While compiling and writing this article, I considered that Santa Fe has many activities available for kids this summer. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to include them all—but I was wrong.
During June and July, Arts Alive on Museum Hill teaches children to make crafts from different countries, learning not only about art, but history and culture as well. Participating museums include the Spanish Colonial Arts Museum, the International Folk Art Museum and the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture. Kids under 16 can participate in these events for free. The Georgia O’Keeffe museum and the Santa Fe Children’s Museum also offer a number of free events in which art is not the only focus.
Art is usually, but not always, on topic at Fine Arts for Children and Teens, where classes and camps take place in the ARTBarn and the new Zona del Sol location on the south side. FACT offers prices for camp programs on a sliding scale according to income, and scholarships are available.
If you’re looking for a more historical (and hands-on) experience, El Rancho de las Golondrinas hosts many family-friendly weekend events, along with regular museum scheduling, with free admission for children under 12. These weekend events include the Spring Festival and Children’s Fair (June 2 and 3), Fiesta de los Niños (Sept. 1 and 2) and numerous others. The atmosphere is perfect for summertime events: The ranch’s 200-acre backdrop, complete with sheep, goats, burros and horses, brings to mind the magic of historical New Mexico.
There’s more to do at the Randall Davey Audubon Center and Sanctuary, which boasts numerous walking trails throughout 135 acres of scenic wilderness bordering the Santa Fe River Watershed. Parents and kids should stay on the lookout for some of the rarer flora and fauna living here in Santa Fe. The Santa Fe Botanical Garden also offers learning opportunities for nature-loving kids and parents and manages a larger preserve in the Ortiz Mountains.
Don’t forget about the Santa Fe Public Library, whose various locations have reading contests (with prizes), music performances, a yo-yo demonstration and a juggling show on the calendar this summer. Amy Barr, children’s librarian at the Santa Fe Southside Library, says “sneaky learning” is beneficial and hides in a plethora of activities.
But kids want to show off, too. What better way than to try your hand at being a rock star at the Candyman’s Rock Camp. Each two-week session costs $500, but scholarships are available, as are discounts on lessons while kids participate in the camp. The junior performers practice their music and performance skills, as well as take field trips that include visits to a music studio and opportunities to play for Radio Free Santa Fe.
Whether they feature art, nature, books or music, these various events will not only serve as great “What did you do this summer?” topics, but will also see the kids’ summers speed by. They grow up so fast, don’t they?
Rock Camp: Two-week sessions,
June 3-Aug. 10. $500.
The Candyman Strings and Things, 851 Saint Michael’s Drive, 983-5906
Skateboard School: Daily. $15-$70. Timeship Skateboard School, 825 Early St., Ste. H, 474-0074
Camp Invention: June 25-29. $225. Amy Biehl Community School in Rancho Viejo, 310 Avenida Del Sur, 467-2100
40th Annual Girls Inc. Arts and Craft Show: Creation Station: August 4 and 5. Free. Santa Fe Plaza,
Book Club: 4:30 pm Tuesdays, all summer. Free. Bee Hive Kids’ Books, 328 Montezuma Ave., 780-8051