If you’ve been in Taos during the holidays you know that it’s a magical, mystical time of year when farolitos flicker, the scent of cedar fires anoints the air, and twinkling lights and other decorations bring smiles to the faces of locals and visitors alike.
There are many opportunities to drink deeply from this well of good cheer and ring in the season. Following are some of many holiday-related festivities and treats in Taos Ski Valley, the town of Taos, and nearby:
UPHILL–Taos Ski Valley
December 13–14: PUBLIC DEMO DAYS
Village Plaza at Chair 1–Gear
All Day Demo
Give yourself the gift of trying out the latest ski and snowboard gear for FREE if you’re a Taos Ski Valley Inc. season pass holder or just $10 if you’re not! Register from 9 a.m.–2 p.m. on Friday (12/13) and 9 a.m.–1 p.m. on Saturday (12/14). Participating brands follow:
- Elan Skis
- K2 Skis & Snowboards
- Never Summer
- Salomon Alpine
- Volkl /Marker/Dalbello
- Weston Back Country
December 14: 24TH ANNUAL BREWMASTERS FESTIVAL
Taos Ski Valley Resort Center
What better way to wrap up a day of testing the newest skis and boards during Demo Days than toasting your successes and the season with samples of fine regional beer and food? This is a 21-and-older event. If you’re not a beer drinker but want to join your friends, you can purchase a food-only ticket. Find out more details about participating breweries, ticket prices, and more.
December 21: TAOS COMMUNITY CHOIR
Taos Ski Valley Village Plaza
Santa and Mrs. Claus—plus the Taos Ski Patrol Avalanche Dogs—invite you and your kiddos to come to the ski resort’s main plaza for photos and caroling with the Taos Community Chorus. It’s a free event to celebrate the joys of the season, ring in the Winter Solstice under the boughs of an environmentally sourced Christmas Tree, and to admire the snowy Sangre De Cristo peaks. Afterwards, get your last-minute holiday shopping done at Andean Software, or one of our many ski gear shops, and then stick around for dinner fireside at Blonde Bear Tavern, Hondo Restaurant, Hotel St. Bernard, and other restaurants.
December 27: SPEAKER SERIES–POSTCARDS FROM THE PARKS
Join Vermont-based artist and activist Alyssa Goss DeLaBruere in the Martini Tree (above Tenderfoot Katie’s) as she chronicles her travels through America’s greatest treasures—our National Parks—and discusses how capturing their beauty helps create awareness of the importance of protecting public lands. Stay overnight in one of our hotels, lodges or condos. Rent some gear and slide down the mountain, or take a lesson, the next day.
December 31: NEW YEAR’S EVE TORCHLIGHT PARADE & FIREWORKS
Bid an early farewell to 2019 with the ski valley’s popular and impressive torchlight parade and New Year's Eve fireworks and then have plenty of time to find your way to other festivities where you can ring in 2020 at midnight. May it be merry!
DOWNHILL–Town of Taos
November 22–December 25: TAOSFOLK
11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Raise your hand if you’re looking for affordable, unique, handcrafted gifts for that special someone/those special people? If so, don’t miss TAOSFOLK, our famous annual holiday POP-UP store. More than 75 artisans and authors—including 20 new exhibitors—will showcase new work.
November 29–December 24: SHOP LOCAL TAOS! 2019
Participating Taos Businesses
Help keep our local businesses—and the community they support—alive and kicking this holiday and get deals in return. Hundreds of local shops participate in Shop Local Taos!, part of a nationwide push. It’s brought to you annually by local radio station KNCE, Centinal Bank, LiveTaos and the town of Taos.
December 6: 33RD ANNUAL YULETIDE CAROLING AND TREE LIGHTING
Come meet Taos Mayor Dan Barrone and special guests Mr. and Mrs. Claus at the annual lighting of the town’s Christmas tree. There will be local entertainment plus complimentary cookies and hot chocolate. The “Mean One,” Mr. Grinch, might make an appearance but won’t be able to ruin the good cheer.
December 7: 22ND ANNUAL HOLIDAY FIESTA
11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
Millicent Rogers Museum
Rally the whole family for this event that features free photos with Santa, face painting, a wish tree, and more including special appearances by the Taos Fiesta Royal Court and local musicians.
December 7: LIGHTING OF LEDOUX
Ledoux Street, Taos
Galleries, museums, and shops on narrow historic Ledoux Street throw open their doors, offering holiday food and drink to revelers kissed by the glowing light of multiple bonfires and rows of luminarias. Come take part in impromptu fireside chats under the starry night sky.
December 14: SANTA PAWS BENEFIT FOR STRAY HEARTS ANIMAL SHELTER
11:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.
John Dunn Shops & Bent Street
Deck out Fido and Fuzzball in their holiday finery for a photo shoot with Santa in front of the Op.Cit Bookshop. This benefit for Stray Hearts Animal Shelter helps house and feed the many lonely local animals awaiting a “fur-ever” home while simultaneously warming your heart (and hands and tummy with cookies and hot beverages.)
December 14: BONFIRES ON BENT STREET
John Dunn Shops & Bent Street
Where else can you find free bonfire-side performances by ballerinas, Aztec dancers, carolers, and others while noshing on hearty free helpings of posole, green chile, enchiladas and more and then pop into the diverse stores in the John Dunn Shops complex and on Bent Street, for some last-minute holiday shopping? Nowhere but here!
December 14 & 15: TAOS CHAMBER MUSIC GROUP – RETURN TO RUSSIA HOLIDAY CONCERTS
Arthur Bell Auditorium–Harwood Museum of Art
Pianist Gleb Ivanov joins violinist LP How, cellist Sally Guenther, flutist Nancy Laupheimer, and basoonist Samantha Brenner in this program of Russian chamber music by Alexander Borodin, Mikhail Glinka and Anton Arensky. Come ring in the holidays, Russian-style.
Tickets are $25 for adults and $12 for students.
December 20: ORNAMENT AND CRAFT MAKING
Taos Youth and Family Center
Does your Christmas tree need a few more ornaments to complete it? Or are you considering giving ornaments as gifts? Never fear, kids of all ages are invited to come try their hand at ornament making at the Taos Youth and Family Center. Better yet, it’s free and all the materials will be provided! You just need to bring your imagination. (Children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult.)
December 24: CHRISTMAS EVE PROCESSION & BONFIRES
Massive bonfires illuminate Taos Pueblo’s 1,000+ year old buildings—which are UNESCO World Heritage jewels—as long-standing Native American traditions merge with Christmas celebrations. Nowhere else will you experience this synthesis as flames roar and soar while the Procession of the Virgin Mary makes its way to the Pueblo’s adobe church accompanied by a booming rifle salute. It’s a pageant that defies description.
December 25: TAOS PUEBLO DEER OR MATACHINAS DANCE
Taos Pueblo Plaza
Witness Taos Puebloans dance and drum an ancient Native American ceremonial dance that honors the depths of winter. No cameras, cell phones, or video cameras allowed.
December 31: TAOS NEW YEAR’S EVE CELEBRATION
Make a meal of your year-end celebrations by watching the torchlight parade and fireworks at Taos Ski Valley and then dropping down into town for more… or vice versa! Here’s the town’s celebration schedule:
7:00–8:30 p.m.: Mayor Barrone’s Pig Roast
7:00–10:00 p.m.: Live Music with Michael Hearne and Out of Nowhere
9:00 p.m.: Balloon Release
10:00 p.m.: A 12’ x 16’ video wall with live simulcast the NYC ball drop and be followed by the Taos Volunteer Fire Department’s Fireworks Display
(P.S. This is a non-alcohol, family-friendly event.)
Wishing you the happiest of holidays and stellar start to 2020!