There are many opportunities for indoor and outdoor family fun in northern New Mexico during the winter months and a wide range of activities that children, parents and grandparents can enjoy doing together.
Families interested in outdoor and indoor physical activities can check out the following winter activities.
- Tucked against Los Alamos Canyon, the Los Alamos County Ice Rink offers public ice skating, hockey and skating lessons from November through February. There are public skating sessions daily, but best to visit the website or call the rink’s office to find out exactly when those sessions take place. Outdoor skating means dealing with changing weather conditions, so be sure to dress in warm layers. There’s no need to buy your own skates because rentals are available.
4475 West Road in Los Alamos; 505-662-4500 or losalamosnm.us/rec/rink; $1.75-$5.25 per person, depending on age; skate rental: $1.75-$3.75, $13 for family of four
- For an indoor ice skating experience, check out Genoveva Chavez Community Center. Skating is offered seven days a week. Times for public skating sessions are posted on the website. Skates can be rented onsite, with sizes accommodating everyone from toddlers through adults.
3221 Rodeo Road; 505-955-4000 or chavezcenter.com; $1.50-$6 per person, depending on age; skate rental: $3 per person
- If roller skating is your pleasure, Rockin’ Rollers Event Arena is the place to go. This longtime business on Agua Fria Street offers roller skating for the entire family every Friday night from 6-8 p.m. Snacks can be purchased at the arena’s concession area.
2915 Agua Fria St.; 505-473-7755; $5, includes skates and scooters
Preschool story hours are educational experiences that young children can share with their parents and grandparents.
- The Santa Fe Public Library offers free story times at the Main, La Farge and Southside branches on different days of the week. These 45-minute sessions usually include finger rhymes, puppetry and crafts as well as stories read by a librarian. Story time is on break from Dec. 14 through the end of the year but resumes in January.
La Farge branch, 1730 Llano St.; 10:30-11:15 a.m. Tuesdays; 505-955-4863
Southside branch, 6599 Jaguar Drive; 10:30-11:15 a.m. Wednesdays; 505-955-2828
Main, 145 Washington St.; 11-11:45 a.m. Fridays; 505-955-6783
- Collected Works Bookstore also offers a preschool story hour called Children’s Story Hour. Focused totally on reading, these 45-minute free sessions on Wednesdays and Thursdays explore books about everything from dinosaurs to princesses and big trucks.
202 Galisteo St.; 10:45-11:30 a.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays; 505-988-4226 or collectedworksbookstore.com
The Santa Fe Children’s Museum offers special sessions for preschoolers on Fridays and art studio sessions for older children on Wednesdays.
Preschool Fridays are structured programs involving hands-on activities that explore numbers, letters or words. Open Art Studio, which is geared for elementary school age children, engages children in arts and crafts projects and exposes them to information about important people in art history.
“We always adjust the sessions to serve the children who are attending,” explains Julie DeFeo, who runs the two programs. “If younger children show up at the Open Art Studio, we make sure there are projects they can do.”
Infants can enjoy a program called Wee Wednesdays. It’s a bilingual learning program filled with movement, painting, counting and stories in English and Spanish.
The museum has two special events early this winter. Train Week, which takes place from Dec. 28-Jan. 5, gives kids a chance to run a large model train that is set up in the museum’s nature center. The solstice celebration at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 21 is an evening event with African drumming and storytelling. Admission to the solstice celebration is $5 per person.
1050 Old Pecos Trail; 505-989-8359 or santafechildrensmuseum.org; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, noon-5 p.m. Sundays, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Thursdays (4-7 p.m. Thursday is free for children); $6 New Mexico residents: $9 visitors; free for children under 1.
Check the website for program times because some regular programs are temporarily suspended during the holiday season.