Does your family love to learn on the go? Do you have a child who’s interested in Native American history or culture? Are you studying about Native Americans as part of your homeschool in the coming years? If so, we would love to have your family join us on our next road trip to New Mexico–the Land of Enchantment!
Native Americans and their history and culture are fascinating subjects, and they are topics that our children should learn and understand more about. For that reason, we are so excited to announce this Homeschool Enrichment Adventure Road Trip! (We call them HEART trips.) ♥ to Gallup, New Mexico on October 13-16, 2019!
What Is a HEART Trip?
If you’re not familiar with our HEART trips, they are simply educational road trips. We think of them as educational field trips for the whole family! It’s hard to believe that we started these road trips three years ago, and this will be our fifth trip. We’re enjoying meeting and traveling with so many homeschooling families, including several families who’ve joined us on every one of our trips so far! We love accompanying you on these educational family road trips, getting to know you, and sharing in some exciting educational experiences together.
We always have fun educational activities, and we always build in some time for families to get to know each other and make connections with other like-minded families. We all know that our kids (contrary to popular belief) typically spend plenty of time socializing, but we parents are the ones who don’t often have time to create true friendships! On these trips, we make time for educational activities and do plenty of learning, but we also make time for building life-long friendships with other homeschooling families–moms and dads included! Note: It is not required that both parents attend these trips, but we do encourage dads to attend when they can!
Don’t forget to read below about all of the activities we’ll be offering! But there is one that is really something extraordinarily special on this trip that you won’t want to miss!
Native American Immersion
The best way to learn about Native American culture and history is to experience it together! While we’re in New Mexico, we’ll enjoy activities such as crafting, painting, and cooking! Oh, and of course some Native American dancing! Why? Because watching and listening are great ways to learn, but we know it really is true that we remember much more of what we experience than what we only watch or hear. Six National Monuments, one national park, three Indian Pueblos, and the beautiful Red Butte Country of the Navajo Reservation are all accessible from Gallup.
Dancing and Regalia
Native American dance regalia (the beautiful clothing that Native Americans traditionally wear for their dances) is often elaborate and beautiful! We’ll get to see it close up! We’ll have the chance to see art and culture collide as we experience the beauty of both kinds of art–clothing and dancing–together. What an awesome experience that most people never have a chance to enjoy!
As part of this experience, we’ll have a Native American dancer join us for some dancing and story telling!
Hopi Kachina Doll Experience
To see how these dolls are made, take a look at this YouTube video:
It is important to note that much of Native American culture involves their religious beliefs–including their belief in spirits, mythology, and traditions. These may differ from your own personal religious beliefs. You will want to discuss with your children ahead of time what they will hear and experience on this trip so they will be prepared.
We’ll get to experience first-hand what rodeo contestants go through! While we know there are some of you who are horseback riders, there are those of us who aren’t, but don’t worry! We’ll participate in Dummy Roping, Stick Horse Barrel Racing, and a Bucking Demo, so even we non-equestrians will be able to join in the fun. And there will even be prizes!
While we’re in New Mexico, we’ll all be taught by a Navajo grandma or two to make Indian fry bread! Yum! And for those who have food allergies, we’ll give you the option to participate in cooking this Native American treat, but you’ll have something allergy-friendly to eat instead.
Hike to the Inscriptions
We’ll take some time to get out and explore nature as we hike to areas around Red Rock Park to view various inscriptions. Red Rock Park is a beautiful state park cradled by spectacular red cliffs, so we’ll get to enjoy the scenery, get some exercise, and view inscriptions for some real-life history lessons.
Red Rock Park will give us the chance to enjoy washed-out canyons and hard-scrabbled plant and wildlife that’s found in that dry Western environment. We’ll see colorful and oddly-shaped rock formations too. I have to admit that those of us from the hot and humid South are looking forward to experiencing the dry heat found in that area!
Route 66 Arch & New Mexico Mining Museum
On your way into Gallup or as you leave, be sure to stop in Grants, New Mexico, to take pictures under the Route 66 Arch–a drive-under neon arch shaped like the iconic Route 66 emblem.
New Mexico Mining Museum
While you are in Grants, you will be able to visit the New Mexico Mining Museum as part of our tour (although you will do this one on your own). It’s the only (simulated) uranium mining museum in the world! The mine replica is underground, so we’ll get a sense of what it’s really like to go underground and work in a mine.
This is a small museum with friendly staff, so we’re sure you will have a great time. In fact, you’ll get to tour and experience this museum with Jack, the curator!
Ready for the Experience of a Lifetime?
Hot Air Balloon Rides!!
Remember we said we’ll be offering something extra special for folks who go on this trip with us? This is it!!
Please note that this is one of our optional add-on activities, and there will be an extra charge per person to participate. We don’t yet have a specific price per person, but we will update as soon as we do.
We are thrilled to be able to offer our families the chance to fly in a hot air balloon! Trish and I got to experience this when we were in New Mexico, and we immediately knew that we had to offer this experience to the families who go with us! We were both a little bit (okay…a whole lot!!) scared to go on our hot air balloon flight, but it wasn’t scary at all! In fact, it was thrilling but peaceful and relaxing at the same time. We absolutely recommend that you not miss this awesome opportunity!
Because there are stringent safety requirements for hot air balloon rides, we must adhere to the following rules:
Guidelines for Balloon Rides:
- Children must be at least 6 years old to ride.
- Children must be willing and able to listen and follow instructions.
- In order to be able to see, children should be over 42″ tall. (Most balloon baskets are 42-44″ tall, so they won’t be able to see if they are shorter than that.)
- Children must stand in the hot air balloon basket at all times. (In other words, adults may not hold children or pick them up to give them a better look around, etc. Children’s feet must remain on the floor of the basket at all times. Tippy toes are ok, though!)
- All participants must sign an “Agreement to Participate” (waiver).
- All participants will be given a pre-flight information sheet that explains what to wear and what to expect.
Hot air balloon rides are EARLY MORNING activities. (These rides depend on cooler weather in order for the balloons to be able to fly properly.) If you sign up for a hot air balloon ride, please know that you will have to get up early that day, and you will have to be on time for your ride! We homeschoolers often operate on “homeschool time,” which means we start whenever we get there, but for this activity, you’ll miss your ride if you’re late, so plan to be there early.
Please keep in mind that it’s possible our exact itinerary and activities may change due to circumstances beyond our control. But no matter what we do, we’ll have a great time and learn a lot together!
While we’re in New Mexico, we’ll all stay at the historic El Rancho Hotel. Trish and I were able to stop by the hotel and see several of the guest rooms when we were in New Mexico this past November, and we think you’ll love it! We know that, when we return to New Mexico with all of you in 2019, we could stay in a fancy modern hotel, but why would we want to do that when we can be a part of the Old West during our stay? We’ll actually get to live a part of history!
Not only will we be following in the footsteps of some of the Americans who traveled out West in hopes of a better life, but quite a few Hollywood stars (such as Betty Grable, Doris Day, Humphrey Bogart, Jimmy Stewart, and Ronald Reagan to name just a few) stayed at the El Ranchero too! You can see a list by clicking here.
This hotel is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and it’s been welcoming travelers for over 75 years! This hotel will give us a taste of the Old West, and it has lots of great history to share with us! In fact, it was one of the premier hotels in the Southwest during that time, and it was “the place to stay” for Hollywood actors and actresses who were in the area filming.
You may want to visit the El Ranchero website to learn more about the hotel, find information about area attractions you may want to add to your trip if you arrive before our official trip or if you stay later, or to read about Navajo or Hopi or Zuni art in the area.
(The listed price includes your hotel room for Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday nights.)
Each night after dinner, we will have a group event together. One night we know we will have a huge game night. Be sure to bring your favorite games, and we will have a table set up for it! Something else we are seriously contemplating is a talent show (probably for families–not just for the children)! We will make the final decision about what activities we will be doing after dinner with those families who are traveling with us. Just know this is what makes our trips different. We always put an emphasis on bringing families together and making memories!
The price per person is $775 with a minimum of two per family. At least one parent and one child must attend. (Children 5 and under are free.)
- 2 attendees: $1550.00
- 3 attendees: $2325.00
- 4 attendees: $3100.00
- 5 attendees: $3875.00
- 6 attendees: $4650.00
- 7 attendees: $5425.00
- 8 attendees: $6200.00
The price includes:
- registration fee
- one hotel room per night (checking in on Sunday, October 13, and checking out on Wednesday, October 16)
- Sunday evening dinner
- Monday breakfast, lunch, and dinner
- Tuesday breakfast, lunch, and dinner,
- Wednesday breakfast and lunch
- fees for all group activities and all parking fees (hot air balloon rides and add-ons are not included in this price)
Check-in is after 3 p.m.; check out is before 11 a.m.
If you have any food allergies or restrictions, please be sure to note those on your online registration form.
Payments, Cancellations, and Refund Policies
Your deposit of $250 is due upon registration. Deposits are non-refundable. We cannot make any changes nor can we offer any refunds after August 15. Note, we will need at least 10 families to register to be able to confirm this trip. Should we not reach that goal, all deposits will be refunded.
The Two Excursions Listed Below Are Optional Add-Ons
The items listed below are not included in your base price.
Sky City Cultural Center – Acoma Pueblo, NM
The Sky City Cultural Center is another “on your own” experience but they offer guided tours, Acoma pottery, and Native American crafts for sale by local artisans and cultural exhibits. Here we’ll learn about the unique history of the Acoma Pueblo. Acoma is the oldest inhabited pueblo in New Mexico, and it was designated a site on the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 2007. We’ll not only have the museum experience, but also a live tour of the top of the mesa and a history of the Acoma Pueblo Native Pottery traditions. We will also have the chance to enjoy some authentic Acoma food from the Yaaka Cafe!
The Haakú Museum (located in the Sky City Cultural Center) showcases the history, art, and way of life, which has endured for a thousand years, of the Acoma people. It focuses on the preservation of Acoma history and the revitalization of lost art forms. This museum is both a moving voyage through the complex history that shaped the Acoma people and an introduction to the life of the Acoma Pueblo, both past and present.
Sr. / Military: $22
Ready to Register?
First, you will need to complete the form below. If you have trouble accessing/filling out the form below, click this link instead.
NOTE: Add-ons are not included on the registration form. We are still in the process of working on pricing for those. Once add-on prices have been finalized, we will make them available for you to choose, and we will add those to your bill or bill you separately for them.
Once you have registered and paid your deposit, we will add you to our private Homeschool Road Trips (HEART) New Mexico Facebook group so we can start getting to know each other before the trip! We expect many life-long friendships will start right there in New Mexico! And that is the mission of these HEART road trips… to build community for families living the home education lifestyle! We can’t wait to meet you!! ♥ ♥ ♥
If you have any questions, please email us, and we will be glad to help!! Be sure to put “New Mexico Questions” in your subject line.
What: Family New Mexico Homeschool Enrichment Adventure Road Trip
When: October 13 – 16, 2019
Where: Gallup, NM
Deposit Amount: $250 per family (non-refundable)
Total Due: Remaining balance due August 15th.
We hope to see you in New Mexico!