Do you want to experience December differently this year? Then plan a visit to The City Different. Santa Fe never looked prettier dressed in all her holiday color and lights! Add to that a town nestled in historic traditions, then throw in some snow, mix in a bit of annual celebration and voila! You have the perfect Santa Fe winter holiday getaway! It’s our good fortune to have a myriad of festive events that spotlight a different kind holiday season. Bright blue skies with crisp frosty air and ski ready landscape? Got it. World renowned regional cuisine? Always. Holiday music and performing arts? Hello! We’ve got it all.
Ski Santa Fe
Locals will tell you that Santa Fe is a wonderful place to visit year-round, but during the winter months there’s always something extraordinary in the air. December is no exception and a great reason to discover Santa Fe! See why Travel + Leisure named Santa Fe one of America's Best Cities for Winter Travel.
Take the scenic 16-mile drive that leads from the Santa Fe Plaza into the beautiful Sangre de Cristo Mountains—and you’ll find you are at the base of Ski Santa Fe—an event in its own right.
High above The City Different, Ski Santa Fe has a wonderful range of terrain, from welcoming beginner slopes to long cruisers, some heart thumping bump runs, cool glades and tree runs, and even a few short chutes and small bowls. After a day on the mountain, return to Santa Fe for a hearty New Mexican meal or a drink by the fire. Be sure to take advantage of the 255 Mountain Trail Route that provides service through downtown Santa Fe to Fort Marcy Park and then up Hyde Park Road to recreational areas and business along NM 475, including Ten Thousand Waves, continuing into the Santa Fe National Forest and then Ski Santa Fe.
Christmas at the Palace
Did you know Santa Fe has its own Palace? The Palace of the Governors that is, which distinguishes Santa Fe with the oldest continuously operating government building in the United States. On December 8, 2017, the annual celebration, Christmas at the Palace, takes place in the magical setting of this venerable historic compound on the Santa Fe Plaza from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.
The Palace welcomes revelers to an old-fashioned holiday party that honors the holiday traditions of the Pueblo people and the Spanish settlers. Settle in with a cup of hot cider for the music and merriment of the evening. The History Museum and Palace will close at 3 p.m. to prepare for this event. Enter through the Palace at 105 W. Palace Ave. The History Museum will remain closed during the event.
Hosted by the New Mexico History Museum, Las Posadas is a re-enactment of the legendary journey of two exhausted travelers on their way to Bethlehem. Visitors are invited to join the candle-lit procession following the young couple around the Plaza as they seek shelter for the night. At the conclusion, everyone comes together at the Palace of the Governors for cookies and cider before heading back to their own beds for the night. Don’t forget to wear warm clothing! This time honored event takes place on December 10, 2017 at 5:30 pm.
Glow features thousands of lights all aglow throughout the Santa Fe Botanical Garden, including their newest garden section, Ojos y Manos. Grab a friend or bring the family (kids 12 and under are free) and enjoy traditional (and nontraditional) holiday music, delicious food and drink by the fire, do a little holiday shopping in the Garden’s gift shop and be bedazzled by a special laser light show designed for this year’s GLOW. You don’t want to miss this! GLOW opens on December 15th and runs through December 30, 2017.
Santa Fe Winter Indian Market
Do your holiday shopping with native artists, in a festive environment at a downtown Santa Fe landmark. The SWAIA Winter Indian Market is an annual holiday art show that will be held on December 16, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and December 17, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the La Fonda on the Plaza Hotel. This year the Winter Indian Market includes 150 Native artists, six award-winning artist demonstrators, live performances, and a fashion show featuring the work of fabulous Native fashion designers.
A Baroque Christmas
For over 30 years Santa Fe Pro Musica has performed “A Baroque Christmas” which is a Santa Fe favorite during the holidays. The Santa Fe tradition returns to the beautiful Loretto Chapel and will have performances from Wednesday, December 20 through Sunday, December 24, 2017. Composers this year will include J. S. Bach, Handel, Telemann and traditional Christmas carols. Avery Amereau, contralto and Deborah Domanski, mezzo-soprano will be the featured vocalists.
Lighting of the Menorah
The Genoveva Chavez Center and co-sponsor Chabad Jewish Community Center present the annual lighting of the menorah on the Downtown Plaza. The ninety minute event begins at 3:00 p.m. on December 17, 2017 and will include speakers, refreshments and entertainment.
Canyon Road Farolito Walk
One of Santa Fe’s most beloved holiday traditions, the Canyon Road Farolito Walk, lights up the hearts and souls of thousands who stroll the iconic road on Christmas Eve. While touring Christmas lights is a tradition everywhere, the experience is totally unique in Santa Fe. After all, how many towns commit hours of preparation to creating an awe-inspiring display for just one night? The annual walk leads you from the Santa Fe Plaza to the surrounding historic neighborhoods. This night is a truly magical and breathtaking experience you do not want to miss. The event takes place on December 24, 2017.
New Year’s Eve on the Plaza
Santa Fe is set to ring in the new on the Santa Fe plaza! There will be live entertainment. A digital media display will countdown to 2018! The Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe will provide hot chocolate and biscochitos, along with a memorial banner for all to write down their hopes and dreams for a Prospero Año Nuevo. Check out New Year's Eve for more information.
Discover December and the holidays in Santa Fe—they are truly filled with magic and good cheer. December is one of the most festive times to visit Santa Fe. Bring a friend or family, or just give yourself the unique gift of a Santa Fe holiday that’ll be a heartfelt memory. Be sure to get your official 2017 Santa Fe travel guide to round out your Santa Fe visit! Make your December getaway even more special by checking out our Deals and Specials.