fireworks.
TAOS SKI VALLEY
New Year’s Eve Fireworks and Torchlight Parade
Dec. 31, 2021 | 6:00-7:00 pm
Ring in the 2022 New Year in style with our torchlight parade and fireworks display. Watch as skiers make their way down the mountain in the dark with flares as their only means of light. Following the torchlight don’t miss the spectacular fireworks display by Gemini Fireworks. Torchlight Parade will begin around 6pm and fireworks will follow.
Christmas Luminaria Ski & Snowshoe
Dec. 25, 2021 | 6:30-9:30 pm at the Enchanted Forest Cross Country Ski Area
Enjoy Enchanted Forest Cross Country Ski & Snowshoe Area under the warm glow of candlelight. Luminarias are placed along a one-way three-kilometer loop for a self-guided nighttime tour. This is, quite possibly, the most beautiful cross-country ski (or snowshoe) experience in North America. There is plenty of light to see the trails and if it begins to snow, the effect is just incredible. It truly is like skiing in a dream. Join us inside for complimentary food and (non-alcoholic) drinks!
Christmas Eve’s Eve Fireworks and Torchlight Parade
Dec. 23, 2021 | 7:00 pm
See Red River ski area’s instructors, patrol, and local residents ski and snowboard down the mountain carrying flares. This beautiful show is a 45-plus year tradition and is accompanied by fireworks. You don’t have to be on the slopes to enjoy this—it can be seen from almost anywhere in town. If you miss it, come back any Saturday night during ski season for the same spectacle.
IN LOS ALAMOS
Christmas Eve at Ashley Pond
Dec. 24, 2021 | 4:45-5:30pm
Experience a Christmas in Los Alamos that is so unique and special for the entire family and hosted by Freedom Church.