Yuletide in Taos and Beyond

BeyondTaos – November 18, 2018

Every holiday, Taos appears in numerous travel publications on lists of “top places to visit for Christmas” – Travel & Leisure, Country Living, the Travel Channel, to name a few.

Wonder why? It’s because holiday traditions here in Taos merge and blend within its tri-cultural communities. Native American and Spanish customs are juxtaposed with Santa Claus and the Grinch; farolitos and luminarias glow alongside strings of electric holiday lights and digital art projected on adobe walls. It works!

Here is an overview of winter holiday events happening between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, all within driving distance of Taos – around the Enchanted Circle, north, south, east and west of Taos.


Lighting the tree on Taos Plaza, 2017

Nov 23 – Dec 24
TaosFolk Pop-up Shop
Work by sixty+ local artisans are on display at the Stables Gallery of TCA. Shop their fantastic creations. A meet-the-artists opening is planned for November 23, 5 to 7:00pm. The pop-up shop is open daily 11-5:00pm until Christmas Eve.

Friday-Sunday Nov 23-25
CAV Yuletide Arts and Crafts Fair
Hand-crafted gifts from a variety of artists for everyone on your list. Sales benefit Community Against Violence.  Sagebrush Inn Conference Center, Fri-Sat 10-5:00pm; Sun 11-4:00pm.

Friday Nov 23
11th Annual Twirl Aglow Party
Santa, DJ, face painting, crafts, raffle, cookies and performances from Taos Youth Ballet, Twirl music class and Flying Desert Brigade. Celebrating a decade of Twirl!

Friday Nov 30
Annual Yuletide Caroling and Tree Lighting
Mr. and Mrs. Claus and the Grinch show up for hot chocolate and cookies and carolers, 4-6:00pm on Taos Plaza.

21st Annual Museum Holiday Fiesta
Millicent Rogers Museum’s Fiesta will feature face painting, holiday crafts, and student music and dance performances by Billy Archuleta at 11:00am, Taos Suzuki Violin School at noon, Los Niños Bailadores at 1:00pm, and the Taos Youth Ballet at 2:00pm. Families will also get a chance to make their own Christmas crafts and ornaments, create their own retablos, and learn about Hanukkah through fun activities. Santa will be on site from noon to 2:00 pm for photos. A free event for families with activities from 11:00am to 3:00pm.

Santa Paws on John Dunn Walkway, sponsored by Stray Hearts

Saturday Dec 1
Lighting Ledoux
Bundle up the family and come to Ledoux Street for outdoor holiday lights, music and Christmas cookies. Visit with Father Winter. Be creative with art projects in the Fern Hogue Mitchell Education Center. Then do some holiday shopping in the Harwood Museum Store, which is offering a 10% discount to everyone during Lighting Ledoux. Although the Museum’s galleries will not be open, free admission vouchers will be available for future visits. Holiday carolers from Taos Community Chorus will be stroll along the street, stopping at different locations for a yuletide song or two. 5-7:00pm on Ledoux Street, southwest of Taos Plaza.

Saturday-Sunday Dec 1-2
Holiday Museum Store Sale
All purchases up to $499 will receive a 10% discount. All sales of $500 and more receive a 20% discount. Taos Art Museum Shop at Fechin House, 11-4:00pm.

Thursday Dec 6
Calabash y Mas for Stray Hearts
A benefit for Stray Hearts Animal Shelter. Silent auction, raffle, food and live music. $25. El Monte Sagrado, 5-8:020pm

Saturday Dec 8
Bonfires on Bent Street and Santa Paws
Farolitos and luminarias, food, music, Santa and more. 12-4:00pm Santa will pose with your pets for holiday snap shots, From 4-7:00pm enjoy carolers, Azteca dancers, and plenty of food, all at John Dunn Shops/Bent Street.

Robert Mirabal performance at Taos Community Auditorium

Thursday Dec 13
27th Annual Robert Mirabal Holiday Show
Taos’s own Robert Mirabal brings together the Mirabal Sisters, Aspen, Kona and Masa, along with world class Native dancer Evan Trujillo. 7:00pm at Taos Community Auditorium, $25 advance, $28 door.

Friday-Sunday Dec 14-16
Taos Chamber Music Group: Beyond Borders
Russian virtuoso pianist Gleb Ivanov will be featured in this holiday-time program that traverses borders, from Armenian composer Arno Babadjanian’s Piano Trio in F# minor and Czech Antonin Dvorak’s Piano Quartet in D major No. 1, Op.23 to American composer Eldin Burton’s Spanish flavored Sonatina for flute and piano. Harwood Museum of Art, 5:30pm each evening. $25 adults, $20 members, $12 students

BalletTaos: A NM Nutcracker

Ballet Taos: A New Mexico Nutcracker
An original rendition of the holiday favorite that everyone in Taos will love. “A New Mexico Nutcracker” takes place in the thriving art colony of Taos, New Mexico around the turn of the twentieth century. Take a leap back in time and celebrate the art, diverse culture and history that makes our community truly unique. Taos Community Auditorium, 7:00pm Fri-Sat; 2:00 and 6:00pm Sun. $20 adults, $15 youth 17 and under.

Nine days Dec 16-24
Las Posadas
Enjoy the Spanish tradition of re-enacting Mary and Joseph’s search for lodging, which some say took nine nights. On the final night they, along with their followers who carry candles and sing Christmas songs, are given a room, amid rejoicing. At Ranchos Church in Ranchos de Taos.

Tuesday-Wednesday Dec 18-19
Dinner theater: It’s a Wonderful Life
In what has become an annual Taos Christmas tradition, Taos Onstage will delight audiences with a live radio play and dinner theatre production. Taos Mesa Brewing Mothership, dinner 6:00pm; show 7:00pm. $30/$15

Sunday Dec 31
Town of Taos New Year’s Eve Celebration
A fun, family-friendly and alcohol-free celebration from 7:30-10:00pm on Taos Plaza with a light show, fireworks, a pig roast provided by Mayor Barrone and his family and live music by Michael Hearne and Out of Nowhere. Ring in the New Year with friends and neighbors.


Panorama of Christmas Eve at Taos Pueblo by Gus Foster (poster available at gusfoster.com)
Panorama of Christmas Eve at Taos Pueblo by Gus Foster (poster available at gusfoster.com)

Friday-Sunday Nov 30 – Dec 2
Pueblo Artisans Holiday Market
At El Monte Sagrado in Town of Taos,  Pueblo artisans show their work and give demos of glass blowing, painting and weaving. Opening Reception on Friday, Nov. 30, 5-8:00pm; Market: Saturday, Dec. 1, 10 a.m.-5:00pm, and Sunday, Dec. 2, 10:00am-1:00pm.

Monday Dec 24
Christmas Eve Procession
Bonfires and the Procession of the Virgin is a pageant of beauty, heritage. Sundown.

Tuesday Dec 25
Taos Pueblo Deer or Matachines Dance
Traditional Christmas Day dances at 2:00pm at Taos Pueblo plaza. No cameras or cell phones.

Tuesday Jan 1
Turtle Dance
Traditional Taos Pueblo Turtle Dance marks the beginning of a new year at 8:00 to 1:00pm in Taos Pueblo plaza.


Saturday Dec 8
Christmas Tree Lighting
After a great day on the mountain join locals and guests for the lighting of the Taos Ski Valley Christmas tree, from 3 to 5:30pm on the Resort Plaza.

Saturday Dec 15
23rd Annual Brewmasters Festival
Enjoy an afternoon sampling beer and tasting food from around the region. A 21-and-older event; $30 at the door.

Saturday-Sunday Dec 22-23
Holiday Market
Browse through the artwork and handmade goods from several local artists. The Resort Plaza (outside The Blake), 9-5:00pm.

Monday Dec 31
New Years Eve Parade and Celebration
Ring in 2019 in style! Enjoy a magical torchlight parade down the slopes, plus fireworks over the ski area in the clear winter sky! Festivities begin with a laser light show at 5:30. On Slope at Taos Ski Valley.


New Year's Eve at Taos Ski Valley
New Year’s Eve at Taos Ski Valley


Angel Fire's community tree
Angel Fire’s community tree

Saturday-Sunday Dec 1-2
Holiday Market
Spend the week-end shopping for everyone on your Christmas list! Gifts galore, food, fun, and entertainment throughout the event. Admission is free, bring the entire family to Moreno Valley High School, 10-5:00pm Sat; 11-4:00pm Sun.

Monday Dec 24
Torchlight Parade and Fireworks
After skiing with Santa (10-3:00pm), head to Angel Fire Resort base area for Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade and Fireworks, 6-7:00pm. Remember, both Legends and Elements are serving special Christmas dinners, tonight and on the Big Day.

Monday Dec 31
New Year’s Eve Torchlight Parade
After skiing, watch the Torchlight Parade and Fireworks at the base area (6-7:00pm), then indulge in an elegant year-end dinner at Elements.


Gerald Nailor, Matachines at Picuris, 1982
Gerald Nailor, Matachines at Picuris

Monday Dec 24
Christmas Eve Procession at Picuris Pueblo
At sundown, a torchlight procession of the Virgin vespers, mass procession, and Matachina dance.

Picuris has been called by its neighbors pikuria, or “those who paint.” The people of Picuris have a long history of creating beautiful arts, crafts, and pottery, a tradition of artistry that continues to this day. The pueblo has a gallery/gift shop at the pueblo and also owns Hotel Santa Fe, located in Santa Fe, where arts crafts and original paintings may be purchased.

Pictured, Picuris artist and elder, Gerald “New Deer” Nailor, a painting of Matachines at Picuris, 1982, 13 x 17-1/2 inches



Sipapu Ski and Summer Area in December
Sipapu Ski and Summer Area in December

Thursday Nov 22
Thanksgiving Dinner
Get your Thanksgiving fix this year at the Paradise Grill at Sipapu! From 1-6:00pm Sipapu will offer a Thanksgiving plated dinner!

Monday Dec 24
Sipapu Christmas Eve Party
Christmas Eve tradition with holiday music, an art project for the kids, and tasty eats filled with good cheer from 5-8:00pm at Sipapu Ski Lodge. Free!


Saturday Dec 2
Christmas Festival in the Mountains
A community Christmas celebration, with arts and crafts displays, Santa Claus for the kids, tree decorating, electric light parade, and caroling. This is a day of fun for the kids and adults alike – everything from Santa Claus to games for children, arts and crafts for adults. 9-3:00pm at Chama Elementary Gym.

Saturday-Sunday Dec 8-9
Christmas Santa Trains!
Fun one-hour joy-filled rides on Cumbres & Toltec historic narrow-gauge railroad with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Adults only $5/with food donation, kids ride free! Trains leave from Antonito, Colorado station at 10am, 11:30am, 1pm, 2:30pm, and 4pm; reservations required.

Saturday-Sunday Dec 15-16
Christmas Santa Trains!
Fun one-hour joy-filled rides on Cumbres & Toltec historic narrow-gauge railroad with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Adults only $5/with food donation, kids ride free! Trains leave from Chama station at 10am, 11:30am, 1pm, 2:30pm, and 4pm; reservations required.

Cumbres & Toltec Christmas train
Cumbres & Toltec Christmas train



Saturday Dec 15

Alumbra de Questa Christmas Outdoor Crafts Market
Wonderful, regional arts and crafts for sale. Storytelling, Santa, activities for the kids, caroling and a thousand twinkling lights and farloitos, from 10:00 to 6:00pm at Perovich Park.

Alumbra de Questa Christmas Outdoor Crafts Market
Alumbra de Questa Christmas Outdoor Crafts Market



Luminarias at Enchanted Forest XC Area
Luminarias at Enchanted Forest XC Area

Thursday Nov 22
Switch on the Holidays
Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday in this town! Christmas caroling and tree lighting begins at 7:00pm in Brandenburg Park.

Monday Dec 24
Christmas Eve Fireworks and Torchlight Parade
Get a great view at Lift House in Red River Ski Area, 7:00pm.

Tuesday Dec 25
Luminaria Ski & Snowshoe Tour
After a festive day of opening presents, enjoy an evening of cross-country skiing (or snowshoeing) along a 3K luminaria-lined forest trail with bonfires along the way. 6:45pm at Enchanted Forest X-Country Ski Area.

Monday Dec 31
Old Fashioned New Years Eve Party
Cake walk, pizza walk, hula hoop contest, and more! Free and family-friendly at Red River Community House, 7-10:00pm.

New Year’s Eve Torchlight Parade
Best views at the Lift House at Red River Ski Area at 7:00pm.

Calendar Resources

Learn more at these online calendars:
BeyondTaos community events
BeyondTaos Art Calendar
LiveTaos nightly entertainment calendar

Find times and dates for Christmas week mass:
Our Lady Of Guadalupe in Taos
San Francisco de Asis Church in Ranchos
Santuario de Chimayo
Holy Trinity Church in Arroyo Seco
St. Anthony’s in Questa



Related Post