12 Great Reasons to Love Santa Fe during the 12 Days of Christmas (and before)!

It’s easy to love Santa Fe during the holidays. As a New York Times writer put it best, “Perhaps nothing defines Santa Fe at Christmas so much as the piquant scent of piñón wood in the clear night air.” There are many smells, sights and sounds that make Santa Fe special during this time of year. The seasonal stews cooking on the stoves, the farolitos (luminous little bags of candles and sand that flicker against the sand, sky and adobe style homes) and the snow-capped mountains in the distance. The art galleries and shops are tastefully decorated and silvery lights are strung from every tree so that in the last glow of the sunset, the adobe buildings lining the Plaza are truly magical. And, it is most fitting that the bright colors of chili – green and red – are strung and really enhance that feeling of a Santa Fe Christmas.

 12 Reasons You Can’t Beat Santa Fe at Christmas…

Ski Santa Fe Opens

Ski Santa Fe is nestled high in the beautiful Sangre de Cristo Mountains just 16 miles from the heart of historic Santa Fe, New Mexico.  With a base area elevation of 10,350 feet, Ski Santa Fe is among the highest ski areas in the continental United States.  Currently, Inn on the Paseo is offering a Winter Ski Package which includes a two night stay in one of the Inn’s deluxe rooms, two lift tickets to Ski Santa Fe, and late check out for $395 (plus taxes). This package offers a savings of $70 off regular pricing!

La Cienega Studio Tour

November 30 – December 1, 2013

La Cienega is a lush valley 10 miles from Santa Fe. This quaint village is home to many different kinds of artists from painters, ceramic artists to sculptors and woodworkers that open their studios to you during every Thanksgiving weekend. This is the 40th year of the La Cienega Studio Tour, one of the oldest of northern New Mexico’s studio tours.  The tour will be from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm both Saturday and Sunday. More information: lacienegastudiotour.blogspot.com

Contemporary Hispanic Winter Market

Santa Fe Community Convention Center
November 30 – December 1, 2013

During the winter market, more than 200 acclaimed Hispanic artists, creators of jewelry, weaving, ceramics, paintings, prints and more exhibit their work in a public venue. Giving both the casual and serious collector a rare opportunity to meet and visit with some of its most respected Hispanic Artists currently creating art.

Christmas at the Palace

Palace of the Governors
December 13, 2013

Santa Fe’s beloved Christmas at the Palace brings the community together for an evening of hot cider, live music, entertainment — and the visit of Mr. and Mrs. Claus — in the legendary magic of the Palace of the Governors.  For more information: nmhistorymuseum.org

Las Posadas

New Mexico History Museum
December 15, 2013

The annual candle-lit procession of Las Posadas travels around the Santa Fe Plaza and concludes in the Palace Courtyard. This version of an old Hispanic tradition recreates Mary and Joseph’s search for a place to give birth to the Baby Jesus – and throws in a few devils for good measure. Stay for carols in the Palace Courtyard, along with cookies and refreshments.

 The Nutcracker

The Lensic Performing Arts Center
December 21, 2013

The acclaimed Aspen Santa Fe Ballet company brings to life one of the world’s most beloved ballets. For more information: http://www.lensic.org/

Santa Fe Concert Association – Christmas Eve Concert

The Lensic Performing Arts Center
December 24, 2013

Spend Christmas Eve with The SFCA orchestra and young violinist Caroline Goulding, whose immense talent has already earned her appearances everywhere from the Cleveland Orchestra to NBC’s “Today” show and the “Martha Show” hosted by Martha Stewart. More information: http://www.santafeconcerts.org/santa_fe/performances/christmas-eve-with-the-sfca-orchestra

Christmas Eve – The Santa Fe Plaza

December 24, 2013

The heart of the city is filled with 1,000 glittering farolitos, turning it into a magical place. There are carols and cider and many people walk a few blocks to the Cross of the Martyrs where there are views of the entire city, more farolitos, and bonfires. Nowhere is tradition stronger than along Canyon Road and the nearby neighborhoods where every surface glows with farolitos and luminarias creating a warm inviting stroll as locals and visitors come together, chatting and caroling.

GLOW – Winter Lights Event at Santa Fe Botanical Garden

December 5, 6, 7
December 12, 13, 14
December 19, 20, 21
December 26, 27, 28
January 2, 3, 4

Gather friends and family together to explore the Garden as never before when it is transformed into a glowing winter wonderland by Santa Fe designer, Lisa Samuel.

With dramatic and creative lighting, magic and ingenuity the Santa Fe Botanical Garden at Museum Hill is being transformed into a place of beauty and intrigue – A vision of wintery radiance. Tickets will soon be available online or at the door.

For more information: http://www.santafebotanicalgarden.org/events/glow/

Canyon Road Farolito Walk

Canyon Road and neighboring streets
December 24, 2013

This beloved Christmas Eve tradition lights up the heart and soul, as thousands of people stroll this famous road, which is decorated with farolitos and luminarias. The joyous sounds of carols and friends and families greeting each other fills the air.
More information: www.farolitowalk.com

Winter Pueblo Feast Days and Dances


Winter Pueblo feast days and dances held at Indian pueblos surrounding Santa Fe are open to visitors.  More information: http://santafeselection.com/visitor-info/pueblo-feast-days-calendar

King’s Day

Most Pueblos
January 6, 2013

Native Americans celebrate King’s Day on January 6th. It is a celebration in honor of new Tribal Officers, Antelope, Buffalo, and Deer dances for the Native Americans. King’s Day is also a Spanish tradition.