New Mexico Mini Vacations :: Taos


I was lucky enough as a kid to spend many summer days exploring the beauty of Taos, New Mexico. My Aunt and Uncle live in Arroyo Seco. So my sister and I frequently spent long weekends there. We enjoyed walking Taos Plaza, hiking in the mountains, and fly fishing- all while fearing what would actually happen if we actually had a fish and were expected to touch its slimy flesh! The cool mountain air, the small town charm, and the rich history of Taos Pueblo all become a backdrop of our childhood. I cherish it as an adult! It was only natural to want to share the magic of Taos with my kids. Especially  now that they are old enough to enjoy the scenery and appreciate all of the activities that awaited them! 

Taos from Albuquerque Moms Blog

My husband and I packed up for a quick day trip and my only regret is that we didn’t get to spend a full weekend there! For being considered such a small town, Taos has much to offer. There’s delicious food, kid-friendly activities, and the great outdoors. I’ll list off some of my favorite activities that we took advantage of with our two-year-old and four-year-old daughters. Keep in mind that this is just a small sampling of what Taos has to offer!

Taos from Albuquerque Moms Blog

Twirl – Toy Store and Play Area

Okay guys, this is the place that childhood dreams are made of! That photo is actual footage of me geeking out over this place. Not only is it a multi-room toy store with tons of hard to find toys, its also a giant FREE play area! It has a jungle gym (pictured), a treehouse, a sandbox, a music area, and a fountain that kids can play in during summer months. And that is just the downstairs! We didn’t get to check out the upstairs area, where I believe they host classes, because my kids were enthralled with the jungle gym.

Seriously, a place like this in Albuquerque would be jam packed 24/7. We  only saw a few other families and the kids all took turns and played fair. It was a mom’s dream. The only regret I have is that I wasn’t allowed to go down the slide while screaming “VACAYYYYY!” 

It’s worth noting that there is a donation box at Twirl to keep things up and running. If your kiddos stop to play, you should try to drop a few dollars in! 

Taos from Albuquerque Moms Blog

Rio Grande Gorge

Talk about a photo op! The gorge bridge has been a fan favorite since as early as I can remember. We didn’t get a chance to stop and take a family picture this time. But only because our kids are small and it was windy, and my mom anxiety couldn’t take it. Even so, driving over the bridge and showing it to your kids is sure to be a crowd pleaser! The vastness and beauty of this natural beauty is enough to stop anyone in their tracks. 

Taos from Albuquerque Moms Blog 

Earthship Biotecture

Maybe this is because I was homeschooled, but I LOVE a good, old fashioned, educational experience on vacation. So when my husband spotted the coolest looking sustainable living neighborhood on our drive, I screamed “STOP!!” This may have been the coolest thing I’ve seen in my adult life. The sustainable lifestyle has always fascinated me, and getting to teach my kids about waste, sustainable living, and recycling was such a fun and interesting experience. While my kids didn’t totally understand everything, they definitely thought climbing stairs made out of tires and seeing fences made from used bottles was neat!

Taos from Albuquerque Moms Blog

Hiking Trails/Parks

This seems like a no brainer, but Taos is home to some of the most kid-friendly hiking trails in the state of New Mexico! Couple that with their mild weather, and you can hike almost year round with your littles. We love hiking, collecting pine cones and rocks, and learning about how to be kind to nature and its inhabitants. Fred Baca Park has an awesome walking trail, as well as playground equipment. Kit Carson park also has a great playground, and frequently hosts large events and concerts. If you are more of an off-the-beaten-path family, take a drive towards the mountains and you are guaranteed to find some outdoor adventure to explore (as long as its not on private property!)

Taos from Albuquerque Moms Blog

Taos Plaza 

Aside from the jungle gym at Twirl, I think this was actually the fan favorite for our family! Mom got to check out fun, unique shops, Dad got to stop at The Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, and the kids were about to stretch their legs and pick out a little trinket to remember the trip by. Taos is rich with culture, history, art, and whimsy. The town plaza encompasses all of that, and much more!

Taos from Albuquerque Moms Blog

While this was our first trip to Taos as a family of four, it is definitely not going to be the last! I recently discovered that you can rent an Airstream on the mesa of Taos through vacation rental sites. Now that seems like the quintessential Taos experience to me! One of my favorite things about New Mexico is how you can drive about two hours in any direction from Albuquerque, and find something completely new to adventure through! Taos is no exception. I am certain there is much more to be discovered among the mountains and mesas.