The history, diverse culture, and high desert landscape makes Santa Fe fit for a rewarding family vacation. A walk around the Plaza opens an adventure for any size family. Local people and visitors crowd into the area during all times of the day for shopping and visits to historical landmarks. St. Francis Cathedral and the Santa Fe Children's Museum lie in very close proximity to the plaza. Friday nights, from 5 to 8 PM, the Georgia O'Keefe, Fine Arts and Palace of the Governers museums offer complimentary entry.  If there is not a wedding taking place, also visit the The Loretto Chapel   home to the "miraculous staircase" built with no visible means of support. There are many shops and restaurants when it is time to buy a souvenir or enjoy an evening meal or snack together after a family visits the museums. For more information on what is going on in Santa Fe visit Santa Fe Happenings.  The Santa Fe Happenings website has not been updated since 2007.  Go to the Santa Fe Convention and Visitors Bureau site for up to date information.

For a more direct immersion in culture and the natural environment, consider nearby attractions such as Bandelier National Monument or Astronomy Adventures stargazing tours. Bandelier National monument is a 23,000 acre archaeological site that contains thousands of Pueblo Indian artifacts and cliff dwellings from up to 2,000 years ago. Among these are kivas, or sacred chambers, where they performed ceremonial rites and petroglyphs remain on the faces of several rocky hillsides. Petroglyphs are rock paintings that archaeologists still are attempting to decode on an ongoing basis. During summer months, a tour guide leads groups through Frijoles Canyon. This is a detailed hiking journey where visitors have the opportunity to climb ladders up to 700 ft. from the ground into former cliff dwellings and kivas covered with petroglyphs.

While anthropologists at heart would enjoy Bandelier, astronomers at heart may prefer an astronomy tour. Astronomy Adventures takes advantage of the local dark sky and mild weather conditions. 300 days of sunshines equates to a possibility of over 300 clear nights. The tour is located 15 miles from Santa Fe along the Turquoise Trail New Mexico Scenic Byway. Gaze through a 20 inch reflector telescope under the guidance of Peter Lipscomb, columnist, stargazer, and award-winning astrophotographer. An astrophotographer publishes photographs of night sky objects. According to Peter, his telescope collects "over 5,000 times more light than the unaided human eye." A variety of sky objects are available for viewing: stars, nebulae, galaxies, and planets.  In Santa Fe, people of all ages have the opportunity to attend fascinating excursions into culture, science, history, and architecture all within a 30 mile radius of most hotels.  For a comprehensive list of things to do with children in Santa Fe, please visit Santa Fe Children.