Albuquerque’s 8th Annual Free Fishing Derby takes place on Saturday April 12, 2014, from 7:15 am to 4 pm.
The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish will stock 5000 rainbow trout for the fishing derby, and 200 fishing derby prizes are up for grabs for those catching a tagged rainbow trout between 7:15 am and 4 pm.
The Tingley Beach Fishing Derby is for all ages, although you need a New Mexico fishing license to take part if you’re aged 12 years or older. If you don’t have one, they’re no longer for sale at Tingley Beach but the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish gives a list of where to buy a NM fishing license. I understand that the nearest vender to Tingley Beach is at the Kmart on Central Avenue, west of the river.
During the fishing derby, the Tingley Beach Café and Convenience inside the Tingley Station will be open and selling food and drink.
Note that Tingley Beach will close the evening before, at 5 pm on Friday April 11, to prepare for the derby.
The Tingley Beach Free Fishing Derby gives a nod to the rod:
- When: Saturday April 12, 2014
- Time: 7:15 am to 4 pm
- Where: Tingley Beach
- Price: Free, but you must have a valid fishing license.
No registration is required for Saturday’s fishing derby, just turn up. Tingley Beach is part of the ABQ BioPark.
If you’re looking forward to the free outdoor summer concert series by Albuquerque Concert Band, then we’ll keep you posted on those nearer the time. Meanwhile my lovelies, you’ll be pleased to hear they’ve got a free concert coming right up.
The next Albuquerque Concert Band free concert is on Sunday April 6 at 3 pm. It will be a combined concert with the Mesilla Valley Concert Band from Las Cruces. It will also feature tuba soloist Derek Manteufel, the 2014 winner of the Bruce Kroken Memorial Scholarship. Young Derek is a senior at at Eldorado High School, and he’s been the principal tubist of the Albuquerque Youth Symphony, the New Mexico All State Symphonic Band, and the New Mexico All State Symphonic Orchestra. That’s a lot of achievement. Way to go Derek!
The concert will be held at Volcano Vista High School, 8100 Rainbow Boulevard NW.
Here are some free audio samples from the Albuquerque Concert Band recordings to get you in the mood. The band usually plays a variety of music from big band classics to Scottish dances and rousing symphonic marches. The Albuquerque Concert Band has been entertaining Albuquerque for more than 40 years, and I so love this band and the music they play!
If you’re ready to step into spring and get into the Great American Outdoors then plan ahead for National Park Week 2014.
Usually during National Park Week we get free access to parks for the whole week. This year they seem to be cutting back, as the free admission to parks is only on the opening weekend: April 19-20.
Still, those fee-free days means you can enter every one of the country’s 400+ national parks for free – and we’ve got plenty to choose from in New Mexico!
During the Free National Park Days from on Saturday April 19 and Sunday April 20, 2014, all national parks that usually charge for entry waive the admission fee and you can explore without paying a cent. It’s a good excuse to plan a day trip to visit a park you don’t know yet, or return to an old favorite, with options from the Grand Canyon to Yosemite.
The New Mexico National Parks with free admission on April 19-20 include:
- Aztec Ruins National Monument
- Bandelier National Monument
- Capulin Volcano National Monument
- Carlsbad Caverns National Park
- Chaco Culture National Historical Park
- El Morro National Monument
- Fort Union National Monument
- Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument
- Pecos National Historical Park
- White Sands National Monument
Wherever you’re going, check the links above for current conditions at the park in case they have any special weather or other park alerts or info you need to know, and some may have free events
If you’ve got kids and want to introduce them to opera in a fun, participatory way, this Puccini & Popcorn event might be just the ticket.
The Opera Southwest Puccini & Popcorn event on Saturday April 5, 2014 at 2 pm is free to children and their parents, although you need to make reservations in advance. The event is usually suitable for youngsters aged 5 – 15. Opera Southwest runs the program at the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History. This session will feature Oliver Prezant, the music director and conductor of the Santa Fe Community Orchestra. He’ll be joined by soprano Cecilia Leitner singing arias by Mozart and Puccini.
In addition to exploring opera, they’ll serve light refreshments to help inspire the muse!
Puccini and Popcorn runs from 2 – 3:30 pm on April 5. If you want to tune-up to opera, book your space using the form at the Opera Southwest site as they make it very clear they need to know who’s coming, spaces are limited, and you can’t just arrive without notice.
Mr Cheap often sings his version of opera in the shower and boy do I wish he’d take a workshop. Unfortunately, he’s a little over the target age range for this event. No, I’m not going to sing a duet with him as that would only make the suffering worse.
Albuquerque Museum of Art and History is located at the corner of Mountain Road and 19th Street, in Albuquerque Old Town.
The Antiques Roadshow TV program visits Albuquerque this summer, and you can get free tickets to see the old-time fun. Maybe even discover that the gorgeous / hideous / just very strange antique thingamabob you inherited is actually worth a fortune!
The Antiques Roadshow will be in Albuquerque on Saturday July 19, 2014. The program is PBS’s highest-rated ongoing primetime series. As part of the summer production tour, New Mexico PBS will host Antiques Roadshow for the all-day appraisal event.
Now through Monday April 7 you can apply online for a pair of Albuquerque Antiques Roadshow free tickets. The form asks if you prefer a morning, midday, or afternoon admission time although they say there are no guarantees.
Applicants will be selected at random to receive two tickets to visit the Antiques Roadshow set and be considered for broadcast. I understand that 6,000 ticketed guests will receive free valuations of their antiques and collectibles from specialists from the country’s leading auction houses and independent dealers. Each guest is invited to take two items for appraisal.
Also, if you have some antique furniture that is just waiting to become famous on TV, the program is now accepting antique furniture applications. A few pieces will be selected for appraisal and display on the set. Those chosen items will be transported from your home to the Antiques Roadshow set for free. Send photos of your furniture to audition at this link. Note that they only want antique furniture for this, not other kinds of antiques. (Your collection of antique chile memorabilia won’t cut it. You’ll just have to apply for free tickets, hope you get in, and take them along yourself.)
This is the third time Antiques Roadshow will have filmed in New Mexico and they expect guests to take more than 10,000 items in total to be appraised. The Albuquerque taping will appear in three episodes of Antiques Roadshow in the 2015 season.
While admission to Antiques Roadshow will be free, you do need to have tickets and apply in advance at this Albuquerque Antiques Roadshow link. You can also call toll-free 1-888-762-3749. Whatever you do, do it on or by Monday, April 7, 2014 to get your name in the random drawing.
Hey, if you find out you have a masterpiece on your hands, please leave a comment here to tell us before you set off for your Caribbean island…
Albuquerque Philharmonic Orchestra gives two free concerts before Christmas, so if you can’t make one evening, go to the other!
The two free Albuquerque Philharmonic Orchestra concerts are on December 20 and 22, both at 7:30 pm.
Both classical concerts feature the same program of the popular Peer Gynt Suite by Edvard Grieg, Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto, and Symphony No. 4 by Robert Schumann.
The violin soloist will be David Felberg, who is usually the Albuquerque Philharmonic conductor. As we have the pleasure of hearing Mr Felberg fiddling this time, the guest conductor is Thomas Shoebotham, formerly Music Director of the Palo Alto Philharmonic, and guest conductor of the St. Peter’s Chamber Orchestra of Redwood City and the San Francisco Concerto Orchestra. He’s also done quite a few stints with the Albuquerque Philharmonic before, so his baton will feel quite at home here.
The free Albuquerque Philharmonic Orchestra concerts take place:
- Friday December 20, 2013 at 7:30 pm at Immanuel Presbyterian Church, Carlisle & Silver SE.
- Sunday December 22, 2013 at 7:30 pm at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, 5301 Ponderosa NE.
I went to one of the Albuquerque Philharmonic Orchestra concerts in October and it was a real knockout. It was beautiful to hear this incredible music in a relatively intimate setting – so close that you can feel just about every vibration in your body.
Thank you very much to the Albuquerque Philharmonic for giving us the chance to hear such wonderful classical music by such accomplished musicians – not even on the cheap, but totally free!
Meet a friendly wolf (or two!) and celebrate the “Howl-i-days” on Sunday December 15, 2013.
This free wolf encounter event is one to note on your calendar for Sunday if you’re as fascinated as I am by these beautiful and mysterious beasts. Meet the real thing for yourself in a Wolf Meet and Greet presentation on December 15 at 12:30 pm at the Open Space Visitor Center.
Stephanie Kaylan of the Wanagi Wolf Fund will take at least two of her friendly wolves or wolf-dogs along. Hokshila the timber wolf will be there, and Bindi the wolf too. I know from experience that Stephanie is a very lively and interesting speaker on the subject of wolves and their relationship with humans. In fact, you can read my profile of her in a series I wrote of MSN.com Albuquerque Insider Profiles for their Re:Discover Albuquerque project.
The family-friendly event is free, although donations to the non-profit Wanagi Wolf Fund are welcome as this is a holiday fundraiser. There will also be a photo-op with a wolf for a donation. You can shop for wolf calendars, stocking stuffers and wolf-fur filled ornaments, and check out the raffle.
It’s usually wise to arrive early to be sure of a seat at the beginning of the presentation, as late arrivals are not always guaranteed admission.
Interesting note: Wanagi is Lakota for “The one who guards and protects the spirits of those who have passed onward.”
- When: Sunday December 15, 2013
- Time: 12:30 pm
- Where: Albuquerque Open Space Visitor Center
- Price: Admission is FREE but donations to the Wanagi Wolf Fund and Rescue are very welcome.
Albuquerque Open Space Visitor Center is located at 6500 Coors Boulevard NW. (East of Coors at the end of Bosque Meadows Road, between Montano Boulevard and Paseo del Norte.)
The Bugg Lights Christmas Display twinkles on selected evenings until December 24, 2013.
Albuquerque’s traditional show of the Bugg Lights Christmas Display is free to visit through the holiday season, although it’s not open every evening – see the schedule below. The intricate display featuring animals and popular characters was originally created by the Bugg family (talk about one-upmanship on your holiday lights!) but has found a home for the last several years at Menaul School.
You can also see Santa Claus and enjoy festive entertainment with a different line-up of performers each evening including Sunset Mesa Choir, Dukes of Albuquerque, First United Methodist Church Choir, Folklorico del Valle, and more.
Although the Bugg Lights Christmas Display is free and open to all, you gotta bet your big black Santa boots that they do accept donations.
The Bugg Lights Christmas Display 2013 is on show on the evenings of:
- Friday December 13 and Saturday December 14, at 6 pm to 9 pm
- From Friday December 20 every night through Monday December 23, at 6 pm – 9 pm
- Christmas Eve, Tuesday December 24, at 6 pm – 10 pm
The Bugg Lights Christmas Display is located at Menaul School, 301 Menaul Boulevard NE, just east of the Broadway intersection. Access the campus from the Menaul entrance.
Coronado State Monument’s free Christmas event for all the family puts a festive glow in the ruins and includes cider and biscochitos! The monument’s name was recently changed. It is now called the Coronado Historic Site, but a lot of people won’t have caught on to that yet. I can’t get into the habit of calling it anything but the Coronado State Monument (sounds a lot more impressive to me too!) but I will be a good girl and refer to it by the correct name from now on.
The Christmas at Kuaua event at Coronado Historic Site lights up the luminarias on the evening of Sunday December 8, 2013, 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. I believe there will also be night sky viewing with the Rio Rancho Astronomical Group.
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 8, 2013
- 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.
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 year the Twinkle Light Parade and Nob Hill Holiday Shop and Stroll are both combined again in Nob Hill on the same day: Saturday December 7, 2013.
The Nob Hill Holiday Shop and Stroll runs from from noon to 10 pm on December 7, when everyone hobnobs in Nob Hill with street performers, mariachi groups, and carol singers to get us into the festive spirit. They close Central Avenue off to cars between Girard and Washington between those hours, so pedestrians can wander at will along historic Route 66. Of course there are lots of shopping opportunities, with many boutiques staying open late, some stores offering discounts, and a lively atmosphere in the restaurants.
- There will be photo ops with Santa Claus – he usually rolls by on the Twinkle Light Parade too.
- A jolly trolley from Albuquerque Trolley Co. will run free shuttle rides along Central between noon and 4 pm.
- Albuquerque Film & Media Experience will show a free outdoor screening (bundle up!) of the movie National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation at 7:45 pm. That’s at 3712 Central Ave, between Hermosa and Solano.
- O’Niell’s Pub will serve free coffee and cider on the enclosed patio.
The Nob Hill Holiday Shop and Stroll map gives all the skinny and shows what’s happening where.
If you download the PDF of the Nob Hill Shop and Stroll program you’ll find a few coupons too, although not as many as in previous years.
- 10% off one item at Gertrude Zachary
- $10 off at Yanni’s Mediterranean Grill when you order two entrees (valid to January 1, 2014)
- 10% off at Yanni’s new Lemoni Lounge (valid to September 1, 2014)
The Twinkle Light Parade starts glitzing at 5:15 pm on December 7, 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 100 floats (cars, horses, 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.