Holidays at the Palace | - December 6, 2011

“Holidays at the Palace of the Governors are always a treasured time…”

Holidays at the Palace

The winter holidays at the Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe are always a treasured time of year: Christmas at the Palace, Las Posadas and the Young Native Artists Show – these are items we mark on our calendars every year; hoping to attend as many as our crowded December schedules allow.

This year’s schedule is graced with several new additions, including the First National Bank’s beloved toy train. Because of the bank’s Main Office renovation on the Santa Fe Plaza, the train will be set up in the History Museum’s lobby from Tuesday, December 13th through Saturday, December 31st.

“Trains are such part of the celebration of Christmas and the winter holidays,” said Frances Levine, director of the History Museum. “We are so pleased to collaborate with First National Bank and the Santa Fe Train Club to host their annual train display.  We know this will also give many people in our community and their visitors an opportunity to see the New Mexico History Museum.”

Since 1991, members of the Santa Fe Model Railroad Club have maintained and operated a model train set each Christmas for the First National Bank. Along with some volunteer help, members will be running the familiar 0-scale 3 rail Lionel trains at the History Museum, along with special models of the Hogwarts Express, the Polar Express and a special holiday freight train.

Other holiday events around the Plaza:
Christmas at the Palace. From 5:30-8 p.m. on Friday, December 9, enjoy an evening of hot cider, live music, piñatas for the children and the annual visit of Mr. and Mrs. Claus, all in the legendary magic of the Palace of the Governors. This a free, family event for all. (The History Museum and Palace will close at 3 p.m. to prepare for this event, so please enter through the Palace at 105 W. Palace Ave. The History Museum will remain closed during the event.)

Las Posadas. From 5:30-7 p.m. on Sunday, December 11, join the community for this annual favorite. The candlelight procession of Las Posadas travels around the Santa Fe Plaza and concludes in the Palace of the Governors Courtyard. This version of an old Hispanic tradition recreates Mary and Joseph's search for a place to give birth to the Baby Jesus – and throws in a few devils for good measure. Stay for carols in the Courtyard, along with biscochitos and hot cider. This event is free and open to the public. (The History Museum and Palace will close at 3 p.m. to prepare for this event.)

Young Native Artists Show and Sale. On Saturday and Sunday, December 17 and 18, children and grandchildren of the Palace Portal artisans will display their own creations in the museum’s John Gaw Meem Room. (Enter from Washington Avenue.) At this once-a-year sale you can pick up some wonderful Christmas presents and support the next generation of Native American artisans – you might even select an artistic creation from a future Best of Show winner at Indian Market in the future.

While you’re at the Museum, take in Illuminating the Word: The Saint John’s Bible and Contemplative Landscape. Featuring both a world-class example of the calligraphed book arts and an ecumenical exploration of how New Mexicans connect to their spirituality, the exhibitions offer a respite from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.         

There are many time-honored traditions during the holidays at the New Mexico History Museum/Palace of the Governors every year. Make some of them part of your holiday tradition.

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