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Los Alamos Winter

Los Alamos offers some fun activities when the temperatures drop and the snow starts to fall. With the only regulation sized outdoor skating rink in the state, Los Alamos can offer a lot of winter fun for families.


Northwest of Albuquerque

The Scoop

New Mexico winter temperatures vary widely depending on where you live in the state.  Often, Albuquerque will go without any significant snow; but if you are a winter lover and want to get out and play in the snow, Los Alamos is a great destination. 

My husband and I grew up in Los Alamos, so we have spent many winters enjoying the snow and winter activities the town has to offer.  We had our wedding reception at the historic Fuller Lodge.  

We have stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in town.  It has an indoor pool that is fun for the kids. We find the Pajarito Brew Pub serves tasty food and drinks. We also enjoy Timeout Pizza for subs and pizza. They also have a salad bar.  Daniel's Cafe and Ruby K's Bagel Cafe offer delicious sandwiches and you may get your food "to go" to take along on your Los Alamos Sidetracks.  There are picnic tables at the large pond off of Trinity Dr. as well as many ducks the kids will enjoy visiting.   

Los Alamos is home to Pajarito Mountain which is just a short 5 mile drive up from the town. Pajarito includes 300 groomed acres of terrain with 40 marked ski runs.  Pajarito is known for the lack of lift lines as well as excellent skiing. It is New Mexico's best kept skiing secret! This gem is family friendly too.  And, a fun tidbit is that the woods of Pajarito Mountain provided the dramatic backdrop for the scene of the last stand of the Comanche warriors in The Lone Ranger, starring Johnny Depp. 

We have taught our kids to ski at Pajarito and they love it.  There is a rope tow for beginners as well as a bunny hill to get them started.  There is a lodge with a cafeteria, lockers, and restrooms.  They do have ski rentals as well. There is also a Nordic Ski trail above the parking lot at Pajarito Mountain. This trail is maintained by the Southwest Nordic Ski Club volunteers. Trail conditions can be found on the blog on their website. 

Though Los Alamos does not have designated sled areas, there are plenty of fun spots to sled. There are some fun areas up near Pajarito Mountain.  Just make sure to watch for the “no sledding zone” signs near the ski runs. The area past the parking lot is a popular place to sled and cross country ski.


Another fun family winter activity is ice skating at the Los Alamos County ice rink. The rink provides skate rentals, a concession stand and a heated building with lockers and restrooms. They have a Winter Fest the first weekend of December.


It is always a treat for the kids to have the opportunity to swim in the winter. The indoor Olympic sized pool in Los Alamos is open year round.  One of our favorites is "warm water weekends" where the pool is heated up to 85 degrees one weekend per month.  They bring out super fun floaties, a basketball net and a huge floating obstacle course. There is also a therapy pool on site.


Our kids have fun visiting this museum because it offers hands on fun while learning the history of Los Alamos and the Manhattan Project. Though this is not a very large museum, there are more than 40 interactive exhibits in the 3 galleries - History, Defense, and Research - which makes a nice Sidetrack in conjunction with other activities in Los Alamos.


Fuller Lodge was established in 1920 as a boarding school for boys and modeled after the Boy Scouts of America. In the 1940's the government ran and housed engineers working on the Manhattan Project. Today Fuller Lodge is used as an art gallery.
Located in an original building that was used when Los Alamos was the location of a boys' school , this small exhibit is worth a stop. Kids can discover the history of Los Alamos through pictures, dress up, and a short historical walk. This is another great short sidetrack to do in conjunction to other activities in town. The WGN television show, Manhattan, is set here during WWII when Los Alamos was the secretive town where the atomic bomb was created.


This new nature center set along a canyon edge near downtown Los Alamos provides information on local plants, animals, and geology. PEEC features interactive exhibits that help kids learn about nature in northern New Mexico.