A Santa Fe Vacation with kids Santa Fe is a favorite place for our family to visit because Keith’s parents live there part-time and it’s such an easy and beautiful drive from our house in Denver. The city is nestled in a valley beneath the San Juan mountains and easily has the best sunsets in the country. A favorite place for art lovers and honeymooners to visit, it’s also a great place for a family. Here’s the skinny on a Santa Fe vacation with kids.
Horseback riding is a popular activity in Santa Fe and takes place in summer and winter. There are numerous horseback riding outfits in town, with the most popular being Broken Saddle, located in Cerrillos about 30 minutes outside of town. The tours take you through the historic town of Cerrillos and into the high desert for some great views of the San Juans and the valley below. Experience is not necessary and there are several rides per day. Children eight years old and over are allowed to ride.
Take a Balloon Ride
Hot air ballooning is not cheap endeavor, but if you can make it happen, it’s worth it. It is a once in a lifetime experience and it is awe inspiring for kids. Santa Fe Balloons is a very well respected company with a pilot who has flown balloons all over the world and has a spotless safety record. Children are allowed but must be accompanied by an adult. Santa Fe Balloons will pick you up at your hotel and provide champagne and refreshments during the ride. After the ride, they will transport you back to your hotel. Be prepared to spend around $280 per person for the experience!
Take a trip to Todos Santos
Todos Santos is a unique candy store opened by a New Orleans’s native named Hayward Simoneaux. The store has been featured in The New York Times, the Food Network, Town and Country and Chocolatier Magazine. It’s a trip for the senses when you walk into this store and are bombarded with amazing colors and decorations and, most of all, the amazing smell of chocolate. The store truly is a work of art and a unique mixture of Santa Fe and New Orleans’s styles. Our kids loved the candy they got to choose from.
Stroll the Town Square
The center of Santa Fe is built around a square, surrounded by stores, restaurants, galleries and, our favorite, Native Americans selling their wares. Jewelry, baskets, blankets and more are for sale along one side of the town square. It’s so interesting to walk along the Native American people and give the kids a little culture. Sitting in the park in the middle of the square is a great people watching spot and, near the holidays, the square is lit up in Christmas decorations. Lorreto Chapel’s “Miraclulous Staircase” is just down the street, which is also a favorite for kids. The staircase is an engineering marvel and our kids love to look at it and try to figure out how it rises to the second floor without any supports.
Within walking distance of the square is Canyon Road, a picturesque road filled with artist studios and art galleries. Although not totally appreciated by kids, walking along the road and visiting some of the galleries is an enjoyable experience, even if for a very short time.
Last but not least, eat at The Shed
The Shed is a favorite for everyone visiting Santa Fe and it’s ALWAYS crowded so prepare for a wait. Their sister restaurant, Flo, is a block away from our old house in Chicago so we always like to pay a visit to Shed when we go to Santa Fe. The restaurant has been open since 1953 and is family owned and operated. The decor is fun, the food is great and the service is exceptional. There is also a great kid’s menu and it’s very child friendly.
Santa Fe is such a unique city and there’s an endless list of things to see and do and the culture and food is so interesting. Our entire extended family, from my parents to Keith’s parents, love visiting and my in-laws love living there part time. We have a Santa Fe vacation with kids at least once per year and I don’t think we’ve even scratched the surface of things to experience.