Winter in Santa Fe is a special time of year. Fireplaces perfume the air with the smell of piñon wood, there’s snow on the warm adobe walls, and especially around the holidays, the historic city’s Old World traditions are at the forefront. It’s a time for visitors to meet local residents, join the celebrations and discover Santa Fe’s extraordinary winter life.
During the holiday season, hotels go all out to make guests feel welcome with special menus, holiday decorations, storytelling, music and more. For those who like to spend their time on skis, snowboards, or snowshoes, there are often package deals that can include lift tickets, equipment rentals, and even lessons at nearby Ski Santa Fe. For a day off the slopes, there are hundreds of shops, museums and art galleries for every taste.
Ski Santa Fe, just a 30-minute drive into the Sangre de Cristo Mountains from downtown, opens on Thanksgiving weekend or as soon as the city has been dusted with enough snow. The ski area debuted a new addition to its base lodge last year making for a more family-friendly area in which to share hot chocolate and maybe a frito pie. Both the equipment rental shop and the dining area are greatly expanded getting skiers and boarders on the mountain in a hurry. Chipmunk Corner is a special facility just for kids and everything from day care to lessons are available.
While winter does mean snow in Santa Fe, most of it falls in the nearby mountains and the majority of days are clear and sunny in town. Some are even warm enough for a round of golf in the afternoon. In the evenings, there is a wealth of restaurants to choose from, a full performing arts schedule, or perhaps a hot tub under the stars. Many hotels offer their lowest prices of the year in winter, especially in January and February. For more information on winter offers and for a full schedule of activities, visit www.santafe.org.
Below are a few of the city’s upcoming events:
24. Life in Stills closes the Santa Fe Jewish Film Festival, which started November 16. For more information on festival films and events in 2014, visit www.santafejff.org.
28. Ski Santa Fe opens if the city has been dusted with enough snow. For more information and updates, visit www.skisantafe.
29. Christmas Tree Lighting in the Plaza. The Plaza is completely transformed with thousands of lights and the candles in bags called farolitos. There is live entertainment and Santa promises to drop by. For more information, visit www.santafe.org.
30-Dec.1. SWAIA Winter Indian Market. A more intimate version of the summer Indian Market, visitors have the chance to meet the artists and buy unique gifts that are handmade of the highest quality. For more information, visit www.swaia.org.
1. Chanukah on the Plaza. Lighting of the menorah on the Santa Fe Plaza for eight days at sunset. For more information, visit www.chabadsantafe.com.
7. The Second City. The premier comedy club, which has produced many of America’s funniest entertainers, will perform at the Lensic Performing Arts Center. For more information, visit www.lensic.org.
13. Christmas at the Palace. An old-fashioned celebration in the nation’s oldest government building, The Palace of the Governors. For more information, visit www.nmhistorymuseum.org.
13-15. New Mexico Gay Men’s Chorus Holiday Concerts. Takes place at James A. Little Theater. For more information, visit www.nmgmc.org.
14. Young Native Artists Holiday Show and Sale. The children of Native American artists who sell their work at the Palace of the Governors are the stars of this annual event. Their wonderful art works are for sale and it’s a special chance to meet the next generation of talented Native artists. For more information, visit www.nmhistorymuseum.org.
14. The opening of Renaissance to Goya: Prints and Drawings From Spain, in its only U.S. appearance. More than 130 works trace the history of Spanish art over three centuries in this exhibition at the New Mexico Museum of Art. For more information, visit www.nmartmuseum.org.
13. Paula Poundstone’s Ha Ha Ho Ho Holiday Comedy Show. The witty Ms. Poundstone keeps audiences in stitches at this performance at the Lensic Performing Arts Center. For more information, visit www.lensic.org.
14-31. Desert Chorale Winter Festival. A series of holiday themed concerts reflecting many musical styles and traditions from a premier professional chorus. For more information, visit www.desertchorale.org.
15. Las Posadas. A traditional outdoor play on the Plaza and surrounding streets. Presented in Spanish, but the action is easy to follow. Cookies and cider are offered after the play at the Palace of the Governors.
19. Winter Festival of Song, Santa Fe Women’s Ensemble. An annual holiday concert in the historic Loretto Chapel. For more information, visit www.sfwe.org.
21-22. The Nutcracker. Aspen Santa Fe Ballet presents its enchanting version of the holiday classic at the Lensic Performing Arts Center. For more information, visit www.lensic.org.
21-22 & 24. A Baroque Christmas. Santa Fe Pro Musica in an annual concert at the Loretto Chapel. For more information, visit www.santafepromusica.com.
24. Christmas Eve with The Santa Fe Concert Association Orchestra and Caroline Goulding. A musical feast on Christmas Eve conducted by Joseph Illick and featuring Goulding, a young violinist who is making waves with her performances. For more information, visit www.santafeconcerts.org.
24. Christmas Eve Farolitos. Thousands bundle up and walk Santa Fe’s historic Canyon Road neighborhood to see the twinkling amber lights called farolitos. They are simple candles in paper bags, but their amber glow is something magical. There are also farolitos on the downtown Plaza and at the Cross of the Martyrs, a great place for a view of the entire city.
25. “Flix & Chopstix” at the Center for Contemporary Arts. Two Mel Brooks’ films followed by Chinese Food. For more information, visit www.santafejff.org.
28-29. Brandenburg Concertos. Santa Fe Pro Musica, a chamber ensemble, will play all six of Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos at Saint Francis Auditorium. For more information, visit www.santafepromusica.com.
31. New Year’s Eve with the Santa Fe Concert Association Orchestra. This Santa Fe tradition features renowned pianist Claire Huangci. This year conductor Joseph Illick will join Huangci in a Poulenc double piano concerto. For more information, visit www.santafeconcerts.org.
IN THE MUSEUMS
New Mexico Museum of Art. Santa Fe is the only place in the United States to see the international exhibit, Renaissance to Goya: Prints and Drawings From Spain. The exhibit, opening December 14 and running through March 9, 2014, contains more than 200 prints and drawings from Goya and other Iberian artists. Many have never been exhibited before.
New Mexico History Museum/Palace of the Governors. The very popular Cowboys Real and Imagined continues through March. This comprehensive exhibit brings many aspects of the Old West to life. It is interactive and fun for all ages.
Museum of Indian Arts & Culture. Heartbeat: Music of the Native Southwest continues through March. Objects related to Native American ceremonial dance and music are on display and there are performances, demonstrations, and hands-on activities.
Museum of International Folk Art. Brasil & Arte Popular explores a wide range of the colorful art Brazil is known for, including costumes, prints, toys, puppets and more–opening November 17 and on display through August 10, 2014. A popular exhibit of Japanese kites, both whimsical and dramatic, continues through April.
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams: The Hawaii Pictures opens February 7. The artist and the photographer were friends and both visited Hawaii. The exhibit includes O’Keefe’s gorgeous paintings of exotic Hawaiian flowers and Adams’ lush landscape photos. Displayed until January 26th is Modern Nature: Georgia O’Keeffe and Lake George, an eye-popping collection of earlier works.
Museum of Spanish Colonial Arts. Through May, 2014, see objects from the Beltran-Klopp collection of Peruvian art. This important collection was donated to the museum and has never been exhibited before.
Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian. A collection of intricate Native American weavings remains on display through April 13.
Information Courtesy: Santa Fe CVB