15 Cool Things to do in Taos with Kids

Welcome to enchanting Taos that is home to outdoor enthusiasts, modern people, and indigenous peoples alike. This town is full of history, culture, and fun. A family vacation is a great way to explore the city, and here are the best things to do in Taos with kids for your visit.

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While modernly it was established into a municipality in 1934, Taos have been inhabited for over 1,000 years by the natives. Today, the land is shared by different cultures and enjoyed by visitors as well.

Get your fill of history and fun with these great family-friendly activities in Taos, New Mexico.

pinnable image of What to See in Taos, New Mexico With Kids. Includes best things to do in Taos in 4 images: looking down a brown canyon with river at the bottom, adobe church, Taos Plaza, the Taos Pueblo building

Best Things to do in Taos with Kids

multi story adobe building in the distance, blue skies above

1. Taos Pueblo

120 Veterans Highway, Taos

Taos Pueblo is pretty much one of the BEST attractions in Taos, New Mexico. It is a World Heritage Site with over 100,000 visitors a year. The Pueblo is a community of family homes within one structure where families have lived for thousands of years. This makes is the oldest, continuously inhabited community in the country.

I’ll be honest, this was the number one reason I wanted to make a stop in Taos. So I was so sad when we didn’t get to go.

While it is typically open to the public, the pueblo does hold rituals at times that close it and you cannot pass into the community. That’s what happened to us.

If that happens to you, there are still plenty of other things to do in Taos with the kids.

distant view of the Rio Grande Gorge bridge, looking at a deep canyon with water at the bottom, everything is pretty brown, a large steel bridge across the canyon in the distance

2. Rio Grande Gorge Bridge

Head west on US-64 and just after the bridge there will be a parking area on the left.

Luckily, this was also high on our list.

The Rio Grande Gorge Bridge is a 1,280 foot cantilever truss bridge. It’s the 2nd highest highway bridge in the US and the 5th tallest overall.

The bridge is a beautiful site spanning above the river at 650 feet high.

When you arrive at the parking area, you can browse through local artisan goods and use the legit bathroom.

Then hop onto the walking trail (or Rio Grande Gorge hike, as it’s often referred as, but it’s not hard) to take in different views of the bridge from a distance.

Check off Taos Pueblo, Rio Grande Gorge, St Francis de Asis, and more with this half day tour!

3. Family-Friendly Rafting on the Rio Grande

Book a fun, scenic adventure with a half-day float down the Rio Grande River. You’ll go through the Orilla Verde National Recreation Area and get to enjoy views of cliffs and canyons.

And if you’re visiting during the heat of midsummer, you’ll enjoy a safe spot to dive in for a swim. This is a great family experience since the rapids are mild and there is plenty of calm time.

👉🏼 Book The 1/2 Day Raft Trip

4. Rio Grande del Norte National Monument

Various Entrances

Proclaimed a national monument in 2013, Rio Grande del Norte is comprised of over 240,000 acres of river, canyons, volcanic cones, and mountains.

Within the monument you are welcome to raft, bike, hike, and fish in appropriate areas. There is a great viewpoint at La Junta Point that’s easy to access (great for young kids!) and visitors can witness the convergence of the Rio Grande and Red River.

Since the monument area is so large, the great areas are various distances from each other. The Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, as noted above, is great for an easy walk along the rim of the gorge.

If you drove from Santa Fe to Taos and saw signs for the monument all along the way, it’s because it stretches pretty far north to south. Most of the hiking and camping is along the eastern side, making it convenient to visit this monument during your visit.

Earthship in Taos, a short white building with windows from top to bottom on a slant on the right side, lots of bush and scrub all around the building

5. Earthship Visitor Center

2 Earthship Way, Tres Piedras

Earthship is one of the more unique things to do in Taos. But it’s incredibly cool, too.

Earthship homes are made possible by local architect Michael Reynolds. Earthships are off-grid homes constructed from recycled materials (cans, tires, bottles, etc.)

They are self-sustained, receiving their energy from the wind and sun, growing food on site, and treating their own wastewater.

At the visitors center (which is an earthship), you’ll get a glimpse of how the plants grow and thrive in earthships, see photos of earthships all around the world, and learn about power and water sources.

This is definitely a down-to-earth experience with an innovative twist.

Looking into Taos Plaza, pavers on the path, a few low cement walls protection trees and grasses, a pavilion in the distance in the center of the plaza, adobe style buildings in the far distance across the plaza

6. Walk Through Taos Plaza

N Plaza, Taos

Taos Plaza is in the historic district of the city and home to many small shops and restaurants.

The plaza area was first established in 1796 when the Don Fernando de Taos Land Grant was given among 63 families in the area by the King of Spain. Many building burned down over the years, but were rebuilt in the 1900’s.

As you walk through Taos Plaza, you can feel and appreciate the historic value. The large gazebo in the center is a great respite on hot, sunny days. The plaza now serves as a central place for live music, farmers markets, and other local events.

Just beyond the plaza you’ll find Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church. Visitors are welcome inside to see yet another historic sanctuary.

👉🏼 Book a Historic Walking Tour of Taos

evergreens lining a ski run with a chairlift running up the mountain

7. Taos Ski Valley

Taos is a hot place to ski during the winters. But even if you aren’t there during winter or your family isn’t much of a ski family, it’s still a cool area to explore.

Outdoorsy families will love being able to mountain bike, take a hike, or even just catch the chairlift for a scenic ride.

8. Best Hikes in Taos Ski Valley for Families

Williams Lake is a beautiful destination for hikers willing to trek just under 4 miles (round trip). Middle Fork Lake is just under 5 miles r/t and guides you along the Middle Fork Red River along the way. Both end at a stunning lake in the mountains. Neither are terribly long for experienced young hikers and both are rated moderate.

9. San Francisco de Asís Church

60 St Francis Plaza, Ranchos De Taos

(Also often called San Francisco de Assisi)

San Francisco de Asis Church is an official historical landmark just a few miles away in Ranchos de Taos.

The architecture and historical significance makes it one of the most photographed churches in not just New Mexico but in the US.

The church was built in the 1700’s and, thanks to famous artists like Ansel Adams and Georgia O’Keefe, has garnered lots of attention and artistic interest. It’s a mixture of Spanish Colonial architecture and construction by the Taos Pueblo people that is one of the few original buildings in Taos.

Imagine Museum in Taos, New Mexico.  A room with wood floors and sand-colored material that creates a replica of Taos pueblo on the right.  A church play structure replica on the left

Image by Imagine Children’s Museum, used with permission

10. Imagine Children’s Museum

104 Des Georges Places, Taos

At Imagine Children’s Museum, kids will have the chance not only to play and learn, but to get involved in some fun art projects. Kids will have the chance at a pottery wheel, playing with clay, using natural materials to make a masterpiece, or paint.

Play in sand, explore the light table, or try out sewing and craft projects. There is plenty to keep the kids happy and having fun at Imagine!

Free entrance, and activities inside are free as well, making this the perfect budget-friendly thing to do in Taos that will make the kids very happy!

11. Hot Springs in Taos

Are there hot springs in Taos? Yes. But they may not be for your family.

The Ponce de Leon hot springs, which is actually now owned and taken care of by Taos Pueblo, and the Black Rock Hot Springs are relatively easy to access. However, we did not visit either as both are clothing optional. For that reason, I won’t go into detail since this is a post about great things to do in Taos with kids.

12. Millicent Rogers Museum

1504 Millicent Rogers Rd

Millicent Rogers was a woman that came to Taos in 1947. She was granddaughter of H.H. Rogers, who worked as a co-founder of the Standard Oil Company with John D. Rockefeller.

She was beautiful, rich, fashionable…and used her connections and popularity to make an impact on the Spanish and Native American communities in the area (like acquiring Blue Lake for the Taos Pueblo community).

Being passionate about fashion and art, she roamed the streets of Taos purchasing and admiring the southwestern jewelry and textiles.

The museum pays honor to Millicent’s impact on Taos and the community during her short stay here before her death in 1953.

Today, you can see many of the jewelry, weavings, and other purchases of Millicent at the museum. The museum also features 15 rotating and permanent art exhibits, events, and educational programs.

13. Taos Drums

3956 NM-68

Taos Drums has been around since 1951 and remains one of the unique attractions in Taos, New Mexico.

The world’s largest selection of Indian drums will greet you just 5 miles south of Taos Plaza. You can take a tour of how drums are made, browse through the showroom of rawhide furniture, arts, crafts, and jewelry.

You’ll know you’ve found it by the teepees along highway 68.

looking through a metal gate with KC insignia on it into the Kit Carson home outdoor area

14. Kit Carson Home

113 Kit Carson Road

Kit Carson was many things, a trapper, frontier man, explorer, and leader among them. He helped guide John C Fremont, who explored California and nearby states. He had married two Indian women and worked to protect their land, though the government forced him to remove them.

By 1953, Carson worked as a federal Indian Agent in New Mexico. He settled in New Mexico and became a rancher.

Today, you can learn about Kit at the Kit Carson Home and Museum, the oldest museum in Taos. Get to know more about the history of Southwest US and admire artifacts from Carson’s day.

sources: Biography.com and NPS.gov

15. Kit Carson Memorial Park

211 Paseo Del Pueblo Norte, Taos

Need a great place for the kids to take a play break and run around? The Kit Carson Park is located just down the road from Taos Plaza. You’ll get a playground, baseball and soccer fields, basketball court, and a picnic area.

If you want to add a little historic stop, you’ll also be right at the Kit Carson Cemetery where you can find markers for Kit and his wife as well as some of his descendants. Kit and Josefa (the wife) were originally buried in Colorado where he died, but the bodies were moved to Taos.

adobe church with cross on top, parking lot in foreground

Is Taos Worth Visiting?

If you enjoy history, art, and the outdoors, Taos is a great spot for families. The plaza is a fun hangout place or place to regroup a little. And all around is a deep dive into southwest culture both past and present.

Best Places to Stay in Taos

The Inn on Loma Plaza is the perfect place to stay in Taos. It’s not far from central Taos and each room is uniquely designed and decorated. There are only 10 rooms in this aesthetic building on a beautiful property, so it books quickly.

Another great choice (that is typically more affordable than the one above) is the Historic Taos Inn. Though it’s historic, the rooms are fresh and upgraded for a comfortable experience. It’s located right in the heart of Taos, making it easy to walk to the plaza, park, and other attractions.

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The Altitude in Taos

The altitude of Taos, New Mexico is 6,969 feet above sea level. If you are sensitive to altitude, make sure you are drinking plenty of water, especially on days you are walking around a lot or doing any hiking.

See Taos from the Sky

The High Road to Taos

The High Road to Taos is a popular drive and would make a great day trip from Taos. It’s a great way to get from Taos to Santa Fe as well. The road goes through some notable and historic towns where you can see some famous churches and great artisans.

👉🏼 Compare Santa Fe Vs Taos

Best Things to do in Taos with Kids: Wrap Up

While this historic town may be home to casinos and high adventure, there are still plenty of great things to do in Taos for families. Whether you’d like a historic, educational piece to add the the trip or outdoor fun, there are plenty of great activities to enjoy Taos.

Whatever you choose, you’re sure to end up with a great appreciation for the unique culture that Taos offers and a better understanding of the history and grit of the people who came before.

Heading to Santa Fe? Check out this family-friendly Santa Fe Walking Tour!

Make sure to check out

Best Things to do in Santa Fe with Kids

Guide to Carlsbad Caverns National Park

How to Spend One Day at White Sands National Park

Best Things to do NEAR Carlsbad Caverns

pinnable image of What to See in Taos, New Mexico With Kids. Includes best things to do in Taos in 4 images: looking down a brown canyon with river at the bottom, adobe church, Taos Plaza, the Taos Pueblo building

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