Things to Do with Kids in Ruidoso, New Mexico

by Scott Cornell

Ruidoso, New Mexico is known as "the year-round playground of the southwest." It's located in the Rocky Mountains of southeastern New Mexico and, with only a population of about 8,000, it serves primarily as a family-friendly mountain vacation destination. From skiing and disc golfing to seeing a western stage show, there are activities and attractions for all ages in Ruidoso.

Family Adventure

Ruidoso is home to many family entertainment venues. One such place is Pillow's Funtrackers (funtrackers-ruidoso.net) Family Fun Center. It features outdoor activities such as go karts, bumper boats and miniature golf. Indoors, there are arcade games and prize machines. Other attractions include a rock climbing wall and a children's bounce house. Pillow's Funtrackers is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day. The rest of the year, the venue is open on weekends and during busy holiday periods.

Unique Activities

Ruidoso offers family activities that aren't your typical run-of-the-mill entertainment. For example, one such attraction is Mountain Maze (mountainmaze.com), which features over 5,000 square feet of pathways for you to get lost in. Maze participants can choose to race the clock, locating four check points hidden throughout the maze limits before finding their way out. Those who don't want to participate in the maze can watch from a second-story observation deck. Admission to Mountain Maze is $5 per person.

Sports Activities

Ruidoso offers its share of both indoor and outdoor sports activities. The city features a local bowling alley, the Ruidoso Bowling Center. It also features a public swimming pool, which is open from Memorial Day through August and a disc golf course that people can play free of charge. If you're in the area during the winter months, you might choose to hit the slopes. Ski Apache (skiapache.com) is located in nearby Mescalero, and offers warm-weather powder skiing for all skill levels.

Museum and Theater

Other Ruidoso attractions include the the Hubbard Museum of the American West (hubbardmuseum.org), which collects and interprets the history of the old west. Visitors can observe things like Indian artifacts and old stage coaches at the venue. Another venue to check out is the Flying J Ranch (flyingjranch.com). The ranch features a chuck wagon supper and western stage show. The venue also offers pony rides and gold panning.