But Santa Fe-area libraries offer another freebie that’s perfect for the summer months: access to passes that get your family into a range of museums and cultural attractions in Santa Fe and across the state.
With your library card, you can check out a New Mexico Family Pass or a Share the Experience Pass for up to two weeks. You simply present the pass at your destination along with a New Mexico ID, and up to six people receive free basic admission.
The Share the Experience Pass, or STEP, available at all Santa Fe Public Library branches and Vista Grande Public Library in Eldorado, gets you into Santa Fe’s Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, The Santa Fe Botanical Garden and the Santa Fe Children’s Museum. The Family Pass, available at libraries throughout New Mexico, covers admission to Santa Fe’s New Mexico Museum of Art, New Mexico History Museum, Museum of International Folk Art and Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, as well as several other statewide destinations: New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science and the National Hispanic Cultural Center, in Albuquerque; New Mexico Museum of Space History, in Alamogordo; New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum, in Las Cruces; Los Luceros Historic Site, in Alcalde; the Lincoln Historic Site, in Lincoln; the Jemez Historic Site, just north of Jemez Springs; the Fort Sumner Historic Site/Bosque Redondo Memorial, in Fort Sumner; Fort Stanton, in Capitan; Fort Selden, in Radium Springs; and the Coronado Historic Site, in Bernalillo.
The only hitch: The passes are available on a first-come, first-served basis, so you can’t guarantee you’ll be able to snag one for a planned vacation. Stop by or call any circulation desk and ask if there are any passes available, or search for them on your library’s website to check current availability. The Santa Fe Public Library’s branches have 16 Family Passes and 22 Share the Experience passes in all.
No luck? Remember many museums and attractions routinely offer free or discounted rates for children and seniors, and offer special days for free or reduced admission for New Mexico residents.
Kristen Cox Roby is Tumbleweeds’ assistant editor.