History is like Frankenstein's monster; all it takes to make it come alive is the right education, a large body of artifacts exhumed from the earth, and an electrical storm. Learn from the past with today's Groupon: for $8, you get two one-day adult tickets to select festivals at El Rancho de las Golondrinas museum in Santa Fe (a $16 value). This Groupon is valid at the Herb & Lavender Fair on Saturday and Sunday, July 23 and 24; the Summer Festival on Saturday and Sunday, August 6 and 7; and Survival: New Mexico on Saturday and Sunday, August 13 and 14. All festivals are scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Children under the age of 13 are admitted for free when accompanied by an adult.
El Rancho de las Golondrinas July and August festivals invite guests into a series of sun-soaked summer-celebrating activities. Traipsing through the 18th-century structures that dot the 200-acre ranch, Herb & Lavender Fair attendees browse vendors' floral wares, which include handmade lavender soaps, lotions, and jewelry. Embark on a guided exploration of the museum's gardens, or learn to bake bread and tortillas, weave lavender wands, and sculpt presidential bay-leaf busts. The Summer Festival centers on displays by real-life mountain inhabitants, who demonstrate survival skills such as tepee-building, fashioning hide garments, and shearing sheep into the hairstyles of their favorite punk musicians. Guests also soak up factual historical yarns and witness the equine mastery and training-wheel-free maneuvers of skilled horseback riders as they pace Peruvian Paso steeds.
Survival: New Mexico offers a taste of the colonial Spanish settlers' lifebuilding adobe bricks, constructing wilderness shelters, and creating a phone tree to warn of upcoming whooping-cough outbreaks. Guest speakers guide visitors through the process of carving their own dart-hurling weapons and test the results on an archery range. Learn healing techniques employing Southwestern medicinal herbs, as well as modern wilderness first aid and fire-lassoing tips taught by local Red Cross staff. Museum guides also comfort homesick time travelers by leading tours through a historical Spanish mill, and a range of kid-friendly crafts regale diminutive guests.
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