30 Dazzling Things to Do in Ruidoso (2024)

If you’re looking for an adrenaline-pumping getaway, look no further than Ruidoso, a great place for family fun and travel with national parks. 

Click To Save Time

Nestled in the heart of New Mexico, this charming mountain town is a great place for travel and offers a plethora of exciting activities, including national parks, that will satisfy any adventure seeker and provide family fun. From travel to cultural experiences, there’s a great place here for everyone.

So, if you’re craving excitement and want to experience all that Ruidoso, NM has to offer, scroll down for reviews of our top picks! Get ready for an action-packed journey through one of New Mexico’s hidden gems.

1. Explore Lincoln National Forest

Nestled in the picturesque landscapes of Ruidoso, New Mexico, lies the breathtaking beauty of Lincoln National Forest. Spanning over 1 million acres, this natural wonderland offers a plethora of outdoor activities for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike.

Immerse Yourself in Nature’s Splendor

Step into a world where towering pine trees create a canopy above you, providing shade as you explore the forest’s hidden gems. From scenic hikes to tranquil picnic spots, there is something for everyone in Lincoln National Forest.

Hiking Trails for All Levels

Whether you’re an experienced hiker or just starting out, Lincoln National Forest has trails suited to all skill levels. Lace up your hiking boots and embark on an unforgettable journey through diverse ecosystems, including lush meadows and rugged canyons. Don’t miss the iconic Rim Trail with its panoramic views that will leave you awestruck.

Wildlife Encounters

Keep your eyes peeled as you traverse the forest because wildlife sightings are common here. Spot majestic elk grazing peacefully or catch a glimpse of elusive black bears roaming their natural habitat. Birdwatchers will be delighted by the variety of species that call this forest home.

Fishing Paradise

For those who love angling adventures, Lincoln National Forest boasts numerous lakes and streams teeming with trout and other freshwater fish species. Cast your line into crystal-clear waters while surrounded by serene mountain vistas – it doesn’t get much better than this!

Camping Under Starry Skies

Extend your exploration by camping overnight amidst nature’s symphony. Set up camp at one of the many campgrounds available within the forest boundaries and fall asleep under a blanket of twinkling stars.

2. Visit the Hubbard Museum of the American West

The Hubbard Museum of the American West is a must-visit attraction when you’re in Ruidoso. This fascinating museum offers a unique glimpse into the rich history and culture of the American West. Here are some reasons why you should add it to your itinerary:

  1. Immerse Yourself in Western History: Step back in time as you explore exhibits showcasing Native American artifacts, cowboy gear, and pioneer memorabilia. Learn about the struggles and triumphs of those who shaped the West.
  2. Discover Artistic Treasures: The museum houses an impressive collection of Western art, including paintings, sculptures, and photography that capture the spirit of this iconic region. Marvel at works by renowned artists like Charles M. Russell and Frederic Remington.
  3. Experience Interactive Exhibits: Engage with hands-on displays that bring history to life for visitors of all ages. Try your hand at roping or sit atop a saddle for a photo opportunity – perfect for creating lasting memories.
  4. Learn About Wildlife: Explore exhibits dedicated to local wildlife such as bears, elk, and mountain lions. Gain insight into their habitats and behaviors through informative displays featuring taxidermy specimens.
  5. Attend Special Events: The museum hosts various events throughout the year, from art shows to live performances highlighting Western traditions like rodeos and Native American dances.
  6. Enjoy Scenic Surroundings: Located near Ruidoso Downs Race Track amidst picturesque landscapes, visiting this museum allows you to soak up both cultural enrichment and natural beauty in one trip.

The Hubbard Museum provides an educational experience that appeals to history buffs, art enthusiasts, families seeking interactive fun activities together—truly something for everyone!

3. Ski or snowboard at Ski Apache

If you’re looking for an exhilarating winter adventure, look no further than Ski Apache. Located in Ruidoso, New Mexico, this premier ski resort offers a thrilling experience for both skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels.

  1. Spectacular Terrain: With over 750 acres of skiable terrain and a vertical drop of 1,900 feet, Ski Apache boasts some of the best slopes in the region. From gentle beginner runs to challenging black diamond trails, there’s something for everyone here.
  2. State-of-the-Art Facilities: Ski Apache is equipped with modern lifts that efficiently transport you to the top of the mountain so you can spend more time on the slopes and less time waiting in line. The resort also features well-maintained equipment rentals if you don’t have your own gear.
  3. Breathtaking Scenery: One of the highlights of skiing or snowboarding at Ski Apache is the stunning panoramic views of Sierra Blanca Peak and the surrounding mountains. As you glide down the slopes, take a moment to appreciate nature’s beauty unfolding before your eyes.
  4. Snowmaking Technology: To ensure optimal conditions throughout the season, Ski Apache utilizes state-of-the-art snowmaking technology when necessary. This means even if Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate fully, you can still enjoy excellent snow quality on most days.
  5. Lessons and Programs: Whether you’re a first-time skier or looking to improve your technique, Ski Apache offers lessons and programs tailored to different age groups and skill levels. Certified instructors will guide you through personalized instruction to help enhance your abilities on the mountain.
  6. Après-Ski Activities: After an exciting day on the slopes, unwind with some après-ski activities at one of several cozy lodges located within close proximity to Ski Apache. Enjoy delicious food and drinks while reliving the day’s adventures with friends and family.

4. Enjoy the views from the Ruidoso Winter Park Tubing Area

If you’re looking for an exhilarating winter activity in Ruidoso, look no further than the Ruidoso Winter Park Tubing Area. Here, you can experience the thrill of zooming down snow-covered slopes on a tube while taking in breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.

  1. Fun for all ages: The tubing area is suitable for both kids and adults, making it a great family-friendly attraction. Whether you’re young or young at heart, there’s nothing quite like feeling the rush of wind against your face as you slide down the hill.
  2. No experience required: You don’t need any special skills or training to enjoy tubing at Ruidoso Winter Park. Simply grab a tube, hop on one of their well-groomed lanes, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure.
  3. Safety first: The park prioritizes safety by providing sturdy tubes and maintaining carefully designed lanes that ensure a controlled descent. They also have trained staff members who oversee operations and enforce safety guidelines to make sure everyone has a safe and enjoyable time.
  4. Scenic surroundings: As you whiz down the slopes, take a moment to appreciate the stunning natural beauty around you. The park is nestled amidst picturesque mountainscapes that create an idyllic backdrop for your tubing experience.
  5. Convenient amenities: To enhance your visit, Ruidoso Winter Park offers convenient amenities such as restrooms and warming stations where you can take breaks from tubing if needed.

So gather your friends or bring along your family and head over to Ruidoso Winter Park Tubing Area for an exciting day filled with laughter, adrenaline-pumping fun, and unforgettable memories!

5. Take a hike in the Grindstone Lake Trail System

The Grindstone Lake Trail System offers an incredible opportunity to immerse yourself in nature and explore the stunning beauty of Ruidoso. With its well-maintained trails and breathtaking scenery, it’s no wonder that hiking is one of the top things to do in this area.

  1. Scenic Beauty: As you embark on your hike through the Grindstone Lake Trail System, you’ll be treated to awe-inspiring views of towering pine trees, picturesque meadows, and crystal-clear lakes. The trail system is nestled within the Lincoln National Forest, providing a serene escape from city life.
  2. Variety of Trails: Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced hiker, there’s something for everyone at Grindstone Lake Trail System. The network consists of several interconnected trails with varying difficulty levels and lengths. From easy strolls around the lake to more challenging hikes up steep slopes, you can choose a trail that suits your fitness level and preferences.
  3. Wildlife Encounters: Keep your eyes peeled as you hike through the Grindstone Lake Trail System because there’s abundant wildlife to spot along the way! Deer grazing peacefully in meadows, squirrels darting between trees, and colorful birds flitting about are just some examples of what you might encounter during your adventure.
  4. Outdoor Activities: In addition to hiking, the Grindstone Lake area offers plenty of other outdoor activities such as fishing, boating, picnicking, and mountain biking. After enjoying a scenic hike along one of the many trails here, you can relax by casting a line into Grindstone Lake or rent a kayak for some water exploration.
  5. Family-Friendly Environment: The Grindstone Lake Trail System is perfect for families looking for outdoor fun together! With its accessible paths suitable for strollers or wheelchairs, it’s easy for everyone to enjoy the beauty of nature. Pack a picnic and make a day of it by taking breaks along the trail to savor the stunning surroundings.

6. Experience the thrill at Pillow’s Funtrackers

If you’re looking for some excitement in Ruidoso, be sure to visit Pillow’s Funtrackers. This family-friendly amusement park offers a wide range of thrilling activities that are sure to keep everyone entertained. From go-kart racing to miniature golf, there’s something for everyone at this fun-filled destination.

Pillow’s Funtrackers is also known for hosting birthday parties and other special events. Their party packages include access to all the attractions along with food options tailored specifically for kids’ tastes.

So whether you’re seeking thrills on the racetrack or looking for a fun-filled day with family and friends, make sure to check out Pillow’s Funtrackers during your visit to Ruidoso!

7. Dive into history at the Billy the Kid Museum

If you’re a history buff or simply curious about the Wild West, a visit to the Billy the Kid Museum in Ruidoso is a must. This museum offers an immersive experience that takes you back in time to learn more about one of America’s most notorious outlaws.

Inside the museum, you’ll find an impressive collection of artifacts and exhibits dedicated to Billy the Kid and his era. From authentic weapons and clothing to personal items belonging to Billy himself, there’s plenty to see and discover. The displays are carefully curated, providing valuable insights into life during that tumultuous period.

In addition to its historical significance, the Billy the Kid Museum plays an important role in preserving local heritage. By supporting this institution through your visit, you contribute directly to their efforts in maintaining these invaluable artifacts for future generations.

So if you’re ready for a journey through time and want to uncover more about one of America’s most infamous outlaws, make sure to include a stop at Ruidoso’s Billy the Kid Museum on your itinerary!

8. Relax at the Grindstone Lake for fishing or picnicking

Grindstone Lake is a serene and picturesque destination in Ruidoso that offers a perfect setting for relaxation and outdoor activities. Whether you’re an avid angler or simply looking to unwind with a picnic, this beautiful lake has something to offer everyone.

Fishing Paradise

Grindstone Lake is renowned for its excellent fishing opportunities. With over 50 acres of water surface, the lake is home to various fish species including rainbow trout, brown trout, catfish, and bass. Cast your line into the crystal-clear waters and try your luck at catching some trophy-sized fish.

Scenic Picnic Spots

If you prefer a more laid-back experience, Grindstone Lake provides numerous scenic spots for picnicking. Set up your blanket under the shade of towering trees while enjoying breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. The tranquil atmosphere makes it an ideal place to relax with family and friends while savoring delicious food amidst nature’s beauty.

Outdoor Recreation

Apart from fishing and picnicking, Grindstone Lake offers plenty of other outdoor activities to enjoy. Take a leisurely stroll along the walking trails that wind around the lake’s perimeter, immersing yourself in nature’s tranquility. If you’re feeling adventurous, rent a kayak or paddleboard from one of the nearby outfitters and explore the calm waters at your own pace.

Wildlife Spotting

Nature enthusiasts will be delighted by the abundance of wildlife that calls Grindstone Lake home. Keep your eyes peeled as you may spot deer grazing near the shoreline or catch glimpses of colorful birds fluttering through treetops. It’s an excellent opportunity for birdwatchers to observe various avian species in their natural habitat.

9. Attend a performance at the Spencer Theater for the Performing Arts

The Spencer Theater for the Performing Arts is a must-visit destination in Ruidoso. This stunning venue offers an array of captivating performances that will leave you mesmerized. From Broadway shows to symphony concerts, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

  1. Broadway Shows: Experience the magic of Broadway right here in Ruidoso! The Spencer Theater hosts top-notch productions featuring talented actors and actresses who bring beloved musicals and plays to life on stage.
  2. Symphony Concerts: Immerse yourself in the enchanting melodies of classical music with symphony concerts at the theater. Renowned orchestras take center stage, delivering breathtaking performances that will transport you to another world.
  3. Dance Performances: Witness graceful movements and awe-inspiring choreography during dance performances at the theater. From ballet to contemporary dance, these shows showcase incredible talent and creativity.
  4. Comedy Acts: Get ready for a night filled with laughter as comedians take over the stage at the Spencer Theater. Enjoy hilarious stand-up routines that are sure to leave you in stitches.
  5. Cultural Events: The theater also hosts cultural events that celebrate diversity and showcase different art forms from around the world. These events provide a unique opportunity to learn about various cultures while enjoying captivating performances.

Attending a performance at the Spencer Theater is not only entertaining but also supports local artists and performers who work tirelessly to bring these shows to life.

So whether you’re a fan of Broadway, classical music, or simply appreciate exceptional talent, make sure to check out what’s playing at the Spencer Theater for an unforgettable experience!

10. Go horseback riding at Inn of the Mountain Gods Stables

If you’re looking for a unique and exhilarating experience in Ruidoso, don’t miss the opportunity to go horseback riding at Inn of the Mountain Gods Stables. Nestled amidst picturesque landscapes, this activity allows you to connect with nature while enjoying the thrill of horseback riding.

Immerse yourself in natural beauty

As you embark on your horseback adventure, you’ll be surrounded by breathtaking scenery. The stables are located within the Lincoln National Forest, offering stunning views of towering trees, lush meadows, and majestic mountains. It’s a chance to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and immerse yourself in nature’s tranquility.

Suitable for all skill levels

Whether you’re an experienced rider or it’s your first time on a horse, Inn of the Mountain Gods Stables caters to riders of all skill levels. Knowledgeable guides will provide thorough instructions before your ride begins, ensuring that everyone feels comfortable and confident throughout their journey.

Explore diverse trails

The stables offer various trail options that cater to different preferences and abilities. From leisurely rides through scenic trails to more adventurous routes with challenging terrains, there’s something for everyone. You can choose shorter rides if you prefer a quick excursion or opt for longer ones that allow for deeper exploration.

Learn about local history and culture

During your ride, knowledgeable guides will share fascinating insights into Ruidoso’s rich history and vibrant culture. They may highlight interesting landmarks along the way or tell captivating stories about Native American traditions tied to these lands. It adds an educational aspect to your experience as you gain a deeper understanding of the region.

11. Try your luck at the Inn of the Mountain Gods Casino

If you’re feeling lucky, a visit to the Inn of the Mountain Gods Casino is a must. Located in Ruidoso, this popular casino offers a wide range of gaming options and entertainment for visitors.

  1. Gaming excitement: The casino boasts over 45,000 square feet of gaming space, featuring more than 800 slot machines and various table games like blackjack, poker, and roulette. Whether you’re an experienced gambler or just looking to have some fun, there’s something for everyone here.
  2. Live entertainment: In addition to the thrilling gaming experience, Inn of the Mountain Gods Casino also hosts live concerts and performances throughout the year. From renowned musicians to comedy shows, there’s always something happening that will keep you entertained during your visit.
  3. Dining options: When hunger strikes after all that gaming action or dancing along with live music, you’ll find several dining options within the casino complex itself. From casual eateries offering quick bites to upscale restaurants serving gourmet meals prepared by talented chefs – there’s something to satisfy every craving.
  4. Scenic views: One unique feature of this casino is its stunning location amidst picturesque landscapes overlooking Lake Mescalero and surrounded by majestic mountains. So even if gambling isn’t your thing, simply taking in the breathtaking views can make your visit worthwhile.
  5. Resort amenities: The Inn of the Mountain Gods Casino is part of a larger resort complex that includes luxurious accommodations where you can relax after an exciting day at the casino floor. You can indulge in spa treatments or take advantage of outdoor activities like golfing or fishing on-site.

12. Discover local art at the Ruidoso Art Festival (Seasonal)

The Ruidoso Art Festival is a must-visit event for art enthusiasts and those looking to immerse themselves in the vibrant creative scene of Ruidoso. This seasonal festival showcases the incredible talent of local artists, providing an opportunity to discover unique artworks and support the thriving arts community.

Here are some reasons why you should make sure to check out the Ruidoso Art Festival:

  1. Diverse Range of Art: The festival features a diverse range of artwork, including paintings, sculptures, ceramics, photography, jewelry, and more. Whether you appreciate traditional or contemporary art styles, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
  2. Meet Local Artists: One of the highlights of this festival is getting a chance to meet and interact with talented local artists. They are often present at their booths or galleries within the festival grounds, giving visitors an opportunity to learn about their artistic process and inspiration firsthand.
  3. Support Local Economy: By attending the Ruidoso Art Festival and purchasing artwork directly from local artists, you’re supporting the local economy as well as fostering creativity within your community. It’s a win-win situation!
  4. Discover Hidden Gems: The festival provides an excellent platform for emerging artists who may not have gained widespread recognition yet but possess immense talent. You might just stumble upon a hidden gem that could become your new favorite artist!
  5. Engaging Activities: In addition to browsing through stunning artworks, there are often interactive activities such as live demonstrations or workshops where you can try your hand at creating your own masterpiece under expert guidance.
  6. Festival Atmosphere: The lively atmosphere at the Ruidoso Art Festival adds another layer of enjoyment to your visit. Live music performances and delicious food vendors create a festive ambiance that enhances your overall experience.

Make sure to mark your calendar when planning your trip to Ruidoso to catch the Ruidoso Art Festival. It’s an opportunity to immerse yourself in the local art scene, discover new talent, and support the creative community.

13. Enjoy a meal with a view at a mountainside restaurant

If you’re looking for an unforgettable dining experience in Ruidoso, make sure to visit one of the mountainside restaurants that offer breathtaking views along with delicious food. These establishments provide not only delectable dishes but also stunning vistas that will leave you in awe. Here are some reasons why you should consider enjoying a meal at a mountainside restaurant:

  1. Scenic Beauty: Imagine savoring your favorite cuisine while surrounded by majestic mountain peaks and lush greenery. Mountainside restaurants in Ruidoso offer panoramic views that create the perfect backdrop for your dining experience.
  2. Relaxing Atmosphere: The serene ambiance of these restaurants allows you to unwind and enjoy your meal at a leisurely pace. Whether it’s an intimate dinner or a gathering with friends, the tranquil setting adds an extra touch of tranquility to your culinary adventure.
  3. Unique Dining Experience: Dining at a mountainside restaurant is more than just satisfying your taste buds; it’s about immersing yourself in nature’s beauty while indulging in mouthwatering dishes prepared by skilled chefs.
  4. Special Occasions: Celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, or other special occasions? A mountainside restaurant provides an exceptional venue to make those moments even more memorable. Toast to love and life against the backdrop of picturesque landscapes.
  5. Photography Opportunities: Capture Instagram-worthy shots as you dine amidst stunning scenery! Mountainside restaurants offer excellent photo opportunities where you can showcase both gourmet delights and captivating natural surroundings on social media platforms.
  6. Local Cuisine: Many mountainside restaurants feature menus inspired by local flavors and ingredients unique to Ruidoso, allowing visitors to explore regional specialties while enjoying scenic views.
  7. Outdoor Seating Options: Some mountainside restaurants provide outdoor seating areas such as patios or terraces so that guests can fully immerse themselves in the beauty of their surroundings.

So, if you’re craving a meal that combines mouthwatering cuisine with awe-inspiring views, be sure to visit one of Ruidoso’s mountainside restaurants. Immerse yourself in nature’s splendor while indulging in delectable dishes for an unforgettable dining experience.

14. Wander through the Ruidoso Downs Race Track & Casino

If you’re looking for some excitement in Ruidoso, a visit to the Ruidoso Downs Race Track & Casino is a must. Here, you can experience the thrill of horse racing and try your luck at the casino. Let’s delve into what makes this place so special:

  1. Horse Racing: The Ruidoso Downs Race Track is famous for its thrilling horse races. Watch as majestic horses thunder down the track, their jockeys urging them on to victory. Feel the adrenaline rush as you cheer for your favorite horse and witness heart-stopping finishes.
  2. Casino Fun: After enjoying the races, head over to the casino where you can try your hand at various games of chance. Whether it’s blackjack, poker, or slot machines that tickle your fancy, there’s something here for everyone.
  3. Entertainment Events: The race track also hosts various entertainment events throughout the year, including live music performances and festivals. Check their schedule to see if any exciting events align with your visit.
  4. Dining Options: Feeling hungry? Indulge in delicious food at one of several dining options available within the race track premises. From casual snacks to gourmet meals, there’s a culinary delight suited to every palate.
  5. Scenic Views: As you wander around the race track grounds, take in breathtaking views of surrounding mountains and lush landscapes—a perfect backdrop for memorable photos.
  6. Family-Friendly Environment: The Ruidoso Downs Race Track & Casino welcomes visitors of all ages and offers family-friendly activities such as petting zoos during certain events—ensuring everyone has a great time!

So why wait? Plan a day at Ruidoso Downs Race Track & Casino and immerse yourself in an unforgettable experience filled with exhilarating races, gaming thrills, delectable food, and stunning views.

15. Participate in the Aspenfest Parade and Festival (Seasonal, Fall)

If you’re visiting Ruidoso during the fall season, don’t miss out on the exciting Aspenfest Parade and Festival. This annual event celebrates the vibrant colors of autumn and offers a range of activities for everyone to enjoy.

  1. Parade: The highlight of the festival is undoubtedly the Aspenfest Parade. Get ready to be dazzled by colorful floats, marching bands, creative costumes, and enthusiastic participants as they make their way through downtown Ruidoso. It’s a spectacle that captures the essence of community spirit and showcases local talent.
  2. Live Entertainment: The festival also features live entertainment throughout the day. From music performances to dance shows, there’s always something happening on stage to keep you entertained.
  3. Arts and Crafts Fair: Take a stroll through the arts and crafts fair where local artisans display their unique creations. You’ll find an array of handmade jewelry, pottery, paintings, woodwork, and much more. It’s an excellent opportunity to support local artists while finding one-of-a-kind souvenirs.
  4. Food Vendors: Indulge your taste buds with delicious treats from various food vendors at the festival. From traditional fair favorites like funnel cakes and corn dogs to regional specialties like green chile cheeseburgers or Navajo tacos – there’s something for every palate.
  5. Family-Friendly Activities: Bring your family along as there are plenty of activities for children too! Enjoy face painting sessions or let them bounce around in inflatable play areas while you explore other attractions at your own pace.

6 .Scenic Beauty: As you immerse yourself in all these festivities, don’t forget to take in Ruidoso’s stunning fall scenery with its golden aspen trees creating a picturesque backdrop for this lively event.

16. Explore the shops and galleries in Midtown Ruidoso

Midtown Ruidoso is a vibrant hub of activity that offers an array of unique shops and galleries for visitors to explore. Whether you’re searching for one-of-a-kind souvenirs, artwork, or fashionable clothing, Midtown has something for everyone. Here are some reasons why exploring the shops and galleries in Midtown Ruidoso should be on your must-do list:

  1. Unique Finds: From charming boutiques to art galleries showcasing local talent, Midtown is brimming with hidden gems waiting to be discovered. You’ll stumble upon handcrafted jewelry, intricate pottery, and stunning paintings that can’t be found anywhere else.
  2. Support Local Businesses: When you shop in Midtown Ruidoso’s independent stores and galleries, you’re directly supporting local artists and entrepreneurs who pour their passion into their work. By purchasing from them, you help sustain the community’s economy.
  3. Artistic Inspiration: If you have an appreciation for art or simply enjoy browsing beautiful creations, the galleries in Midtown will leave you inspired. Take a leisurely stroll through these artistic spaces where creativity flourishes around every corner.
  4. Variety of Shopping Experiences: In addition to art-focused establishments, there are also specialty stores offering everything from trendy fashion items to home decor essentials. With such a diverse range of options available within walking distance of each other, there’s no shortage of shopping experiences awaiting you.
  5. Local Flavors: Amidst your exploration of Midtown’s shops and galleries don’t forget about the delectable treats available along the way! Many establishments feature delightful cafes serving up freshly brewed coffee or mouthwatering pastries – perfect for refueling during your shopping adventure.

So next time you find yourself in Ruidoso make sure to set aside some time to immerse yourself in the charm of Midtown by exploring its shops and galleries. It’s an experience that promises to leave you with unique finds, artistic inspiration, and a deeper connection to the local community.

17. Watch a show at Flying J Ranch (Seasonal, Summer and Christmastime Only)

If you’re looking for some good old-fashioned entertainment during your visit to Ruidoso, make sure to catch a show at the Flying J Ranch. This popular attraction offers seasonal performances during the summer and Christmastime, providing visitors with an unforgettable experience.

During the summer season, the Flying J Ranch presents their renowned Chuckwagon Supper Shows. Step back in time as you enjoy a delicious chuckwagon dinner cooked over an open fire. Savor mouthwatering barbecue ribs, chicken, beans, coleslaw, biscuits, and apple cobbler while being serenaded by live Western music. The talented performers will have you tapping your toes to classic cowboy tunes and laughing along with their humorous skits.

At Christmastime, the Flying J Ranch transforms into a winter wonderland with their Cowboy Christmas shows. Get into the holiday spirit as you listen to festive carols sung by talented musicians dressed in traditional Western attire. Marvel at dazzling light displays and take part in joyful sing-alongs that are sure to warm your heart.

Keep in mind that these shows are only available during specific times of the year – summer season from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend and Christmastime from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve – so be sure to plan accordingly if you want to catch one of these memorable performances.

18. Take a scenic drive on the Billy The Kid Trail

If you’re looking for a picturesque adventure in Ruidoso, don’t miss the opportunity to take a scenic drive on the Billy The Kid Trail. This historic route offers breathtaking views and an insight into the Wild West era of New Mexico.

  1. Immerse yourself in history: As you travel along the Billy The Kid Trail, you’ll be transported back in time to when notorious outlaw Billy The Kid roamed these lands. Learn about his escapades and visit landmarks associated with his life, such as Fort Stanton and Lincoln Historic Site.
  2. Enjoy stunning landscapes: The trail winds through beautiful landscapes that showcase the natural beauty of Ruidoso and its surroundings. From rolling hills to rugged canyons, each turn reveals a new vista waiting to be admired.
  3. Spot wildlife: Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife sightings along the way. Deer, elk, eagles, and other native species are often spotted during this scenic drive. Don’t forget your camera!
  4. Capture Instagram-worthy photos: With its postcard-perfect scenery, the Billy The Kid Trail provides ample opportunities for capturing memorable photos. Snap shots of panoramic vistas or get creative with close-ups of wildflowers blooming alongside the road.
  5. Combine it with other activities: Make your journey even more exciting by combining it with other activities available nearby! Stop by one of Ruidoso’s charming towns for shopping or dining experiences or venture out onto hiking trails for an up-close exploration of nature’s wonders.
  6. Family-friendly adventure: Whether you’re traveling solo or with family and friends, driving along the Billy The Kid Trail is an enjoyable experience suitable for all ages.

19. Indulge in a wine tasting at Noisy Water Winery

If you’re a wine enthusiast or simply enjoy trying new flavors, a visit to Noisy Water Winery is a must when in Ruidoso. Located in the heart of downtown, this charming winery offers an array of award-winning wines that are sure to delight your taste buds.

  1. Variety of Wines: At Noisy Water Winery, you’ll find an impressive selection of wines made from locally grown grapes. From crisp whites like Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc to robust reds such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, there’s something for every palate.
  2. Tasting Experience: The winery provides a unique tasting experience where you can sample different wines before deciding on your favorites. Knowledgeable staff members guide you through the tasting process, offering insights into each wine’s characteristics and flavor profiles.
  3. Wine Club Membership: If you fall in love with their wines (and chances are high that you will), consider joining their Wine Club. As a member, you’ll receive regular shipments of hand-selected wines delivered right to your doorstep, along with exclusive discounts and access to special events.
  4. Local Artisan Products: In addition to their impressive wine selection, Noisy Water Winery also showcases local artisan products such as gourmet foods and handmade crafts. It’s the perfect opportunity to support local businesses while finding unique souvenirs or gifts for loved ones back home.
  5. Beautiful Setting: The winery itself boasts a warm and inviting atmosphere with rustic decor and cozy seating areas where you can relax while sipping on your favorite glass of wine.

20. Go bird watching or wildlife spotting in Mescalero Apache Reservation

The Mescalero Apache Reservation is a haven for nature enthusiasts, offering an incredible opportunity to go bird watching and spot diverse wildlife. Here are some reasons why you should consider exploring this natural wonder:

  1. Abundance of Bird Species: The reservation boasts over 200 species of birds, making it a paradise for avid bird watchers. From majestic bald eagles soaring through the sky to vibrant hummingbirds flitting among the flowers, there’s always something fascinating to observe.
  2. Rare Sightings: If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of some rare and elusive birds that call the reservation home. Keep your eyes peeled for the endangered Mexican spotted owl or the colorful painted bunting – these sightings are sure to be unforgettable.
  3. Scenic Beauty: As you embark on your bird-watching adventure, take in the breathtaking beauty of the landscape surrounding you. The reservation is nestled amidst towering mountains and lush forests, providing a picturesque backdrop for your wildlife encounters.
  4. Guided Tours: To make the most out of your experience, consider joining a guided tour led by knowledgeable experts who can help identify different species and share interesting facts about their behavior and habitat.
  5. Wildlife Spotting Opportunities: While exploring Mescalero Apache Reservation, don’t limit yourself to just bird watching – keep an eye out for other fascinating creatures too! You may encounter deer gracefully grazing in meadows or even spot black bears roaming through their natural habitat.
  6. Photography Opportunities: Capture stunning photographs as you immerse yourself in nature’s wonders at every turn within the reservation grounds – from close-ups of colorful plumage to panoramic shots showcasing sweeping vistas.
  7. Conservation Efforts: By visiting Mescalero Apache Reservation for bird watching and wildlife spotting activities, you support conservation efforts aimed at protecting these precious ecosystems and preserving biodiversity for future generations to enjoy.

Immerse yourself in the rich biodiversity of Mescalero Apache Reservation, where bird watching and wildlife spotting offer an unforgettable experience. Witness the beauty of nature, encounter rare species, and contribute to conservation efforts all in one remarkable adventure.

21. Attend a concert or event in Ruidoso

Ruidoso is not just known for its natural beauty and outdoor activities; it also offers a vibrant arts and entertainment scene. Attending a concert or event in Ruidoso is an excellent way to immerse yourself in the local culture and have a memorable experience. Here are some reasons why you should consider attending a concert or event during your visit:

  1. Diverse range of performances: Ruidoso hosts concerts and events featuring various genres, including country, rock, jazz, classical music, theater productions, art exhibitions, and more. Whether you’re into live music or appreciate visual arts, there’s something for everyone.
  2. Talented artists: Many renowned musicians, bands, actors, and artists perform in Ruidoso throughout the year. You might have the opportunity to see well-known performers up close in intimate venues.
  3. Unique venues: From cozy theaters to outdoor amphitheaters surrounded by stunning landscapes, Ruidoso offers unique venues that enhance your overall experience. Imagine listening to live music under the starry sky or watching a play nestled amidst picturesque mountains.
  4. Community spirit: Attending local concerts and events allows you to connect with the community of Ruidoso on a deeper level. You’ll get a sense of their passion for arts and culture while supporting local talent.
  5. Memorable moments: Concerts and events create lasting memories that stay with you long after your trip ends. The energy of the crowd combined with exceptional performances can make these experiences truly unforgettable.

So next time you’re planning your itinerary for Ruidoso don’t forget to check out what concerts or events are happening during your stay! Immerse yourself in the vibrant arts scene of this charming mountain town.

22. Enjoy outdoor movies during summer nights (Seasonal)

During the warm summer months in Ruidoso, one of the most enjoyable activities is watching outdoor movies under the starry night sky. This seasonal event offers a unique and memorable experience for locals and visitors alike.

  1. Movie screenings: Outdoor movie screenings are held at various locations throughout Ruidoso during the summer season. From parks to open fields, these venues provide a picturesque setting for an evening of entertainment.
  2. Family-friendly atmosphere: These outdoor movie events are perfect for families looking to spend quality time together. Children can run around and play while waiting for the movie to start, creating a fun-filled atmosphere that everyone can enjoy.
  3. Bring your own seating: Don’t forget to bring your own blankets or lawn chairs to get comfortable while watching the film. It’s recommended to arrive early to secure a good spot and set up your seating arrangement before showtime.
  4. Snacks and refreshments: Many outdoor movie events in Ruidoso offer concessions where you can purchase snacks like popcorn, candy, and beverages such as soda or lemonade. Treat yourself to some delicious treats while enjoying the movie.
  5. Community bonding: Outdoor movies provide an opportunity for members of the community to come together and bond over shared interests. It’s a great way to meet new people or catch up with friends while enjoying a popular film outdoors.

So gather your loved ones, grab some blankets or lawn chairs, and head out on those warm summer nights in Ruidoso for an unforgettable cinematic experience under the stars!

23. Visit the Smokey Bear Historical Park in nearby Capitan

If you’re a fan of wildlife and conservation, a visit to the Smokey Bear Historical Park in nearby Capitan is a must. This unique attraction offers deeper insights into the history of one of America’s most beloved icons – Smokey Bear.

  • Learn about wildfire prevention: The park provides an educational experience on wildfire prevention and highlights the important role that Smokey Bear has played in promoting fire safety for over 75 years. You’ll discover valuable tips on how to prevent wildfires and protect our forests.
  • Explore interactive exhibits: The park features engaging exhibits that are both informative and entertaining. From interactive displays showcasing forest ecosystems to historical artifacts, there’s something for everyone to enjoy while learning about nature conservation.
  • Meet Smokey Bear himself: One of the highlights of visiting this park is getting up close and personal with a real-life bear! You can meet live black bears who serve as ambassadors for their species, helping raise awareness about wildlife preservation.
  • Enjoy outdoor activities: Besides its educational offerings, the park also boasts beautiful outdoor spaces where you can relax or have a picnic surrounded by nature. Take advantage of hiking trails that wind through scenic landscapes filled with native flora and fauna.

So, whether you’re passionate about environmental conservation or simply want to spend some time immersed in nature, make sure to add the Smokey Bear Historical Park to your Ruidoso itinerary!

24. Experience the thrill of zip-lining at Ski Apache

If you’re seeking an adrenaline rush and a unique way to explore Ruidoso, look no further than zip-lining at Ski Apache. This exhilarating activity allows you to soar through the air while taking in breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and forests.

Safety is a top priority at Ski Apache’s zip-line course. The staff ensures that all participants are equipped with proper safety gear and receive thorough instructions before embarking on their adventure. So even if it’s your first time zip-lining, rest assured that you’ll be in good hands.

Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or simply looking for a fun outdoor activity with friends or family, zip-lining at Ski Apache is not to be missed. Soar through the air like never before and create unforgettable memories against the backdrop of Ruidoso’s natural beauty.

25. Take a guided tour of Fort Stanton Historic Site

Fort Stanton is not just any historic site; it’s an opportunity to step back in time and immerse yourself in the rich history of New Mexico. A guided tour of Fort Stanton offers a fascinating glimpse into the past, providing deeper insights into its significance and the stories that shaped it.

  1. Discover the history: As you explore Fort Stanton, knowledgeable guides will share captivating tales about its role as a military fort during the Apache Wars and its later transformation into one of America’s longest-operating tuberculosis hospitals. Learn about notable figures like Kit Carson and Billy the Kid who had connections to this extraordinary place.
  2. Explore well-preserved buildings: The fort boasts well-preserved buildings that allow visitors to envision life as it was centuries ago. From officer quarters to barracks, hospital wards to stables, each structure tells a unique story about how people lived and worked at Fort Stanton.
  3. Witness living history demonstrations: Experience history come alive with interactive demonstrations showcasing various aspects of daily life at the fort. Watch reenactors dressed in period attire demonstrate blacksmithing techniques or firing cannons, providing an authentic experience that transports you back in time.
  4. Engage with exhibits: The onsite museum features engaging exhibits displaying artifacts from different eras, including military memorabilia, medical equipment used during the tuberculosis era, and historical photographs capturing significant moments at Fort Stanton.
  5. Enjoy scenic surroundings: Nestled amidst beautiful mountain vistas and surrounded by nature trails perfect for hiking or horseback riding, Fort Stanton offers more than just historical intrigue—it provides an opportunity to appreciate New Mexico’s natural beauty while exploring its past.

A visit to Fort Stanton Historic Site is an educational adventure suitable for all ages—a chance to learn about New Mexico’s heritage while enjoying breathtaking scenery along the way.

26. Explore local flavors at Ruidoso Farmers Market (Seasonal)

If you’re a foodie looking to indulge in the vibrant culinary scene of Ruidoso, don’t miss out on the opportunity to explore the local flavors at the Ruidoso Farmers Market. This seasonal market is a haven for both locals and visitors alike, offering an array of fresh produce, homemade goodies, and unique crafts.

  1. Fresh and Locally Sourced: At the Ruidoso Farmers Market, you’ll find an abundance of fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, and other locally sourced ingredients. Supporting local farmers not only ensures that you get top-quality produce but also contributes to sustainable agriculture practices.
  2. Homemade Delights: From artisanal bread and pastries to jams and jellies made with love, the market showcases a variety of homemade delights that will tantalize your taste buds. Indulge in delectable treats crafted by talented bakers who take pride in their creations.
  3. Crafts Galore: The market isn’t just about food; it’s also a treasure trove for unique crafts created by skilled artisans in the area. Discover handcrafted jewelry, pottery pieces, artwork, textiles, and more while supporting local artists.
  4. Community Vibes: One of the highlights of visiting the Ruidoso Farmers Market is experiencing its warm community atmosphere. Engage with friendly vendors who are passionate about what they do as they share stories behind their products or offer helpful cooking tips.
  5. Live Entertainment: On select days during peak season, live entertainment adds an extra layer of enjoyment to your visit at this lively marketplace. Soak up some tunes from talented musicians while exploring all that this vibrant gathering has to offer.

27. Enjoy mountain biking on Cedar Creek Trails

If you’re an adventure seeker looking for an adrenaline rush, mountain biking on the Cedar Creek Trails in Ruidoso is a must-do activity. With its stunning natural beauty and diverse terrain, this trail system offers an exhilarating experience for both beginners and experienced riders.

  1. Variety of trails: The Cedar Creek Trails boast a variety of trails suitable for all skill levels. From easy, scenic routes to more challenging singletracks, there’s something for everyone. Whether you prefer a leisurely ride or crave technical challenges, these trails won’t disappoint.
  2. Breathtaking scenery: As you pedal through the forested areas and open meadows of the Cedar Creek Trails, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of towering pine trees, wildflowers in bloom, and glimpses of local wildlife. It’s like immersing yourself in nature’s own masterpiece.
  3. Thrilling descents: One highlight of mountain biking on these trails is the thrilling descents that will get your heart racing with excitement. Experience the rush as you navigate steep slopes and twisty turns while surrounded by awe-inspiring landscapes.
  4. Family-friendly options: If you’re planning a family outing or have younger riders with less experience, don’t worry! There are beginner-friendly sections within the trail system where everyone can enjoy a safe and fun ride together.
  5. Easy accessibility: Located just minutes away from downtown Ruidoso, accessing the Cedar Creek Trails is convenient for visitors staying in town or nearby accommodations. You won’t have to travel far to embark on your two-wheeled adventure!

So grab your bike helmet, gear up with protective equipment, and hit the trails at Cedar Creek for an unforgettable mountain biking experience that combines natural beauty with thrilling outdoor recreation.

28. Relax in the tranquility of Two Rivers Park

Two Rivers Park is a serene oasis nestled in the heart of Ruidoso. This picturesque park offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Here, you can immerse yourself in nature and enjoy a range of activities that cater to all ages and interests.

A Nature Lover’s Paradise

With its lush greenery, towering trees, and two beautiful rivers running through it, Two Rivers Park is truly a nature lover’s paradise. Take a leisurely stroll along the winding paths and breathe in the fresh mountain air as you soak up the beauty surrounding you. The park’s well-maintained grounds provide an ideal setting for picnics or simply finding your own peaceful spot to relax.

Fun for Everyone

Whether you’re visiting with family or friends, there’s something for everyone at Two Rivers Park. Kids will love exploring the playground area while parents can unwind on one of the many benches scattered throughout the park. If you’re feeling more adventurous, bring your fishing gear and try your luck at catching trout in one of the rivers.

Outdoor Activities Galore

If you’re seeking outdoor adventure, look no further than Two Rivers Park. The park features several hiking trails that offer stunning views of Ruidoso’s natural beauty. Lace up your hiking boots and embark on an invigorating hike through pine forests or alongside babbling brooks.

For those who prefer biking, bring along your bicycle and explore miles of scenic trails within the park grounds. Feel free to pack a picnic lunch to enjoy at one of their designated picnic areas after working up an appetite.

29. Discover Ruidoso Lodging Collections for unique stays

Look no further than the Ruidoso Lodging Collections. These collections offer a range of options that cater to different preferences and interests, ensuring that every visitor can find the perfect place to stay.

  1. Luxury Retreats: Indulge yourself in the lap of luxury with stunning mountain views, spacious interiors, and top-notch amenities. Whether you’re looking for a secluded cabin or an upscale resort experience, these lodging options will exceed your expectations.
  2. Cozy Cabins: Experience the charm and coziness of Ruidoso’s rustic cabins nestled amidst nature’s beauty. Perfect for couples or small families seeking a peaceful retreat, these cabins provide a tranquil escape from city life.
  3. Ski-In/Ski-Out Accommodations: For avid skiers and snowboarders, there’s nothing better than staying right on the slopes. Enjoy easy access to the ski lifts and spend more time on the slopes instead of commuting back and forth from your accommodation.
  4. Pet-Friendly Getaways: Don’t leave your furry friends behind! Many lodging options within the collections welcome pets so you can enjoy your vacation without worrying about leaving anyone behind.
  5. Golf Course Retreats: If golf is your passion, why not stay at one of Ruidoso’s golf course retreats? Wake up to breathtaking views of lush greens while enjoying convenient access to world-class golf courses just steps away from your door.
  6. Family-Friendly Resorts: Make lasting memories with your loved ones at family-friendly resorts offering activities for all ages like swimming pools, game rooms, mini-golf courses, and more!
  7. Romantic Escapes: Celebrate love in style by choosing one of many romantic escapes available within these collections – think private hot tubs, cozy fireplaces, and breathtaking sunsets.

With the Ruidoso Lodging Collections, you can elevate your stay in Ruidoso to a whole new level. Whether you’re seeking luxury, adventure, relaxation or quality time with loved ones – there’s something for everyone. Make your visit truly unforgettable by choosing one of these unique accommodations that perfectly aligns with your preferences and needs.

30. Participate in the annual Ruidoso Winter Park Giant Snow Globe Photo Op (Seasonal, Winter)

If you’re visiting Ruidoso during the winter season, don’t miss out on the opportunity to participate in the annual Ruidoso Winter Park Giant Snow Globe Photo Op. This unique experience allows you to capture unforgettable memories while surrounded by a magical winter wonderland.

The giant snow globe is an enchanting attraction that draws visitors from all over. Step inside this whimsical sphere and find yourself transported into a snowy paradise. The globe is filled with artificial snowflakes, creating a picturesque backdrop for your photos.

The annual event takes place during the winter season when Ruidoso experiences its beautiful snowy landscapes. It’s an ideal activity for both locals and tourists looking for something special to do during this time of year.

Whether you’re an amateur photographer or just someone who loves taking snapshots on their phone, participating in this photo op can result in stunning images that truly capture the magic of winter in Ruidoso.

Final Remarks

Congratulations! You’ve now discovered a wide range of exciting things to do in Ruidoso. From exploring the beautiful Lincoln National Forest to enjoying thrilling activities like skiing at Ski Apache or zip-lining, there’s something for everyone in this charming town. Immerse yourself in the rich history and culture by visiting museums like the Hubbard Museum of the American West and the Billy the Kid Museum. 

Don’t forget to indulge in local flavors at the Ruidoso Farmers Market or enjoy a meal with a view at one of the mountainside restaurants. And if you’re looking for relaxation, take a peaceful hike in the Grindstone Lake Trail System or unwind at Two Rivers Park.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some popular outdoor activities in Ruidoso?

Ruidoso offers a wide range of outdoor activities. You can explore Lincoln National Forest, ski or snowboard at Ski Apache, take a hike in the Grindstone Lake Trail System, go horseback riding at Inn of the Mountain Gods Stables, and enjoy mountain biking on Cedar Creek Trails.

Where can I find cultural attractions in Ruidoso?

Ruidoso has several cultural attractions to explore. Visit the Hubbard Museum of the American West to learn about Western art and history, dive into history at the Billy the Kid Museum, attend a performance at Spencer Theater for the Performing Arts, and discover local art at the Ruidoso Art Festival (seasonal).

Are there any seasonal events in Ruidoso?

Yes! Ruidoso hosts various seasonal events throughout the year. You can participate in Aspenfest Parade and Festival (fall), watch shows at Flying J Ranch (summer and Christmastime only), enjoy outdoor movies during summer nights, indulge in winter fun with Giant Snow Globe Photo Op at Ruidoso Winter Park (winter), and explore local flavors at Ruidoso Farmers Market (seasonal).

What are some family-friendly activities in Ruidoso?

Ruidoso offers plenty of family-friendly activities. Experience thrills at Pillow’s Funtrackers amusement park, relax by fishing or picnicking at Grindstone Lake, wander through shops and galleries in Midtown Ruidoso, visit Smokey Bear Historical Park in nearby Capitan for educational fun, and watch horse racing excitement at Ruiodos Downs Race Track & Casino.

Can you recommend any unique places to stay in Ruidoso?

If you’re looking for unique stays in Ruisodo, check out our Lodging Collections. From cozy cabins nestled among pine trees to luxurious resorts with stunning views of mountainside landscapes – there’s something for everyone.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *