View From the Plaza

December is a Magical Time in Santa Fe

Enjoy a magical time of year in Santa Fe, when evenings sparkle with farolitos and snow and wonderful aromas fill the air. Take a festive walk down Canyon Road on Christmas Eve, and ask our concierge desk about Las Posadas and holiday dances at the Pueblos.

Choose from numerous holiday concerts this year, from Santa Fe Pro Musica’s Baroque Christmas at Loretto Chapel to Santa Fe Desert Chorale’s Carols and Lullabies from around the world. The male chorus Chanticleer performs an a cappella holiday concert in the St. Francis Cathedral Basilica.

Of course, there’s The Nutcracker by Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, and for a twist on the classic, The Nutcracker (Swing!) which mixes in some Duke Ellington.

Other holiday programs include The Big Holiday Sing, The Lighter Side of Christmas, and A Toast to the New Year from the Santa Fe Desert Chorale. Crescent City crooner Aaron Neville is on tour with his quintet performing Christmas classics and originals from throughout his career. Classical guitarists The Romeros perform a holiday concert with the Spanish string orchestra, Concerto Malaga. Child virtuoso pianist Emily Bear performs a Christmas Eve concert with La Fonda’s friend, Joe Illick and the Santa Fe Concert Association Orchestra; and the Santa Fe Concert Band offers a free holiday performance for all to enjoy.

Toy train enthusiasts of all ages won’t want to miss Choo!Choo! Train Weekend at the Santa Fe Children’s Museum, where families can build dioramas and enjoy the holiday cheer. Return to the museum for the Winter Solstice Festival, featuring a luminaria labyrinth and warm snacks.

Gustave Baumann’s beloved marionettes star in two performances at the Annual Holiday Open House at the New Mexico Museum of Art. Enjoy refreshments, activities, and a photo opportunity with a The Baumann Santa Claus marionette.

You can ring in the New Year with the Harlem String Quartet at the Lensic Performing Arts Center, or at any number of bars and restaurants around town that will host their own First Night celebrations.

Other performances include the Golden Dragon Acrobats from China in the fast-paced Cirque Ziva, premiering in Santa Fe. Singer-songwriters David Hidalgo (of Los Lobos) and Alejandro Escovedo perform together for the first time ever; and the Washington Saxophone Quartet brings their three-decade-plus history of international concerts to town. Broadway star Sutton Foster performs a selection of her hits, including those from Anything Goes, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and other Broadway show tunes.

At Sol Santa Fe, World Party and the Mountain Goats entertain the hip crowd, while folkies can check out Round Mountain, a Santa Fe duo of multi-instrumentalist brothers with a unique take on global-toned Americana.

For educational evenings, there are talks by the U.S.-based Iranian literary scholar Hamid Dabashi with Alternative Radio’s David Barsamian; or New Deal historian Kathryn A. Flynn on the topic, “The New Deal Is Still a Good Deal.” And artistic icons Forrest Fenn, William Field, and Jack Loeffler narrate their “Stories of Old Santa Fe.”

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