Los Alamos, New Mexico is a quick family road trip (under 2 hours drive from Albuquerque!) that should be a must on your family’s summer bucket list. Los Alamos offers something for the history buff, the science enthusiast, and the budding naturalist.
The History Buff
In 1943, the world’s greatest scientific minds gathered in Los Alamos tasked with unlocking the secrets hidden in the atom. The work done during World War II had major implications on ending the war and the future of national defense. However, the rich history extends as far back as 1150 AD.
- Visit the Los Alamos History Museum, where you will learn more about the Manhattan Project, as well as the Ancestral Pueblo people of the Pajarito Plateau. There are fun kids activities as well, such as searching for pottery shards and grinding corn.
- The Los Alamos History Museum is a stop on the Historic Walking Tour. The tour also includes the beautiful park at Ashley Pond and the Mesa Public Library. If you prefer a guided tour, check out Atomic City Van Tours of Los Alamos or the walking tour guided by the Los Alamos Historical Society.
- Another self-guided tour that is sure to entice the kids is the Spy Tour.
The Science Enthusiast
Los Alamos is the home of groundbreaking science and “where discoveries are made.” Celebrate past and present accomplishments, while fostering curiosity for your children.
- Check out the Bradbury Science Museum’s TechLab, which is a hands-on, experiential space geared toward children and families. Best part… it’s free
- ScienceFest will be held July 11-15 with the theme of “Science Rules in Los Alamos”
- The highlight of ScienceFest is Discovery Day on Saturday, July 14 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and includes hands-on science activity for the whole family, live music, and more
The Budding Naturalist
Los Alamos is located in the beautiful northern New Mexico landscape atop of the Pajarito Plateau. It’s a magical place to experience the outdoors and is usually cooler than Albuquerque (a big bonus during the sweltering summer months).
- The Los Alamos Nature Center, operated by Pajarito Environmental Education Center, is free to visit and has many educational exhibits. They also have an outdoor nature play area and live animals
- The Nature Center has TONS of events, such as planetarium shows, a Bear Festival, and other weekly events.
- Download the Los Alamos Trails app for iPhone or Android. The app provides a detailed guide to 49 trails in Los Alamos, nearby White Rock, Bandelier National Monument, and Valles Caldera National Preserve.
I can’t forget to mention that Los Alamos has amazing restaurants, a Creative District, and annual events like Fair and Rodeo (August), Halloweekend (October) and WinterFest (December). It really is a great, affordable getaway for your family this summer. When you do go visit, make sure to download and print this fun scavenger hunt we created!