By Lincoln McElwee
Santa Fe, New Mexico is a great example of tourism and culture that thrive through community engagement. Tourism in the city is a wonderful trifecta of color, sight and sound! From folk art, conservation and botany, to farmer’s markets, trains and road trips, Santa Fe, New Mexico offers its community—and those who happen to become a part of its community through tourism—the satisfying slice of life known to those “in the know” as variety.
And with the world having recently celebrated World Tourism Day on September 27, 2014, the city of Santa Fe is definitely a place that should peak right at the top of your fall travel destinations. The city’s dedication to the preservation of culture and history, as well as what it offers to the public to reflect this preservation, speak to the educational impact which travel and tourism can and should have in our lives.
So what are you waiting for? Make a date to visit Santa Fe, New Mexico this fall! Rest assured that, in doing so, you will be aiding in teaching your children about the place of community and social responsibility in our lives and, most importantly, in our playtime.
The following list contains a few noteworthy activities that will not only make your stay in Santa Fe more memorable, but that will help both you and your children see the value and necessity of learning and community engagement in both work and play!
Museum of International Folk Art
The Museum of International Folk Art is a great place to begin a vacation filled with educational experiences through tourism! With exhibition galleries that invite your child’s participation through interactive activities, hands-on arts and crafts which are led by friendly and knowledgeable staff members, and a host of other exciting events, your family will find a full immersion into community engagement all while having loads of fun at this Santa Fe favorite!
Though the museum offers ample amounts of fun all year long, families with children should be sure to call ahead or visit the museum’s website for a full calendar of events that are targeted to younger audiences. You can peruse the museum’s guide online or pick one up right before the fun. For some exhibits, such as Wooden Menagerie exhibit, be sure to pick up an iPad Touch, which will allow the entire family to take part in the interactive learning experience while perusing the kid-friendly galleries.
Wooden Menagerie: Made in New Mexico, runs until February 15, 2015, and exhibits the wonderful history of animal wood carving in New Mexico, as well as its influence on other forms of art on both the national and international level. Not only will children be able to view an amazing display of local craftsmanship, but they’ll be able to take part in mask making as well!
- Museum of International Folk Art Homepage: http://www.internationalfolkart.org/
- For a full listing of current exhibits at the Museum of International Folk Art, be sure to visit: http://www.internationalfolkart.org/exhibitions/current.html
Santa Fe School of Cooking
Are you looking for an altogether unique and rewarding learning experience for your child? Something inspired and educational and … well … fun? Well then be sure to plan a visit to the Santa Fe School of Cooking, which has been hailed as one of the top places to visit while in Santa Fe! With its hands-on fun, the place is a wonderful blend of community engagement and inspired learning – education through tourism at its finest!
The Santa Fe School of Cooking allows for colorful and creative kitchen time for the entire family. Kids can work alongside parents in learning how to prepare and create local foods. Let your kids join in on the fun and make some of their favorite eats, such as tacos or even burritos! Classes are conducted throughout the week, and include varied menus which sample from Spanish, Native American, Mexican, and New Mexican food, to name but a few.
And for those families looking for a comprehensive culinary adventure? The school is also known for its entirely entertaining restaurant walking tours. Take a page from a bevy of other travelers who have raved about this experience on Trip Advisor and book your very own tour. Even Fodor’s has hailed the school’s restaurant tours as an unforgettable experience while in Santa Fe!
The tour begins at The Santa Fe School of Cooking, where you’ll be prepped on the festivities and offered a sampling of what the school itself has to offer. Meet and greet your fellow tour participants before heading out to sample the best of Santa Fe’s culinary scene.
- Santa Fe School of Cooking Homepage: http://santafeschoolofcooking.com/
- Schedule of cooking classes at the Santa Fe School of Cooking: http://santafeschoolofcooking.com/Cooking_Classes/index.html
- To read more about the restaurant walking tours, visit: http://santafeschoolofcooking.com/Restaurant_Tours/
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum
The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum offers a variety of events and programs that cater to both children and adults alike. The museum makes it a point to itemize its activities into sections that will help you decide what best to do with your family while visiting the museum. These sections include: Adult, Family, Youth, Special Events, and Art & Leadership. There is also a section for Teachers as well.
The free family art programs are particularly noteworthy. “Music and Math” will take place in October 2014, an exciting program led by faculty from the Santa Fe Institute.
Another interesting program for families this October, one that you should definitely check out if in town, will focus on the art of Miguel Covarrubias. The free program will actually explore the artist’s work not only through talking about the colorful characters in his art, but by creating dances inspired by the artwork! That’s right! With the help of a museum and dance educator, parents and children alike will be able to explore their own artistic vein through dance and appreciation in an engaging community of like-minded individuals.
- Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Homepage: http://www.okeeffemuseumevents.org/
El Rancho De Las Golondrinas
If your family has a penchant for live entertainment, prepare to be thoroughly amazed at El Rancho De Las Golondrinas—treat your family to an imaginative delight for the senses at this incredibly picturesque living history museum!
Located on 200 acres of rural farmland, this historic ranch, translated as “Ranch of the Swallows,” actually dates from the early 1700s. This blast from the past also includes original colonial buildings that still stand on the site to this day. Children and adults alike can watch in awe and amazement as villagers, dressed in period clothing, reenact early frontier life in New Mexico.
With programs, events and festivals that highlight the life and times of the Southwest during 18th and 19th century New Mexico, there’s plenty to be seen and done here. Music, dance and daily life are but a few of the items explored through this living history project that combines aspects from Mexican, Spanish and Territorial life of the period.
The ranch also offers summer camp and special classes, including the Horno baking class, where visitors can bake bread while learning about the traditional outdoor ovens brought to New Mexico by the Spanish.
- El Rancho De Las Golondrinas Homepage: http://golondrinas.org
- For a calendar of events at El Rancho De Las Golondrinas, visit: http://golondrinas.org/Calendar_of_Events/index.html