History is like Frankenstein's monster; all it takes to make it come alive is the right education, a large body of artifacts exhumed from the earth, and an electrical storm. Learn from the past with today's Groupon: for $8, you get two one-day adult tickets to select festivals at El Rancho de las Golondrinas museum in Santa Fe (a $16 value). This Groupon is valid at the Fiesta de los Ninos: A Children’s Celebration on Saturday and Sunday, September 3 and 4; and the Harvest Festival on Saturday and Sunday, October 1 and 2. All festivals are scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Children under the age of 13 are admitted for free when accompanied by an adult.
El Rancho de las Golondrinas’ September and October festivals invite guests into an array of autumnal amusements and activities. Traipsing through the 18th-century structures that dot the 200-acre ranch, Fiesta de los Ninos attendees can demonstrate architectural aptitude as they construct a miniature adobe house or appease arroz-craving appetites with a fresh-from-the-comal tortilla. Kids can dress up as Spanish señoritas or soldiers before singing along to New Mexican children’s music with Max Manzaners or before taking in a performance of the “Puppet Friends Around the World” show. View the combination of equine elegance and travel-ready size as you visit with the mini-horses, or spend some time with native reptiles, hawks, and eagles in the Zoo to You display.
The Harvest Festival offers an entry into colonial agriculture, as villagers crush wine by foot and string chili ristras. Sample biscochitos fresh from the horno as you peruse the wares of native artists and contemplate crafting a mud-brick monument to Albuquerque’s own Neil Patrick Harris. Matachines dancers and Ballet Folklórico will perform. Finally, a “parade of breeds” horse show presents a complete catalog of into-the-sunset-ready conveyance.
El Rancho de las Golondrinas
In the 18th and 19th centuries, visitors would stop to rest at the historic El Rancho de las Golondrinas as they began or ended their long journeys along the royal road that stretched between Santa Fe and Mexico City. In the 20th and 21st centuries, Matt Damon, Salma Hayek, Val Kilmer, and the cast and crew of some 30 films used the ranch's 200 scenic acres and 34 historic structures as backdrops to their movies and personalized birthday cards. With preserved and restored villages dating back to the early 1700s sloping through a rural farming valley, the grounds collapse time, bringing the past to the present and the present to the past.
Today, guests wander this living history museum to explore how colonial and frontier life was lived the Southwest. During a self-guided tour, visitors pick up or download a map of the ranch before weaving through a snapshot of history brought to life by villagers clothed in the styles of the time. Feet patter past a molasses mill, a blacksmith shop, and defensive towers where guards kept watch on the horizon and coordinated messages for passing UFOs. With a reservation, docents will lead you through the trails that cut through a landscape dotted with goats, sheep, burros, and horses, fostering an understanding of the culture and arts of historic New Mexico.
334 Los Pinos Rd.
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87507