Is it even possible that your child can still have energy to burn after a morning of skiing or snowboarding? Well, yes, and don’t us adults wish we could tap into that? Fortunately, there are children-centered activities and places for your little ones and for the kid still inside of you, if you can catch a second wind.
Twirl Play and Discovery Space
10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily
225 Camino de la Placita (just off Taos Plaza)
Every year on the Friday after Thanksgiving, Twirl Play and Discovery Space hosts its annual Twirl Aglow Party, which brings upwards of 500 people together for this special holiday treat. It’s a tradition that’s been happening since Twirl opened 10 years ago. So, this year’s party on Nov. 24, from 3-6 p.m. in the Twirl courtyard, will pay homage to a decade of Twirl in Taos. Twirl’s alumni and new students from the free preschool ballet class led by Amber Vasquez, director of the Taos Youth ballet, will perform together at the party. Music class teacher Ivy Little will also lead a performance given by a generation of class members. And the “circus ladies” from Twirl’s launch party will be joined by their stilt-walking daughters for a grand finale performance. In addition to Tatyana – the queen of face painting – there will be live music, making seasonal crafts, beverages, cookies and a visit from Santa Claus. The trademark of the courtyard area during the holiday season is the dazzling display of lights. Added this season will be an outdoor tribute to years past. In an effort to further support Twirl, party visitors can purchase raffle tickets for a chance to win a $500 gift box.
Throughout the holiday season, schoolchildren can participate in free field trips at Twirl – enjoying a special scavenger hunt around the courtyard display and a seasonal take-home craft activity through Jan. 6. This ultimate kids’ romper room will also be hosting seasonal craft-making upstairs on Saturdays in December from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., including a teacher gift-making workshop on Saturday, Dec. 9.
Twirl was founded in 2007 as a play space and toy store by five mothers who wanted somewhere for their own children to play and learn. As their children grew, so did the desire of these mothers to provide more inspirational play and learning opportunities for all kids from or visiting Taos. In order to expand programming efforts, Twirl became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 2014. Today, Twirl helps fill a void in the play and education landscape of Taos by fostering learning through play exploration and creativity with programs that now take place at the original Twirl just off Taos Plaza and at Twirl Too, the workshop and camp space in schools and the greater community.
For more information, contact Executive Director Nikki Ross at (575) 751-1402 or email@example.com.
The Fire Playce
Noon-6 p.m., Wednesday-Sunday (reservations only on Sunday); closed Monday and Tuesday. Groups of six or more must call ahead.
308-C Paseo del Pueblo Sur, Taos
Another artistic outlet in Taos is the paint-your-own pottery studio called The Fire Playce. Walk in, let your little one choose from a large selection of unpainted bisque ceramic pieces, have them pick up a brush and watch the colors fly. After being covered with a non-toxic, food-safe glaze, each piece is kiln fired, ready to be picked up in a few days or they will ship it to you. Acrylic paints are also available so a piece can be painted and taken with you the same day. And don’t forget that The Fire Playce is cool for adults, too. Pick out a ceramic piece for yourself and let your creative juices flow. Prices range from $5 to $80.
Being that we have a lot of slopes around these parts, it’s no shock there are several scream-all-the-way-down spots for sledding and tubing in the Taos area. Get ready to speed, bump, laugh, spin and probably eat some snow due to a face plant on your way down. And snowball fights? Well, that just goes with the territory.
U.S. Hill Snow Play Area is the kind of backyard every sled- and tube-loving kid dreams of. This popular (and free) place for winter fun is in the Carson National Forest, just 10 miles southeast of Taos, off State Road 518 toward Peñasco. State Road 518 intersects with Paseo del Pueblo Sur as you’re heading out of town. No rentals available.
Taos Ski Valley
Strawberry Hill Tubing Park provides snow tubing for all ages under lights atop multiple lanes. A moving carpet makes the ascent much more fun. Tickets are available at the Pit Warming Hut located next to the tubing area. As of when this publication was printed, operating dates and hours were not available. For more information, call (800) 776-1111 or visit skitaos.com.
Red River Ski Area also offers up its slopes to tubers for an hour beginning at 4 p.m., after it closes the chair lifts for the day. Tube rentals are $15 – and these aren’t the old tractor-size inner tubes of old – they are high-tech, molded and made of hard vinyl and polyester. For more information, call (575) 754-2223 or visit redriverskiarea.com.
More night tubing can be found at Angel Fire Resort. Ride The Polar Coaster, a five-lane, fast-moving surface that takes you up for the ride down 1,000 feet of perfectly groomed hills. Lift tickets cost $20 for 60-minute blocks. Inquire about availability at the ticket office between 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Note that every tuber must be at least 42 inches tall and sign a release. Tubes are available.
There is no height requirement at the kids-only sledding hill located at the Nordic Center at the country club. A single sledding hill pass is $5 per child age 12 and younger. Sleds and discs may be rented at the Nordic Center for $10 to $15. Sledding hill hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday and daily during peak periods (weather conditions permitting). To confirm hours of operation and for more information, call the Nordic Center at (575) 377-4488 or visit angelfireresort.com.
For even more events, pick up a Tempo every Thursday inside The Taos News for a complete weekly listing of what’s happening around Taos.