Holiday Twinkle Light Parade

December 4, 2014 by  
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You’d have to be walking around with your eyes shut not to know about this already. But hey, we’re all busy people. Maybe you forgot about it. Or maybe you just flew into the Duke City and never knew about it in the first place.  This family-friendly event is a holiday favorite and a must-see for all.

This year the Twinkle Light Parade takes place on Saturday December 6, 2014 at 5:15 p.m.

Expect to see floats, lowriders, AFD fire trucks and classic cars, equestrian clubs – even a small train – all dressed up for the holidays. The City of Albuquerque reckons there will be more than 1,000 walkers, plus all the usual high school marching bands I love watching. The bands are always festive and smart, and the kids are so very brave as they march through the cold.  Santa Claus and Mrs Claus usually roll by in the Twinkle Light Parade too. (Santa, of course, is used to the cold.)

The Twinkle Light Parade starts glitzing with more than 300,000 twinkling lights at 5:15 pm on December 6, traveling west along Central Avenue from Washington Street to Girard Boulevard.  Bleachers will make it easier for everyone to watch the parade. The City of Albuquerque reckons that there are more than 90 floats (cars, horses, bicycles, anything they can gussy up with sparkly lights) in the parade this year.

I do so love this festive event, but dress warmly – I’ve nearly frozen my tootsies off watching the parade in previous years.  At time of writing, it’s looking a bit rainy out there, but the Twinkle Light Parade will sparkle on no matter what – it’s a rain or shine event.



Coronado State Monument Christmas at Kuaua

December 4, 2014 by  
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Coronado State Monument’s free Christmas event for all the family creates a festive glow and includes cider and biscochitos!  The monument’s name was changed just over a year ago.  Don’t forget that it is now called the Coronado Historic Site.

The Christmas at Kuaua event at Coronado Historic Site lights up the luminarias on the evening of Sunday December 7, 2014, from 5 pm. 

The evening’s activities include a Santa’s Workshop for kids to make a Christmas tree ornament. That is followed at 6 pm by Native American storytelling, traditional Pueblo dancing, and music. Amidst the luminarias and Christmas lights, they’ll have a lovely bonfire too, assuming the weather conditions are right.

Admission is free, and to help everyone keep warm (with or without a bonfire) the Friends of Coronado will also provide free hot apple cider and biscochitos.

Coronado Historic Site Christmas at Kuaua gets festive:

  • When: Sunday December 7, 2014
  • Time: From 5 pm
  • Where: Coronado Historic Site (a.k.a. Coronado State Monument) in Bernalillo
  • Price: Admission is free!

Coronado Historic Site is just off I-25, at exit 242, in Bernalillo.



Survival New Mexico: August 16-17

August 11, 2014 by  
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El Rancho de las Golondrinas asks how well we’d survive life in Colonial and Territorial New Mexico. Sometimes I wonder how good I am at surviving it right now in the 21st century, but certainly if you took away my fridge and I had to venture out hunter-gathering, I’d go hungry.

Hence the Survival: New Mexico weekend at El Rancho de las Golondrinas, just south of Santa Fe, caught my eye. The event is this Saturday and Sunday, August 16 and 17, 2014, with activities for adults and kids on traditional skills, and some handy modern day outdoor survival skills too.

If you’re in the mood for a day trip, admission for the Survival New Mexico event is $8 for adults, $6 for teens aged 13-18, and free for kids aged 12 and under. Seniors aged 62+ pay $6.

Activities and talks include:

  • An archery and atlatl workshop to learn how to shoot
  • Learn how to make fire when you don’t have any matches to hand
  • Make mini adobe bricks
  • The art of fiber arts – before wool there was yucca
  • Black powder weaponry demonstration
  • Civil War medicine – just a talk, not practicing it on each other 😉
  • Wilderness first aid by the American Red Cross
  • How to make a wilderness shelter
  • Learn how to cook ginger bread in a Dutch oven, weave a survival bracelet, attend the leather craft workshop, or kids can make a felt snake
  • Backyard composting, harvesting honey, and food preservation

Plus flintknappers, mountain man survival stories, horno bread, and more. Some activities are only on one day, and you can see the full schedule at the El Rancho de las Golondrinas  events page.

Survival: New Mexico weekend:

  • When: August 16-17, 2014
  • Time: 10 am – 4 pm
  • Where: El Rancho de las Golondrinas
  • Admission: $8 adults, or $6 for seniors (62+) and youth aged 13-18. Free for kids aged 12 and under

El Rancho de las Golondrinas directions to the living history museum on 200 pastoral acres just south of Santa Fe are pretty straightforward. It’s easy to find, off 1-25 exit 276. Take a left onto state road 599 and keep left. It’s well-signed and just a few minutes from that exit.



Free Hotel Cascada Waterpark

July 12, 2014 by  
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If you don’t already love Jackie, Tony, and Donnie (we do!) then you’ve got to love them for their Free Summer Fun Roadshow which gives you the chance to frolic in the Hotel Cascada Waterpark for free on Monday.

This fun free morning at the Hotel Cascada Waterpark is courtesy of our friends Jackie, Tony & Donnie in the Morning at 100.3 The Peak.  Just turn up to get free admission to the Hotel Cascada Waterpark on Monday July 14, 2014, from 6 am to 9:45 am, while Jackie, Tony & Donnie are broadcasting at the Albuquerque waterpark.
To get the maximum splash from the freebie, you need to dive in at the right time. Here’s how it works. There will be two sessions of swimming time at the Hotel Cascada waterpark. They have a limit of 600 people each time. (Hey, the waterpark is big but we’re not talking about the Pacific Ocean here! Space is limited.)
The session times are:
  • First session: 6am – 7:45 am
  • Second session: 8am -9:45 am

If you turn up in the middle of a session, you’ll still have to leave at the end time so the next group can come in. Logic tells me, Spock, that you get the best value and the most free fun if you arrive early for the 6 am or 8 am sessions. (Also, it gives you a better chance of getting in before they are full.)

Cool off and celebrate the free admission to the Hotel Cascada Waterpark.  With Jackie, Tony & Donnie you know you are always guaranteed a great time anyway!

Albuquerque’s Hotel Cascada Waterpark is located at 2500 Carlisle Boulevard NE.



ABQ BioPark Military Discount

July 9, 2014 by  
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The Albuquerque BioPark military discount gives a price break to active and non-active military personnel visiting the BioPark Zoo, Aquarium, and Botanic Garden. That’s a very good move to thank our service men and women.

The ABQ BioPark military discount on tickets was introduced during 2012, and it gives $2 off adult admission and $1 off children’s admission. The discount is valid for active and non-active personnel, although you do of course need to show your military ID.  The ABQ BioPark military discount is only for general admission, not for any special events such as the concerts at the zoo.

Albuquerque BioPark regular admission for entry into either the Zoo, or the Aquarium and Botanic Garden is:

  • New Mexico residents: $9 for adults, $4.50 for seniors 65+, $4 for kids aged 3-12, and ages 2 and under go free.  Take your New Mexico ID to get the local admission rate.
  • Visitors who are not New Mexico residents: $12.50 for adults, $5.50 for seniors 65+, $4 for kids aged 3-12. And hey, they don’t discriminate against non-New Mexican kiddies. Tots ages 2 and under still go free.

A combo ticket for all BioPark locations is only available on Tuesday to Sunday mornings from 9 am to noon. That’s because if you don’t buy the combo ticket early in the day, you won’t have time to trip round all the BioPark venues anyway. The combo tickets include the fun mini-train rides between the locations.

For New Mexico residents the combo cost is $15 for adults, $8 for seniors, and $6 for kids. For out-of-state visitors, the combo cost is $20 for adults, $10 for seniors, and $6 for kids.

The BioPark’s Tingley Beach is always free for everyone, at 1800 Tingley Dr SW.

Albuquerque BioPark Zoo (formerly the Rio Grande Zoo) is located at 903 10th St. SW.  Albuquerque BioPark Aquarium and Botanic Garden is located at 2601 Central Avenue NW.



Casa San Ysidro Free Day and Frontier Life

July 3, 2014 by  
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Casa San Ysidro offers occasional free admission days with family-friendly activities.

Casa San Ysidro: The Gutiérrez-Minge House in Corrales is part of the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History. Tours (usually only offered on specified dates/times) generally cost $4 for adults.

But on the Casa San Ysidro free day on Saturday July 12, everyone gets free admission from 1 – 4 pm. That means you can tour the house and gardens, and enjoy a family-friendly presentation to learn about frontier life.

At 2:30 pm, you can enjoy a family friendly program about the history of dogs in the Southwest and their role in Native communities will be presented by Dody Fugate, Curator of Archaeological Research Collections, Museum of Indian Arts and Culture.

Casa San Ysidro: The Gutiérrez-Minge House is located at 973 Old Church Road, Corrales.



Rio Rancho Free Music Concerts

June 26, 2014 by  
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The Rio Rancho free music concerts series is in the swing for summer 2014, offering musical pleasure and any dancing you choose to do on Sunday evenings. They’ve some great acts on the schedule!

Rustle up a picnic and take blankets, lawn chairs or whatever other seating arrangement suits you (probably leave the La-Z-Boy at home) to the Rio Rancho free music concerts for summer 2014. They’re all on Sunday evenings through August 31 2014 and they all run from 6:30 -8 pm at the  Rotary Club Barbeque Pavilion in Haynes Park.

The kids can do their thang on the free fun jumps while you chill out listening to a nice mix of familiar and new performers. The Haynes Park music schedule at time of writing is:

  • June 29: The New Hit Squad
  • July 6: Twisted Mojo
  • July 13: Rio Rancho Jazz Band
  • July 20: Little Hawk
  • July 27: Flyin A’s
  • Aug. 3: St. Wolfe & Company
  • Aug. 10: The New Hit Squad
  • Aug. 17: St. Wolfe & Company
  • Aug. 24: Rio Rancho Concert and Jazz Bands
  • Aug. 31: Recurve

The Rio Rancho free music concerts are of course weather-permitting, at Haynes Park, 2006 Grande Boulevard, Rio Rancho, opposite Intel.



Free Zoo Entry With Free Summer Fun Roadshow

June 23, 2014 by  
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Here’s a fun free morning at the Zoo courtesy of the free summer fun roadshow from our friends Jackie, Tony & Donnie in the Morning at 100.3 The Peak.

You can get free admission to the Albuquerque BioPark Zoo on Thursday July 3, 2014, between
6 am
and 10 am, for the Free Summer Fun Roadshow by Jackie, Tony & Donnie of 100.3 The Peak.

Jackie, Tony & Donnie will be broadcasting live from a tent at the Zoo, and talking with the zookeepers about their animals.

The ABQ BioPark Zoo is firm about the timing in their free summer fun roadshow event details, and if you turn up later you’ll have to pay regular admission. So get there early and allow time to park as it’ll probably be busy.

It’s a great way to get into the zoo for free, and we all know that Jackie, Tony and Donnie are just a super-fun bunch to hang out with.  At the zoo entrance, 100.3 The Peak will be collecting donations to the Roadrunner Food Bank to help feed children in New Mexico. Although zoo admission is free, visitors are asked to take a donation of canned goods or non-perishables.

Albuquerque BioPark Zoo (formerly the Rio Grande Zoo) is located at 903 10th St. SW.



Free Bee & Pollinator Awareness Day: June 22

June 21, 2014 by  
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Free honey tasting, meet beekeepers, and learn all about making your garden bee-friendly, or even keeping bees yourself, at the Bees, Bats, and Butterflies event on June 22, 2014.

Oh yes, it’s a free bee freebie!

So no, you don’t get free bees, but when you buzz down to the Bee, Bats and Butterflies Pollinator awareness day at the Open Space Visitor Center on Sunday June 22 between 10 am and 3 pm, you do get to taste honey and see a bee hive. You can also learn about pollinator-friendly plants to grow in your garden, and meet an Albuquerque beekeeper to find out how you could do it yourself.

Other activities for adults and kids include:

  • Put on a beekeeping suit and have your photo taken (sounds fun! How will anyone know it’s YOU though?)
  • Make a native bee house
  • Make pollinator plant seed balls
  • Make rolled beeswax candles
  • See the Wings of Enchantment Butterfly Life Cycle display
  • 10:30 am: Presentation on the Butterfly Life Cycle, Wings of Enchantment
  • 11:30 am: Bats as Pollinators presentation by William Gannon, a UNM Biologist
  • 1 pm: Mead Making presentation with Phil Grosfblatt
  • 2 pm: Basics of Beekeeping Presentation

They are also promising pollinator plant giveaways. See all the Bee, Bats, and Butterflies Pollinator Awareness Day info at the link.  The bee celebration takes place:

  • When: Sunday June 22, 2014
  • Time: 10 am to 3 pm
  • Where: Open Space Visitor Center
  • Cost: Free!

This is part of the National and New Mexico Pollinator Week, an initiative to raise pollinator awareness of species vital to our food systems and economy. We love the bees here at Albuquerque on the Cheap, and if you’re interested in keeping bees yourself, don’t forget to check out the Albuquerque Beekeepers Group which is a great resource for anyone interested in urban beekeeping.

Open Space Visitor Center is located at 6500 Coors Boulevard NW (between Montano and Paseo del Norte).



National Train Day: May 10

May 7, 2014 by  
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It’s Albuquerque’s  2014 National Train Day event on Saturday May 10 at the Downtown Alvarado Transportation Center.  So what does National Train Day involve? Free strap-hanging? Wishing the gentleman sitting next to us would stop snoring on our shoulder? No indeedy! It looks like a lot of fun with free activities and entertainment.

Albuquerque National Train Day takes place on May 10 from 1 pm to 5 pm and includes:

  • Tours of New Mexico Rail Runner Express, Amtrak, and BNSF rail cars
  • Displays of model trains
  • Mini train rides
  • Explora does its stuff with kids’ activities
  • A rock climbing wall, face painting with Jingles the Clown, solar telescope and other activities
  • Meet the new Rail Runner mascot
  • Hourly raffles with prizes – no purchase necessary
  • Local food vendors (of course!)

Albuquerque National Train Day takes place:

When: Saturday May 10, 2014

Time: 1 – 5 pm

Where: Downtown Alvarado Transportation Center

Price: Free!

If you’re new in town or just not terribly observant, Alvarado Transportation Center is located on the corner of 1st Street SW and Central Avenue.



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