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C-Man

Tell me about Ruidoso in the summer

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My parents have rented a big house in Ruidoso to celebrate their 50th anniversary in August and have invited my family and my brother's to come join them for a long weekend. (They're going to be there longer than that.) My kids -- daughter (12) and son (10) -- are not what I'd call outdoors people.  Since they live half the time with my (sometimes) cunt of an ex-wife they don't seem overly thrilled about the trip. (It doesn't help when she openly asks what the heck they're going to do out there.)

We will be driving from Dallas. I have two nephews (10 and 8 ) who will be out there with us as well. I'm not going to let my complaining kids ruin everybody's weekend with constant "I'm bored" type shit. Should I just leave them at home and go out there with my wife -- or are there some things we can do that will keep them otherwise engaged?

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My MIL has a place up there, so we've done this before.  There's enough to occupy them for a long weekend.

Let them spend a bunch of your monies on go-karts and mini golf and all that stuff at Funtrackers.  That will occupy them happily for most of an afternoon.  There's a little park across from that where, even if they don't like the outdoors, they can goof around in the creek and get soggy for an hour or so.

If you don't have dinners already planned, they'll probably like Farley's, as its target demographic is frat boys and other nascent adolescents, and you can get a good pizza and beer there.  I think the Irish pub there closed down permanently (it was OK), but there are a couple decent beer joints.  Rio Grande Grill had pretty good food and brews, but nothing particularly kid-attractive (I've conditioned my boys to like brewpubs, so they thought it was great).

I will say that the Log Cabin is awesome for breakfast, probably the best meal I've had in Ruidoso.

My boys have enjoyed the Billy the Kid stuff in Lincoln and the Smokey the Bear museum in Capitan, but at that age you might get more eye-rolling than you'd like, especially since it's a bit of a drive for a long weekend trip.  There are some other museums around, but it's summer, so no enrichment, please.

I think it would be a great idea if the grandparents took the kids to the chuckwagon dinner and western show at the Flying J Ranch, while you and the wife go have drinks and dinner somewhere else and then shag in the hot tub (safety first) while they're gone.

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When I was 8 or 9 my parents rented a cabin outside Santa Fe for a week.  WORST. VACATION. EVER.  and that comes from someone who didn't take vacations on the regular other than the odd trip to Six Flags for the weekend. We were bored stiff.  I remember something about seeing a farm where Geronimo's grandson supposedly lives and my dad telling me something about bears and rolling down hill while on a hike.  I was never clear if I was supposed to roll down the hill if I saw a bear or if the bear was going to roll down the hill toward me.  My dad was no Grizzly Adams so I'm not sure if he knew either.

That trip is where I discovered the game UNO.  If it weren't for that game my sister and I may have offed ourselves that week.

Now this was the early 80s so there was no TV at the cabin, not to mention smart phones, wifi, etc.  and my parents weren't particularly concerned with making sure we weren't bored.

Ruidoso could be a blast and if your kids like their cousins it could be fun, but I would make sure to have at least a couple of activities per day to keep their interest and hopefully avoid the "the whole weekend sucked  / I was soooooo bored" message when they get back home.  If the rest of your party (parents, bro & SIL) will look at that (kid activities) as a downer on  "their" weekend then I'd save everyone the trouble and leave them at home.

 

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1 hour ago, Damor said:

My MIL has a place up there, so we've done this before.  There's enough to occupy them for a long weekend.

Let them spend a bunch of your monies on go-karts and mini golf and all that stuff at Funtrackers.  That will occupy them happily for most of an afternoon.  There's a little park across from that where, even if they don't like the outdoors, they can goof around in the creek and get soggy for an hour or so.

If you don't have dinners already planned, they'll probably like Farley's, as its target demographic is frat boys and other nascent adolescents, and you can get a good pizza and beer there.  I think the Irish pub there closed down permanently (it was OK), but there are a couple decent beer joints.  Rio Grande Grill had pretty good food and brews, but nothing particularly kid-attractive (I've conditioned my boys to like brewpubs, so they thought it was great).

I will say that the Log Cabin is awesome for breakfast, probably the best meal I've had in Ruidoso.

My boys have enjoyed the Billy the Kid stuff in Lincoln and the Smokey the Bear museum in Capitan, but at that age you might get more eye-rolling than you'd like, especially since it's a bit of a drive for a long weekend trip.  There are some other museums around, but it's summer, so no enrichment, please.

I think it would be a great idea if the grandparents took the kids to the chuckwagon dinner and western show at the Flying J Ranch, while you and the wife go have drinks and dinner somewhere else and then shag in the hot tub (safety first) while they're gone.

 

36 minutes ago, orange dream said:

When I was 8 or 9 my parents rented a cabin outside Santa Fe for a week.  WORST. VACATION. EVER.  and that comes from someone who didn't take vacations on the regular other than the odd trip to Six Flags for the weekend. We were bored stiff.  I remember something about seeing a farm where Geronimo's grandson supposedly lives and my dad telling me something about bears and rolling down hill while on a hike.  I was never clear if I was supposed to roll down the hill if I saw a bear or if the bear was going to roll down the hill toward me.  My dad was no Grizzly Adams so I'm not sure if he knew either.

That trip is where I discovered the game UNO.  If it weren't for that game my sister and I may have offed ourselves that week.

Now this was the early 80s so there was no TV at the cabin, not to mention smart phones, wifi, etc.  and my parents weren't particularly concerned with making sure we weren't bored.

Ruidoso could be a blast and if your kids like their cousins it could be fun, but I would make sure to have at least a couple of activities per day to keep their interest and hopefully avoid the "the whole weekend sucked  / I was soooooo bored" message when they get back home.  If the rest of your party (parents, bro & SIL) will look at that (kid activities) as a downer on  "their" weekend then I'd save everyone the trouble and leave them at home.

 

Thanks for the help! My son will have no problem goofing around with his cousins as they're the same age/sex. My daughter is entering full-stage teenagedom and my ex is indulging her more boorish behavior. She's the one I'm worried about.

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Anything to stop and see/do in Roswell as it appears to be on a direct line straight over from Dallas?

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Check the schedule, but Ruidoso Downs should have live racing every weekend in August.  Plus, there is a casino there.  Do you and/or your wife golf?  Anyway, leave the kids with the ex; save time with them when you do something they will return raving about it.

 

 

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Going in June.

It's gonna be a shit-ton more comfortable than Houston.

Agreed with everyone else, the go-cart place, eats, and then the casino/ golf courses for grown ups. Zip Line on the mountain, but I've never ridden it.

 

Roswell has the International UFO Museum that your kids might like.

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11 minutes ago, C-Man said:

Anything to stop and see/do in Roswell as it appears to be on a direct line straight over from Dallas?

Plane graveyard and UFO museums, but otherwise skip it. You should absolutely hit up white sands either on your way in or out. Inn of the Mountain Gods is nice for Ruidoso and they a bunch of stuff to do:

https://innofthemountaingods.com/outdoor/

 

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White Sands will be fun if they are up for dune sledding. You can bring your own or rent sleds. Arrive when they open cause it's hot as fuck in the afternoon.

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They have great stables that do horse rides through the mountains.   A lot more fun things to do around there compared to Santa Fe for kids.

Edited by Hook1997

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3 hours ago, zman13 said:

White Sands will be fun if they are up for dune sledding. You can bring your own or rent sleds. Arrive when they open cause it's hot as fuck in the afternoon.

Bring more water than you think you need, especially if hitting the trails. 

Family had a place in cloud Croft about 45 mins away. Is inn of the gods still any good?  And the Kokapeli restaurant CC made a mean monte cristo. He lodge at the top of the mountain also had a nice 9 hole golf course and bike rentals etc. 

Edited by ChickenSandwich

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Driving up to Ruidoso in a couple weeks. Staying at Inn of the Mountain Gods.  Saw a couple eating/drinking recommendations above, but the post was over a year old. Any other suggestions?  Will just be my wife and I and we’ll be there for 3 days/2 nights during the week. 

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Last time I was at Inn of the Mountain Gods, you couldn't drink on the casino floor.  No free drinks for gambling, in fact, pay a premium for drinking at the casino bar.  The casino dealers are nice, and table minimums are fairly low compared to Vegas.  Haven't actually stayed at IOTMG hotel before, so no recs on restaurants there.  It's a good 15-20 minutes into Ruidoso for other dining options, which aren't too awesome, unless they've added some options in the last 3-4 years.  Sorry, wish I had better intel for you.  Ruidoso is a cool little town to go shopping in. 

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1 hour ago, EZ$ said:

Driving up to Ruidoso in a couple weeks. Staying at Inn of the Mountain Gods.  Saw a couple eating/drinking recommendations above, but the post was over a year old. Any other suggestions?  Will just be my wife and I and we’ll be there for 3 days/2 nights during the week. 

Check out Mad Jacks Mountaintop BBQ in Cloudcroft. Please report back. The proprietor is from Lockhart. 

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13 hours ago, Chopper said:

Check out Mad Jacks Mountaintop BBQ in Cloudcroft. Please report back. The proprietor is from Lockhart. 

We will do that. 

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13 hours ago, Chopper said:

Check out Mad Jacks Mountaintop BBQ in Cloudcroft. Please report back. The proprietor is from Lockhart. 

Think that's the place my parents were talking about before we went out there. They tried to go but something prevented it -- maybe they were on vacation, can't remember. Sounded like legit BBQ. We went out one night to celebrate their 50th anniversary and I *think* the place we went was The Rancher's Steak and Seafood. Was a pretty good mid-range steakhouse IIRC.

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Be sure and hit the horse races. That was a good time. Neat old racing ground. It's quarter-horse racing so the favorites win A LOT. Pick some trifectas, etc. Profit.

Edited by C-Man

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Took the boys last Spring Break, a few changes but not a whole lot that I noticed.

They did gut and totally re-do Farley's, it's more updated and upscale.  Food is still good if not exceptional, but had bumped up some in quality.  Large beer selection.

Hidden Tap was a new place along the main shopping street, and is a good spot.  Thoughtful beer selection and the food is good.  It's bar food, but it's 'local' or 'craft' or whatever you want to call it, so it's not Sysco burgers and fries.  We liked it enough to go a couple times, and I'd recommend it for lunch or dinner if you get dragged out shopping.

Log Cabin was awesome again for breakfast, and still probably the best and most reliable place in town that I've found.

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Stop in Amarillo and impress your kids by eating a 72oz steak. Then go by the Cadillac Ranch and let them spray paint some old cars. There are plenty of cans of spray paint laying around, no need to bring your own.

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2nd driving to Lincoln.  Cool area.  It's also worth driving up to the top of the the mountain where Ski Apache is.  The view is pretty amazing from there.

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2 hours ago, kevwun said:

2nd driving to Lincoln.  Cool area.  It's also worth driving up to the top of the the mountain where Ski Apache is.  The view is pretty amazing from there.

One of the largest -- and highest -- zip-line courses in the world (maybe it's the US) is up there. You can also mountain bike down the ski trails. It's a good time.

We didn't make it to White Sands -- the kids didn't seem super enthused but that sounds like a cool activity. Bit of a hike, I think.

Edited by C-Man

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my dad telling me something about bears and rolling down hill while on a hike.  I was never clear if I was supposed to roll down the hill if I saw a bear or if the bear was going to roll down the hill toward me.

@orange dream

I just laughed for 5 straight minutes after reading this.

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On 7/17/2019 at 9:03 PM, Chopper said:

Check out Mad Jacks Mountaintop BBQ in Cloudcroft. Please report back. The proprietor is from Lockhart. 

Was going to stop in Cloudcroft on the way up on Tuesday....but the place is closed Mon-Wed, so thinking of headed that way on the way out tomorrow.  All the locals recommend it and sounds like there will be a wait (but hoping not on a Thursday). We’ll see. 

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On 7/18/2019 at 11:45 AM, C-Man said:

Be sure and hit the horse races. That was a good time. Neat old racing ground. It's quarter-horse racing so the favorites win A LOT. Pick some trifectas, etc. Profit.

Family has raised Q-horses for decades now.  As a kid, we'd pack up the Griswald family wagon and head west.  We'd leave Austin, make the 4-5 hour trip to the g-parents place near Coleman.  Spend the night.  Load the horse trailer, and the caravan would get moving at first light to get them to the Riodoso Downs track.  Summer after summer we made the trip.  We'd hit White Sands.  Chaco Canyon.  Carlsbad.  Billy the Kid museum, etc.  

I was young, but I remember the difference in temp once in the mountains.  

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We stayed in a place outside of Alto that was high enough that there were no bugs. Open windows at night in the mountains makes for some awesome sleeping.

Edited by kevwun

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On 7/17/2019 at 10:03 PM, Chopper said:

Check out Mad Jacks Mountaintop BBQ in Cloudcroft. Please report back. The proprietor is from Lockhart. 

Very good. “Mad Jack” was also a very nice guy.  He’s only been at it for 7 years, but I’d put him above any of the Lockhart joints. 

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29 minutes ago, EZ$ said:

Very good. “Mad Jack” was also a very nice guy.  He’s only been at it for 7 years, but I’d put him above any of the Lockhart joints. 

Awesome. Did you enjoy the drive up to Cloudcroft?

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10 minutes ago, Chopper said:

Awesome. Did you enjoy the drive up to Cloudcroft?

Yes, actually drove up into the mountains from Roswell/Ruidoso, but will schedule our drive up through Cloudcroft from here on out (probably stay a night there too). 

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bumping this to see if anyone has any recs for the area - like @C-Man going in August...

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32 minutes ago, NoName said:

bumping this to see if anyone has any recs for the area - like @C-Man going in August...

We'll be out there again in August as well.

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all i remember about ruidoso is there's a shit ton of fruit stands on the way there from midland. 

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I still have nightmares driving up that mountain in a Sprinter that sat up high with huge windows and snow on the road (not used to driving in the snow and I hate heights).  Had three beers and white knuckled it the whole way down at the end of the day. Next two days we found a driver.  

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On 5/21/2020 at 3:38 PM, NoName said:

bumping this to see if anyone has any recs for the area - like @C-Man going in August...

I did the 30mi crest trail recently that involved peaking Sierra Blanca, really awesome view. You can make it a quick 2-3 mile hike by starting at the Ski Apache parking lot and riding the gondola up and hiking the rest if it's running. 

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