2019 Homeschool Road Trips New Mexico Travel

Homeschool Road Trip to the Land of Enchantment – New Mexico

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

We are truly thrilled to announce that we will have a session with a Hopi Kachina doll carver! This carver creates beautiful Kachina dolls (traditionally made of cottonwood tree roots) using carving, woodburning tools, and paint. These dolls represent deities, elements of nature, or the spirits of ancestors and are a special part of Hopi culture.

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. 

Rodeo Round-Up

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!

Cooking Experience

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.

hot air balloon collage

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)
  • meals
    • 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.

Add-on Prices:

Adults: $25

Sr. / Military: $22

Youth: $17


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 usand 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!


About the author


Wendy is one of the owners of Hip Homeschool Moms. She married her high school sweetheart, Scott, over 27 years ago, and they live in the South with their three children. Hannah, age 23, has autism and was the first homeschool graduate in the family. Noah, age 22, was the second homeschool graduate. Mary Grace, age 16, is the remaining homeschool student. Wendy loves working out and teaching Training for Warriors classes at her local gym. She also enjoys learning along with her family, educational travel, reading, and writing, and she attempts to grow an herb garden every summer with limited success.

About the author


Trish is one of the owners of Hip Homeschool Moms. She has been married to her best friend, David, for 20 years and they have three sons (ages 19, 17 and 15). Trish is from the coast of North Carolina, but they now live in rural West Tennessee on a 40+ acre farm. She has been homeschooling since 2009 and her homeschool style leans towards a Montessori approach with a heavy emphasis on hands-on learning. They also own a small business that Trish runs from home. Trish’s family is Messianic and they love studying the Scriptures, learning Hebrew and growing in their faith and walk daily. In her spare time, Trish loves to write, work in their garden and can regularly be found trying to learn something new, modeling that learning is indeed a life-long endeavor!


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  • What a wonderful opportunity! This would be an amazing experience for our family, as we have never explored the western part of the United States. My husband, 14 year-old son, 9 year-old daughter and I would enjoy learning about this area first-hand, as we’ve only read about it in books. Our son, Clayton, has a special affinity for Native American history, and would certainly appreciate learning about the Navajo way of life. It would surely be a life-changing event, meeting up with other home schoolers from across the nation to partake in this journey…

  • This would be an amazing trip to win. I have one child, a boy16 yrs old. He would love to go on this trip but we cant afford it. So here’s hoping to win. Thanks for the chance.

  • My husband, myself, and our 2 children with special needs will attend! Our daughter is 14 and our son is 12. This is a trip of a lifetime!

  • We loved our trip last year to Space Camp with Hip Homeschool Moms. I really hope we can make the November trip! It looks like so much fun. We have entered the give away and have our fingers crossed. Thank you!

  • Why would you like to win this Homeschool Enrichment Adventure Road Trip? If you do win, who will attend the trip?

    We are a family that would love to provide our children with opportunities that at this time we really cannot afford. Winning this trip would be a blessing without an extreme financial burden.

    I would attend the trip with my three sons.

  • This sounds so fun! If we won, it would be me, hubby, and two daughters (17 & 15) attending. Thank you so much for the chance to win this amazing trip!

  • an opportunity to win this contest would really bless my family! We have been separated for over a year as my husband is working in Tennessee and I’m trying to sell a house in California. We have a 15 year old son and this would be a perfect opportunity for him to explore the historical side with the cultural side of today’s Native American Indian

  • We’d love to explore New Mexico! It’s only one state over from us, but we’ve never road tripped that direction!

  • I want to win this trip because it seems so fun. I have never done anything like it. I would bring my husband and 14 year old daughter, if my husband could get off work. Maybe another family member too.

  • Oh my gosh! This would be amazing! I’ve been looking for Native American studies we can do in real life because it’s so interesting when you get out of the books.

  • My daughter would love this trip. She has been reading about the Native American culture and would be enthralled to see some of those things first-hand. There would be three of us attending, two adults and a 11 year old.

  • I love the idea of the road trips that Wendy and Trish have put together for us! I hope that our family can join them in the near future as we love traveling and exploring our beautiful states. Definitely talking with my husband to see if we can make the Roadtrip to New Mexico happen. It would be a wonderful experience for us! Thank you ladies for all you do to make this happen for families across the states! (I wish I saw the trip to Niagara Falls sooner as that is on our list of places to visit. Hope you all have a fun trip!)

  • What a terrific trip! I’d love for my son, husband and me to go! Keep organizing these great trips. Even if we can’t swing this trip, it provides wonderful ideas for future travels.

  • We JUST moved here to NM, can’t afford much outtings right now and would LOVE to get to know our new home <3

  • This looks amazing! There would be 4 of us if we won. My daughter is 1 and my son is only 5 but I think this would really excite him! He is so eager to learn and seems to pick up things quicker when we do things as a family. Introducing new cultures early would be an excellent way to start off his education 🙂

  • What a neat trip! We have never experienced anything like it. You ladies seem to do great research on these adventures. 🙂

  • This is an amazing opportunity, especially for us who live in the Southeast, and haven’t experienced anything like this. Thank you for sharing! And what a fantastic giveaway! Wow… someone is going to be truly blessed! Hope it’s us! LOL

  • I would loooooove to win this entry for myself, my husband and our 10 year old Homeschooler. This is his first year homeschooling so we are trying to make it an exciting adventure!

  • This looks like an awesome trip! You guys have put a lot of hard work into planning this. I wish I could attend!

  • My boys and I have been on every HHM trip so far. Each one has been been a wonderful experience. We’ve made wonderful friends that we look forward to seeing again every trip. Wendy and Trish have taken care of everything in advance, so you and your children can show up ready to enjoy yourself! I wish field trips were this much fun when I was young!

  • This would be a dream for our family!! We love visiting new places and making memories. I have been homeschooling my 11 year old twin boys for 7 years and it’s been a blessing. Thanks for the opportunity 🙂

  • I am so glad that I have found this group and page. I am hoping to one day go on a trip with my family. I have 3 kids, (10, 6 and 3) and would love to have even more hands on learning with them. Thank you for taking the time to do thism

  • What an amazing trip! I have loved Native American culture and history since I was a child and my kids took an interest when we studied this in school. My dreams about visiting out west.

  • What an amazing trip! I cannot get over the awesomeness you all continue to put together! My mini-explorer would LOVE this!

  • I think experience is the best teacher. In a perfect world I would love to road school FT but my husband’s job is not conducive to that. If I won, I would bring my hubby and 2 sons.

  • This trip looks amazing and would fit right in with our history this year. Not that I need a reason – I’m pretty much the best at finding the education our travel 🙂
    It would definitely be me and kids 6&9. Husband is about to switch jobs, so he’d be a maybe at first.

  • This trip would be a dream come true for my husband Justin and our children. We recently took them to a pow wow and they were enthralled. I have been to New Mexico and have always wanted to return with my family.

  • This trip would be amazing! We are doing a study on the native peoples of our country and this would be an unforgettable experience!

  • What a great trip! My husband took a DNA test for father’s day and got 51% Mexican native American. We’ve been digging more into what that means.
    If we win it will be me, my husband, and our two children Roman and Nina.

  • This would be awesome! I’m a single work-at-home mom, so funds are tight. My son is 7 years old and still has never left the state of Arkansas. I really want to start traveling the U.S. and do the whole roadschooling thing, but it will be a while before that’s possible. So something like this, right now, would be pretty amazing.

  • Trying to figure out how to afford this when my husband lost his job due to the water issues in SWFL. Looks amazing for my 9 year old son to experience.

  • Thank you for this wonderful opportunity. This would be a dream trip for our family and one to mark off on our bucket list. We have never been out west, so this would be a huge treat! Our daughter (two time cancer survivor) is healthy and doing so well she would be able to see with her own eyes the wonders we have seen on TV or read about in books!!

  • I am so excited for this opportunity!!! Y’all have done a great job planning and I know it will be a joy for all who get to go!!!

  • I recently moved to New Mexico from out of state, but we haven’t yet had the time or finances to explore this beautiful state yet. If I won I would take my husband (the 10th will be our 12 year wedding anniversary) and first grade daughter on this adventure!

  • What a fantastic trip you have planned! We love to travel with our kids and with my birthday being during this trip, it would be the perfect present to win!

  • This would be so awesome to win! I can’t afford a trip like this right now but winning it for myself and my 2 left homeschooled would be beyond a blessing! Especially since they are studying native amaericans for history this year!!!!

  • How wonderful!! I would absolutely love to take my 3 daughters for this experience. My family just recently had a large family reunion in New Mexico, we couldn’t make it due to lack of funds. This could be the next best thing!

  • Wow, that sounds like an amazing trip! We just finished learning about Kachina dolls! We’ve never traveled to the southwest so this would be an awesome adventure.

  • What an amazing opportunity! My 2 girls have always wanted to visit the Indian Reservation in New Mexico and its on our list to visit, once we save enough to make the trip! We are currently hosting an exchange student from Brazil, so this would be a once in a lifetime opportunity for her! I doubt we will have enough time to save for us all to attend, but its a goal to strive for now!

  • My husband and i honeymooned in New Mexico (Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Taos) in 2004 and i have been dreaming of going back ever since. What an awesome experience this would be to return to NM with our kids!so many great educational amd interesting fun excursions the whole family will enjoy!

  • We are homeschooling our kids this year for the first time. This would be an epic way to kick off our homeschool experience!! We have a 10 year old boy, an 8 year old girl and a little 1 year old too. My hubby and I would both be attending the trip with our kiddos. 🙂

  • I would love to win because we are studying Native Americans this year! We also love to travel in the off season as most sheltered homeschoolers do. 😜 I would take my husband and two kids!

  • Haven’t been to New Mexico since way before I was married. Would love for my dear husband and 14 year old daughter to experience this truly magical state!

  • I want to win so I can meet some awesome homeschool families and make friends. Also, because I love this trip and would love for my children to have such an awesome experience. 🤗 If I win it would be myself and my 4 children. (One will be 4 yo) 💓

  • This will be an amazing trip! My kids love history and we have never been out West. Learning about the Native American culture will be awesome!

  • This would be an amazing opportunity for our family of four! The trip and the activities sound AMAZING! I love learning this way!

  • We have always wanted to visit New Mexico! I would take my husband and our 11 and 6 year old. Thank you for the chance!

  • This is the most amazing opportunity y’all have ever given out. What a insanely awesome blessing for one of our families!

  • Wow!!! What a super opportunity to visit a fantastic looking place! Homeschooling means you can incorporate travel, plans, and learning into your teaching and this fits all of those criteria! Just a super article and a super looking trip to take the whole family one:)

  • I lived in New Mexico years ago and would love to show it to my kids. I told them so much when we were studying Native Americans and this would be a great follow-up.

  • This is really great!! I am surely going to attend this with my family in summer. This will be a great trip, in fact, I have also been planning a trip to other countries where we can learn about some of the cultures which each country has.