Enjoy New Mexico with the Kids
New Mexico's Top Kid-Friendly Sites
Plan your next adventure in the New Mexico, and be sure to include these exceptional attractions and events, ideal for those traveling with their family. From Santa Fe to Tucumcari, these selections are sure to entertain all members of the family.
1. Albuquerque Aquarium
Opened in 1996, the Albuquerque Aquarium consistently proves to be one of the premier destinations in the state. Found within the Albuquerque BioPark, the aquarium is open daily, minus Thanksgiving and Christmas, and features more than 285,000 gallons of water.
2. Carlsbad Caverns
Carlsbad, in the far southeast of the state, is home to the Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Bring the kids for an adventure – you'll have a chance to explore more than 110 limestone caves. Be sure to visit any of the 22 cavern rooms, like the Underground Lunchroom.
From Memorial Day through the end of October, check out the Bat Flights. Starting each evening around sunset, the Bat Flight Program is best viewed from the outdoor amphitheater. It's hard to know exactly how many bats fly from the caves, but it was measured as high as 793,000 in 2005.
3. Mesalands Dinosaur Museum
In downtown Tucumcari, the Mesalands Dinosaur Museum is an ideal destination for those traveling with kids. Whether they've seen The Land Before Time 21 times, or if they simply have an inquisitive mind, the kids will find much to see and do at Mesalands.
4. KiMo Theatre
Built in 1927, the KiMo Theatre is an ideal destination for a live show in Albuquerque. Found near the heart of downtown ABQ on Central Avenue and 5th Street NW, the KiMo Theatre hosts a wide range of show throughout the year. From movie showings, to live, staged plays, there are many ways to enjoy KiMo. Check the schedule for kid-friendly movies and productions.
5. Living Desert Zoo & Gardens state Park
Northwest of downtown Carlsbad is the very fun and very popular Living Desert Zoo & Gardens State Park. With 100s of native Chihuahuan Desert plants and a variety of animal life on display, the Living Desert Zoo is a can't-miss for families visiting Carlsbad.
Explore the 1.3 miles of hiking trails, many also doubling as Interpretive Trails. Birding fans will love it here, and the kids will no doubt enjoy the Nature Interpretive Programs for All Ages.
6. Cliff's Amusement Park
Ideal for any spring or summer visit to ABQ, Cliff's Amusement Park has been entertaining visitors and locals since 1959. It's a great spot to take the kids for a fun cool-down, as the 24 rides at Cliff's feature no age limits. Cliff's Amusement Park also features a water park.
7. New Mexico State Fair
Held annually at Expo New Mexico in ABQ, which was originally the New Mexico State Fairgrounds, the NM State Fair is a tradition for families in the area, and across the state. Held across 10 days each September – typically at the end of the first weekend – the NM State Fair features all your favorites: rides, food, exhibits, and there's even stuff for the kids!
8. Santa Fe Fiestas
For more than 300 years, the city of Santa Fe has celebrated Santa Fe Fiestas. Old Town Santa Fe hosts this fall festival, which honors and commemorates Don Diego de Vargas and his reoccupation of Holy Faith, the city, in 1692.
The highlight of the festival is no doubt the Burning of Zozobra. At 50 feet tall, this puppet, made each year by locals and volunteers, is burned to symbolize the destruction of Old Man Gloom. It's the kickoff event for Santa Fe Fiestas.
9. Great American Duck race
Be sure you venture south in NM and explore Deming. Almost directly west of Las Cruces along Interstate 10, Deming is home to the annual Great American Duck Race. Head for the Luna County Courthouse Park in late October. All the duck racing takes place at the McKinley Duck Downs.