The 10 Best Educational Activities for Children in New Mexico!

Natural history centers, science exhibits, technology displays, zoos, botanical gardens, and out-door programs all provide children fun opportunities to learn. The focus for these 10 activities is about inspiring curiosity, imaginative play, and critical thinking—and there’s no homework.  

1. National Museum of Nuclear Science & History, Albuquerque, NM

Kids will understand what it’s like to be a scientist here as they also learn about nuclear technol-ogy through a variety of hands-on, interactive exhibits. The exhibits tell the story of the Atomic Age and today’s peaceful use of nuclear technology. Exhibits cover nanotechnology, nuclear medicine and rockets, planes, missiles and cannon. Additionally, camps are available for children ages six to 15 years-old winter, spring and summer breaks and are filled with fun and creative activities that open up the world of science. 

2. Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, NM

Go for the day or spend a week as a family at this national education and retreat center and learn about the natural beauty, history, geology, art and paleontology of the region through a visit to the museum or a longer stay for one of the workshops. In 1947, the New Mexico state fossil, the Coelophysis dinosaur, was found right here. Visitors can see huge blocks of dinosaur bones and stand amid life-sized replicas of dinosaurs and even hold 200 million-year-old fossils in their hands. Stop by the Museum of Anthropology for a look at ancient peoples and sign up for the Can You Dig it excavation experience. Summer brings with it Family Week, a week-long series of classes and activities, some geared specifically for children.

3. Bradbury Science Museum, Los Alamos, NM

This is one fun place that makes science fun for kids. Who knew that making a root beer float could teach scientific principles? Make one here and not only do you learn about carbonation, surface area, viscosity and temperature, you also get to drink this sweet treat. Activities include learning about how electricity flows, understanding the differences between liquids and gases, magnet experiments and an entire area just for budding rock hounds. Check out the hands-on activities in the Tech Lab Discovery Room that change throughout the year.

4. New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science, Albuquerque, NM

The museum’s commitment is to ignite a passion for life-long learning and its children’s programs take that commitment to the extreme. There’s a Naturalist Center where children learn about the state’s natural world through the use of microscopes, touch specimens and nature exhibits. The Camp-In program for children ages six through 11 unlocks the museum after-hours as kids wander the exhibits before settling down for the night. The Young Explorers Summer Camp program focuses on a variety of subjects from space to robots to dinosaurs.

5. Santa Fe Children’s Museum, Santa Fe, NM

The axiom of this museum is that “play is the highest form of research.” Its mission, for children to discover the joys of learning, play and community, supports that through its programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. The learning environment is informal. Classes take place Wednes-day, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays for toddlers to teens. There are more than 35 interactive indoor and outdoor exhibits and a one-and-a-half-acre outdoor educational garden. 

6. ABQ BioPark, Albuquerque, NM

The ABQ BioPark is comprised of the 900-animal BioPark Zoo, the 32-acre botanic garden, an aquarium with a 285,000-gallon ocean tank and Tingley Beach, a group of fishing ponds. A day-visit to any of the four areas is filled with informative activities for kids of all ages. Additional programs include Camp BioPark, a series of summer classes; Aquarium overnights, evening events that begin at dusk, spring break camps and preschool programs.

7. Living Desert Zoo & Gardens State Park, Carlsbad, NM

This 1.3-mile self-guided walk in the park is an easy trek with children that meanders through the desert environment, an aviary, a 250-million-year-old remnant of an ancient sea, a desert arroyo and a number of animal exhibits that include desert javalenas, a black bear, Mexican gray wolves, tortoises, prairie dogs, mule deer, pronghorns, Rocky Mountain elk, mountain lions and reptiles. Zoo camp for kids in first through six grade happens in July and immerses children in the conservation and ecology of the desert environment through visits to different parts of the zoo. 

8. Explora, Albuquerque, NM

A day spent here is a day that stimulates creativity and curiosity in children of all ages as they make their own discoveries. A superabundance of science, technology, engineering, art and math exhibits fill every inch of the building. The scale of most exhibits is kid-sized with moving parts made for manipulation. Every exhibit is interactive and designed to engage and stimulate. For those children who might feel overwhelmed, there are sensory friendly resources to help manage the experience. Camps take place on spring and winter breaks and in summer for school-aged children in pre-K through eighth grade.

9. Las Cruces Museum of Nature and Science, Las Cruces, NM

Here, kids will learn about the stars, the desert and ancient fossils. Hands-on exhibits on science and natural history are interspersed with displays featuring live animals and plants from the sur-rounding Chihuahuan Desert. Fossils include pre-dinosaur reptile, amphibian and insect tracks, a captivating look at the past. The orb projector opens up the universe so you can see the sun, moon or planets. Admission is free. Permanent exhibit information is in English and Spanish.

10. The Smokey Bear Historical Park, Capitan, NM

This is the home of the famous Smokey the Bear mascot used by the U.S. Forest Service in their efforts, in the 1940s, to promote fire prevention. After a devastating fire in the Capitan Moun-tains about 10 years later, a badly burned bear cub was found and became the real-time Smokey. Exhibits include information on black bears, fire ecology and forest health. A Junior Ranger pro-gram and Little Ranger Program is offered for children ages seven to 12. Upon completion they’ll get a patch, certificate and membership card.

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505 West Richardson Avenue, Artesia, NM
About the MuseumOur Museum's focus is on local and area history, and our collection features a little of everything, from the local stagecoach stat... Read More
418 West Fox Street, Carlsbad, NM
Carlsbad Museum and Art Center is a Non-Profit Organization. The Carlsbad Museum offers a variety of collections and exhibits, such as natural his... Read More
601 Eubank Boulevard South East, Albuquerque, NM
Mission:The Museum’s mission is "To serve as America’s resource for nuclear history and science. The Museum presents exhibits and quali... Read More
121 Sandia Crest Road, Sandia Park, NM
It took Ross Ward over 40 years to carve, collect, and lovingly construct what is now Tinkertown Museum. His miniature wood-carved figures were fir... Read More
2000 Mountain Road NW, Albuquerque, NM
Mission statement : The Albuquerque Museum Foundation is authorized to pursue and to further the cultural and educational programs and purposes a... Read More
100 West Eleventh Street, Roswell, NM
Mission:The Roswell Museum and Art Center inspires discovery, creativity, and cultural understanding of the art and history of the American Southwe... Read More
114 North Main Street, Roswell, NM
History: In July 1947, something happened northwest of Roswell during a severe thunderstorm. Was it a flying saucer? Was it a weather balloon? What... Read More
409 East College Boulevard, Roswell, NM
The Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art opened its doors in Roswell, New Mexico, in 1994 to showcase works of art produced by alumni of the Roswell... Read More
1001 West Santa Fe Avenue, Grants, NM
Mission Statement: The Cibola Arts Council is dedicated to providing the citizens it represents, especially our youth, with experiences in the Art... Read More
102 Smokey Bear Boulevard, Capitan, NM
Smokey's Museum opened in 1961, having been dedicated in 1958, the rustic one room building almost bursts with Smokey memorabilia, photos and poste... Read More
727 Grand Avenue, Las Vegas, NM
Mission :  The City of Las Vegas Museum and Rough Rider Memorial Collection engages visitors in the rich history of the Las Vegas area by col... Read More
3198 State Route 2001, Alamogordo, NM
Mission: The mission of the museum is to educate the people of New Mexico and our visitors from around the world in the history, science, and tech... Read More
1301 North White Sands Boulevard, Alamogordo, NM
Mission Statement:It shall be the purpose of the Tularosa Basin Historical Society, a non-profit agency, to encourage in every way possible a great... Read More
200 North Lea Avenue, Roswell, NM
About us: This stately home of James Phelps White, a Roswell landmark since it's construction in 1910, now stands amidst towering elms as the Chav... Read More
13 Plaza Del Cerro, Chimayo, NM
About The Museum is located in the Plaza del Cerro, one of Chimayo's historic neighborhoods. The Plaza was organized as a fortified community in t... Read More
9201 Balloon Museum Drive North East, Albuquerque, NM
Mission:The Mission of the Anderson-Abruzzo International Balloon Museum Foundation is to raise funds, foster public recognition and promote and bu... Read More
1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
Mission: The Museum’s mission is to serve the citizens of New Mexico, especially its students from K-12 schools, pueblos, and universities a... Read More
1350 Central Avenue, Los Alamos, NM
Primary Mission: To interpret Laboratory research, activities and history to official visitors the general public and Laboratory employees. To pr... Read More
211 Main Street, Truth or Consequences, NM
Geronimo Springs Museum features a world-class collection of prehistoric Mimbres pottery as well as Apache, Hispanic, military, mining and ranching... Read More
238 Ledoux Street, Taos, NM
Vision:The Harwood Museum of Art brings Taos arts to the world and world arts to Taos. Mission:The mission of the Harwood Museum of Art of the Univ... Read More
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