New Mexico was recently voted by Forbes as one of the top 14 places to travel in the United States!
With spring break around the corner, you should check out Las Cruces as your destination this year. You won’t be disappointed!
When I had the opportunity this past fall to travel to Las Cruces for a weekend excursion, complete with attending the Las Cruces Country Music Festival, my main concern was whether or not it was going to be a family friendly trip. I can say that hands down, this was one of the best places we have traveled with our toddler. This trip was the seventh road trip we have taken with her and we were pleasantly surprised that Las Cruces offers some of the best family friendly excursions! The weather is amazing, the skies endlessly blue, and the Organ Mountains are absolutely breathtaking.
New Mexico Farm & Heritage Museum: My Favorite Stop
If you and your family love animals as much as we do, this is a super fun place to visit! The museum tour is best done with toddlers in strollers and little ones within reach as most exhibits are for looking only. There are interesting things to learn about the way people lived, worked, farmed and built community. The exhibits are bright, colorful and masterfully designed to peak interest and promote curiosity for everyone in the family!
The Farm was definitely my favorite. Our little one couldn’t run fast enough to see the cows, sheep, horses, goats, and pigs. She was literally squealing with delight with each new discovery, and even got to pet the animals brave enough to get close to her. There is plenty of space for kids to run and play. There is even a playground at the entrance of the museum for parents who may need a break and for kids who need to burn off some extra energy.
This award-winning farmers market, located in downtown Las Cruces, is known for its local artisans, live music, chile vendors, and great breakfast burritos. The street is blocked off and families are free to relax while they shop. We noticed that the market was dog friendly, which was a bonus for us since our toddler loves dogs. The vendors were extremely friendly and welcomed our questions and curiosity. You’ll definitely want to take home a few treasures from here!
For historical charm and really great Mexican food, Mesilla has a lot to offer families! Walking around town is easy and there is so much to see. With galleries, boutiques, and specialty restaurants, Mesilla is a wonderful place to take the family to explore New Mexico’s history. La Posta de Mesilla is hailed as one of the most famous Mexican restaurants in the southwest and a definite must-see/must-taste! We also visited the Double Eagle, where we were told ghost stories and got to learn about frequent hauntings! This particular haunt may suit the older kids who enjoy a spooky story or two. This part of Las Cruces definitely offers a rich cultural experience that you and your family shouldn’t miss!
White Sands is absolutely breathtaking. For only $20 a car you can spend all day at the National Monument. In the tourist center there is an informational video about how the sands were formed through the centuries. For older kids and adults alike, the video was fascinating! Be advised the rustic bathrooms offer no place to change a diaper, so plan accordingly. My recommendation is to make sure and wear sunscreen and bring sunglasses. We spent a good hour playing in the sands, sliding down the dunes and taking pictures. Our little one absolutely adored the experience and was completely fascinated by the sand. For a state without beaches, it doesn’t get better than this!
As a new parent I must confess that traveling with children is a whole new ball game! The amount of things you have to think of to prepare are mind boggling! However, I think part of the success to traveling with children is yes; prepare ahead of time and make those lists! But more importantly, going with the flow and throwing your expectations out the window will help make it memorable. There may or may not be picture perfect moments. Not everything has to be Instagram worthy. Being in the moment and enjoying it though your child’s eyes is priceless. And finally, working together with your husband and tag teaming on things, alleviates the pressure of responsibility.
Everything I plan now, revolves around my ability to travel with a tiny and very energetic toddler. Here are some final things to consider when planning your spring and summer trips this year:
- Can I navigate a stroller easily?
- Will there be places to change diapers?
- Will the staff at the location be OKAY with having children there?
- Will the location allow my kid to run around and explore?
- Can my kid be loud and expressive?
- How easy will it be to navigate through the area?
- Will there be parking close enough?
- How much time will each activity take?
- What is the cost?
- Will there be a play area for her if she gets restless?
As far as Las Cruces is concerned, each one of my concerns was addressed in ways that made this trip fun, memorable, and a definite MUST RETURN! Thank you Las Cruces for your hospitality! For more information about planning your trip to Las Cruces, visit their website.
Check out our Guide to New Mexico Travel to learn about other great destinations in the Land of Enchantment for you and your family!