Alamogordo, New Mexico, offers families options to head off the beaten path with some outdoor activities, local culture and classic family fun.
The Toy Train Depot Museum at Alameda Park is situated within a century-old real train depot. Home to hundreds of scale model train locomotives, along with their passengers and freight cars, the museum gives kids a chance to thoroughly explore and then get in on the action themselves, riding a small-scale train built for traveling tots. Specialty exhibits include the world’s smallest scaled working train and a 1,000-square-foot layout of Alamogordo as it stood in the 1940s.
The New Mexico Museum of Space History and the International Space Hall of Fame
These two space-related landmarks are both located in Alamogordo. Learn all about the area’s relationship to space exploration, as well as broader concepts related to space travel. See a moon rock, replicas of Sputnik and Explorer and even an ancient plant-eating reptile discovered near Alamogordo several years ago. There are a handful of outdoor exhibits with real rockets and the Daisy Decelerator, an air-powered sled track used for studying the effects of acceleration, deceleration and impact on the human body.
For an out of the ordinary family travel photo, pose in front of the world’s largest pistachio at PistachioLand. After the selfies are out of the way, take a tour of the pistachio orchard, home to more than 12,000 pistachio trees, and enjoy a bottle of wine made from the accompanying 14 acres of grape vines. Think all pistachios are the same? Think again, at the daily free pistachio tasting bar.
White Sands National Monument is an unforgettable outdoor experience. Bicycle through the dune fields or take an eight-mile scenic drive, go on a dune hike or horseback ride or take a native plant tour. Of course, you can’t visit these white dunes — remarkably similar in appearance to snow drifts — without sledding down a few. Sledding is permitted in the loop portion of Dunes Drive and waxed, plastic saucers for this purpose are sold at the gift shop.
“Family vacations are made special by spending time together, while exploring new experiences,” said Michelle Brideaux, communications and marketing administrator, City of Alamogordo. “In Alamogordo, there’s an element of wonder that makes vacations that much more special — whether you’re exploring the great outdoors or combining learning and fun at our unique attractions.”