Taos- or How we Travel as a Large Family

On Saturday we took the family to Taos, New Mexico. Taos is 2 1/2 hours north of us so we decided to do it in one day. Prior to leaving I planned our day with the help of this website. Lots of helpful ideas for families to plan their day trips.

We fed the kids breakfast and were on our way by 8am. Note to myself, don’t feed the kids Nutella for breakfast if you plan on doing a photo shoot that day…

Our kids are used to eating frequently (as in, they snack all day), so by 11 am they were quite hungry. I have learned that with our crew of 8 it is best if we feed everyone before or right at the destination. For us it does not work to get to a city and then having to look for a place to eat. My husband had been to Taos before, so he knew of a great place by the river to stop and eat about half an hour before our destination.


This was a beautiful rest stop, commonly used by rafting companies to pick up their clients, so the water was shallow enough for the kids to wade in it.

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This is the Rio Grande, by the way. After 45 minutes we piled back in the car and headed to Taos. I have to say here that it is unusual for us to travel on the weekend during the summer. One secret to making travel easier on our large crew is to avoid crowds if at all possible. We were planning on doing this trip on Friday. However we spend all day Friday to get our air conditioner fixed, so the trip got pushed back a day. It worked out because we used another big family trick: eating during off hours. Restaurants for us are much more doable after lunch and before dinner. The waiters are much more attentive and friendly (and willing to get us yet another napkin and to split our meals).

We drove to the Plaza in Taos to get a feel how large it is and weren’t really sure if we should stop until our 5 year old spotted this place.


It’s called Twirl House, it is enclosed, and a great place for kids 10 and under. Even better, it is free.


The husband was kind enough to stay here with the younger ones while I took our two oldest to the plaza.

IMG_6807 IMG_6777 IMG_6810After the Plaza we headed 11 north of Taos to the Rio Grande Gorge bridge.

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IMG_6855 IMG_6857 IMG_6861I’m glad I got to see it but I have to admit it was a freaky experience. Not sure if I would recommend it for families. The bridge is way up high, sways with cars driving on it (which they do at high speeds right next to you). The railing has openings. The whole thing seemed unsafe and hard to control. Add to the fact that our 5 year old decided to throw a fit right there and my 9 year old almost got hit by a car..it was nerve wracking. But the view is stunning.

By now it was early afternoon so we headed up to Ski Valley to eat an early dinner at the Bavarian Restaurant. The terrain is vastly different up in the valley, reminds me of the Alps. Here is my “Sound of Music” picture with Ella.


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The prices are steeper than what we are used to, but it is well worth it, because of the location (kid’s can run around), and the authentic German food. And the portions are huge. The restaurant is right by a ski lift, so you can ski from here, hike, or bike.

After this we stopped one more time which I will save for another post. Stay tuned.


Taos- or How we Travel as a Large Family

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