San Miguel Mission, Santa Fe

Address 403 El Camino Real, Socorro, NM 8701 Map, Tel 505-835-2891 Call, Website

This adobe Mission, the oldest church in the US, must have provided a cool respite from the heat of Santa Fe summers back in the days before air conditioning, and the cozy space must have felt huge back in the 1600's. Something about the whitewashed adobe interior and the wooden beams makes the space wonderfully homey, a welcome contrast to the ornate altarpiece and decorations. An interesting display gives information about the history of the church, and glass panels in the floor of the alter provide a view of its older subfloors. Take a moment to talk to your kids about archeology and the quest to understand more about the people who first built this mission, an interesting display near the entrance that will give you the information you need.

The church is small, making for a visit that even the most impatient child can power through, and there is an open plaza in front where kids can run before entering.