The Magical Canyon Road Christmas Eve Farolito Walk

Santa Fe is a magical place during the holiday season: one of the world's signature cities to experience the Yuletide.

Santa Fe is a magical place during the holiday season: one of the world's signature cities to experience the Yuletide.

The city's warm southern weather gives way to cooler high mountains temperatures. The peaks sit high above the city, dusted in snow that clings to the piñon trees and frozen aspens. Down below, Santa Fe's adobe buildings are lined with traditional farolitos and the air is almost a transformative incense from the soul-stirring aroma of juniper and piñon burning in kiva fireplaces around town.

Throughout the oldest and highest capitol in the United States, there are many new and traditional cultural events that lead up to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. One of the town favorites, which brings out thousands of attendees every year, is the Christmas Eve Farolito Walk on Canyon Road.

Photos courtesy of Meg Shepard

In the historically rich art world of Santa Fe, Canyon Road is a world famous staple located just a half mile from the plaza. Canyon Road is home to approximately 100 galleries and studios that display a wide variety of art from contemporary to traditional Native and Latino arts, to international art and folk arts.

The road is old, long and narrow, leading directly toward the beautiful Sangre de Cristo mountains. Canyon Road has become a haven for artists who've found awe-inspiring majesty in its setting and location. The Christmas Eve walk is open to everyone and is major fun for all ages. No reservations are needed, just warm clothes and holiday spirit.

As the sun starts to set, workers and gallery owners begin to light the farolitos that line the buildings and streets, illuminating the road — twinkling beautifully against the one-of-a-kind Santa Fe backdrop. On the sides of the street, small bonfires called luminarias are lit. These provide a nice place to stay warm and sip the plentiful hot chocolate as you wander from gallery to gallery.

During the walk, galleries operate individually and on their own schedule. Though gallery participation is not required, many galleries are open during the walk, often serving chocolate, cider and other amenities. If you happen to have a favorite gallery and want to know if it is going to be taking part in the event, call ahead and find out!

Also open during the walk is the famous Downtown Subscription coffee house and newsstand, located just down the way on Garcia Street. This coffee shop is an excellent location from which to start your Christmas Eve walk right, with eggnog lattes and Mexican-style hot chocolate.

Christmas Eve is also a big day for dining in Santa Fe, which is home to many wonderful and unique restaurants. Often they offer special menus for the holiday. This is a popular time to eat with family and friends, so plan ahead and make reservations to enjoy a delicious meal and warm up after exploring all that Canyon Road has to offer.

Meow Wolf will close early on Christmas Eve, so we bring this special tradition to your awareness as something fun, artful and unforgettable to do Christmas Eve Night with those you love.

Have a merry one! We'll see you there!