Visiting the Duke City: 13 Popular Activities for Fun in Albuquerque
For family fun and casual entertainment during your stay in the Duke City, consider these thirteen options.
With its many nature trails, art galleries, restaurants, and festivals, Albuquerque is a wonderful place to get a load of culture while drinking in some much-needed relaxation. For family fun and casual entertainment during your stay in the Duke City, consider these thirteen options.
Visit a Baby Leopard at the Rio Grande Zoo
A leader in snow leopard conservation, the Albuquerque Zoo has been breeding and raising young with much success for quite some time. Not only are there baby snow leopards born in the zoo on a regular basis, the zoo is known for having many babies animals of other species. Dedicated also to the preservation of orangutans and white rhinos, the Albuquerque Zoo is an elephant breeding facility and home to a multi-generational herd of elephants. Along with regular animal feedings of lorikeets, hippos, and giraffes, the zoo welcomes its visitors to enjoy its restaurants during their stay. The zoo's Matunda Cafe, located in the Africa exhibit, offers sandwiches, hot dogs, and nachos. Centrally located ParQ Cafe presents cafeteria-style service and a shaded patio near the duck pond. Funky Monkey Ice Cream Shop offers cold, hand-scooped delights to enjoy on a hot summer day.
Baby snow leopards don't need much but their cuteness to attract visitors to the Albuquerque Zoo.
Attend Story Time at the Botanic Garden
Albuquerque's Botanic Garden is popular not only for its holiday light displays and day-to-day bird watching. Story Time is also a fun event the garden puts on for children, featuring nature-themed stories read by volunteers on the first Friday of every month. Held at 10:30 in the morning, these hour-long story-telling sessions are complete with educational activities and offer a kids an opportunity to learn about nature in a fun and engaging way. With its dedication to nature education, the Botanic Garden also offers seasonal camps for further learning opportunities and tours of its own Japanese Garden.
The ABQ Botanic Garden is a gorgeous attraction for nature education and meditation.
Learn about Regional History at the Heritage Farm
A section of the Botanic Garden, the Rio Grande Heritage Farm delivers an interactive learning option for kids and adults alike. Colcha, the regional art of embroidery in New Mexico which was developed during the Spanish colonial period, is kept alive by a group of artists on the first Thursday of every month. Visitors are invited to observe and to try their hand at the skill. Rug hooking presentations invite visitors to learn about the historic art of rug hooking that has used recycled cloths, burlap, wool, and other materials to make gorgeous rugs since the 1800s. Also offering a cider festival, old time music, and demonstrations by quilters and other skilled artisans, the Heritage Farm enlivens the area's history with its many activities and exhibits.
The Rio Grande Heritage Farm educates visitors about regional arts and farming.
See a Tasselled Wobbegong at the Albuquerque Aquarium
The Albuquerque Aquarium presents an exhibit containing a tasselled wobbegong, which is a species of carpet shark. This diverse group sharks is so named because of their ornate patterns, which help them camouflage themselves in their natural habitats. Originating in coral reefs off Northern Australia and New Guinea, these sharks also sport barbels, the sensory organs found on the mouths of catfish and zebrafish. The aquarium also displays freshwater tanks with fish from the Rio Grande, some of which no longer inhabit the local river. Much of the aquarium's efforts focus on the conservation of fishes in the Rio Grande, including a silvery minnow breeding program. The aquarium's declared mission is to educate the public about the world's oceans and their animals, and it seems they have done so just in this paragraph.
The tasselled wobbegong is a type of shark available for viewing at the Albuquerque Aquarium.
View Ancient Art at Petroglyph National Monument
Petroglyphs, which are rock carvings created by ancestors of today's Pueblo people, are preserved at Petroglyph National Monument to be seen by visitors interested in these symbols from history. With over 25,000 petroglyph images created 400-700 years ago (from 1300 through 1680) by Native Americans and early Spanish settlers, the monument provides a cultural record of the region's history. Offering hiking throughout its seventeen miles of escarpment, the area is divided into several different canyons. Boca Negra Canyon does not permit pets; but leashed pets are allowed in its sister canyons, Rinconada Canyon and Piedras Marcadas Canyon.
Ancient art resides at Petroglyph National Monument.
Get a Load of Pop Culture and Atomic Discovery at the Museum of Nuclear Science
Albuquerque's National Museum of Nuclear Science and History outlines the impact of atomic discovery on American culture with its display of a collection of magazines, movies, toys, games, and appliances that all evidence the pop culture changes that often occur alongside scientific discovery. The museum also offers a kids camp that educates kids through creative activities while providing accurate information for their learning. During seasonal school breaks, the “Science is Everywhere” camp runs from 9:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. daily.
The National Museum of Nuclear Science and History offers educational activities and information for all ages.
The National Museum of Nuclear Science and History offers educational activities and information for all ages.
Hike or Run the La Luz trail
It's locally considered a physical victory to be able to hike or run the entire 8-mile La Luz Trail. Even getting to the top of the mountain is a huge victory; but if you run? That's a feat usually accomplished by serious athletes. Some athletes even race to the top. The Albuquerque Road Runners host the La Luz Trail Run in the late summer or early fall of every year. Ascending over 4,000 feet of elevation, the race has a limit of 400 people, as mandated by the forest service. An amazing trail that offers views of the Duke City from high above and provides intimate contact with mountainous terrain, the La Luz is a favorite of locals and visitors alike.
The La Luz Trail boasts a steep incline and lots of gorgeous views.
Take Your Dog to the City's Dog-friendly Venues
Albuquerque is a very dog-friendly city. Restaurants that invite dogs onto their patios include the Flying Star Cafes (which are located around the city), the Grove Cafe and Market, Chama River Brewing Company, and Sadie's, among others. ABQ Trolley Co. highlights an open-air trolley experience that is heartily accepting of leashed dogs. Bookworks is a bookstore that allows guests to enjoy a book with their furry friends. Dogs are welcome on the Ghost Tours of Old Town, as well. Perhaps the city favorite of dog parents is Three Dog Bakery, a dog-themed bakery that unleashes delicious baked treats and a variety of dog accessories for all dog-lovers to enjoy with their pets.
Sadie's Restaurant in Albuquerque heartily welcomes dogs to enjoy its roofed patio.
Visit Local Retailers in Nob Hill
Along with local bands, art, and film, the Nob Hill area proudly offers a host of local retailers, each unique and presenting their own distinctive tastes. Artisan is a local art supply store located in Nob Hill which has been supplying local artists for forty years. Izzy Marin is a menswear retailer; from watches and socks to knit ties and button-ups, the shop delivers trendy and vintage goods with winsome patterns and pleasing styles. Larry's Hats boasts an extensive collection of hats for every occasion. Birdland the Hippie Store offers many interesting items, including graphic tees, masquerade masks, "raveware," and incense. Ingrid Mari Boutique sells lovely accessories and jewelry and puts on fashion shows around the city throughout the year. Gertrude Zachary sets the bar high by offering luxurious handmade jewelry signature of Albuquerque's local flavor. Hey Jhonny is a shop dedicated to bringing an eclectic mix of merchandise that includes art and unique home wares from around the world. Santa Fe Olive Oil and Balsamic Co. offers quality olive oils, gourmet salts, and specialty foods for sophisticated entertaining and hosting.
Nob Hill is one of Albuquerque's most popular shopping areas.
Relax at Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm
Enchanting guests with its lush gardens and relaxing environment, Los Poblanos is a historic property dedicated to sustainable agriculture and historic preservation. Designed in 1932 by John Gaw Meem the venue provides farm-grown food from its own soil and proves to be a comfortable and versatile locale for social and business events. With its presence on the National Registry of Historic Places, as well as the location's wide-spread praise from publications and individuals, Los Poblanos is a must-see venue in the North Valley area of the Duke City.
Los Poblanos is a historic property with farm-fresh cuisine and comfortable accommodation.
11) Go on the Breaking Bad Tour
Touring important locations of filming in Albuquerque, the Breaking Bad tour is eighty-eight miles long and hits twenty-six important filming locations that made the famous show possible. The aforementioned Nob Hill Gertrude Zachary store, where the character “Marie” shoplifts in the show, is just one of the locations visited in the tour. With its wild television success, it's no wonder Breaking Bad has become a staple of Albuquerque's cultural terrain.
The Breaking Bad tour guides fans through 26 filming locations that made the show famous.
12) See a Show at Pope Joy Hall
The University of New Mexico's Pope Joy Hall brings theatrical entertainment to the Duke City through touring Broadway musicals, live theatre performances, ballets, symphonies, comedies, and drama performances. A go-to location for lovers of theatre, Pope Joy is known for its quality productions. A selection of local restaurants offers discounts to patrons of Pope Joy Hall upon presentation of show tickets. These restaurants include (among others) Nick and Jimmy's, The Range Cafe, Nob Hill Bar and Grill, Standard Diner, Elaine's, Amore, El Patron, and La Merienda at Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm.
Pope Joy Hall has a long history of enlivening the Duke City with theatrical performances and musical productions.
Get a Thrill at Cliff's Amusement Park
Though seasonal hours apply to this attraction, Cliff's Amusement Park is open year-round and is a ocal favorite for family fun. The park's thrill rides include the Cliff Hanger, which delivers a gut-lifting drop through the air, while the park also offers family rides and attractions specified for children. Winter brings to the park Santa and Mrs. Claus as well as performances by numerous choirs and a cappella groups, while summer welcomes rock bands to entertain guests. The amusement park offers group rates and is located on Osuna and San Mateo.
Cliff's Amusement Park is a popular Albuquerque destination for thrilling fun.
Not only does the city offer plenty to do for entertainment, its culturally-rich location provides plenty of exploration opportunity. Another article is required in order to outline the Duke City's cultural heritage and historic significance; but if you're looking for some fun activities during your stay in Albuquerque, these are some of the city's finest offerings.
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