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8 Things to do in Santa Fe for Animal Lovers

A cat laying on a white blanket with cat shelves in the background

Pictured: One of the adoptable cats who lives at the Turquoise Teapot and Cat Cafe, located in Santa Fe, NM.


Are you an animal lover visiting Santa Fe? Or maybe you're a resident of Santa Fe looking for some fresh ideas of things to do on your days off?

We've got you covered - read on for 8 things to do for animal lovers in Santa Fe. Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments!

1. Visit Santa Fe's first cat cafe

This may go without saying, but we recommend including Turquoise Teapot and Cat Cafe at the top of your to-do list!

Along with the several adoptable cats who live on the premise, there is a cafe that offers 20+ loose leaf tea options, as well as matcha, chai, coffee and specialty beverages. Delectable pastries from a local bakery are on offer, and a well-stocked retail section is available for you to peruse - the perfect place to shop for gifts for all the cat lovers in your life.

A cat standing on a teal shelf

To ensure you get your preferred time to visit with the cats, make a reservation in advance. Reservations are recommended but walk-ins are welcome when space allows. The cost to hang out with the cats in the cat lounge is $10 for adults and $8 for children, which goes directly toward the cats' care.

The cat cafe is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10am-6pm, and Sunday from 10am-4pm. They are closed on Mondays. It is located at 1221 Flagman Way, Santa Fe, NM 87505. Parking is free.

2. Ojo Santa Fe's Puppy Patch

Ojo Santa Fe is located about 20 minutes from downtown Santa Fe. While Ojo is known primarily for its world-class spa facilities and for being a serene vacation spot, it is also the home of the Puppy Patch!

Guests can cuddle and play with adoptable puppies taken care of by their rescue partner, Española Humane.

Guests of Ojo Santa Fe may visit the puppy patch during their visit from 9:30am-11am and 5pm-6pm daily. Non-guests who would like to visit will need to contact Espanola Humane for an adoption application. Approved adopters may then schedule an appointment to visit with the puppies!

Ojo Santa Fe is located at 242 Los Pinos Rd, Santa Fe, NM 87507.

3. Santa Fe Bug and Reptile Museum

a Bearded dragon perched on a child's shoulder

The Santa Fe Bug and Reptile Museum is a hidden gem for the exotic animal enthusiast. When you visit, expect to see all sorts of lizards, amphibians, exotic bugs and fish.

An educational organization and non-profit, the Bug Museum is a great place for people of all ages to learn about these oft-misunderstood creatures. When you've had your fill of the 100+ living exhibits, you can visit their on-site gift shop!

The Bug Museum is open 12pm-5pm Tuesday-Friday and 10am-5pm on Saturday. It is currently located at the outlets, at 8380 Cerrillos Rd, Unit 108, Santa Fe, NM 87507. Parking is free. Visit the Bug Museum's website for the most up to date information!

4. Que Sera Alpacas

Did you know alpacas are thought to have been domesticated around 6,000 years ago in the Peruvian Andes? Located about 20 minutes east of Santa Fe, near the El Dorado community, is a unique opportunity to interact with this ancient - and cute - species!

Que Sera Alpaca Farm is part breeding facility, part textile education resource and part gift shop. Enjoy a guided tour and meet the alpacas up close. The tour cost is free and suitable for all ages, but donations are gladly accepted.

Que Sera Alpaca Farm is open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 11am-3pm. However, the farm owners kindly ask that you call ahead to confirm your visit. They can be reached by phone at 505-310-3369, or visit the alpaca farm's website for more information.

5. Randall Davey Audubon Center & Sanctuary

Are you a birdwatcher - or would you like to try your hand at it? Visit the Randall Davey Audubon Center & Sanctuary (known affectionately by locals as "the audubon") for the chance to see roughly 190 species of bird!

A hummingbird drinking from a red hummingbird feeder

Children will enjoy the audubon's fantastic, nature-inspired play structure, open Monday through Saturday 9am-4pm. While the many paths surrounding the audubon require sturdy walking shoes (and a water bottle to stay hydrated!), the play structure is ADA accessible.

To support the many birds who call the audubon home, you will also be able to explore the audubon's award-winning gardens. Experience native plants, and learn how to create your own native-plant garden at home.

Most Fridays, guided tours of the audubon are available. Parking is free on-site. Check out the audubon events page for more information on these and other events, including birdwatcher meetups.

6. New Mexico Wildlife Center

Did you know a red-tailed hawk can reach 120 mph when diving? Or that magpies are so intelligent, they can recognize themselves in mirrors?

Learn all about New Mexican wildlife at the New Mexico Wildlife Center, a non-profit organization supporting native wildlife located just 30 minutes north of Santa Fe.

Visiting hours are Tuesday-Sunday 9am-4pm. The cost for adults is $5 and children are $3. Visit Tuesday-Sunday at 11:30am for an animal encounter and meet an animal ambassador up close. Check out the Wildlife Center website for more information.

7. Horseback riding

Want to reenact your favorite Western? Take a guided trail ride!

brown horse standing in the desert

There are several horseback riding options available near Santa Fe, including Broken Saddle, which offers a wide range of private and group rides at different times of day for all experience levels.

Rides begin at $70 per person for just over an hour of riding. Children ten-and-older are welcome. Broken Saddle is located in Cerrillos, a beautiful half-hour drive south of Santa Fe. Call 505-424-7774 for more information.

If you are interested in a longer ride, consider Cloud 9 Trails, with most rides approximately an hour away from Santa Fe in the Pecos Wilderness. Prices start at $150 per person for a two-hour ride and up to $280 for a full-day ride.

8. Miniature donkeys and horses

Donkeys played an important role in the history of Santa Fe. Today, there are several donkey rescues and farms located nearby. Sometimes, you can even catch a burro race!

One such rescue is Love Mini Donkey, located in nearby Lamy, NM. Visits with the Mediterranean Mini Donkeys occur once a month, so be sure to plan in advance! Check out the LoveMiniDonkey website for more information.

My Little Horse Listener is an organization geared specifically towards children 4 years old and up. Email to schedule a visit or check out the My Little Hose Listener website for more information.


Did we miss something? Share your favorite activity for animal lovers in Santa Fe with other readers in the comments!

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