The New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) announced Wednesday that the state’s eight museums and seven of its historic sites – including Las Cruces’ Farm & Ranch Museum – will begin to safely reopen to the public this week, in accordance with COVID-safe practices and public health measures to protect the well-being of patrons.
“We are excited and grateful for the opportunity to reopen the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum,” said Heather Reed, the Museum’s Executive Director. “While we have worked hard to stay connected to the public through our online offerings during the temporary closures, and will continue to do so, our staff also has worked hard behind the scenes to prepare for this reopening. We look forward to seeing everyone again, and providing our guests a safe environment to experience our state’s amazing history through our museum exhibits and livestock areas.”
The Farm & Ranch Museum in Las Cruces reopens on Monday, February 8. The hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday. The Museum and gift shop are closed on Sunday during this period of partial reopening.
The Museum is a member of the state Department of Tourism’s New Mexico Safe Certified program and offers plenty of room for social distancing on the 47-acre campus and 100,000-square-foot main building.
The capacity during this phased period of reopening is 75 people, and face coverings are required (indoors and outdoors).
“Home on the Range: From Ranches to Rockets” is the current featured exhibit at Farm & Ranch. It stretches through two galleries and tells the story of the dramatic transformation of the Tularosa Basin during World War II and beyond.
A new feature at Farm & Ranch is the display of the historic horse-drawn hearse that likely was used for the Western lawman, Pat Garrett and other prominent Las Crucens during the early 20th century.
Other featured exhibits include “Agricultural Beginnings,” the “New Mexico Colonial Home,” “Wheels & Gears,” “Home Sweet Home,” “Grist for the Mill,” and “The Cowboy Way: Western Drawings by Robert “Shoofly” Shufelt.
Visitors to Farm & Ranch may also take a walk to see the livestock, including seven different breeds of beef cattle (and several baby calves born during the closure), horses, sheep, and a donkey. The Heart of the Desert Gift Shop & Snack Bar will be open during Museum hours and Friends of the Museum membership passes and Culture Passes will be honored.
Some of the usual offerings will be closed at Farm & Ranch during this period of partial reopening. These include the indoor and outdoor play areas, the barns, cart tours, the greenhouse, pony rides, classrooms, the theater, and demonstrations.
Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for senior citizens, $3 for children 4 to 17, and free for children 3 and under as well as Friends of the Museum members with their card. New Mexico senior citizens are admitted free on Wednesdays. The Museum is located at 4100 Dripping Springs Road in Las Cruces.
In the first week of reopening for the Department of Cultural Affairs, both the Museum of International Folk Art and the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture in Santa Fe will open on Thursday, February 4; and the National Hispanic Cultural Center Art Museum in Albuquerque will open on Friday, February 5. All other facilities will open at a later date to be announced.
The DCA museums, historic sites, and cultural institutions first closed due to COVID-19 on March 16, 2020. The sites reopened on September 24, but closed again on October 23.