Santa Fe & Taos, NM
Santa Fe: Museums and More
Old Catholic Chapel,
Photographer: Chris Corrie
copyright Santa Fe CVB
Start your exploration at the Plaza, the city's historical and cultural hub. The Palace of the Governors here is the oldest continuously used building in the country -- it was constructed in 1610 -- and now houses the New Mexico History Museum in its adobe walls. Outside, under the building's portal, Native American craftsmen sell handmade silver jewelry, dolls, pottery, and other folk art. Tip: The silver guitar picks are a big hit with older kids.
Santa Fe Architecture,
Corrie, copyright Santa Fe CVB
Two and a half miles up Old Santa Fe Trail at Camino Lejo sits the Museum of International Folk Art with its huge collection of toys and dolls. The nearby Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian and Museum of Indian Art and Culture have storytelling and other kid programs. And the Santa Fe Children's Museum offers adobe brickmaking and a climbing wall.
Also not to be missed: The Georgia O'Keefe Museum. A short film about the artist's life explains why artists are drawn to this area. The paintings (more than 130 in the permanent collection) help kids see New Mexico through an artist's eyes. The excellent cafe next door is a good take-a-break spot for kids or adults.
Kids maxed out on museums? Head for the Guadalupe Historical District, an instant pick-me-up. Located four blocks from The Plaza, this restored shopping district and rail yard features two historic train stations; one offers Santa Fe Southern scenic rides on old trains, the other is now Tomasita's Restaurant, a great family place (big, cheap, and noisy).