Mesa Verde Open House

Mesa Verde National Park – Holiday Open House
Location: south of Cortez, Colorado
Length of visit: 3 to 5 hours
Major draws: Ruins, luminaria, live music, unique after dark park experience
Strenuosity: 1 out of 10 (handicap accessible)
Cost/Fees: Free after 4 p.m.
Additional considerations: Limited parking, shuttle required, high elevation
Description: One night a year in December, Mesa Verde N.P. hosts an evening open house with thousands of candle luminaria, free food, and live music.  Spruce Tree House is always lit and Cliff Palace is illuminated during special years like the NPS Centennial.

Anasazi Heritage Center

Canyons of the Ancients National Monument – Anasazi Heritage Center
Location: Dolores, Colorado
Length of visit: 1 hour
Major draws: Ruins, museum, scenic views
Strenuosity: 1 out of 10 (handicap accessible)
Cost/Fees: Free in off season
Additional considerations: High elevation
Description: Museum offers an excellent collection of artifacts and hands-on exhibits for the whole family.  Escalante Pueblo ruins located at end of a short uphill hike on paved trail with outstanding views.