1 Drive through Dixon.
The apple trees in Dixon have been picked, but its artists’ studios are in full bloom for the 42nd annual Dixon Studio Tour. On Friday from 5 to 7 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., more than 35 local artists welcome guests into their creative spaces. Visitors get a chance to meet the artists, see their processes, and learn about their inspirations and careers, providing a deeper insight into the works.
“This is our only chance to show our full body of work, and in the place we make it,” says Sheena Cameron, a multimedia artist who has been a part of the tour since its inception. “Visitors see our tools, works in progress, and works of others we have collected.”
While there are many art tours in New Mexico, the Dixon Studio Tour is unique in its connection to the land. Many of the artists own small organic farms and orchards, which is why the tour is held in early November. “This is when people have harvested,” says Cameron, who notes the importance of wreath-making to the event. “I am glad Tania Marines [of One Straw Farm] has continued that tradition. She harvests her fields, and then uses some of her produce in her wreaths.”
Indeed, the tour offers a little something everyone can enjoy. “There’s a Goldilocks effect,” says Cameron. “This tour is the right size. People can get around and see everything if they want to. There are quite a few studios down dirt roads, and off the main road. People love that.”
2 Join in a renaissance.
In true renaissance fashion, the 52nd annual Renaissance ArtsFaire is encouraging attendees to interpret the period in their own ways. “We are celebrating the diversity of cultures here in Las Cruces and Doña Ana County,” says Araceli Solis, executive director at the Doña Ana Arts Council. “We are encouraging our guests and vendors to showcase the beauty of their roots.”
Taking over Young Park on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the event offers live music, jousting and sword play performances, a procession, ren faire eats, drinks at the Dragon’s Eye Tavern, and an art market. “This is a period of rebirth for the faire,” Solis says. “We are going to keep some of the traditional artists and vendors who have been with us in the past, but we opened up to new vendors as well.” More than 90 art and food vendors are selling lemonade, kettle corn, candied apples, fiber and leather works, photographs, porcelain ceramics, and more.
3 Take off for hot-air balloons.
For 40 years, Artesia has welcomed hot-air balloon enthusiasts during the late fall. The Artesia Balloons & Tunes Rally brings colorful balloons to lift off from Eagle Draw Park, which straddles the center of town. Weather permitting, they launch around 7 a.m. on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. On Saturday, visitors can catch a concert at 5th and Texas streets, where local bands perform, balloonists hang with the crowd, and food trucks feed the crowd. Stick around to catch an evening balloon glow.
4 Celebrate Scandinavian culture.
Enjoy Scandinavian eats, folk art, and music at St. John’s United Methodist Church in Albuquerque during the Scandinavian Festival on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. “It’s different than other festivals because Scandinavian countries are very rich in their traditions,” says organizer Denise Richard-Franco. “We hope to immerse visitors in their culture.”
Get a jump on holiday shopping at the market which includes Norwegian rosemaling, a form of painting, and handmade gnomes, pottery, jewelry, Sami butter knives, and ornaments. Try traditional foods like lefse, a Norwegian potato-flatbread; julekake, a cardamom Norwegian Christmas bread; and aebleskivers, a circular, puffy Danish pancake.
5 Get spirited at Fort Stanton.
There’s still time to bask in the spookiness of witchy season at Fort Stanton during the After Dark program on Saturday from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Rangers, historians, and the local paranormal society lead tours through the space as darkness falls, offering a chance to meander the historic property at night.