Top Events for Thanksgiving Week in Santa Fe

Holiday lights on the Plaza, Santa Fe

Santa Fe was made for fall. Thanksgiving in the Land of Enchantment feels, well, enchanting. The greens turn to orange, complementing the surrounding golden glow of the desert and the burning red sunsets. The summery smell of roasted hatch green chiles gives way to piñon coffee and the pungent scent of juniper smoke. Here’s four ways to celebrate Thanksgiving in Santa Fe. (Hint: File this under “More Reasons to Live in Santa Fe All Year.”)


Experience Handel’s Messiah at the Lensic Performing Arts Center

It’s a tradition at the Lensic Performing Arts Center to put on a performance of Handel’s Messiah in November every year. This year you’ll want to show up at 4 PM on November 19 to experience the Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, led by Principal Conductor Gullermo Figueroa. Guest soloists this year will include Mary Wilson, Daryl Freedman, Josh Kohl, and Joseph Beutel, singing, respectively, soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, and bass-baritone. If you can’t make the full show, come by at 3 PM for a free preview.


Need to know: There are no children under 6 allowed at the performance.


Get an Early Start on Ski Season

New Mexico’s high elevation means that the first snow tends to fall well before Christmas. If you’re counting the hours until winter sports season, you’ll want to book a trip to Ski Santa Fe, which is set to open on November 23.


Need to know: The opening date is tentative at this point. Check the All Mountain Snow Report for updates.


Take in the Lights

Every city has its holiday lights neighborhood, that one corner of town where it’s a tradition to put on a dazzling display of lights and decorations. In Santa Fe that’s the Plaza. The lights go on November 24, the day after Thanksgiving.  Festivities start at 3 PM with hot chocolate and Girl Scout cookies for sale. There’s entertainment and music, a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus at 4 PM, farolito lighting, and the main lighting ceremony at 6.


Need to know: It can get a little crowded as people gather in the Plaza, so showing up just before dark is a good idea to avoid traffic on the way in.


Check Out The Local Craft Brews

Santa Fe loves its craft beer. Come autumn, local brewmasters experiment with all kinds of fall-themed recipes including pine nuts, pumpkin, and ripe fruit.


Need to know: Hit up Rowley Farmhouse Ales and keep an eye out for anything with an orange label.

“Santa Fe Plaza” by Larry Lamsa is licensed under CC BY 2.0