Santa Fe is a wonderful place to visit year-round, but during the winter months there’s something magical in the air. See why Travel + Leisure named Santa Fe one of America’s Best Cities for Winter Travel. Here is a small sampling of Santa Fe events and activities happening in the month of December.
Recycle Santa Fe Art Festival
The country’s largest and oldest recycled art market, Recycle Santa Fe Art Festival, is dedicated to showcasing art created from discarded materials. Celebrating its 18th year, this exciting weekend-long event kicks off with Friday night’s famous Trash Fashion and Costume Contest, then continues with an inspiring art market, adult and student juried art exhibits, and make and take art activities. Every year, this event attracts thousands of art lovers and the eco-conscious holiday gift-givers. This year’s festival takes place on December 2-4 at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center.
New Mexico History Museum Celebrates Holiday Traditions
On December 9, Santa Fe’s beloved Christmas at the Palace brings the community together for an evening of hot cider, cookies, live music, piñatas, craft-making activities, a chance to operate an antique printing press and the visit of Mr. and Mrs. Claus — all in the legendary magic of the Palace of the Governors. This is a free, family event. Donations of non-perishable food welcomed. Enter through the Palace at 105 W. Palace Avenue.
On December 11 from 5:30 – 7:00 pm the New Mexico History Museum hosts Las Posadas, 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. Devils show up in full regalia to mock the action, but the crowd always gets the better of evil with energetic booing. At the conclusion, everyone comes together at the Palace of the Governors for carols, cookies and cider. Don’t forget to bring warm clothing!
Santa Fe Film Festival
The Santa Fe Film Festival is a five-day celebration of the best in cinematic arts. The festival’s annual program includes curated selections of over 40 ﬁlm programs including narrative and documentary features, shorts of all types, tributes to world-renowned ﬁlm artists and industry professionals as well as a spotlight on local, New Mexican ﬁlmmakers and crew. The festival runs December 7-11. Come experience the beauty of Santa Fe and join this celebration of cinematic arts.
GLOW – A Winter Lights Event
The Santa Fe Botanical Garden plays hosts to GLOW —a wonderful family event featuring illuminated domes, a glittering tunnel of lights, festive beverages (the adult ones being a little more festive!), live entertainment (on select nights) and visits and photos with Santa himself! Dress warmly and bring the family for this wonderful Santa Fe holiday tradition. You don’t want to miss this illuminated event. GLOW is open nightly from 5:00 – 8:00 pm beginning December 16 through January 1 (closed December 24 and 25).
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 a yearly holiday art show that will be held on December 17 and 18 at the historic La Fonda Hotel. This year the Winter Indian Market includes 150 Native artists, six award-winning artist demonstrators, live performances, a silent auction, a raffle, and a fashion row featuring the work of fabulous Native fashion designers.
A Baroque Christmas
The Loretto Chapel, famous for its miraculous staircase, offers the perfect architecture and ambiance for a concert of baroque music and Santa Fe Pro Musica takes full advantage of the backdrop for A Baroque Christmas. This beloved chamber orchestra has been delighting Santa Fe audiences for over 30 years, and the holiday concerts are a highly anticipated part of our holiday tradition.
From Monday, December 19 through December 24, Santa Fe Pro Musica offers a concert nightly, alternating between a pair of fabulous mezzo-sopranos, Deborah Domanski and Avery Amereau. The program includes works by Baroque masters Vivaldi, Handel and Bach, along with a selection of traditional carols guaranteed to bring old memories to new life. A very important heads up: the Loretto Chapel is an intimate venue with limited seating and concerts may sell out. Get your tickets today.
Lighting of the Menorah
The Genoveva Chavez Community Center and Chabad Jewish Center present the annual Menorah Lighting on the Santa Fe Plaza— a free community event on Sunday, December 25. The event is from 3:00 – 5:00 and will include refreshments and entertainment.
The Canyon Road Farolito Walk
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? We’re referring to the annual Christmas Eve Farolito Walk that leads you from the Santa Fe Plaza to the surrounding historic neighborhoods.
New Year’s Eve on the Plaza
Round up your family and friends to welcome in a new year in The City Different! Be among the first to usher in 2017 at the New Year’s Eve celebration on the Santa Fe Plaza. Festivities begin at 9:30 pm on December 31 with bonfires lining the Plaza. Hot chocolate will be available for a donation to a local non-profit.
Bring your adventuresome spirit to Santa Fe this December and you will surely find new inspiration and pleasures. To learn more, please visit at santafe.org and be sure to take advantage of our wonderful deals and specials. Planning your vacation will be easy once you order our Santa Fe travel guide.