Free Things To Do In Albuquerque This Weekend

There are lots of free Albuquerque events this weekend again, although we’ll have to watch the weather… so here’s a mix of indoor and outdoor fun stuff. We’ve mentioned some of them before, but if you’re looking for free entertainment, free things to do with the kids, or other easy-on-the-budget ways to spend the weekend, here are our picks of free and cheap places to go and things to do on October 8 and 9, 2011. 

Saturday October 8

Lighter Than Air Fare on the lawn of the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum during Balloon Fiesta is free to all, from 6 am – 2 pm daily.  Expect live music, arts, crafts, and food vendors. See the Lighter Than Air Fare schedule for details. Highlights today include a US Navy flight simulator, pet adoptions, and kite flying.

Who’s Who in the World of Black Birds Bird walk and presentation by Ranger Karen Herzenberg at 8:30 – 10:30 am. Free at the Rio Grande Nature Center, but parking is $3 per vehicle.

Albuquerque Just Between Friends maternity & childrenswear consignment sale from 10 am to 2 pm.  Admission is free, and most items are half priced today, at NM Army National Guard, 600 Wyoming Blvd NE.

ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden Harvest Festival on Saturday and Sunday, from 10 am – 2 pm each day. Activities include cider making and sampling, crafts and games, building scarecrows, sawhorse steer roping, demonstrations by farriers, quilters, bakers and chicken keepers, and live music. It’s free with Botanic Garden admission. (Which also covers admission to the Aquarium.)

Albuquerque Museum family art workshop from 1 – 2.30 pm on Saturdays are open to all museum visitors and included in museum admission.  Supplies are provided, and budding artists of any age can show up to create art inspired by the Museum’s exhibits.

Poe’s Weekend of Woe from 1 – 3 pm at Cherry Hills Library with family activities including Spin the Wheel of Misfortune (ha!), creepy puzzles, scavenger hunt, and readings.

Turning NO to ON: The Art of Parenting with Mindfulness book talk and signing at 2 pm with Author Dr. Beth Gineris at Page One Bookstore, 11018 Montgomery NE. While you’re there, use this Page One $5 Off Coupon to save $5 on any $30 or more purchase, whether new or used.

Galloping Grace Youth Ranch Pumpkin Patch is a cute space and lovely for kids, open daily to October 31. Admission is free from 9 am – 6 pm, at 4349 Irving Boulevard on Albuquerque’s Westside, on the corner of Eagle Ranch Road and Irving.

Rio Grande Arts & Crafts Festival runs all weekend. Save $1 on admission with this Rio Grande Arts & Crafts Festival couponregular admission is $7 for adults, free for kids aged under twelve.  Browse the arts and children can create their own art in the Kids Creation Station, and enjoy a magic show. Take one coupon for each person in your party! Hours are 9 am – 6 pm on Saturday.

Wagner’s Farmland Experience corn maze and pumpkin patch in Corrales costs $7 for adults, $5 for kids aged 3-11, and tots aged 2 or under go free.  See directions to Wagner’s Farmland Experience.

Tinkertown Museum is open daily until October 31, then it closes for the season. Admission is $3 for adults,  $2.50 for seniors aged 62+, and $1 for kids aged 4 to 16. Tots aged 3 and under get in free. Hours are 9 am6 pm, last admission at 5:30 pm.  But go much earlier to explore this extravaganza of folk art, including a model circus, a miniature Wild West town, animated wood-carved figures, and arcade-style wonders such as Esmerelda the fortune teller.  Tinkertown Museum is on the road to Sandia Crest off Highway 14 (the Turquoise Trail), about 25 miles east of Albuquerque.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta 2011 The evening session starts at 5:45 pm, with the Night Magic Glow, followed by fireworks!  Admission is $8, and kids aged 12 and under go free.

Albuquerque Maize Maze UPDATE: CLOSED SATURDAY. You might want to check in advance that they’re open, as they were closed on Friday Oct 7 due to rain/mud in the fields. Otherwise the 7-acre dinosaur-themed corn maze and a Dino Hunt game is open on Saturday from 9 am – 9 pm. Admission is $7 adults (aged 12+), $5 kids aged 3-11, and free for kids aged 2 and under.

Abiquiu Studio Tour If you feel like a trip out of town into red rock country, the Abiquiu Studio Tour runs over the Columbus Day weekend from October 8 – 10, from 10 am – 5 pm daily.

Sunday October 9

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta The Dawn Patrol is at 5:45 am, the Krispy Kreme Morning Glow at 6:30 am, then the final mass ascension takes to the skies at 7 am. (Arrive good and early! Basically don’t go to bed the night before…) Admission is $8, and kids aged 12 and under go free.

Lighter Than Air Fare on the lawn of the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum is free to all, from 6 am – 2 pm. Expect live music, arts, crafts, and food vendors. See the Lighter Than Air Fare schedule for the latest details. Highlights today include Irish and African music, a US Navy flight simulator, pet adoptions, and kite flying.

Kirtland AFB Open House from 9 am – 4:30 pm. Everyone is welcome to join Kirtland’s free 40th anniversary celebrations, with aircraft exhibits and aerial demonstrations including the Thunderbirds at 3 pm.  See the schedule at the link.

Local Food Festival and Field Day from 11 am to 4 pm at the Gutierrez-Hubbell House and Demonstration Farm. The free festival offers free workshops and talks on food preservation, gardening and urban farming; chef demos and food samples, free face painting, agames, and live music. See the full Local Food Festival and Field Day schedule.

Rio Grande Nature Center Nature Walk A naturalist-led tour at 1 pm through the bosque. The walk is free, just pay the park admission fee of $3 per vehicle at 2901 Candelaria Rd NW.

Traveling Poe Performance 2 – 3 pm as part of Albuquerque’s The Big Read. Campbell ‘Lou’ Harmon presents a dramatic reading about Edgar Allan Poe with audience interaction, at Cherry Hills Library.

Arts in the Park at Ventana Ranch Park from 1 – 5 pm with free music and entertainment and the Artisan Market. Learn to drum and play music with Drumfest, free face painting and arts and crafts for kids, magic from Pink Elephant Theatre and teaching kids juggling skills.

Rio Grande Arts & Crafts Festival continues. Save $1 on admission with this Rio Grande Arts & Crafts Festival couponregular admission is $7 for adults, free for kids aged under twelve. Browse the arts and children can create their own art in the Kids Creation Station, and enjoy a magic show.  (Print one coupon per person.) Hours are 9 am – 5 pm on Sunday.

Albuquerque Maize Maze You might want to check in advance that they’re open, as they were closed on Saturday October 8 due to rain/mud in the fields. Otherwise the 7-acre dinosaur-themed corn maze and a Dino Hunt game is open on Sunday from 9 am – 6 pm. Admission is $7 adults (aged 12+), $5 kids aged 3-11, and free for kids aged 2 and under.  Pick up a coupon at the Maze for 50% off admission to the Planetarium at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science (and make sure to get it stamped at the Maze to get the deal.)

Albuquerque Museum of Art and History Free admission from 9 am – 1 pm.

National Hispanic Cultural Center Torreón fresco Free tour from noon – 4 pm. The National Hispanic Cultural Center Art Museum also offers free admission on Sundays, from 10 am – 5 pm.

Coronado State Monument Admission is free on Sundays for New Mexico residents with ID.

Hope you find some cheap or free Albuquerque fun in there whatever the weather! Happy Columbus Day weekend!

–Tania


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