2014, February Santa Fe's Overlooked SeasonFebruary 3,2014: Spring is Santa Fe’s undiscovered season; an ideal time to visit before the summer-rush, when it’s mud season in other places and when visitors have all of Santa Fe to themselves. Exploring the city’s expansive shopping with just the locals, no restaurant reservations needed, having entire museums or galleries to ones’ self and feeling even more relaxed in the easy going day to day are just some of what makes March, April and May a time to delve deep into Santa Fe
During March, visitors can do more than appreciate Santa Fe’s world famous art scene—they can join in. Only the desire to create is needed to bring out anyone’s hidden artist. DIY Santa Fe: A Creative Tourism Journey is an annual event that gives visitors the unique opportunity to work with top notch local artists and artisans in their own studios. There are hundreds of workshops from painting, pottery, and photography to egg decorating, tin smithing, silk painting, jewelry making, dance, and more. Some workshops last just an hour or two while others are multiple days. Participants sign up for the experiences they choose, then book discounted hotel rates at www.santafecreativetourism.org. Accommodations include hotels, bed and breakfasts, and vacation rental homes. There is also a fun series of contests and prizes, including a free hotel stay, for participants.
It may be sunny and warm in town but it’s still cold enough for winter sports high in the nearby Rocky Mountains. The slopes at Ski Santa Fe, just thirty minutes from downtown, are open into early April. With 77 trails and nine lifts, there’s skiing and snowboarding for all ages and abilities. It’s easier than ever to learn to ski or board and there are packages that include lifts, lessons, and equipment rentals. Chipmunk Corner, a special center for kids, caters to their needs from daycare to lessons. For the more accomplished, the new equipment rental center has high performance rental gear. The area’s popular Beats on the Basin music series are a perfect time to hang out at the mid-mountain bar, Totemoff’s, for some sun and tunes. Hotel Santa Fe, Santa Fe Sage Inn, Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe, Inn on the Paseo, and Las Palomas all offer lodging packages that include lift tickets. Check details at www.santafe.org.
As the city eases into spring there are any number of savings specials for hotel and B&B stays, at some of the city’s retailers, for cooking classes, shopping packages, and many others for visitors who want to shake off the winter blues. New offers of most every kind are being added all the time and are simple to find at www.santafe.org/Visiting_Santa_Fe/Specials/index.html .
There are also plenty of performances, art and special events in spring. Here’s a sampling of a few of the events that can add a special highlight to a trip to Santa Fe.
March, all month. DIY Santa Fe, A creative Tourism Journey. Chose from hundreds of classes and a number of lodging deals for a hands on art experience steeped in Santa Fe’s art culture. www.santafecreativetourism.org
Feb 1-May 18. SITE Santa Fe presents “Feast: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art,” the work of more than thirty artists and artist groups who have transformed the shared meal into a compelling artistic medium. www.sitesantafe.org/exhibition/feast-radical-hospitality-in-contemporary-art/
Feb 1-end of 2014: Art Matters Santa Fe is a fascinating program of events, exhibitions, artists presentations and discussions on all matters of art organized throughout the year by the Santa Fe Gallery Association. www.artmatterssantafe.org
Feb 23-March 2. Santa Fe Restaurant Week. An opportunity to sample a different restaurant for every meal at special prices. Restaurants offer fixed-price special menus all over town. www.santafe.nmrestaurantweek.com
March 10-11. Banff Mountain Film Festival. Thrill seekers love this annual compilation of films celebrating extreme outdoor adventure. Lensic Performing Arts Center. www.lensic.org
March 21-22. Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. This exciting small company is known for its technical flair and innovative choreography. A new work by Nicolo Fonte will be featured in this performance. www.lensic.org
March 31. An Evening with Joyce DiDonato from the Santa Fe Concert Association. The acclaimed mezzo-soprano is known both for her dazzling voice and her performances. At the Lensic Performing Arts Center. www.lensic.org
April 13. The opening of “Turquoise, Water, Sky: The Stone and its Meaning” at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture. An exhibition tracing the allure and mystery of turquoise in all its forms. Hundreds of necklaces, bracelets, belts, rings, earrings, silver boxes, and other objects illustrate how the stone was used and its deep significance to the people of the region. Through March, 2016. www.indianartsandculture.org/upcoming-exhibitions&eventID=1989
April 25-26. Ballet Next. Soloists of American Ballet Theater and other major companies in two exciting performances. Lensic Performing Arts Center. www.lensic.org
May 9-11. Passport to the Arts. An annual weekend of exhibition openings, artist’s receptions, and street events like the Artist’s Quick Draw, music and other entertainment throughout the heart of Santa Fe’s art district, Canyon Road. www.visitcanyonroad.com/passport_current.html
May 16-18. Santa Fe Bike & Brew. A bike centric celebration including mountain bike events, road bike events and the 29th Annual Santa Fe Century, 5/18. www.santafecentury.com/
May 24-25 Fiber Arts Festival. See how artistic New Mexico textiles are made from the sheep to the finished product. Fiber arts and supplies, as well as finished textiles are for sale and the weavers are some of the state’s best. At El Rancho de las Golondrinas, a Spanish Colonial living history museum. www.golondrinas.org
These are just a few of the major events this spring in Santa Fe. Find details and more events, as well as spring hotel packages and deals at www.santafe.org.