Whatever the season, New Mexico family vacations promise plenty of outdoor activities. During winter, Taos Ski Valley offers amazing views and ski trails catered towards all ages and abilities. The hiking trails and rivers of the Sangre de Cristo mountains provide respite from the summer heat of the Chihuahuan Desert, although its otherworldly rock formations and unique landscapes are worth seeing year-round. The gigantic underground limestone cave complex of Carlsbad Caverns National Park is another cool place (in more ways than one) to visit during summer, while the White Sand National Monument and its incredible gypsum dunes attract visitors year round. If you're planning a New Mexico family vacation in September, don't miss the world-famous annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, when colorful balloons fill the skies above the Rio Grande River and Sandia Mountains.
New Mexico's cities likewise have many draws for family vacations. Historic Santa Fe, founded in 1610 and rife with eye-catching Spanish-era colonial architecture, is famous for its resorts and spas, where you can relax and unwind in total serenity and beautiful surroundings. The Georgia O'Keefe Museum pays homage to the city's most famous resident artist and her iconic New Mexico landscape paintings, and just outside the city are several significant Native American cliff dwellings, including Taos Pueblo and the Bandelier National Monument. Albuquerque has its own significant archaeological site with prehistoric art at Petroglyph National Monument, as well as the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science and the Hinkle Family Fun Center amusement park.