I am a transplant. Meaning, I'm not from El Paso. It sure does feel like home, but one thing I always struggled with was how to host MY OWN family from out of town... in a town I wasn't familiar with at all yet.

That's really where this list comes from. These are my favorite festivities we have acquired here over the years to take the most important people in our lives to. El Paso is such a special place because the weather is always manageable, if not comfortable. The people are so friendly, and they know how to CELEBRATE.

Start the celebrations off early this year and check some of these things off of your list. Feeling naughty? Check out the bonus activities at the bottom for those family members that are the hardest to please.


Let's start with my favorite - take them to see the lights at San Jacinto Plaza! Located in the heart of downtown El Paso, it's breathtakingly beautiful. There are many great restaurants in the area as well, and we like to make a reservation before heading down an hour early to just walk around and take in the sights. Perfect for a date night, family time (bring the stroller!), or even if you need some time to yourself. Big group? No problem. Plus... Santa always makes an appearance!

Free Movies at the Plaza. This has become one of my favorite winter activities. Because it's inside! AND FREE! Click here for the full 2022 schedule and get on down there before it's too late.

Speaking of The Plaza Theatre, a historic and absolute gem of a building that was built in 1930. There are a ton of top-shelf shows the come through El Paso The Plaza will host and you can get tickets here. My favorite show is when Trans-Siberian Orchestra comes to town, which they are in 2023!

Winterfest, more specifically "The Rink" at Winterfest, is a must for out-of-towners. Especially if they like to ice skate. Just $10 for 50-minute skate sessions and a skate rental, this (real!) outdoor skating rink is conveniently located in Convention Center Plaza in Downtown El Paso. Just across the street from The Plaza Theatre.


Spend a day in Mesilla. My family loves to get on the road and get out of town, and that doesn't change when they are visiting us. A quick trip we love to take is up I-10 about 30 minutes to Mesilla. Mesilla is an old town on the outskirts of Las Cruces that has a great history, awesome shopping, and incredible food. Art galleries, entertaining events, rich history, unique shops, and delicious cuisine are just a few staples that Old Mesilla has to offer. Make a reservation at La Posta for dinner if you really want to impress.

Need to impress the kids? The El Paso Zoo is definitely the best place to take the kiddos. It's actually very big, 35 acres of fun to be exact. Take the babies on the African Star Train, the big kids to the Foster Tree House Playground, and the whole family to the Hunt Endangered Species Carousel. Plan your visit here.

Get tickets to the Sun Bowl or any sporting event around town. You can't beat the Sun Bowl. The Sun Bowl is a college football bowl game that has been played since 1935 in the southwestern United States at El Paso, Texas. Along with the Sugar Bowl and Orange Bowl, it is the second-oldest bowl game in the country, behind the Rose Bowl. Sun Bowl tickets too much money for what you're wanting to spend? UTEP Men's Basketball tickets can cost just $9.15 per ticket for certain games.

Hard-to-please cousin? One that is never impressed? Take them to the border to see the wall so they can go back home and tell all of their friends. Tell them to bring their camera. While you're there, volunteer at El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank.

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