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Family Summer Activities

Thursday, June 20th, 2019
fun summer activities for the family

Now that it is summer and the kids are home, you must come up with ideas to keep them occupied so they don’t drive you crazy. We’re a big fan of practical educational opportunities that are also fun. This blog will focus on things to do in and around Alamogordo, NM, but you can apply the concepts to anywhere you might live.

Take a Tour of an Agricultural Facility

Depending on where you live you might have access to all sorts of things; nuts, flowers, citrus, dairy farms or even organic farming. Many kids don’t seem to have a good sense of where their food comes from, other than the grocery store. In Alamogordo, head over to Heart of the Desert and check out the Pistachio operations. During the summer, Free Tours are offered Monday through Friday twice a day at 10:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. It’s educational for parents as well. Did you know that pistachios grow on trees in the desert? You will learn how pistachios grow, how they are harvested, processed and what it takes to get them in a bag on the shelf for you to buy. There are also pistachio tastings included. You can take this education to other levels by buying in-shell pistachios. Consider having the kids remove the shell for you, then baking pistachio white chocolate pudding cookies together. Use the leftover shells for creating pistachio shell art.

Take a Nature Walk

Go somewhere that will showcase the flora and fauna of your area. Maybe study up a little bit or pick up a brochure before you go, so you can identify different plants and animals as you come across them. Around Alamogordo and into Cloudcroft and Ruidoso there are lots of trails to choose from. If you go during the summer, make sure to pack lots of water and go early in the morning before it gets too hot. Some favorite spots are Bridal Veil Falls where you will see restored train trestles, a desert stream, riparian wildlife and a 45-foot waterfall. This path is fairly easy, well-marked and you will also learn a lot about the history of the area. It’s good for everyone except toddlers and you can even take your pup. Make sure you start at Salado Canyon Trailhead. Three Rivers Petroglyph site is another good spot to learn about the Native American History of the area. There is a detailed guide at the site and it is located about 20 miles from Alamogordo. Two Rivers Park in Ruidoso is a lot of fun for kids of all ages, but especially the young ones and it’s a great place to take a break from the summer heat. There is a nicely paved walkway along the river where you might find some trout. Make sure to grab a pamphlet at the entryway, behind the Chamber of Commerce, to find the homes of the forest fairies along the way. Visit the USDA website for information about all of the forest trails in your area. This link will take you to everything around Alamogordo.

Visit a Museum

You might be surprised by all of the museums that are located all around you. They are a great way to learn about your town and more. Many offer classes and even camps for kids. In Alamogordo alone, you have the New Mexico Museum of Space History with many interactive exhibits for kids, the Toy Train Depot that even offers rides on a mini train and of course the Tularosa Basin Museum of History where you can learn all about the area. Head up to Ruidoso for the Hubbard Museum. Kids will love all of the horses and playing dress-up. Also consider going to Las Cruces for the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum where they have crafts for kids and farm animals. You can stop into Heart of the Desert while you are there.

The Globe

If you don’t have a globe, get one. This is a great adventure! Spin the globe and wherever their little fingers land is what you learn about. Blindfold the kiddos if you want. Say their finger lands on Spain; the education may begin with some language lessons, making some dishes that are truly Spanish, such as Tapas and Paella, listen to some Flamenco music and maybe even watch a documentary on Spain or at least some travel videos. This can bring the world a little bit closer, and who knows, you may just plan your next vacation from this experience.

Zoo

Going to your closest zoo is a fantastic way to learn about animals and the importance of conservation. Make sure the kiddos can name each animal and something about them. It will give your children some respect for all things great and small.

Volunteer

Get involved with your community. Volunteering is a way to educate your kids and make them appreciate what they have. Check out volunteer activities at your local animal shelter. There is something for all ages to do, whether its walking the animals or just spending some time cuddling them. The learning experience is vast here. They will learn the importance of taking care of animals and the huge responsibility it is to be a good pet parent. Head over to a nursing home or senior care facility. Most elderly folks love being visited by kids. It reminds them of their children and grandchildren. If you live far away from your parents, having foster parents and grandparents isn’t a bad thing either. Go serve at your local food kitchen. No matter where you live, there are homeless and hungry. This can be a very insightful and rewarding experience. Lots of organizations need volunteers. Do some research and do your part. Teach your kids early to be giving and kind, it helps with preventing bullying.

Check out your local Chamber of Commerce or visitor center to see if they are doing any special programs for the summer to visit the local hotspots. Alamogordo is running a Summer Adventure Challenge that gives you the opportunity to win prizes by visiting all the sites in the area. Check out the details here.

Make it a fun, rewarding and educational summer for yourself and your kids. Remember to wear sunscreen and hydrate!

Heart of the Desert is a working pistachio ranch and vineyard with four retail establishments in New Mexico. They are best known for their farm fresh pistachios and Award-Winning New Mexico wines. Each store offers wine and pistachio tastings. They offer worldwide shipping and produce attractive gourmet baskets that make great corporate and family gifts. The main store, on the ranch in Alamogordo, offers farm tours that showcases how pistachios are grown and processed as well as a stunning Tuscany themed patio that overlooks the groves and is available for weddings, private parties or enjoying a relaxing glass of wine.