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Spend Your New Mexico Christmas Vacation at Inn of the Mountain Gods

Spend your New Mexico Christmas vacation in the company of friends, family, and gorgeous rolling summits at the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort and Casino. Located in the Sacramento Mountains of South Central New Mexico on the Mescalero Apache Reservation, Inn of the Mountain Gods treats vacationers to a one-of-a-kind holiday experience in the American Southwest.

Wake up to breathtaking views of mountain tops, savor the best restaurants in the area, and enjoy the best casino gaming, spa treatments, and live entertainment, all available at Inn of the Mountain Gods. Best of all, resort guests will find themselves near some of the top Christmas events New Mexico has to offer.


Christmas in New Mexico is festive and full of events for families, couples, or anyone looking for a winter getaway. The mountain village of Mescalero is perfectly situated near some of the most delightful holiday attractions in New Mexico.

Expect that the well-known area lodge—Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort & Casino—will be beautifully decorated for the season and ready with a host of live entertainment, from tree lighting ceremonies to concerts to brunch. Revel in the scenic mountain backdrop of the Sierra Blanca mountains and visit the state’s southernmost ski resort featuring snow-filled hills under a canopy of blue skies. The average high temperature in this area of New Mexico is 45℉ in December—the perfect temperature for bundling up and enjoying fresh mountain air.

Don’t be a Scrooge—check out what you can do around Inn of the Mountain Gods this holiday season!

New Mexico Christmas Events Near Inn of the Mountain Gods

Whether you’re looking for traditional Christmas celebrations or something with a festive Southwestern spin, there are plenty of activities in the Mescalero area to make this your best winter holiday yet! Take part in festivities at the resort or venture out to nearby towns for celebrations and parades. There are plenty of options throughout the season to add cheer to your visit, from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve. 

Christmas Tree Lighting at Inn of the Mountain Gods

Close up of a Christmas tree.

When: November 26, 2023 at 1 pm

Where: Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort and Casino

The holiday season officially begins in Mescalero, New Mexico with the annual Christmas Tree Lighting at Inn of the Mountain Gods! All are welcome to this free holiday event that offers festive shopping and family-friendly activities. The holiday fun begins at 1pm with a Barnes & Noble pop-up shop and continues with cookies, hot cocoa, and photos with Santa from 4 to 6 pm. The festivities finish with a tree lighting ceremony at 6:45 in Wendell’s Lobby at the Inn.

Come Let Us Adore Him: BRUNCH And PRAISE

When: December 2, 2023 at 10 am

Where: Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort & Casino

Get in the holiday spirit with this Christmas event featuring great food and fabulous caroling. Come Let us Adore Him: Brunch & Praise at Inn of the Mountain Gods includes a full brunch menu with traditional breakfast fare, assorted pastries, and main dishes to please any appetite. The meal is followed by a worship service and Christmas carols led by the local Alamogordo Christ Community Church. Doors open at 10 am with worship from 11 am to noon. Tickets are $50 per person.

Ruidoso Festival of Lights Parade

When: December 2, 2023 from 5:30 to 8 pm

Where: Sudderth Drive, Ruidoso, New Mexico

The Ruidoso Festival of Lights Parade is a must-see Christmas event. Vehicles decked out in twinkling lights spread Christmas cheer up and down Sudderth Drive in Ruidoso from 5:30 to 8 pm. Festive floats, marchers, and more bring holiday jubilance to Ruidoso. The parade takes on a Songs of Christmas theme this year to blend the sounds of the season with beautiful light displays. An after party at Wingfield Park offers ice skating amid Christmas lights with festive music, marshmallow roasting, and Santa sightings until 10 pm.

The Nutcracker at Spencer Theater

When: December 16, 2023 at 2 pm and 7 pm, December 17 at 7 pm

Where: Spencer Theater, 108 Spencer Rd., Alto NM

Get ready for a Christmas classic, The Nutcracker, at the Spencer Theater in Alto, NM. This beloved ballet features 70 costumed dancers from the Ruidoso Academy of Ballet and Dance. All ages will love this retelling of a holiday masterpiece, featuring a brilliant musical score and dazzling sets. The Nutcracker performances take place at 2 pm and 7 pm on Saturday, December 16th, and at 2 pm on Sunday, December 18th. Tickets start at $39 per person. Call (575) 336-4800 for tickets or purchase online!

White Mountain Christmas at Flying J Ranch

Cowboy boots and cowboy hat with Christmas decorations.

When: November 24, 2023 through December 31, 2023

Where: Flying J Ranch, 1028 NM-48 in Alto NM

Enjoy an Old West evening full of Christmas events at Flying J Ranch in the Sangre De Cristo mountains of Alto, New Mexico. Check in at the ticket booth starting at 5:30 pm as the Western Main Street exhibits open, featuring Santa’s workshop, hayrides, an incredible holiday light display, and more. Listen to The Fiddler’s Side Show until the dinner bell rings. The included chuckwagon supper is served promptly at 7 pm, and is followed by a can’t-miss Christmas show showcasing the musical stylings of the Flying J Wranglers.

The festivities occur on select dates throughout the holiday season. Tickets are $45.00 per person. For more information, contact (575) 336-4330.

Grindstone Stables Christmas Sleigh Rides

When: Thanksgiving 2023 through December 31, 2023

Where: Grindstone Stables, 523 Resort Dr., Ruidoso (follow the road signs, not your GPS!)

Get out into the crisp winter air and jingle all the way through Ruidoso’s Upper Canyon on a sleigh ride at Grindstone Stables. Beautiful draft horses adorned in jingling bells pull you through Ruidoso’s oldest area. Snow or no snow, these 30-minute sleigh rides are sure to delight all ages! The rides begin on Thanksgiving and continue on select dates through December 31. Reservations are recommended.

Sleigh rides are $30 for adults and $15 for children 12 and under. Reserve your tickets at (575) 257-2241.

Take a peek at the Inn of the Mountain Gods entertainment schedule.


New Mexico’s favorable winter weather and festive Christmas spirit make it an excellent destination for winter sports lovers, couples looking for a getaway, or a family on vacation. Discover all there is to do near the Inn of the Mountain Gods, from on-site entertainment to nearby attractions and shops: There are many winter activities to keep everyone having fun.

Winter Skiing at Ski Apache

Winter skiing at Ski Apache.

Ski Apache is one of the top resorts in the area and features 750 skiable acres of terrain with 55 runs and trails for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels, and New Mexico’s only eight-passenger gondola. Visit Ski Apache for a unique Christmas activity or consider purchasing season passes as a gift for the outdoors enthusiast in the family. The incredible views are perfect for adults looking to relax and take it all in, and the thrilling zipline and high elevations get any thrill-seeker’s attention. 


Finish your holiday shopping or find the perfect gift just for you at one of Midtown Ruidoso’s many local shops and boutiques. Shoppers will find plenty of options to peruse, among them outdoor specialty shops, vintage and secondhand shops, art galleries, and souvenir stores, including The Ruidoso Trading Post — a favorite for all ages.


People playing slot machines at Inn of the Mountain Gods Casino.

Adults, bring your Christmas spirit to one of the hottest casinos in New Mexico. The Inn of the Mountain Gods Casino is your chance to win fabulous prizes—and if lady luck is on your side—a Christmas bonus! Take advantage of Christmas events and holiday-themed promotions when you play your favorite casino games. Or, lounge in the Sportsbook and watch all the action of your favorite sports teams from comfortable high-top seating.

Topgolf at Inn of the Mountain Gods

Itching for a game of golf? You’re in luck. Inn of the Mountain Gods is home to Southern New Mexico’s first Topgolf Swing Suite. This state-of-the-art golf simulator is open for fun for golfers and those just looking for a good time from Friday to Sunday each week. Practice your swing, play a virtual round with your family, and select from multi-sport games, including hockey, baseball, and dodgeball.


The Presidential Suite master bedroom at Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort and Casino in New Mexico.

Get the upscale features of a resort with the comforts and warmth of home when you stay at the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort for your New Mexico Christmas vacation. Guests staying in select rooms and suites will enjoy unrivaled mountain views from their own private outdoor balcony as well as a whirlpool tub. All hotel rooms and suites include access to a fitness center, pool, high-speed internet, and daily concierge service. In-room amenities include flat-screen televisions, a daily newspaper, in-room safes, and more.

Choose from a variety of accommodations for the holiday season:

  • Presidential Suite: Two private balconies, king bed, whirlpool tub, living area, dining area, kitchenette, multiple flat-screen televisions
  • Deluxe Suite: Private balcony, king bed, whirlpool tub, multiple flat-screen televisions, living area with a queen-size sleeper sofa
  • Royal Suite: Private balcony, king bed, whirlpool tub, living area with a queen-size sleeper sofa, multiple flat-screen televisions, dining area
  • Superior Room: Private balcony, one king pillow-top bed or two queen pillow-top beds, flat-screen television, coffee maker
  • Luxury Room: Private balcony, two queen pillow-top beds or one king pillow-top bed, queen-size sleeper sofa, flat-screen television, coffee maker
  • Standard Room: One king pillow-top bed or two queen pillow-top beds, flat-screen teleivion; coffee maker

When you stay at the Inn of the Mountain Gods, there’s no shortage of New Mexico Christmas events—or cheer! Make this your perfect winter getaway for two or enjoy a family vacation for the holidays. Our well-appointed rooms, ample amenities, and on-site dining promise something for everyone. Extend your stay and join us for a New Year’s Eve Celebration to ring in 2023 in an extra-festive fashion.


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