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Santa Fe Tidbits: Winter Fiesta, Restaurant Week, Valles Caldera and more…

Il Piatto Cucina is participating in Restaurant Week, Photo Steve Collins

It’s a really busy week in Santa Fe. The first annual Winter Fiesta takes place through February 27th; advantage of the activities and great deals. This weekend brings the annual ArtFeast, one of the most popular events in town. And there are more happenings in the wings.

Valles Caldera National Preserve is one of New Mexico’s natural treasures. Formed by volcanic eruptions beginning over a million years ago, the caldera is a large bowl-like depression caused by the resulting collapse of the land. The preserve is open to the public, but access is limited. If you want to enjoy a portion of the 95,000 acres that are usually not open to visitors, they are holding a few lotteries.

Photo Adventure: Win the right to a three-day camera outing, with access to most of the preserve; you can even camp on-site in one of the designated primitive campsites there. This is a rare opportunity to get into some of the more remote areas of this former ranch, now operated by US government, to hike and take photos. Twelve lucky winners will be able to share this bounty with a guest. No more than 800 tickets will be sold. Want to be sure you win; buy them all.

Hunting Lotteries: Somewhere between 2.500 and 3,500 elk call the preserve home. Win the opportunity to hunt these unspoiled lands. The Valles Caldera’s website notes, “Our hunts are designed to pay homage to man’s oldest relationship with animals by providing the public with a hunting experience that otherwise would be prohibitively expensive.” Or, if you want a chance to bring home one of the 400 Merriam Turkeys found here from April thru December, there are two, three-day hunts scheduled this spring. Enter these lotteries for the right to hunt elk or what should be our national bird.

If you haven’t been to this wild and beautiful place yet, put it on your agenda. It is a great year-round resource. In spring summer and fall there’s hiking and fishing. There are two lodging facilities that can be rented, one is appropriate for small corporate and family groups. They can host a wedding or other catered event. In winter, they offer horse-drawn sleigh rides as well as wonderful places to go cross-country skiing and snow shoeing.  While open to the public, many activities here have limited space; reservations are highly recommend to ensure there’s a place for you. Call before you go.

The Music Man is coming to the Lensic Theater, Santa Fe, NM, Photo by Steve Collins

Seventy-six trombones come to town with the rest of that perennial Broadway favorite, The Music Man. The national touring company production mounted by Windwood Theatricals is at the Lensic Performing Arts Center Sunday March 6th at 3 p.m. Make it an occasion and have a post-theater dinner, it’s the first night of Santa Fe Restaurant Week. Or, here’s a great deal, Santa Fe Sage Inn is offering an incredible package: a one-night stay; dinner at the O’Keeffe Café and tickets to the show for an incredible $150 a couple. Do the math on this one- the tickets are valued at $96 and the meal, $74. You’re actually making money on the deal. We’re still trying to figure out how they can do this. (If you book your stay online, use code B1KY11 for this package).

You may have seen the HBO movie about her life or seen her at the Emmys where the movie won five of the little statues. Autism-advocate and Colorado State University Animal Science Professor, Temple Grandin is coming to Santa Fe. She’ll be talking about Autism, Animals, and Ways of Thinking at St. John’s College on Friday, March 11th at 8 p.m. Grandin, who was diagnosed as autistic at an early age, has spoken on autism since the 1980s. She speaks from experience; this makes her a powerful speaker on the subject. The talk, part of the school’s Steiner Lecture Series, is in the Great Hall at the Peterson Student Center; admission is free.


The Taos Pueblo closes annually in February and March. They will reopen on March 29th.

If you know any interesting Santa Fe Tidbits, we’d love it if you’d share them with us.

Authors’ note: As a former hotel concierges and owners of a travel concierge and trip-planning business in Santa Fe, the writers may have been guests of business or services mentioned in posts on this site. While these experiences have not influenced us in any way, this information is provided in the spirit of full disclosure.

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