If you have enough trouble getting your kids out of the house in the morning, dragging them thousands of miles away may seem like an insurmountable challenge. But family travel can be immensely rewarding, giving you new ways of seeing the world through smaller pairs of eyes.

Be aware that family travel in northern New Mexico may be a little different from what you're accustomed to. You'll find few huge Disney-like attractions here. Instead, the draws are culture and the outdoors. Rather than spending time in theme parks, you may go white-water rafting down the Rio Grande, skiing at one of the many family-friendly areas, climbing a wooden ladder up to a cliff dwelling, or trekking through the wilderness with a llama.

If your brood is not very adventurous, don't worry. Some of the hotels and resorts listed in this book have inviting pools to laze around or on-site activities planned especially for kids. Whatever your choice, northern New Mexico will definitely offer your children a new perspective on the United States by exposing them to ancient ruins, Southwestern cuisine, and Hispanic and Native American cultures that they may not experience elsewhere.

Recommended family travel reading includes:

  • The Santa Fe quarterly Tumbleweeds (tel. 505/984-3171; www.sftumbleweeds.com) offers useful articles on family-oriented subjects in the Santa Fe area, a quarterly day-by-day calendar of family events, and a seasonal directory of children's classes, camps, and programs. Free in locations all over Santa Fe or by mail for $15.
  • Lynnell Diamond's New Mexico for Kids (Otter Be Reading Books), a learning activity guidebook for young people, is available online at Amazon.com.

Another helpful resource is Frommer's Family Vacations in the National Parks.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.