New Mexico History Museum: Christmas, Fred Harvey, Las Posadas And More

Photo by Hannah Abelbeck

NMHM News:

December events at the New Mexico History Museum begin Friday, Dec. 5, 6 p.m., with Free First Friday Gallery Talk: “Mapping New Mexico”.

As New Mexico morphed into the state we know today, its paper outlines changed the lives of those who called it home. Gather in the exhibition Telling New Mexico: Stories from Then and Now, where Librarian Tomas Jaehn will demonstrate those changes via maps, plus explain a cartographic error that determined who was American and who was Mexican. Free admission 5-8 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 7 is the opening of Setting the Standard: The Fred Harvey Company and Its Legacy.

Be among the first to see this Mezzanine-area addition to the museum’s main exhibit, Telling New Mexico. Curated by Meredith Davidson, Setting the Standard focuses on the rise of the Fred Harvey Company as a family business and the key roles played by New Mexico in its evolution—including the invention of the Harvey Girls and the birth of cultural tourism.

Opening events:

  • 10 a.m.–5 p.m., on the hour, see The Harvey Girls: Opportunity Bound, a 57-minute documentary, in the museum auditorium
  • 2 p.m., gather in the auditorium for a conversation with curator Meredith Davidson, documentary producer Katrina Parks, and Stephen Fried, author of the acclaimed biography Appetite for America
  • 3-4 p.m., refreshments in the lobby
  • Free with admission; Sundays free to New Mexico residents; children 16 and under free daily.

Learn more about the exhibit by clicking here. Download images from the exhibit by clicking here.

Friday, Dec. 12, 5:30-8 p.m., is Christmas at the Palace.

A beloved community event. Join us for an evening of hot cider, cookies, live music, piñatas, craft-making activities, a chance to operate an antique printing press and the visit of Mr. and Mrs. Claus—all in the legendary magic of the Palace of the Governors. Performances by Coro de Agua Fria, EPIK Artists of Performance Santa Fe, Santa Fe Talent Education Suzuki Strings, Schola Cantorum, and High Desert Harps. A free, family event. (Donations of non-perishable food welcome.)

The History Museum and Palace will close at 3 p.m. to prepare for this event. Enter through the Palace at 105 W. Palace Ave. The History Museum will remain closed during the event.

Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 13 and 14, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m., Young Native Artists Holiday Show and Sale.

Children and grandchildren of the Palace Portal artisans display their own creations in the Meem Community Room and History Museum classroom. Pick up some nifty Christmas presents and support the next generation of Native American artisans. Enter for free through the museum’s Washington Avenue doors.

Sunday, Dec. 14, 5:30 – 7 p.m., Las Posadas

The annual candle-lit procession travels around the Plaza and concludes in the Palace Courtyard, a Santa Fe version of an old Hispanic tradition. Help Mary and Joseph search for a place to give birth to the Baby Jesus—and meet a few devils along the way. 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 p.m. to prepare for this event.

Wednesday, Dec. 17, “Why Money is Better than Barter: Trade in 18th Century Northern New Mexico”

A free Brainpower & Brownbags Lecture by author and historian Linda Tigges. Enter the Meem Community Room through the museum’s Washington Avenue doors.

Thursday, Dec. 25, closed for Christmas

We extend warm holiday greetings to everyone and look forward to seeing you at 10 a.m., Friday, Dec. 26.

Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday–Sunday, November–April (open every day May–October).

Admission: $6 NM residents, $9 others.

Free admission:

  • Children 16 and under
  • Museum of New Mexico Foundation members
  • New Mexicans every Sunday
  • New Mexicans 60 and older on Wednesdays
  • Everyone 5-8 p.m. on the First Friday of the month, November–April (every Friday May–October)

For more information about the museum, log onto

The New Mexico History Museum, 113 Lincoln Avenue, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is part of a campus that includes the Palace of the Governors, the oldest continuously occupied public building in the United States; the Fray Angélico Chávez History Library; the Palace of the Governors Photo Archives; the Press at the Palace of the Governors; and the Native American Artisans Program. A division of the Department of Cultural Affairs. Museum exhibitions and programs supported by the Museum of New Mexico Foundation.

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