Museum of New Mexico Media Center Press Release

December Activities & Holiday Events inside the Department of Cultural Affairs

New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs

October 04, 2019


(Santa Fe, New Mexico) – The holiday season is always busy at the Museums and Historic Sites under the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs.  Here are the events happening this holiday season.


Saturday, November. 30 and Saturday, December. 14, 5-9 p.m. Light among the Ruins. Jemez Historic Site The ruins of Giusewa Pueblo and San José de los Jemez Mission will be decorated with hundreds of farolitos. Each evening’s program will include traditional Native American flute music and Jemez Pueblo dancers’ performing between two illuminating bon-fires. The Historic Site will also host an arts and crafts fair and have food available for purchase. Visit for more information.


Wednesday, December 4, 1-4 p.m. Library Open House New Mexico Museum of Art Explore the Museum of Art’s collection of holiday cards handmade and exchanged by artists in New Mexico. These delightful works show the creativity and relationships between artists such as Gustave Baumann, Will Shuster, Gerald Cassidy, Olive Rush, Jozef Bakos, Sheldon Parsons, Willard Nash, Walter Ufer, Willard Clark, Dorothy Dunn, Joseph Imhof and Agnes Sims. An informal opportunity to browse books and artist files, ask questions, exchange recommendations with the librarian and see what’s new.  About 7500 books are available for browsing, reading and creative inspiration.  We offer free Wifi if you wish to bring a laptop, smartphone or tablet


Sat. & Sun, December 7 & 8 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Young Native Artists Winter Show & Sale New Mexico History Museum/Palace of the Governors Children and Grandchildren of artists associated with the Palace of the Governors’ Portal Program will demonstrate and sell their own arts and crafts in the New Mexico History Museums’ Meem Community Room. Free event


Saturday, December 7, 5-10 p.m. Farolitos at Los Luceros Los Luceros Historic Site Holiday festivities, including farolitos/luminarias and other Northern New Mexico holiday traditions. More information to come. Call 505-476-1165 for further information.


Saturday, December 7, 4-7 p.m. December Letters from the Reservation Ft. Sumner Historic Site/Bosque Redondo Memorial The evening will begin with a light supper of pork posolé, tortillas, and a winter cake served with coffee or hot chocolate.  Supper will be followed by a journey into the Memorial’s auditorium where local residents and staff will tell the story of life on the reservation through archival letters from the months of December (1863-1867).  There is no admission fee for this event and the food is free as long as it lasts.  Please join us and listen to history unfold. 


Saturday & Sunday, December 7 & 8, 2 p.m. & 7 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday Baila! Baila! presents Christmas in New Mexico National Hispanic Cultural Center Baila! Baila!’s annual holiday show is a whirlwind extravaganza, taking audiences on a journey through the sights and sounds of Christmas in New Mexico. Music, song, and dance with a traditional Southwestern flair, as well as unique segments saluting Christmas traditions from around the world, will delight theatregoers of all ages. In 2019, the show will also include a performance of Señora Scrooge, a bilingual, musical comedy adaptation of A Christmas Carol. Special guest performances include a live mariachi and an appearance by company founder Israela Garcia.


Friday, December 13, 5:30-8 p.m. Christmas at the Palace New Mexico History Museum/Palace of the Governors Santa Fe’s beloved Christmas at the Palace brings the community together for an evening of hot cider, cookies, live music, a chance to operate an antique printing press, old fashioned activities, a visit from Mr. and Mrs. Claus -- all in the legendary magic of the Palace of the Governors and Courtyard. A free, family event. (Donations of non-perishable food welcomed.) 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 this free public event.


Saturday, December 14, 6-9 p.m. Las Noches de Las Luminarias Ft. Selden Historic Site Join us for this Southwest tradition as over eight hundred glowing candles surround the Fort ruins. Enjoy holiday music, a cozy campfire, and a warm cup of cheer as you tour the grounds. Make your own holiday decorations while you enjoy the sights and sounds of the season. Please dress warmly. Admission: $5 for adults. Children 16 and under are free. Sponsored by the Museum of NM Foundation. Cash or checks only. Please call 575-202-1638 for more information. NM I-25, Exit 19, Radium Springs – Follow the signs.


Sunday, December 15,12:30-4:30 p.m. Nacimiento Open House with J. Paul Taylor Taylor-Mesilla Historic Property Join us for a fascinating afternoon as you view more than 185 nacimientos (nativity scenes) on display in the Taylor family home. This impressive collection and the open house have become a local holiday tradition. The home is located at 2346 Calle Principal on the Old Mesilla Plaza. Free to members of the Friends of the Taylor Family Monument. $5 for non-members. Sponsored by the Friends of the Taylor Family Monument and New Mexico Historic Sites. For information call: 575-202-1638.


Sunday, December. 15, 5:30-7 p.m. Las Posadas New Mexico History Museum/Palace of the Governors The annual candle-lit procession of Las Posadas travels around the Santa Fe Plaza and concludes in the Palace Courtyard. This version of an old Hispanic tradition, celebrated around the world, recreates Mary and Joseph’s search for a place to give birth to the Baby Jesus—and includes Devils who deny the Holy Family a place of rest. The public is invited to stay for carols, cookies and hot cider in the Palace Courtyard. The History Museum and Palace will close at 3 p.m. to prepare for this event. Free event.


Friday-Sunday, December.20-22, 7 p.m. Friday-Sunday, 2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday Festival Ballet Albuquerque presents The Nutcracker in the Land of Enchantment National Hispanic Cultural Center This original production, now in its seventh year at the NHCC, transports the beloved holiday classic to territorial New Mexico in the late 1800s. While maintaining the classical grace and family of its origins, it incorporates elements showcasing our state’s heritage and traditions, including Spanish dancers, southwestern snakes, sheep and shepherdesses, a lively fandango, a storyteller doll with children, and lavish western Victorian-era costumes. A live orchestra performs under the baton of Maestro Guillermo Figueroa.


Sunday, December 22, Noon-4 p.m. Holiday Open House New Mexico Museum of Art The Holiday Open House is a round-robin of puppet plays, art making projects, photos with Santa Claus, and other activities.  * Marionette plays "A  Party for Papa Gus" at 1:30-2 p.m. & 3-3:30 p.m. St. Francis Auditorium * Make Your Own Stick Puppet Noon- 4 p.m. Main Lobby * Find Freckles Noon- 4 p.m.- Freckles the marionette is hiding somewhere in the museum. As you go through the galleries looking for Freckles, pick up clues that will lead you to find him and win a prize! * Selfies with Santa  3:30 – 4 p.m.  St. Francis Auditorium


Wednesday, December 25 All Museums & Historic Sites Closed


Saturday, December 28, 9-10 a.m. Into The Vault: The Role of New Mexico in Early Space exploration New Mexico Museum of Space History * Dec.27: The Role of New Mexico in Early Space exploration Into the Vault quarterly tour is free to the public. Coffee and donuts are compliments of the International Space Hall of Fame Foundation. Presentation by Museum Curator Sue Taylor and Assistant Curator Jim Mayberry. For more information, call 575-437-2840 or visit our website at


Wednesday, January 1 All Museums & Historic Sites Closed



About the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs:                    

Created in 1978 by the New Mexico Legislature, the Department of Cultural Affairs represents New Mexico’s dedication to preserving and celebrating the cultural integrity and diversity of our state. The Department oversees a broad range of New Mexico’s arts and cultural heritage agencies which include 15 divisions representing a variety of programs and services. Among its primary functions is the management of the largest state sponsored museum system in the country. New Mexico’s historic sites and state-run museums are located across the state and include: New Mexico Historic Sites, Statewide; New Mexico History Museum/Palace of the Governors, Santa Fe; New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe; Museum of International Folk Art, Santa Fe; Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, Santa Fe; New Mexico Museum of Space History, Alamogordo; New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, Albuquerque; New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum, Las Cruces; and the National Hispanic Cultural Center, Albuquerque; New Mexico State Library: New Mexico Arts, the Center for New Mexico Archaeology; and the Historic Preservation Division.

Events, news releases and images about activities in divisions of the Department of Cultural Affairs can be accessed at   

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