225 CAMINO DE LA PLACITA
TAOS, NEW MEXICO 87571
VISITING TAOS WITH KIDS
RECREATION & OUTDOOR PURSUITS FOR FAMILIES
Families and kids will delight in the breathtaking range of recreational activities offered in and around Taos. Fancy floating through the sky at sunrise? Riding through the mountains at dusk? Watching live music as the sun sets? Exploring the world-class art museums. You’ll find opportunities to do all this and more in the listings below. Find out what locals consider their favorite seasonal activities.
While we strive to maintain accuracy in our listings, information of this nature changes regularly, so we apologize if any of the details are incorrect. Please help us to keep this list up-to-date by emailing email@example.com with any corrections or new information.
Twirl has a wonderful free outdoor play area with a climbing structure, water play area, tree house, sandbox and much more. Visitors are welcome to enjoy this area for free at any time during opening hours, so come and check it out - it’s quite the scene over the summer holidays. We also have a great indoor playroom where families can play, craft and build together 10am-5pm daily.
Hiking – There are so many great hiking options for all ages and levels of fitness, and guess what - they are all free! See below for details of all our local favorites, and check out the great hiking books for sale at Taos Mountain Outfitters, Mudd and Flood or Moby Dickens. Pretty sure with a nice hello, the friendly folks at the mountain stores will just tell you their favorite spots to hike.
River Watching – If you’re not quite ready to take the plunge, you can keep your feet dry and watch the white water rafters and kayakers navigating the surf and rapids. Driving down through the Gorge on Hwy. 68, you can pull over at various spots and check out these water rats.
Biking - Gearing Up Bike Shop here in Taos will give you great ideas on trails that are in good condition this season. The lower elevation trails are the best as they dry out the quickest, so try the West Rim Trail, Trail 18 and the Talpa Traverse. If you are up for a challenge, try South Boundary Trail. Call Gearing Up for directions - 575-751-0365.
Fishing - Call up the Taos Fly Shop for updates on the best places to throw a line. Depending on the weather, the ice flow and many other factors, it's always best to check in before heading out - call 575 751-1312. The Taos News has a comprehensive guide to the state's best fishing, look in the sports section for this guide.
Bird and Wildlife Watching - From big-horn sheep, elk, and marmots to golden eagles and hawks, there is a ton of wildlife to see in Northern New Mexico. The months of June and July offer the best bird watching in the state, including both migratory and indigenous species. Try Orilla Verde Recreation Area along the Rio Grande Gorge near Espanola - sometimes you can spot a peregrine falcon. Or Wheeler Peak Wilderness - big horn sheep enjoy the ruggedness of this wilderness area. Check out mule deer, golden eagles and perhaps a bear or mountain lion if you're lucky (or not!)
Tres Piedras - The name means "Three Stones" and it's a tiny settlement at the crossroads of U.S. 285 and U.S. 64. Admire the strange, melted rock formations in the area.
Chama - Narrow - gauge steam locomotives pull passenger cars and flatbed viewing platforms from Chama to Antonito, Colorado every day from late May to October. Visit the Edward Sargent Wildlife Refuge. Rio Grande Gorge Bridge- on US 65, about 12 miles NW of Taos. The steel bridge stretches across the Rio Grande Gorge, 650 feet above the river (the third highest in the US). Many park on the side to take photos and to stare down at the dizzy depth.
Parks - Kit Carson Park and Fred Baca Park are two local favorites. At Kit Carson, you can walk the trail around the park while the children ride their bikes, play volleyball at the sand court, climb, slide and hang at the play structure or just throw a Frisbee at the grassy field. Fred Baca Park has a walk and jogging trail, play structures, large field for kicking a soccer ball, picnic tables for a nice lunch, basketball court, tennis courts, and a kid's favorite - a wetlands nature walk where you can view wildlife in their habitat. The bike trail is the perfect spot for those that are on training wheels or just graduated to two wheels and a horn!
Live Music - The Taos Mesa Brewery is Taos's newest and most breathtaking music venue. Families can enjoy music both outdoor in the awe-inspiring amphitheater backed by the Sangre De Cristos and inside, on a stage built using mostly reclaimed building materials for superior acoustics. They always have a great line-up of bands and musicians coming through not to mention a great menu.www.taosmesabrewing.com. The world famous KTAO Solar Center - Visit www.ktao.com for this summer's line-up and tickets. While not strictly free, since big people have to pay, these family-friendly music venues always have a great line-up of events and kids under 12 are free! The Solar Center is located on the Ski Valley Road (Rt. 150), 500 yards on the right from the Old Blinking Light Intersection with Routes 64 and 522. You can also catch free live music at the historic Town of Taos Plaza every Thursday night during summer months.The Historic Taos Inn has live music every evening, starting around 7pm, if your kids are night owls. It varies from the Taos Gospel Choir to Bluegrass to Open Mike Night when you never know what you’ll hear. Have your kids identify different instruments, sounds, and types of music. Experiential learning for sure! www.taosinn.com/adobe-bar/entertainment-schedule or call 505-758-5776.
SPRING/SUMMER RECREATION AND OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES IN TAOS
White Water Rafting and River Trip Companies.
Taos is home to the Rio Grande Gorge, with scenic rapids ranging from class I through V. Choose from the Taos Box, Race Course or Orilla Verde to fit your comfort level.Call: Los Rios River Runners - 776-8854,800-544-1181 www.losriosriverrunners.com. Far Flung Adventures- 758-2628, 800-359-2627 www.farflung.com. Big River Raft Trips 575-758-9711 or 800-748-3760. www.bigriverrafts.com. Cottams Rio Grande River Trips 758-2822, 800-322-8267 www.cottamsoutdoor.com.
Hiking and Trekking.
Whether you’re on two feet or four, opportunities abound for getting out in the wilderness. Make sure you have everything you need for high-altitude hiking, including plenty of water and sunscreen.
North of the blinking light, on the way to Taos Ski Valley, there are some great hiking spots. Local favorites include Yerba, Italianos, ( manageable for younger kids and the Aspen Grove is a lovely stopping point if you don’t want to go all the way up), and Manzanitas. In the ski valley, Bull of the Woods trail is a relatively easy and pretty trail which passes through flower-filled meadows in midsummer.If you’re up for a challenge, you can adventure further, to Gold Hill or Wheeler Peak. Many people like to drive up to the Bavarian, past the ski valley, and hike up to Williams Lake. Bighorn sheep are often spotted on this hike.
South and east of town is a long but easy hike off Route 68, which takes you to the Taos Valley Overlook and a spectacular view overlooking the Rio Pueblo de Taos. East of Taos, going out towards Angel Fire on Kit Carson, you have: Diviisadero Trail, El Nogal, Valle Escondido or Garcia Park, all of which can be hiked and biked. Heading south out of town, there is the Riff Valley, a spectacular trail along the gorge created by the Rocky Mountain Youth Corp, accessed from Highway 285 as you leave town. Just a little further, on the horseshoe bend before you enter the canyon, is another popular trail called Starlight Canyon, great for both hiking and biking.
North and west of town, you can enjoy a farily flat hike and spectacular views, along the West Rim Trail, just past the Gorge Bridge. There are numerous hikes down to the Gorge aided by our abundant sunshine. Two other local favorites in that area include Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River Recreation Area, (but be warned, it’s steep on the way back up), and the Stage Coach Hot Springs, out on Tune Drive, where you can enjoy a nice soak at the bottom.
Carson National Forest Ranger Station - Maps for hiking, campground information, etc. 208 Cruz Alta Road. 575-758-6200.
Hondo/Stagecoach Hot Springs-Natural hot springs, 98 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius). 575-758-3873 or 800-732-8267.
Cowboy Evening-Dutch oven cooking on Two Eagles Ranch. 575-754-2769.
Taos Ski Valley Wilderness Adventures. Trail rides & cowboy camps with unsurpassed mountain views 575 751 6051. www.aataosskivalleywildernessadventures.com
Bobcat Pass Wilderness Adventures 575 754 2769.
Taos Indian Horse Ranch – Horseback riding in Indian Country and High Desert Mountain Terrain. 575 758 3212 or 800-659-3210.
Taos Horse riding lessons for kids and adults www.taoshorse.com
Horse Rides, Jeep Tours, Fishing, Wildlife Viewing Adventures-575-758-7332. Llano Bonito-Stables. 25 miles south of Taos on N.M. 518. 575-587-2636. Rio Grande Stables-575-776-5913. riograndestables.net
El Paseo Llama Expeditions—Llama trekking day hikes and llama packing treks for wilderness adventurers, hikers, backpackers & families with small children. 800.455.2627.
Wild Earth Llama Adventures - Explore New Mexico’s Pristine Wilderness... Without a Heavy Pack! Educational Single and multi and multi-day wilderness adventures in the Southern Rocky Mountains, near Taos and Santa Fe. 800-758-LAMA (5262). www.LlamaAdventures.com.
There is both great road riding and mountain biking to be had in the Taos area. If you’re hitting the pavement (so to speak) there’s the option of short loops to lengthy out and backs. Mountain biking options are also varied. Rides along the Rio Grande Gorge are always popular, not least for the great scenery. Alpine riding can be as steep and technical as it gets, so plan your route carefully. For rentals of road, mountain, hybrid and children’s bikes, as well as the best advice from local riders, check out any of the below bike shops.
Gearing Up www.gearingupbikes.com 575-751-0365
Taos Cyclery www.taoscyclery.com 575 758 5562
Cottams Ski and Outdoor 575 758-2822, 8003228267 www.cottamsoutdoor.com
Bird and Wildlife Watching
Tres Piedras State Wildlife Area-3,30 acres of high prairie for big game. Between Tres Piedras and Taos. Wildlife viewing. 25 miles northwest of Taos on U.S. 64.Orilla Verde Recreation Area-Southern end of Rio Grande Wild/Scenic River area. Campsites, fishing. 12-13 miles southwest of Taos via N.M. 68. 505-758-8851.
If you think Taos is breathtaking from the ground, you should see it from above. Take a balloon flight over Taos and enjoy the company of some well-informed and highly entertaining guides, not to mention a champagne breakfast to celebrate your flight. Not cheap, but worth every penny.
Eske’s Paradise Balloons - 575-751-6098 www.taosballooning.com
Pueblo Balloon Comnpany - 575-751-9677 www.puebloballoon.com
Rio Grande Gorge. Enjoy breathtaking (and scary) views of the Rio Grande Gorge from a bridge that crosses 650 feet above the river. Get there early enough to watch the ballooners dipping down into the river below. Observation platforms and picnic area, 11 miles northwest of Taos on U.S. 64.Fishing. Northern New Mexico is a great place to take kids fishing.
Golf and Disc Golf
Hit a bucket of balls or go the entire 18 holes. Taos Country Club – 575 758-7300. Angel Fire Resort - 575-377-3055. Valle Escondido – 575-758-3475
Disc golf shares the same joys and frustrations of traditional golf, whether it's sinking a long putt or hitting a tree halfway down the fairway. It's free; you can rent discs at the base area in Taos Ski and Boot. For more information, please call TSV Chamber of Commerce at 575-776-1413 or visit www.taosskivalley.com
Taos is home to world-class rock climbing, from bolted sport climbing routes on steep basalt to long classic routes in the mountains.
Mountain Skills Rock Climbing guides offer guided trips to the best rock climbing destinations in Taos and Santa Fe. Whether you are a first time beginner or a seasoned veteran, you will be led by our professional, friendly, and experienced guides through an enjoyable experience where you can relax and climb with safety confidence.www.climbingschoolusa.com 575 776 2222.
If you need to get geared up for any of these outdoor activities, try one of these local retailers for great equipment and friendly advice.
Taos Mountain Outfitters, located on the Plaza. www.taosmountainoutfitters.com (great online resource for more information on local outdoor pursuits). 575 758 9292.
Mudd and Flood 575 751 9100 134 Bent Street.
Cottams Ski and Outdoor 575 758-2822 207 Paseo del Pueblo Sur www.cottamsoutdoor.com.
Tres Piedras - The name means "Three Stones" and it's a tiny settlement at the crossroads of U.S. 285 and U.S. 64. Admire the strange, melted rock formations in the area. Eat at The Diner - it's worth it.
Treat yourself to a relaxing soak at Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort and Spa. Children are always welcome at Ojo, but visitors should be aware that the entire Springs and Spa area is a Whisper Zone so parents are requested to supervise children at all times. In an effort to provide a quiet and tranquil experience for their guests, the Springs offer the following accommodations for children. Children under age 2 enter free with a parent or guardian. Children 12 years old and under are welcome with parental supervision from 10 am and 6 pm in the Large Pool only, and anytime in Private Pools for an additional cost. Children must be 13 years of age to enter all other pools. Babies and toddlers who are not potty trained are allowed in the Large Pool or Private Pools if they are wearing swim diapers. Please note that all children under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an observer 18 years or older. Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa is open year round. The mineral pools are open from 8 am - 10 pm every day. Private Outdoor Pools can be rented from 9 am - 10 pm (last reservation is 9 pm). 50 Los Banos Drive. Ojo Caliente, New Mexico 87549800-222-9162. 505-583-2233 www.ojospa.com
Arts & Culture for Families in Taos
Children can find many avenues of self-expression in Taos. Whether it’s music, visual arts, or theatre, your child can begin looking here for something to spark their creative spirit. And if you’re short on funds, here are a few ideas for some culture that won’t cost a penny. While we strive to maintain accuracy in our listings, information of this nature changes regularly, so we apologize if any of the details are incorrect. Please help us to keep this list up-to-date by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with any corrections or new information.
Go Walkabouts! Pick up a copy of the self-guided Historic Taos Walking Tour brochure at the Taos Visitor Center, 1139 Paseo del Pueblo Sur, 575-758-3873 and step back in time as you discover the history and lore of the Taos Historic District. Free.
SMU (Southern Methodist University) free lecture series. From the god particle to geology to stress management, SMU offers fascinating lectures at their Taos Campus. All events are free and open to the public. find out more at www.smu.edu/taos
Visit an UNESCO World Heritage Site, right here in Taos. Taos Pueblo is the only living Native American community designated both a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and a National Historic Landmark. The multi-storied adobe buildings have been continuously inhabited for over 1000 years and the people welcome you to share their history and heritage. There is a $5 charge for adults, but children under 10 are free! Visit: www.taospueblo.com for more information.
Gallery Walks - Between the weavings, paintings and sculpture of local artists, you can gaze in a hundred galleries in our town.
Museums In And Around Taos
Museums and historic sites are not just for adults! What a great time to begin teaching your children about museum etiquette. Enjoy any of the museums of the Museum Association Of Taos for FREE on Sundays! (If you’re a NM resident with a driver’s license or proof of residency.)
Governor Bent House, 117 Bent St. 575-758-2376 for info. http://www.laplaza.org/art/museums_bent.php3
Millicent Rogers Museum – 1504 Millicent Rogers Road Museum Rd. Taos 575-758-2462. Free, docent led tours, offered on the third Sunday of every month, 1 pm. Call 575-758-2462. https://www.millicentrogers.org
Harwood Museum of Art – 238 Ledoux St Taos 575-758-9826 http://www.harwoodmuseum.org
Blumenschein Home and Museum – 222 Ledoux St. Taos 575-758-0505. taoshistoricmuseums.org
Hacienda De Los Martinez – Lower Ranchitos Rd. 575-758-1000 taoshistoricmuseums.org
Taos Art Museum and Fechin House – 227 Paseo del Pueblo Norte Taos 575-758-2690. http://www.taosartmuseum.org
El Rincon Trading Post and Museum – 114 Kit Carson Rd. 575-758-9188.
Kit Carson Home and Museum – 113 Kit Carson Rd. 575-758-4945 http://www.kitcarsonmuseum.org
Historic Los Luceros – State Hwy 68 Velarde 575-852-3245. http://www.newmexicoculture.org/historic-sites/los-luceros-historic-property
Taos Pueblo – The oldest living museum in North America - 575-758-7767. http://taospueblo.com