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10 Cultural Experiences to Try in New Mexico

You'll never be bored in the Land of Enchantment. Ready to soar?

By Livability on November 16, 2021

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in New Mexico
Bennie Bos

There are so many fun things to do in New Mexico that it’s hard to narrow it down to just 10. So if you’re a visitor to the Land of Enchantment or a new resident looking for activities to fill your weekends, put these 10 must-do cultural experiences at the top of your New Mexico bucket list.

1. Enjoy celebrations year-round.

New Mexicans know how to throw a party, so mark your calendar to attend signature celebrations like the three-day Roswell UFO Festival, All American CowboyFest in Lincoln County, Silver City CLAY Festival or the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

2. Explore the state’s rich history and culture.

Check out authentic Native American art and sculpture exhibits at places like the Poeh Cultural Center in Santa Fe or Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque.

3. Immerse yourself in folk art and more.

Be sure to experience the unusual folk art and impressive ethnic wares sold at events like the International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe or the Rio Grande Arts & Crafts Festivals in Albuquerque.

Gallup Native Arts Market
Suzanne Hammons

4. Giddy-up to Gallup.

Take in the Gallup Native Arts Market, an impressive annual juried festival run entirely by Native American artists. The event was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19 but is expected to return in 2022.

5. Set your sights on Artesia.

See numerous public art displays in the Artesia Arts & Culture District, including downtown murals and a History in Bronze sculpture project that honors the ranching industry. Artesia was designated a New Mexico Arts & Cultural District by the New Mexico Arts Commission in 2013.

Taos, New Mexico
New Mexico True

6. Visit the adobe dwellings of Taos.

Visit the galleries and museums in Taos, a city known for its interesting adobe dwellings and multistory apartment-like buildings. Famed artist Georgia O’Keeffe and renowned photographer Ansel Adams both loved residing in Taos.

7. Make a ‘secret’ mission to Los Alamos.

Plan some time to explore Los Alamos Creative District, which includes the Fuller Lodge Art Center and Bradbury Science Museum. The Bradbury chronicles the city’s role in World War II’s top secret weapons program, and the museum also delves into more modern topics like wildfires, ocean studies and space exploration.

Las Cruces Wine Festival in New Mexico

8. Savor weekends with friends.

Sample the food and wine at festivals such as the Las Cruces Wine Festival, Hatch Chile Festival or the Pie Town Pie Festival, which often sees more than 1,000 pies sold in one day. Proceeds go toward improving the community.

9. See a show in Santa Fe.

Catch a show by Performance Santa Fe, established in 1935 and now the longest-running performing arts organization in New Mexico. The troupe’s 2021-2022 season is being staged from September 2021 through May 2022, with 22 performances of music, dance and theater at four venues across Santa Fe.

10. Dive into Hispanic culture in Albuquerque.

Spend a few hours at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, which presents more than 700 events each year to promote the advancement of Hispanic arts and culture. Programs are featured in the areas of culinary arts, dance, film, history, literary arts, music, theater and visual arts.

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