Just like Christmas, red and green are the colors of chilies! Santa Fe's take on Christmas is far more piquant than Santa might enjoy in more northerly climates. Gorge yourself on Posole stew with New Mexico-style pork, spicy tamales, blue corn tortillas, miniature anise Christmas cookies, and more. Here are the restaurants to go to for Christmas dinners with a difference:
One of the prime attractions of Santa Fe Hotels for Christmas, Cafe Pasqual's is popular with locals and out-of-towners alike. Seasonal ingredients transform the restaurant's usual menu, which celebrates the culinary traditions of Mexico throughout the year. It even won a James Beard Award for regional cooking. Their distinctive Christmas chili will revolutionize the way you think about Christmas dinner.
Close to the Plaza, this Santa Fe mainstay helps you welcome the holiday spirit with decadent, thirst-quenching margaritas and blue corn enchiladas. Live music performances accompany Christmas dining at the cantina, which has satisfied the culinary cravings of presidents and senators since it opened in the 1950s.
Chicken and green chili sandwiches from this off-the-beaten-track market contain fresh, organic ingredients and are some of the best you'll ever taste. Whether you're craving gooey quesadillas or fresh guacamole and chile sauce, this superb culinary institution doesn't disappoint.
Go Christmas shopping for local Indian crafts beneath the Palace of the Governors, or discover the holiday exhibits at the city's world-famous Wheelwright and International Folk Art museums. Multicultural Santa Fe celebrates Christmas like nowhere else, and these attractions are unforgettable:
One of the main attractions of a Santa Fe Christmas quite literally takes place in the town square, Santo Domingo Pueblo. Five hundred dancers, plus drummers and booming male choirs animate the night air with rousing performances as onlookers watch from balconies and rooftops. Performances at Santo Domingo are less busy but arguably more authentically connected with the Spanish colonial history of the area.
Enjoy Baroque music and carols sung in Old English by Santa Fe Pro Musica in the heart-warming ambience of the Loretto Chapel during the final days before Christmas.
Come to Santa Fe's historic square for a re-enactment of the journey of Mary and Joseph and the nativity of Jesus, performed by the Museum of New Mexico.
Travel back to the time before Christmas arrived in these parts by visiting the unexcavated region of Bandelier. The Anasazi constructed the now 600-year-old mesa. Follow the ancestral hiking paths to petroglyphs that starkly contrast with the Christian iconography that pervades Santa Fe today.
From candlelit walks and children's masses to Southern Railway loops and Biblical re-enactments, you and your family will embrace the Christmas story anew through the novelty and magic of Santa Fe's celebrations. Relive the innocence and drama of Christmas at these Santa Fe festivities:
Built in 1869, the historic cathedral is an atmospheric locus of Christmas cheer in the form of Catholic masses. Nearby, Hispanic communities in the towns of Bernalillo and Española re-enact the holy couple's search for a room at an inn during the 9 days approaching Christmas. With Santa Fe Vacation Rentals for Christmas you can appreciate their ordeal in comfort.
Give your family an unforgettable Christmas gift and take a scenic 36-mile loop trip to the town of Lamy in vintage style. Trips last for two and a half or 4 hours. You and your family will enjoy a shape-shifting display of tasteful Christmas lights and local cheer in train carriages so picturesque they could be toys.
Cars and electric lights are banned for a few hours during Christmas along the historic streets of Santa Fe, sparkling instead with candlelit luminaries. Christmas carolers gather around piñon wood bonfires, and children marvel at the glowing art installations by Arvo Thomson in Plaza Fatima.