If you’re looking for the perfect place to enjoy your next family vacation, New Mexico has everything you need! There are so many things to do with kids in Southwest NM, from exploring its beautiful landscapes to trail riding through the Gila National Forest on horseback. The magic of the Gila will leave kids of all ages with lasting memories! We’ve listed a few of our favorite things to do in New Mexico with kids, but this is only the beginning. To learn more about everything this beautiful area has to offer, request a personalized New Mexico Itinerary. Your specially tailored itinerary will make planning your family vacation a breeze!
Top Things to do With Kids in Southwest NM
Spend a Week in The Gila National Forest
The Gila National Forest’s landscapes are among the most fascinating in the United States and make for some fantastic things to do with kids in Southwest NM. This remote paradise spans 3.3 million acres, features three wilderness areas, multiple climatic zones, and is home to an incredible variety of plants and countless wildlife species. Throughout the National Forest, you’ll encounter deep canyons, high mountain overlooks, open meadows, ancient Native American artifacts, crystal-clear spring-fed streams, and much more. To show you just how amazing this place is, our daily excursions will take you to many of the Gila’s most breathtaking spots. Children will love being able to roam freely and explore here! They will be able to splash and swim in the warm-spring-fed creeks, climb up to amazing caves, make pictographs using the same red rocks the Mimbres people would have used over 1,000 years ago, learn about ranch life, and help with feeding the horses and other ranch chores!
Explore New Mexico’s Best Parks
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
As one of the oldest and most well-known cave systems in the world, Carlsbad Caverns offers family fun like no other. The caverns feature vast underground chambers, deep rocky canyons, ancient sea ledges, hiking trails, and most notably intricate dangling cave formations. Be sure to hike down through the Natural Entrance Trail to get the full experience! For another unique activity the kids will love, be there at sunset from Memorial Day weekend through October to watch the bats fly out!
White Sands National Park
As you approach White Sands National Park, you’ll notice New Mexico’s mountains begin to shrink and turn into rolling hills of soft white sand. For nearly 275 miles, powdery white gypsum sand dunes make a one-of-a-kind location for hiking, driving, and even sledding! Kids will love sledding down sand that looks like snow on a summer’s day!
Bandelier National Monument
Just outside of Los Alamos, NM, and about two hours from Albuquerque, NM, you’ll find Bandelier National Monument. The 33,677-acre site preserves the homes and territories of Ancestral Puebloans. The national monument is made up of 70 miles of trails, numerous archeological sites, and stunning landscapes that will fascinate the nature lovers in your group! Kids will have a blast climbing all the ladders to get to the cliff dwellings, caves, and cavates (small human-carved alcoves)!
Elephant Butte Lake State Park
Make a splash in New Mexico’s largest lake at Elephant Butte Lake State Park! The enormous reservoir was created by a dam on the Rio Grande River and extends for 40 miles. With more than 200 miles of shoreline, Elephant Butte Lake is the premier water recreation facility in our state and offers everything from water skiing to fishing to boating!
Stay at Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch
Situated in a fascinating region of the United States, Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch is surrounded by a slew of great things to see and do before or after your stay at the ranch. Plus, the comfort and convenience of our dude ranch will make your vacation as easy and stress-free as possible! As guests at our ranch, you will enjoy an all-inclusive stay featuring daily chef-prepared meals, unlimited horseback riding, ranch games, campfires with s’mores, and fantastic stargazing, to name just a few highlights!
For families planning their next vacation, our cabins are the perfect accommodation. Each one features multiple beds, a porch swing, and a toasty propane fireplace. The best part? You’ll be surrounded by nothing but nature, horses, and wildlife!
Check our availability and plan an unforgettable family vacation. We can’t wait to host you at Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch!