New Mexico With Kids

Without fail, every time I mentioned our plan to visit New Mexico, the response was "Why, do you have family there?"  New Mexico has loomed large in my imagination for so long that I was shocked that so few people (at least in Seattle) had considered visiting the state.  

New Mexico has a lot going for it.  For starters, there's great food, warm weather, and one of the largest and best art markets in the country.  If you're the kind of person (like me) who is wants to experience something new on a trip, there's also a culturally diverse population with lots of opportunities to learn about Native American and Hispanic culture and truely interesting historical sites. But what truly makes New Mexico special (and what has inspired countless artists) is the beautiful natural scenery. Summer in Seattle this year has been cooler and more rainy than usual, so I have been looking forward to soaking up some sun, driving through the vast orange and yellow desert landscape, and then escaping into the relative cool of adobe buildings.

As with most trips, I rushed ahead and booked tickets without stopping to consider what we would find for the kids to do.  Wherever people live there are things for kids to do, and I don't mind taking on the extra work to manufacture activities or make museums fun in exchange for visiting the spot I have my heart set on. Still, once I started researching the details of the trip, I was thrilled to find tons of kid friendly activities that we would enjoy too!  We could have easily filled our nine day vacation with activities in and around Albuquerque and Santa Fe, but opted to add picturesque Taos to the itinerary too.

Packing the family has gotten easier as the kids get older (less diapers, less need for a midday wardrobe change), and we fit everything we needed into two carryon suitcases plus two "personal" bags.  The fact that warm weather helped a lot (with shorts and sundresses replacing pants and sweaters), but so did my instance on packing a little less on each trip. So far we have still returned from each and every trip with unused items, so I cut back a little more with each vacation. I plan to do laundry once, in the middle of the trip, and that should give us enough clean clothing to carry us through.

It is not as easy to get to New Mexico from Seattle as we would have hoped. The best route involved a connection in Phoenix and though we left home midday, we didn't arrive in Albuquerque until well after the kids bedtime.  Luckily both kids slept on the flight and were so excited to be "on an adventure" that they cooperated while we waited for our rental car and found our way into town.  

We stayed at the Casa de Suenos (house of dreams) but even at 10pm, Albuquerque was hot, and it took a while for the air conditioner in our room to cool things down enough to sleep.  The room itself was homey, and when the kids woke up the next morning, they were delighted to search the extensive grounds for fountains and grape vines.  We parents liked the reasonable price and the location, walking distance to "Old Town Albuquerque" 

I'll be sharing more of our trip this week, so please check back

Other Blog Entries About This Trip
New Mexico With Kids: Why Here?
First Day in Albuquerque with Kids
Road to Santa Fe With Kids
Santa Fe's Georgia O'Keefe Museum with Kids
Santa Fe Mission and Spanish Colonial Art Museum With Kids
Santa Fe and Taos With Kids
Visiting Taos Pueblo With Kids

Kid Friendly City Guides
Taos With Kids
Santa Fe With Kids
Albuquerque With Kids

Related Links
Packing Lists
Flying With Kids
Planning A Family Vacation
Planning A Day on Your Family Vacation

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  1. Amanda @ on August 11, 2008 at 2:45 p.m.

    I agree on the packing front--with one kid I would pack a couple of rollaboards for just her and me. I just got home from a trip with three kids and myself, and managed to pack 19 days worth of clothes, swimwear, shoes, pool floaties, etc into one big suitcase. I felt like a rockstar!

  2. Dominique on August 11, 2008 at 9:02 p.m.

    New Mexico is somewhere we've talked about as a possible destination in the past. We've seen lots of photo workshops listed there and have always thought it would be a great place to take photos.
    I'm thinking it will have to wait until we can travel in the late fall/winter, as neither of us like the hot weather!
    I'm looking forward to reading more about your trip to NM.

  3. Mike on December 9, 2011 at 11:24 a.m.

    Hi, We completely agree with you about New Mexico, and appreciated your suggestions. My family (3 kids under 5yrs) just had a blast taking a family vacation to New Mexico. We spent all our time in Ruidoso and Taos. With 3 small kids, we rented an adobe cabin in Taos and had fun hanging out for a few days. There's plenty of kid friendly things to do. From seeing snow for the first time to the awesome toy store or going for an "adventure" hike near the Rio Grande Gorge.
    Keep up the great tips on traveling with kids.

  4. Debbie on December 9, 2011 at 3:46 p.m.

    So glad to hear that you had fun! We're thinking about a repeat trip this summer!

  5. Rebekah on January 26, 2012 at 9:20 p.m.

    Wish I'd seen this earlier, I think. We had a good trip this past October which included a wedding at El Monte Segrado in Taos (stayed at San Geronimo Inn). Visited Old Town Taos & Abq and experienced the famous balloon fiesta. Well worth getting up early for that!