Bring on the merry and bright! It’s the holiday season in Ruidoso and there’s so much happening. Don’t miss a moment of the magic with our guide to Ruidoso in December, and don’t forget to tag your photos with #VisitRuidoso to be featured on our social media accounts! Ready to get your holly jolly on? Read on to see what’s happening this month!
Christmas in the Park – December 2
A fun annual tradition, Christmas in the Park will be held at Wingfield Park on December 2nd from 6-8 PM. Come see the Christmas lights, meet Santa, enjoy hot chocolate, coffee, and cookies, and start the holiday season off right.
A Christmas Affair – December 3-5
Knock out your holiday shopping at the Ruidoso Convention Center at A Christmas Affair. Held Friday, December 3rd through Sunday the 5th, the event will feature small shops, makers, and artisans. $2 event admission. Event times: Friday 12/3 from 11 AM-6 PM, Saturday 12/4 from 10 AM-6 PM, Sunday 12/5 from 10 AM-2 PM.
Christmas at The Flying J Ranch – Shows Run Through January 1
Celebrate Christmas at the ranch with special White Mountain Christmas winter performances! Flying J Ranch will have a Christmas show, holiday lights, cowboy supper, visit with Santa, and winter hayride for guests to enjoy. Purchase tickets in advance to reserve your spot for a fun night of great western music and festive entertainment.
Gary Allan LIVE at Inn of the Mountain Gods – December 4
Country music star Gary Allan takes the stage at Inn of the Mountain Gods for a spectacular performance. Coming to Inn of the Mountain Gods on Saturday, December 4. Doors open at 6, and the show starts at 8 PM. Tickets available on the Inn of the Mountain Gods website.
Festival of Lights – December 4
A beloved Ruidoso tradition, the annual Festival of Lights parade returns this year. The 2021 theme is Christmas in Wonderland and the parade will be from 5:30-7:00 PM. The parade route will run backwards this year, beginning on Sudderth Dr in front of the Chamber of Commerce Office (720 Sudderth Drive) and going westbound through midtown to end at Mechem and Sudderth. Parade lineup will be in front of the Chamber of Commerce. Guests are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate to Toys for Tots.
Festival of Lights After Party – December 4
The party doesn’t end when the Festival of Lights Parade does! Head to Wingfield Park after the parade concludes for a winter wonderland even. The Festival of Lights After Party starts at 7 PM and you don’t want to miss it! Snacks, drinks, and fire pits will keep everyone warm while a holiday movie plays on the big screen. Santa will even be there for photos!
Trail of Lights at Wingfield Park – December 4 – January 16
Running December 4th through January 16th, the Trail of Lights at Wingfield Park is a perfect activity for the whole family. Enjoy hundreds of twinkling lights on this trail through the park. Christmas caroling and hot chocolate will be at the park for visitors to enjoy on December 4, 10, 11, 17, and 18 from 7:30-9:00 PM.
8th Annual CWC Country Christmas Bazaar at the Lincoln County Fairgrounds – December 4
The Capitan Women’s Club presents the 8th Annual Country Christmas Bazaar. The event will be held at the Lincoln County Fair Grounds from 9-3 on December 4 and will feature many different gift ideas including ornaments, crosses, candles, skincare, pottery, jewelry, crocheted items, wreaths, clothing, and wooden painted signs, as well as a silent auction, food cart, and a visit from Santa Claus.
Tanner Tradition Christmas Book Signing & Artist’s Show & Demonstration – December 4
Visit Tanner Tradition on December 4th from 10 AM to 4 PM for a special book signing and artist show and demonstration. Well-known Navajo artist Peter James Ray, Ruidoso Author Shirley Estes (Whispering Wind) and Navajo/Apache Jeweler Calvin Nelson will be on site to teach guests about their creative processes. Attendees will also be able to purchase their unique works during the event! For additional information, call Kathy or Lynn Tanner at 575-257-8675.
Jingle Mingle at Enchanted Vine – December 11-12
Celebrate the season with Jingle Mingle, Noisy Water’s Holiday Market, coming to Enchanted Vine Barn on December 11 from 11 AM-7 PM and December 12 from 10 AM-5 PM. Get your Christmas shopping done with local vendors at this great event! The Christmas Tree Lighting will be on Saturday, the 11th at 6 PM, so don’t miss out.
Zas Festival – December 11
Come to the Ruidoso Convention Center on December 11 and 12 for the first-ever Zas Festival! Zas is the Mescalero Apache word for snow, so celebrate the season with this new, exciting winter festival! Featuring over 70 vendors, delicious food, live performances, and much more. Event Hours: Saturday 12/10 from 10-5 PM and Sunday 12/12 from 11-2 PM. The event is sponsored by Robin’s Creations and Ruidoso Parks & Recreation.
Christmas Drone Show – December 11
Santa will be flying through the sky soon, but in the meantime, Ruidoso Parks & Rec’s Christmas Drone Show at White Mountain Recreation Complex will light up the skies above! Come see over 150 drones give a spectacular show at one of the four show times on Saturday, December 11. Shows last from 15 to 20 minutes and start at 6 PM and 7 PM over White Mountain Recreation Complex.
Ho Ho Gnome Paint Nite at Lost Hiker Brewing Company – December 17
Get step-by-step instructions on how to paint a cute Christmas Gnome with Lost Hiker’s Ho Ho Gnome Paint Nite! Painting will be from 7-9 PM, but guests are invited to come early to socialize and have drinks! Tickets are $35 each and include all your art supplies. 21+ only, please. Sign up to attend today.
Breakfast with Santa at Sacred Grounds – December 18
Santa Claus is coming to town! Join the big man for breakfast at Sacred Grounds on December 18th from 9-11 AM. Perfect for the whole family to enjoy, this is a special event you don’t want to miss. Pancakes and hot chocolate to be served! More information available by calling Sacred Grounds at 575-257-2273.
The Nutcracker at Spencer Theater – December 18-19
Spencer Theater presents a classic Christmas tradition – The Nutcracker! Over 70 outstanding dancers will bring the magic to life to Tchaikovsky’s iconic musical score to enchant guests this holiday season. Performances will be on Saturday, December 18 at 2 PM and 7 PM, and Sunday, December 19 at 2 PM. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased on Spencer Theater’s website.
Cookies with Santa at Cornerstone Bakery – December 19
On December 19 from 6:00 – 8:00 PM Cornerstone Bakery will be hosting a very special event – cookies with Santa! Bring the whole family to enjoy pictures with the big man, cookie decorating, hot cocoa, coloring, hot drinks, and good times.
Cookie Decorating & Movie Night with Santa at Sacred Grounds – December 20
Cookies, Santa, and holiday movies are all beloved traditions coming to Sacred Grounds on Monday, December 20th for a fun filled evening. Scheduled for 4-7 PM, the first 45 kids will receive a bell. Limited space available. Call Sacred Grounds for more information at 575-257-2273.
Lincoln Historic Site Luminarias – December 24
Experience Lincoln, NM in a whole new way this Christmas Eve for the Lincoln Historic Site Luminarias. Luminarias will line the streets, hot chocolate will be served, and Santa will make his grand entrance on a longhorn steer! Visit Lincoln between 4 and 8 PM to be a part of this special holiday celebration.
Ski Apache Annual Torchlight Parade – December 30
Music, food, and a spectacular show await at this year’s Ski Apache Torchlight Parade. Come out from 1- 6 PM on December 30th for this fun family event! You’ll hear the Horace Comanche Drum Group at 4 PM before watching skiers speed down the mountain bearing brightly lit torches. This is a free family event and all are welcome!
Let’s Get Loud New Year’s Eve Party at Inn of the Mountain Gods – December 31
Party your way into 2022 at Inn of the Mountain Gods’ New Year’s Eve Party! Let’s get loud with an epic night of dining and dancing to the hottest DJ! Doors open at 6 PM and dinner is served until 9 PM with dancing starting at 8 PM and continuing until midnight. Tickets are $125 per person and include dinner, access to the Let’s Get Loud Party, and champagne toast. If you’d like to only attend the 9-11:30 PM dance party, there is a cover charge of $15 that can be purchased in person at the box office or on the day-of.