Meet El Rancho de las Golondrinas
Travel back in time at El Rancho de las Golondrinas — a living history museum like no other! Located just south of Santa Fe, El Rancho de las Golondrinas, or the Ranch of the Swallows, transports you back to the 18th and 19th centuries, where you can experience what life was like during the Spanish, Mexican, and Territorial periods of New Mexico.
As you explore the museum’s 500-acre property, you’ll get a unique glimpse into the past at every turn. You will be greeted by costumed interpreters and skilled artisans who demonstrate cultural practices and traditional skills, such as weaving, milling, blacksmithing, horno bread baking, and woodworking. The museum grounds include more than 30 historic buildings that have been preserved and restored to their original glory. From traditional adobe placitas to log cabins, each building showcases a different aspect of life in early New Mexico. Since the property is also a working ranch, you’ll see agricultural practices at work and meet a variety of farm animals, including churro sheep, burros, and goats. In addition, you’ll be able to explore the property’s stunning landscape, including miles of walking trails and the Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve.
Living History at El Rancho de las Golondrinas
Unlike a traditional history museum where the objects are locked away behind glass cases, El Rancho de las Golondrinas invites you to take a hands-on approach. You’ll be invited to participate in traditional activities, not just observe them from afar. Children especially are encouraged to try hands-on activities, such as digging for artifacts, grinding corn, tin stamping, and weaving on the loom. These experiences offer a unique opportunity to not only learn about the history and culture of New Mexico but have fun while doing it!
In addition to self-guided tours, El Rancho de las Golondrinas hosts a variety of exciting festivals and programs that celebrate the rich history and culture of the area. Some of the museum’s most popular events include the Santa Fe Wine Festival, the Santa Fe Harvest Festival, and the Santa Fe Renaissance Faire. These festivals feature live entertainment, vendor markets, delicious food and drinks, and educational activities for visitors of all ages.
If you’re looking for a unique and unforgettable experience, grab your family and friends and head to El Rancho de las Golondrinas. With its beautifully preserved historic buildings, engaging educational programs, and stunning natural scenery, this living history museum is truly a must-see destination in Santa Fe. The museum is open seasonally from June through October for self-guided tours, and private tours are available by reservation as early as April. Plan your trip at golondrinas.org!