New Mexico Field Trips for Homeschoolers
Once you discover all there is to see and do in New Mexico, you’ll understand why it is nicknamed the Land of Enchantment. With so much beauty and history, homeschoolers in the state will find no shortage of field trip ideas in New Mexico. Whether you’re family is the outdoorsy type or you prefer to stay cool indoors, you’ll find so many fun things to do with kids in New Mexico that you may not know where to start.
To get started, explore this printable map of New Mexico that highlights where the capital, Santa Fe, is located. You can have your children locate important cities and landmarks to help them get better acquainted with the state. Make sure you also download the Time4Learning lesson tie-ins at the end of this post to help supplement your field trips in New Mexico. Please make sure to contact each site before you plan your visit, as COVID-19 may have impacted their hours of operations.
Home education is not the same in every state. Make sure you’re getting the information you need to start homeschooling in the Land of Enchantment.
Homeschool Field Trips in the Northwest Region
- Ice Cave and Bandera Volcano, Grants – Known as the Land of Fire & Ice, families can take a self-guided tour of this destination that truly demonstrates a stark geological contrast. Two separate trails allow visitors to explore both sites. The trail to the 800-foot deep volcano is half a mile long, while the path to the Ice Cave is a quarter mile. Homeschoolers can also visit the trading post and try their hand at gemstone mining.
- Chaco Culture National Historical Park – Located in the remote Chaco Canyon, families can explore this ancient ruins that were the center of life for the Pueblo people between AD 900 and 1150. Learn about the history and significance of the area through guided tours, campfire talks and night sky programs.
- Aztec Ruins National Park, Aztec – Enhance your child’s social studies curriculum with a trip to these ruins that date back several centuries. Don’t let the name fool you though, they were named incorrectly by settlers who thought they belonged to the Aztec civilization. The structures were a part of the Pueblo peoples’ community and includes a Great House with more than 400 rooms.
- El Malpais National Monument, Grants – Geology buffs can explore all the unique formations in the unique landscape that features lava flows, cinder cones, and more. Families can learn about the area’s volcanic past on the numerous self-guided trails or the visitor center that is home to a theater, exhibit area, and knowledgeable rangers to help you plan your visit.
Homeschool Field Trips in the North Central Region
- Bandelier National Monument, Los Alamos – These impressive cave dwellings were once home to the Ancestral Puebloan people and date back to 1150 and 1600 AD. Homeschoolers can learn more about the monument’s history, the natural area and the people who lived in the area on a ranger-led guided tour or by exploring over 70 miles of trails.
- Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe – Learning about art? Don’t miss this museum dedicated to this world-renowned American artist. Students can take part in the museum’s numerous family programs, workshops, and other events held throughout the year. Opened in 1997, the museum features nine galleries and include O’Keeffe’s paintings, drawings, pastels, and watercolors.
- New Mexico History Museum, Santa Fe – Learn about the history of the state at this 96,000 square foot museum that first opened in 2009. Families can explore an impressive collection of objects and artifacts, numerous exhibits and educational events and programs.
- El Rancho de las Golondrinas, Santa Fe – Opened in 1972, this living history museum will transport visitors back in time as they learn about life in 18th and 19th century New Mexico. Families can take part in guided or self-guided tours, learn through historic demonstrations, hands-on activities, and special events throughout the year.
Homeschool Field Trips in the Northeast Region
- Capulin Volcano National Monument, Capulin – Studying Earth science? Why not explore an extinct volcano? Designated in 1916, this monument allow guests to either drive or hike to the rim of the Capulin Volcano that last erupted approximately 60,000 years ago. A visitor center features exhibits and education programs so students can learn more.
- Mesalands CC Dinosaur Museum, Tucumcari – Dinosaur skeletons and ancient fossils are on display at this museum that focuses on the Mesozoic period. Homeschoolers can learn about both paleontology and geology by exploring the world’s largest collection of bronze skeletons and fossils. The museum also features sculptures, paintings, murals, and an activity center for children.
- Pecos National Historic Park, Pecos – Homeschoolers can explore thousands of acres as they learn about this historic area that was once an Indian village, a Spanish mission and a Civil War battlefield. A number of guided tours allow visitors to as well as a Civil War Encampment that takes place every March.
- Fort Union National Monument, Watrous – Founded in 1954, this site allows visitors to explore the forts that served as the headquarters for several cavalries in the 1870s during the Apache Wars. Families can take part in ranger-led programs, group tours, and other special events throughout the year.
Homeschool Field Trips in the Central Region
- Petroglyph National Monument, Albuquerque – At over 7,000 acres, this monument is one of the largest of its kind in North America. Families can explore various volcanic cones, archaeological sites, and more than 20,000 designs and symbols carved hundreds of years ago. Three hiking trails allow families to view the petroglyphs.
- ABQ BioPark, Albuquerque – This unique destination is a must for any nature lover. It features four facilities for families to explore: an aquarium, botanic garden, zoo, and beach. Families can take part in a number of camps, tours and educational programs to enhance their visit.
- New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, Albuquerque – Founded in 1986, this museum is a must for any student learning about science. Students can explore eight halls as they travel through time to learn about dinosaurs, volcanoes, caves, New Mexico’s Ice Age, and more. The museum is also home to a theater and planetarium complete with exhibit galleries and an observation deck.
- National Hispanic Cultural Center, Albuquerque – Learn about Hispanic culture, traditions and more at this center located along the Rio Grande. Opened in 2000, this facility features an art museum, genealogy center, library and more for families to explore. Homeschoolers can also take part in hands-on workshops, tours, and other educational events held throughout the year.
Homeschool Field Trips in the Southwest Region
- Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, Silver City – Put on your hiking shoes and explore the homes of the Mogollon people who lived here centuries ago. Located within the Gila National Forest, families can get a feel for what is was like for those who called the caves home through self-guided tours. Students can also take part in the junior or senior ranger programs.
- Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, San Antonio – Founded in 1939, families can bird watch to their heart’s content with over 350 different species having been observed since 1981. Free guided tours and a number of different hikes are available throughout the year.
- New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum, Las Cruces – Farming and ranching are at the forefront of this interactive, 47-acre museum. Homeschoolers can explore tons of exhibits, take part in guided tours, and even watch demonstrations with the livestock that call the museum home. Events are held throughout the year for families including storytime, crafts, and various workshops.
- Rockhound State Park, Deming – Located within the Little Florida Mountains, this state park is home to a number of crystals, minerals, rocks, geodes, and more. Established in 1966, this 1,100-acre park allows visitors to collect up to 15 pounds of rocks and minerals, so don’t forget your shovel. The park also features a recreation area with shaded picnic tables and numerous trails to explore the area.
Homeschool Field Trips in the Southeast Region
- Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Eddy County – Located in the Chihuahuan Desert, families can make a day trip out of this park that features over 100 caves, three of which are open to the public. Visitors are free to explore on their own or take part in a ranger-guided tour. The most popular and developed of all the caves is Carlsbad Cavern, which even has an elevator. A visitor center has exhibits on display, a film about the caverns, and a bookstore.
- International UFO Museum and Research Center, Roswell – Founded in 1991, this museum is a must for students interested in extraterrestrials. Families can learn about the mysterious Roswell Incident that took place in 1947 as well as UFO-related events by exploring the numerous exhibits on display.
- Hubbard Museum of the American West, Ruidoso Downs – Learn about the Olde West at this museum that opened its doors in 1992. Families can explore numerous exhibits that feature horse-drawn vehicles, tools and technology, art, and more. Special events are also held throughout the year.
- White Sands National Monument, Alamogordo – You may think you’ve been transported to another country when you visit these sand dunes in the Tularosa Basin. This unique area offers tons of exciting things to do such as hiking, sledding, and more. Families should first stop at the visitor center to get more information, explore the exhibits, and even pick up an adventure pack before heading out.
NM Field Trips Unit Study Suppl.
Is there anything more fun than learning through field trips? To make your experience at these destinations even more meaningful, Time4Learning members will appreciate this download of free activity tie-ins.