Winter is a great time to visit New Mexico

From live music to Native art to food and beer, these special events highlight the very best of New Mexico’s unique cultural heritage. 

Ski Torchlight Parades

Come and join in the fun as some of northern New Mexico’s ski areas are illuminated with torches and fireworks during the annual Ski Torchlight Parades! Enjoy music and other festivities as each of these ski areas celebrate with their unique take on this deep-rooted ski tradition.


Christmas on the Pecos

Celebrate the holidays with an enchanting boat ride through dazzling light displays along the Pecos River! Bundle up and enjoy this 40-minute experience as you travel past captivating islands, boat docks, and backyards illuminated by fantastic themes like Santa’s Workshop, Southwest deserts, and more.

Red Rock Balloon Rally

Get your camera ready and prepare the be amazed by the sight of more than 200 rainbow-colored hot air balloons taking flight, backdropped by New Mexico’s signature blue skies and the massive sandstone bluffs and deep canyons of Red Rock Park. What started as a small flying challenge has grown into the second-largest balloon rally in North America.

Electric Light Parade

Every December in Las Vegas, the streetlights are turned low as the holiday cheer shines bright. Head to downtown Las Vegas and watch the town come to life as dozens of dazzling, festive parade floats light up the city streets. The parade ends at the Historic Plaza Park, which is beautifully decorated with lights and Christmas trees.

Pueblo Christmas Celebrations

We recommend calling at least two days in advance to confirm with each Pueblo that the dances listed below will take place. Please take note and respect each Pueblo’s individual rules for non-tribal visitors.

Taos Winter Wine Festival

Come join the 32nd-annual celebration of food and wine that spreads from Taos Ski Valley to the Town of Taos and everywhere in between. Grab tickets for wine dinners, grand tastings, and educational seminars that'll expand your palate. 

Cowboy Days

Mosey on over to the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Museum as they pay tribute to New Mexico’s ranching traditions during the annual Cowboy Days festival. Enjoy two jam-packed days of cowboy demonstrations, chuck wagon cooking, cowboy music, pony rides, children’s activities, and more. Pay homage to the classic Wild West figure, the cowboy, with roping and riding demonstrations, dancing, and even cowboy poets and storytellers.

Mardi Gras in the Mountains

Celebrate Mardi Gras in the snow-capped mountains of Red River! The unique blend of Mardi Gras and Red River traditions draws crowds from across the country. Dress up and celebrate a good time during the Grand Ball; experience something new with the burning of the Loup-garu—a spirit that removes your troubles and worries for the coming year; prepare your palate for Cajun cook offs and crawfish boils; and bundle up and watch the annual Mardi Gras Main Street Parade.

World Championship Shovel Races

Head to Angel Fire for this truly unique sports spectacle during the 41st Annual World Championship Shovel Races. Held during the Angel Fire Resort’s Winter Carnival, party like a local and watch the races while enjoying a few drinks.

Shovel Racing came from humble beginnings, dating back to the early 1970’s when lift operators would sit on their snow shovel and ride down the mountain after a long day in the lift shack. Soon, lift operators would race each other, seeing who could make it to the bottom fastest. Today, shovel racers from across the compete by sitting on the scoop of a standard aluminum grain shovel, handle pointed downhill, and lifting their hands and feet to allow gravity to bring them to the ski base—at speeds exceeding 50 miles per hour.