1 Light the lights.

Holiday Plaza Lighting
Head to the Santa Fe Plaza on Friday to see the holiday decorations light up the night. Hot chocolate, an appearance by Santa and Mrs. Claus, food trucks, a vintage fire truck, and cookies make it a party beginning at 4:30 p.m. The lights turn on at 6:15 p.m.

Christmas on the Pecos
Hop aboard a boat and enjoy a spectacular display of holiday lights adorning docks, islands, and backyards in Carlsbad during the 32nd annual Christmas on the Pecos. Kids can take a ride on The Pecos Express train, and the whole family can snap a seasonal pic inside a snow globe. Make sure to arrive 30 minutes before departure.

33rd Annual Lighted Christmas Parade
The parade lights up Silver City on Saturday starting at 7 p.m. from Broadway to Bullard and ending at Western New Mexico University. Keep your eyes peeled for Santa.

Switch on the Holidays
Finish your turkey and head to Brandenburg Park, in Red River, on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. for Christmas carols, hot chocolate, cider, and Santa Claus. Celebrate the lighting of the trees when the switch is hit at 7 p.m.

Festival of Lights
Shops in downtown Ratón welcome holiday shoppers on Friday with a static parade of lighted floats along historic First Street between Rio Grande Avenue and Clark Avenue after the annual tree lighting at Ripley Park. The parade begins at 5:30 p.m.

Shop works by artists such as Kathleen Wall at the SWAIA Winter Market. Photograph courtesy of SWAIA Winter Market.

2  Shop holiday markets.

NM Artisan Market
Experience the Land of Enchantment’s creative talents at the NM Artisan Market on Friday (11 a.m.–5 p.m.), Saturday (10 a.m.–5 p.m.) and Sunday (10 a.m.–3 p.m.), in Albuquerque. More than 140 artisans take over Hotel Albuquerque and sell everything from woven blankets and handmade hats to Indigenous pottery and skin care products.

Rio Grande Arts & Crafts Holiday Festival
Shop everything from fine art and handcrafted gifts to tasty treats at this market and festival that takes over Expo New Mexico in Albuquerque on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Live music plays from two stages.

Black Friday Weekend Craft Fair Extravaganza
Get your Christmas tree—and some added cheer— in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, as the Bubble Hearts Soap Co. and the Garcia Family Christmas Tree Stand present a fiesta with live music, local vendors, and a great selection of trees on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Holiday Art Market
Shop works from Indigenous artists at the Wheelwright Museum, on Santa Fe’s Museum Hill, at this holiday pop-up on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Entry to the market is free.

Pathways Winter Market
In Pojoaque, Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino hosts more than 200 Indigenous artists during this winter market organized by the Poeh Cultural Center and the Pueblo of Pojoaque Tribal program on Saturday and Sunday. Find traditional garments, handmade jewelry, Pueblo-style holiday decorations and ornaments, and delicious edible gifts.

Winter Indian Market
See over 150 of SWAIA’s juried Indigenous artists from throughout the country working in a variety of mediums at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center on Saturday (10 a.m.–6 p.m.) and Sunday (9 a.m.–4 p.m.).

Burn some calories at the Ruidoso Turkey Trot. Photograph by Sporlab/Unsplash.

3 Dash through the snow.

So, you ate two plates of turkey and all the sides, right? Run off the extra calories at Ruidoso Turkey Trot, a 5K along the Links Trail on Saturday at 10 a.m. Proceeds support the Lincoln County Foodbank.

Slide into Thanksgiving weekend with the opening of winter tubing at Ruidoso Winter Park. Courtesy of Discover Ruidoso

4 Head to the mountains.  

Ruidoso gets the holidays going in style with a stuffed-like-a-turkey Thanksgiving weekend of events, including an opening day party at Ski Apache on Saturday, a Christmas tree lighting at Inn of the Mountain Gods on Sunday, with events starting at 1 p.m., live musical performances by Chris Baker at Downshift Brewing Company locations on Friday and Saturday, the holiday debut of sleigh rides at Grindstone Stables, and the first day of winter tubing at Ruidoso Winter Park on Thursday.

White Mountain Christmas at Flying J Ranch
A ranch-style feast, a decorated western-style village with over-the-top holiday lights, a winter hayride, and a visit to Santa’s workshop await at the Flying J Ranch during the annual event that runs through December 31.

Patrick McGrath's "Holier Than Thou" is among the works included in his solo show at Evoke Contemporary. Photograph courtesy of Evoke Contemporary

5 Enliven the season with art.


Patrick McGrath Muñiz: Retablos
Traditional retablos get a modern spin in works by Puerto Rican artist Patrick McGrath Muñiz. Using Renaissance techniques, he takes on modern issues of capitalism, consumerism, and climate change in his detailed works. Evoke Contemporary presents an opening of the solo exhibition, which runs through November 24 to January 20, with a reception on Friday from 5 to 7 p.m.

Holiday Miniature Show
Blue Rain Gallery features a small works show by 19 artists, including Erin Currier, Starr Hardridge, and Chris Pappan, in a group show that opens Friday with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Small works offer an opportunity to add to your collection or buy a piece from a recognized artist with a more accessible price tag.

Read more: For more things to do, check out our online calendar of events.