Fun things to do with the kids while in Taos
By Josephine Ashton
Local families and visitors with kids will also likely Google: “Find kids’ interests in Taos.” Surprising activities in all seasons are hiding in plain sight, waiting to be discovered.
Start with the Taos Visitors’ Center website, and browse ad cards in most hotel lobbies. Look through Tempo, a Taos News arts and entertainment magazine published with Thursday’s weekly edition. In it, you’ll find activities listed just for kids. Both Tempo and the Discover Taos Visitor Guide magazines can be found online.
Taos ‘Imagine’ Children’s Museum is a place of creative magic. In the Loose Parts and Clay Studio, kids enjoy sandbox play, clay making, and design creating at the light table. In the Natural Materials Studio, they’ll go wild with rocks, feathers, wood and plants or splash around in water flowing over pebbles in the River Room. In other studios, kids create with fabrics, paper, plastics, magnets and foam. The Rotating Studio offers learning experiences with interactive art installations. The museum also hosts birthdays, events and classes.
Taos Ski Valley has designed year-round programs for children aged 6 and up. These indoor/outdoor learning experiences include arts, games and exploration activities focused on hiking, archaeology, river ecology and wildlife biology. Mountain biking, backpacking and overnight camping for older kids too. Winter fun for ages 3 to 13? Skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, and half or full-day lessons. Plus tons of lodging in the area.
Taos Public Library has a children’s library featuring younger kids’ events. “We always have Storytime on Thursdays at 10:30 a.m.,” Nicole Thibodeau, assistant Taos Library director said. “It includes songs and crafts. We also have Bilingual Storytime on Mondays at 2 p.m.” Current information about teen and children’s activities can be found on the the library’s Facebook page.
Twirl received national recognition in 2014 when CNN named the fantastical playground and magical toy store in downtown Taos as “one of the top fifteen best spots for kids in the US.” The outdoor play space, with two playgrounds and multiple exhibits, is free and open to the public. The indoor space is often used for classes and events but is otherwise open for free play. Ongoing programs, classes and events abound, as does involvement with county libraries and seasonal community events. The Toy Store is overflowing with innovative, age-appropriate toys that can be purchased at the site or online.
Taos Pueblo is a historic pueblo belonging to a Tiwa Native American tribe and is one of the oldest continuously-inhabited communities in the United States — designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Kids get to learn about the tribe’s language, religious and cultural practices and events with the help of the Pueblo’s website. Visiting hours and visitation rules can also be found online. There’s an entry fees for adults and groups, but children under 10 are free.
Harwood Museum of Art offers after-school arts and end-of-semester exhibitions. Teens 13-19 also collaborate with the Harwood to curate teen exhibits for teens and participate in monthly open-art labs in the Fern Hogue Mitchell Education Center “…a dedicated area for art-making programs housed in a space that was once the living room of the original home of Burt and Lucy Harwood.” The Sidney and Gladys Smith Children’s Art Gallery showcases children’s art.