12 Festive Activities To Enjoy In Albuquerque During Christmas

things to do in albuquerque for christmas

The holiday season is upon us, and Albuquerque is gearing up to celebrate in style. This vibrant city offers a range of festive activities that will add some sparkle to your Christmas celebrations. From traditional luminaria walks to exciting winter sports, there's something for everyone. So, if you're looking for some holiday cheer, grab your Santa hats and get ready to join in on the fun. Here are 12 festive activities to enjoy in Albuquerque during Christmas.

Activity Description
Luminaria Tour Tour of Old Town and the Country Club neighborhoods to see the thousands of luminarias, small paper lanterns, that line the streets
River of Lights Walk through the ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden, which is lit up with hundreds of holiday decorations and light displays
Holiday Shows Attend one of the many holiday-themed shows put on by local theaters and performing arts centers, such as "A Christmas Carol" or "The Nutcracker"
Christmas Eve Mass at the Albuquerque Convention Center Attend a Christmas Eve mass at the largest indoor venue in the city
Visit the Pueblo Cultural Center Experience traditional Native American dances, music, and food during the holiday season
Skate in the Holiday Ice Rink Go ice skating at the open air holiday rink at Civic Plaza
Shop at the Rio Grande Arts and Crafts Festival Attend this annual holiday market to buy local, handmade crafts, food, and jewelry
Albuquerque Old Town Holiday Stroll Enjoy live entertainment, music, and local vendors while strolling through the historic streets of Old Town
Take a Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride Ride through Old Town or downtown on a horse-drawn carriage and enjoy the festive holiday lights


River of Lights at the ABQ BioPark

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If you're looking for festive activities to do in Albuquerque during the Christmas season, you won't want to miss the River of Lights at the ABQ BioPark. This annual holiday tradition attracts thousands of visitors from across the state and beyond, and features stunning light displays, live music performances, and other fun activities for the whole family.

The event takes place at the ABQ BioPark, a sprawling complex that includes the Albuquerque Aquarium, Botanic Garden, and Tingley Beach. From late November through early January, the park is transformed into a winter wonderland, with more than 500 displays made up of millions of colorful LED lights.

One of the main attractions at the River of Lights is the dazzling animated sculptures, which depict a wide range of holiday scenes, from Santa and his elves to reindeer pulling a sleigh. There are also traditional Southwest-themed displays, such as cacti decorated with lights.

In addition to the light displays, the River of Lights also features holiday music performances by local musicians, as well as carolers and other live entertainment. Families can take advantage of fun activities like face painting and holiday-themed crafts, and there are also food and drink vendors on site.

For those looking for a more immersive experience, the River of Lights offers special events like the Polar Bear Express, a train ride through the park, and the Garden Glow, a stroll through the Botanic Garden's illuminated paths.

Overall, the River of Lights at the ABQ BioPark is a beloved Albuquerque holiday tradition, and a great way to get into the festive spirit. Whether you're a local or visiting from out of town, this magical event is sure to delight all ages and make your holiday season brighter.


Luminaria Tour through Old Town and the Country Club area

Source: www.visitalbuquerque.org

As the holiday season approaches, Albuquerque is filled with Christmas cheer and festivities. One of the best ways to immerse yourself in the holiday spirit is with the Luminaria Tour. This breathtaking experience will take you through the historic Old Town and the Country Club area, where you’ll see an array of luminarias lighting up the streets and homes.

The Luminaria Tour is a popular Christmas tradition in Albuquerque that takes place every year on Christmas Eve. During the tour, you’ll see the beautifully lit luminarias, which are small paper bags filled with sand and a candle, placed along the sidewalks and driveways of homes. The luminarias create a peaceful ambiance that makes you feel like you’ve stepped back in time.

The Old Town section of Albuquerque is known for its historic architecture. During the Luminaria Tour, you’ll walk through this area and see the adobe buildings, many of which have been converted into shops and restaurants. The soft light that emanates from the luminarias adds a special touch to this already cozy and inviting area.

As you continue the tour through the Country Club area, you’ll be awestruck by the mesmerizing views of the city. The neighborhood is elevated, allowing you to see the glittering lights of Albuquerque below. The Luminaria Tour is a beautiful and peaceful way to take in the sights and sounds of the holiday season.

In addition to the Luminaria Tour, there are plenty of other Christmas activities to enjoy in Albuquerque. If you love music, check out the many concerts and symphonies that take place during the holiday season. If you’re a fan of the arts, there are several ballets and plays that are performed throughout the month of December. You can also go ice skating at the local rink or attend the River of Lights, a yearly event featuring over 500 light displays.

Overall, Albuquerque is the perfect destination for those who want to experience the magic of Christmas. The Luminaria Tour is a truly unique and unforgettable experience that will leave you speechless. Don’t hesitate to add this excursion to your list of must-dos during the holiday season, as it’s something you’ll never forget.

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Visit Santa at the ABQ Sunport or ABQ Uptown

Source: www.abqjournal.com

If you're searching for a destination to enjoy the festive season, you might want to consider heading to Albuquerque in New Mexico. With its clear blue skies and warm climate, Albuquerque is the perfect place to experience Christmas fun and merriment under the sun.

One of the best things to do in Albuquerque at Christmas is to meet Santa himself! You can easily find him at either ABQ Sunport or ABQ Uptown. Take a stroll around the malls or browse the shops to see the twinkling lights and colorful decorations. You'll feel the joy of the holiday season everywhere you go, with carolers and musicians performing at street corners and in the shopping centers.

Make your way to the ABQ Sunport to see Santa's authentic workshop in all its glory. The workshop is filled with toy-making stations, elves scurrying around, and Santa himself seated on his big red and white chair, ready to listen to your Christmas wishes. You can take family photos with Santa, get your kids' faces painted, or indulge in some of the seasonal treats.

Another option is to head to ABQ Uptown to participate in the many events and activities taking place at the mall. You might want to take part in their Christmas tree lighting ceremony, which is always a grand event. Indeed, it's one of the biggest Christmas tree lighting ceremonies in the state, featuring a firework display and other performances. There's also the Winter Carnival, where you'll find an outdoor ice skating rink, carnival rides, and festive games.

In conclusion, Albuquerque is always a top choice for anyone looking to celebrate Christmas with some warmth and sunshine. So head to ABQ Sunport or ABQ Uptown, and meet Santa, indulge in festive treats, shop for gifts, or enjoy the entertainment around you. When it comes to Christmas, Albuquerque has everything you need to make your holiday season memorable.


Ice skating at the Civic Plaza

Source: www.abqjournal.com

If you're looking for festive things to do in Albuquerque during the holiday season, look no further than the Civic Plaza. One of the best winter activities in the city is ice skating at the Civic Plaza.

The open-air ice skating rink is set up in the middle of the beautiful plaza. Here, skaters of all ages and skill levels can enjoy gliding on the ice and taking in the dazzling decorations and lights that adorn the area. The rink is larger than the average ice rink, so there's plenty of room for everyone, and it's maintained to ensure that the ice remains smooth and safe.

But that's not all. Ice skating at the Civic Plaza is a unique experience for more reasons than just its location. With music playing in the background and twinkling lights all around, skaters feel a true sense of holiday magic. If you need a break from skating, you can cozy up by the fire pits and sip on some hot cocoa or hot cider while listening to live music performances.

Whether you're looking to spice up a date night or just create some fun memories with friends and family, ice skating at the Civic Plaza is a must-do activity during your winter stay in Albuquerque. The rink is open daily from late November through January, making it a perfect addition to your holiday itinerary. So lace up and join in on the festive fun!

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Christmas tree lighting at the ABQ Civic Plaza

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As the holiday season approaches, Albuquerque comes alive with festive events, twinkling lights, and cheerful music. One of the most popular events that residents and tourists alike look forward to is the Christmas tree lighting at the ABQ Civic Plaza.

Located in the heart of downtown, the ABQ Civic Plaza is transformed into a winter wonderland during the holiday season. The star attraction, of course, is the towering Christmas tree that stands in the center of the plaza. This majestic tree is adorned with hundreds of sparkling lights, shimmering ornaments, and a big, bright star at the top.

Every year, on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, a huge crowd gathers at the ABQ Civic Plaza for the Christmas tree lighting ceremony. The event is free and open to the public, so everyone is welcome to join in the festivities. The event starts at 4 p.m. and continues until 8 p.m., with live music, dance performances, food vendors, and fun activities for the whole family.

The highlight of the evening is, of course, the lighting of the Christmas tree at around 6 p.m. As the sun sets over the city, the plaza is bathed in a warm glow of twinkling lights. The crowd cheers as Mayor Tim Keller and other officials flip the switch to light up the tree. The beautiful tree remains illuminated throughout the holiday season, spreading warmth and joy to all who pass by.

If you’re planning a trip to Albuquerque during the holiday season, be sure to attend the Christmas tree lighting at the ABQ Civic Plaza. It’s a magical experience that captures the true spirit of the season – community, joy, and togetherness. Whether you’re young or old, single or with family, there’s no better way to kick off the holiday season than by joining in this festive celebration.

So, mark your calendars and get ready to immerse yourself in the holiday spirit at the ABQ Civic Plaza. Happy holidays, Albuquerque!


Holiday shopping at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Park

Source: www.fodors.com
Characteristic Description
NameHoliday Inn Express & Suites Albuquerque-N. Balloon Fsta Park, an IHG Hotel
Type2-star hotel
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count3.9 / 420
Address5401 Alameda Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87113
Phone(505) 797-2291

Albuquerque for Christmas is filled with festive and fun-filled activities for the whole family. One of the highlights of the holiday season in Albuquerque is holiday shopping at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Park.

Located at 5000 Balloon Fiesta Parkway, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Park is transformed into a winter wonderland during the holiday season. With over 400 vendors, visitors can find unique gifts made by local artisans and craftspeople. From handmade jewelry to traditional New Mexican pottery, there is something for everyone on your holiday shopping list.

In addition to shopping, visitors can also enjoy live entertainment, delicious food and hot chocolate, and even take a ride on the park's famous Sky Ride. The Sky Ride offers stunning views of the Sandia Mountains and the surrounding landscape, making for a memorable experience that is perfect for all ages.

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Park is also home to several holiday events, including the beloved River of Lights, which features over 500 light displays throughout the park. Visitors can also participate in the Luminaria Tour, a magical evening procession through the park illuminated by thousands of paper lanterns.

If you're in Albuquerque for Christmas, make sure to add a visit to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Park to your holiday itinerary. With unique gifts, festive activities, and beautiful light displays, it's the perfect destination to get into the holiday spirit.


Holiday movies at the KiMo Theatre

Source: www.onlyinyourstate.com

If you're looking for a fun way to get into the holiday spirit in Albuquerque this year, the Holiday Movies at the KiMo Theatre are not to be missed. Located in the heart of downtown, the historic KiMo Theatre is the perfect place to cozy up and enjoy a classic Christmas movie with your loved ones.

The KiMo Theatre has been a fixture of Albuquerque's arts and culture scene since it opened in 1927. Its stunning Pueblo Deco architecture is a testament to the city's rich cultural heritage, and the theatre has been beautifully preserved over the years to maintain its unique character.

During the holiday season, the KiMo Theatre hosts a series of beloved Christmas movies to get everyone in the mood for the most wonderful time of the year. From timeless classics like "It's a Wonderful Life" and "A Christmas Carol," to modern favorites like "Elf" and "The Polar Express," there's something for everyone.

In addition to the movies themselves, attending a screening at the KiMo Theatre is an experience in itself. The theatre's vintage marquee and stunning interior make for the perfect holiday photo opportunity, and the cozy seats and intimate atmosphere ensure that you feel fully immersed in the magic of the season.

If you're looking for a special way to celebrate Christmas in Albuquerque this year, consider taking the whole family to one of the Holiday Movies at the KiMo Theatre. You're sure to create memories that will last a lifetime.

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Zoo Music Holiday Cheer concert series at the ABQ BioPark

Source: www.krqe.com

Looking for something fun to do in Albuquerque during the holiday season? Check out the Zoo Music Holiday Cheer concert series at the ABQ BioPark!

For several weekends in December, the ABQ BioPark puts on a series of concerts featuring live music and other entertainment. Held in the zoo's indoor pavilion, the concerts are a fun way to get into the holiday spirit while supporting local musicians and performers.

In addition to the music, the concerts also feature plenty of festive activities. Kids can get their faces painted, take photos with Santa Claus, and make crafts to take home. And of course, there are plenty of food and drink options available to keep you warm and well-fed throughout the event.

So why not add a little extra cheer to your holiday season this year by attending one of the Zoo Music Holiday Cheer concerts? With a great lineup of performers and plenty of fun activities, it's sure to be a great time for the whole family.

Tickets are available online or at the gate, though they tend to sell out quickly so be sure to get yours ahead of time. And don't forget to dress warmly and bring along some blankets and chairs - while the concert pavilion is heated, it can still get chilly during the winter months.

Overall, the Zoo Music Holiday Cheer concert series is a fantastic way to enjoy some holiday cheer with your loved ones in Albuquerque. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your visit today!


Winter Pueblo Feast Days at surrounding Pueblos

Source: www.visitalbuquerque.org

Albuquerque for Christmas offers many exciting events and festive activities for the whole family. One of the best attractions to experience during the holiday season is the Winter Pueblo Feast Days at the surrounding Pueblos.

The Pueblo people are known for their rich culture and history, and their Winter Feast Days are a true reflection of their traditions. Visitors to Albuquerque can witness and participate in the unique celebrations that take place during these sacred events.

During the Winter Pueblo Feast Days, visitors can take part in dances, enjoy traditional meals, and witness reenactments of ancient rites and ceremonies. Each of the surrounding Pueblos has their own unique way of celebrating the festivities with songs, drumming, and storytelling.

Among the Pueblos that celebrate the Winter Feast Days are the Cochiti Pueblo, Jemez Pueblo, and Santo Domingo Pueblo, each of which has its own distinct customs and practices. Visitors can experience firsthand the deep spiritual connections that the Pueblo people have with the natural world, the land, and their ancestors.

In addition to the cultural celebrations, visitors can also learn about the Pueblo people's traditional arts and crafts, including pottery, weaving, and jewelry-making. Many Pueblo artisans set up booths during the feast days to showcase and sell their handmade goods, providing visitors with a unique opportunity to learn and appreciate the traditional artworks of the Pueblo people.

While the Winter Pueblo Feast Days provide a cultural and educational experience, they are also a joyful and festive time for everyone. The celebrations offer an opportunity to eat traditional foods such as posole, tamales, and fry bread, as well as to share in the joy and camaraderie of the Pueblo people.

In conclusion, visiting Albuquerque during the holiday season is never complete without experiencing the Winter Pueblo Feast Days at one of the surrounding Pueblos. With their rich culture, history, and unique traditions, these festivities offer a one-of-a-kind experience that visitors will cherish for years to come.

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Gingerbread house decorating at the ABQ BioPark

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The city of Albuquerque, New Mexico is a wonderful place to spend the holiday season. If you're looking for a fun activity to do with your family or friends during Christmas time, look no further than the Gingerbread House Decorating event at the ABQ BioPark.

The ABQ BioPark is a unique city attraction that includes a zoo, aquarium, botanical garden, and beach. It's a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, and during the holiday season, it hosts a gingerbread house decorating event.

At the event, participants can purchase a pre-made gingerbread house kit that includes all the necessary supplies to create a festive and delicious gingerbread house. The kits typically come with gingerbread pieces, frosting, candy decorations, and even a pre-made icing bag. The kits are affordable and come in different sizes to accommodate various group sizes.

Once you have your kit, you can take your time decorating the gingerbread house using your creativity and design skills. The event provides a fun opportunity to bond with friends and family as you work together to create a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.

The Gingerbread Decorating event at the ABQ BioPark is an excellent activity for all ages, making it the perfect holiday tradition for families to start together. Not only will you be creating a beautiful treat to display on your holiday table, but you will also be creating unforgettable memories.

In addition to the Gingerbread House Decorating event, the ABQ BioPark also hosts other fun holiday events, including their dazzling River of Lights. This annual light display attraction features over 500 light displays and almost a million twinkling bulbs. The River of Lights is the perfect opportunity to walk around the park, warm up with hot cocoa, and observe the festive lights and décor.

In conclusion, if you're looking for things to do in Albuquerque during the Christmas season, the Gingerbread House Decorating event at the ABQ BioPark is a must-attend. Not only will you get to spend quality time with your loved ones while creating beautiful gingerbread houses, but you will also get to explore the unique attractions that the ABQ BioPark has to offer. Book your tickets now and start creating unforgettable holiday memories.

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Breakfast with Santa at the ABQ BioPark Zoo

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Albuquerque for Christmas is a magical time, filled with holiday festivities and traditions that make this city one of a kind. And one tradition that is not to be missed is Breakfast with Santa at the ABQ BioPark Zoo.

Every year, families from all over gather together at the zoo for a morning of fun, food, and holiday cheer. The event takes place in the Cottonwood Cafe, which is beautifully decorated for the holiday season. Upon arrival, children receive a special mailbox to write letters to Santa, while parents and adults get ready to enjoy a delicious breakfast buffet.

As families enjoy their meal, Santa Claus makes his grand entrance, greeting each child with a jolly "ho ho ho!" Santa makes his way through the room, taking time to visit with each family, give out candy canes, and take photos with all the children.

In addition to the excitement of visiting with Santa, guests also have the opportunity to explore the zoo, which is home to a variety of animals, including polar bears, elephants, and chimpanzees. The zoo is decorated with glittering lights and festive decorations, making it a beautiful sight to behold.

In conclusion, if you're looking for a way to get into the holiday spirit this year, be sure to check out Breakfast with Santa at the ABQ BioPark Zoo. You and your family are sure to have a memorable time, filled with laughter, joy, and all the magic that this special time of year has to offer.


Nutcracker Ballet at Popejoy Hall

Source: www.abqjournal.com
Characteristic Description
NamePopejoy Hall
TypePerforming arts theater in Albuquerque, New Mexico
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count4.6 / 1,079
Address203 Cornell Dr, Albuquerque, NM 87131
Phone(505) 277-8010

As the holiday season approaches, many families in Albuquerque are searching for ways to celebrate the festive season. One popular event in the city for Christmas is the Nutcracker Ballet at Popejoy Hall.

The Nutcracker Ballet has been a tradition in many cities around the world and Albuquerque is no exception. The ballet tells the story of a young girl named Clara who receives a magical nutcracker as a gift and enters a magical world of imagination. The ballet is an exquisite blend of dance, music, and storytelling that is sure to capture the attention and hearts of all who attend.

The Popejoy Hall in Albuquerque is the perfect venue for this magical event. The hall is a 1,985 seat performance theatre located on the University of New Mexico campus. It features a state-of-the-art sound system, digital projection, and a beautifully designed stage that brings the Nutcracker Ballet to life.

This year’s production of the Nutcracker Ballet promises to be one of the best yet. The cast includes both professional dancers and talented local performers, who are dedicated to bringing this timeless story to life. The show is accompanied by a live orchestra and features stunning sets and costumes, making it a feast for the senses.

Tickets for the Nutcracker Ballet at Popejoy Hall are already on sale and sell out quickly. It is recommended to purchase tickets in advance to avoid disappointment. The show runs from December 13th to December 22nd, giving families plenty of opportunities to experience the magic of Christmas.

In addition to the Nutcracker Ballet, Popejoy Hall also hosts other holiday events and shows throughout the Christmas season. From jazz concerts to holiday-themed comedy shows, there is something for everyone at this venue.

In conclusion, the Nutcracker Ballet at Popejoy Hall makes for an ideal way to celebrate the Christmas season in Albuquerque. The combination of stunning visuals, captivating storytelling, and beautiful music provides an unforgettable experience that the whole family can enjoy. So, why not treat yourself and your loved ones to this magical performance that is sure to make this festive season a memorable one?

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Frequently asked questions

The River of Lights at the ABQ BioPark is a popular holiday light display featuring over 500 glowing sculptures, and the Old Town Holiday Stroll has live entertainment, luminarias and shopping.

The Albuquerque Convention Center hosts the Festival of Trees with festive trees decorated by local businesses, and the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History puts on a holiday model train exhibit.

The Pueblo Harvest Cafe serves a Christmas buffet featuring traditional New Mexican dishes, and Sandia Resort & Casino has a holiday-inspired menu at their fine dining restaurant.

The ABQ Uptown shopping center offers a Winterfest with pop-up markets, photos with Santa and holiday entertainment, and the Rio Grande Arts and Crafts Festival hosts a winter market for unique gifts.

Yes, the Cliffs Amusement Park has a Holiday Happenings event with rides, a petting zoo, and hot cocoa, and the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra offers a special Family Christmas concert.

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