6 Fun Things to Do Locally on 4th of July Weekend

The world is returning to normal just in time for 4th of July Festivities in Ruidoso. With New Mexico’s complete reopening scheduled for July 1st, we’re looking forward to welcoming visitors back to our beautiful village with no limits on the fun activities that await! Plan your trip to Southern New Mexico and do these six fun things while you’re here for the holiday.

1. Catch the Fireworks at Inn of the Mountain Gods

Located just a short drive from the hustle and bustle of Ruidoso’s thriving village, Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort and Casino is hosting a “Star Spangled Celebration” that’s free for the whole family. Including live entertainment, a tasty lineup of food, and the biggest and longest fireworks show in New Mexico, there’s no better way to celebrate Independence Day with your friends and family. Arrive early to ensure your spot, as parking is limited and guests will be turned away once capacity is reached. Lawn chairs and blankets are encouraged for guests to enjoy the fireworks comfortably on the property.

2. Cool Off at the Lake

Ruidoso has two lakes for visitors to enjoy, Alto and Grindstone, but the most popular is Grindstone Lake. Grindstone includes the family-favorite WitBit water park, along with 5 trails which are open to mountain biking, hiking and horseback riding. It’s also a great place to fish for rainbow trout, catfish, or smallmouth bass, so get your fishing pole and consider buying a boating license to get to the best honey holes. Kayaking, paddle boarding, and canoeing are also popular entertainment options for guests. For disc golf fans, there’s a 27-hole, heavily wooded course to play as well. Make your reservations ASAP and grab your parking permit to get ready to enjoy the holiday weekend at the lake. If you’d like to visit Alto Lake instead for a day of fishing and boating, you can find more information here.

3. Check Out the Lincoln County Art Loop Studio Tour

One of the most successful studio tours in Southern New Mexico, Lincoln County’s Art Loop Studio Tour is a great way to spend the day. Artists will be set up in their local studios for guests to stop by and visit on the self-guided tour. Many will be demonstrating their craft or discussing their creative process. This immersive, inspiring tour is one of the best ways to enjoy local art to its fullest potential and we highly recommend making at least a few stops along the tour. Nineteen artists will be displaying their work including mediums like pottery, acrylics, textile art, and so much more. Request your tour map and find more information on their website.

4. Enjoy the Local Live Music Scene

Ruidoso has no shortage of local food and drinks to enjoy! Make plans to go out for dinner and drinks at one of these great venues that feature local musicians on the weekends. Enjoy the beautiful scenery and charming barn in Alto, NM at Enchanted Vine, or stop in for a tasty boost of caffeine at Sacred Grounds Coffee and Tea House. If you’re looking for drinks a little stronger, Texas Club Grill and Bar, Quarters Nightclub and Grill, Win Place and Show, Hidden Tap, Tall Pines Beer & Wine Garden, and Lost Hiker Brewery are all great places to catch a live show with friends. And don’t forget about Spencer Theater! The world class performance hall features modern architecture and hosts a variety of events. This summer, you can catch dinner and a movie on scheduled nights at the venue.

5. Get Rodeo Ready for the Smokey Bear Stampede or Mescalero Apache Ceremonial Dances and Rodeo

Looking for a great rodeo? There are two to enjoy over the 4th of July weekend. As the nation’s largest open rodeo weekend, Smokey Bear Stampede features nightly open rodeos and daily ranch rodeos, with live music, a Monday night rodeo dance, and so much more. Capitan will host a downtown parade on the 3rd, and there will also be plenty of food and shopping to enjoy during the course of the weekend. Smokey Bear Stampede tickets can be purchased 3 hours before the event at the ticket booth, and concert tickets can be purchased both on site and online. Additionally, local visitors will enjoy the Mescalero Apache Ceremonial Dances and Rodeo, held in Mescalero, NM from July 1-4. This event also includes a parade on July 3rd, a variety of daily Indian dances, a 5K/10K run, four afternoon rodeos, and games throughout the weekend. You don’t want to miss either of these amazing events!

6. Watch the Horse Races At Ruidoso Downs

Celebrate Independence Day at the races! Ruidoso Downs is the home of the world’s richest quarter horse race and is conveniently located just 4 miles from Ruidoso’s Midtown shopping district. Ruidoso Downs Race Track and Casino has been welcoming visitors to the area for generations. 4th of July weekend at the races will feature First Lady Stakes and Mountain Top TB Futurity on Friday and Saturday, plus Brigand Stakes on Sunday. Remember to check out Billy the Kid Casino while you’re there – you might get lucky and win big!

While you’re here, we’d love to be your tour guide. Access our 2021 Ruidoso Visitor Guide here and explore our website for more recommendations, lodging suggestions, recent news, and more. Welcome to the Ruidoso and the Land of Enchantment!