Summer Guide

Five Day Trips for Families

Explore museums, camp outdoors or visit space

New Mexico Museum of Space History (NM Department of Cultural Affairs)

Yes, Santa Fe is amazing. With its stunning views, cultural charm and many museums, it’s easy to plan a day of activities in the City Different. But let’s face it: Everyone needs a new experience here and there. Maybe you’re someone considering a day trip away from Santa Fe with the family, but you’re unsure where to go. Lucky for us, New Mexico has tons to do outside of Santa Fe, even for families that include kiddos. If you’re considering getting away for the day from our capital city, here are five ideas of where you and your family can go to pass the time, learn something new or just have fun.

Tinkertown Museum

121 Sandia Crest Road, Sandia Park, (505) 281-5233

This 22-room museum, located roughly 20 minutes outside of Albuquerque, offers 40 years worth of art to its visitors. Miniature wood-carved figures dating back to the 1960s and ‘70s, wagon wheels, old-fashioned storefronts and other exhibits fill both the inside and outside of the museum. Families can also view a 35-foot antique wooden sailboat during their trip, or have their future predicted for just one quarter. Tinkertown Museum offers reservations for group tours for schools and summer camps on Wednesday and Thursday. Kids under 4 and visitors who use wheelchairs enter free, while kids ages 4 to 16 pay $3. Those age 17 and above pay $6.

Bandelier National Monument

15 Entrance Road, Los Alamos, (505) 672-3861

If your family has a love for the outdoors, look no further than the Bandelier National Monument. This 33,000-acre site near Los Alamos can serve as a day trip or an overnight stay, as family campgrounds are available. Apart from this, visitors can explore trails full of beautiful scenery and wildlife. Also, find Ancestral Pueblo dwellings within the site carved into mountain walls and ponder the rich history of New Mexico. Entrance passes typically range from $15-25 and are valid for seven days with included access to all areas of the park. Children 15 years or younger enter free.

Museum of Space History

3198 State Route 2001, Alamogordo, (575) 437-2840

The Alamogordo-based Museum of Space History has exhibits on rockets, living and working in space and the International Space Hall of Fame. While you’re there, stop by the New Horizons Dome Theater and Planetarium and grab a ticket to catch a show. This trip provides both education and entertainment as you learn about space science in New Mexico, walk through a gallery that shows the history of the satellite and more. Prices for a show range from $6-8. Tickets to enter are $6 for children and $8 for those ages 13 and up. Children 3 and under are free.

Outdoor Activities in the Rio Grande w/ New Mexico River Adventures

2217 NM-68, Embudo, (800) 983-7756

We know: New Mexico lacks water, so aquatic activities can seem unrealistically out of reach at times. But for families that love a day trip involving a little bit of our most precious resource, consider spending time on the Rio Grande. New Mexico River Adventures offers guided tours and lessons in rafting, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding, among other activities. Explore the fifth-longest river in North America and learn something along the way. Prices range from $60 to $110 dollars for rafting trips, depending on if you plan to spend a full day or a half day.

Explora Science Center and Children’s Museum of Albuquerque

1701 Mountain Road NW, Albuquerque, (505) 600-6072

If you don’t feel like going terribly far away on your day trip, our state’s largest city offers its own fair share of attractions for families looking to get away from Santa Fe. This museum and science center has interactive exhibits, hands-on activities and more. Children who visit can learn about math, water, gravity, light, bubbles, electricity and other topics. Tickets for those 12 and up cost $11, while children ranging from 1 to 11 pay $7.

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