New Mexico History Museum

Keep Calm and Merry On

November 13, 2012

the New Mexico History Museum
505 476-5200

Update: The floors are finished, and Christmas at the Palace will happen as usual. See the updated press release at

Santa Fe – Christmas at the Palace and Las Posadas, two of the most beloved holiday events in Santa Fe, are back again, but with a twist. A reflooring project in the entryway of the Palace of the Governors has forced us to lock its front doors, but we can’t keep Santa from greeting his fans at Christmas at the Palace on Friday, Dec. 7. Well-placed sources tell us that the world’s oldest elf plans to enter the Palace Courtyard through the Blue Gate on Washington Avenue, just south of the Lincoln Avenue entrance, and we advise all interested children to gather there at 5:30 pm with their families.

Parts of the Palace, a National Historic Landmark, will be open. As a special treat, we’ll also open the first-floor lobby of the New Mexico History Museum for musical performances and a place to ward off the winter chill. Besides visiting with Santa in the Palace Courtyard, visitors can also enjoy Spanish carols, hot cider, biscochitos, and a piñata. The event, from 5:30—8 pm, is free. Donations of nonperishable foods are welcome.

Las Posadas kicks off two nights later, at 5:30 pm on Sunday, Dec. 9. Here’s the complete holiday lineup at the New Mexico History Museum/Palace of the Governors:

Schola Cantorum and the Monks of Christ in the Desert Monastery, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2—3 pm: Enjoy a performance of sacred music amid the rich acoustics of the History Museum's lobby. Expect to hear the sounds of Advent, the ancient pre-Christmas period with its roots in the seventh century. The event, part of the programming series for Illuminating the Word: The Saint John's Bible and Contemplative Landscape, is free with admission; Sundays free to NM residents.

Christmas at the Palace Friday, Dec. 7, 5:30—8 pm: The 28th anniversary of this free, family event brings the community together for hot cider, live music, a piñata for the kids, and some quality time with Mr. and Mrs. Claus in the legendary magic of the Palace of the Governors. Make your own holiday card on the historic Estancia Press. Help ease hunger among Santa Feans by donating nonperishable food items.

Performers at this year’s event:

•    Coro de Agua Fria

•    EPIK Kids of the Santa Fe Concert Association

•    High Desert Harps

•    Enchanted Strings

Note: Please plan to enter through the Blue Gate on Lincoln Avenue, just south of the History Museum’s main entrance.

Las Posadas Sunday, Dec. 9, 5:30—7 pm: This annual candle-lit procession travels around the Santa Fe Plaza and concludes in the Palace Courtyard. Modeled after an old Hispanic tradition that recreates Mary and Joseph's search for a place to give birth to the Baby Jesus, the museum’s version throws in a few rooftop devils for good measure. Stay for carols in the Palace Courtyard, along with cookies and refreshments. Free and open to the public.

(The History Museum and Palace will close at 3 pm on Dec. 7 and Dec. 9 to prepare for these events.)

Young Native Artists Show and Sale, Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 15-16, 9:30 am—4 pm: Children and grandchildren of the Palace Portal artisans display their own creations in the museum’s Meem Community Room (enter for free through the Washington Avenue doors). Pick up some nifty Christmas presents and support the next generation of Native American artisans.

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. Holidays at the Palace are made possible in part by the Capitanes, a group of volunteers for the museum, Los Compadres, a support group of the Museum of New Mexico Foundation, and the Plaza Restaurant.

For high-resolution versions of images from past years’ events, click on "Go to related media" at the top left of this page.

Phone number for publication: 505-476-5200

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