An ecological scavenger hunt for nature and wildlife-lovers, families, and anyone who just enjoys the great outdoors!
The Sandia Mountain Natural History Center BioBlitz 2013 heads to the hills on the evening of Friday May 17 and continues on Saturday May 18, from 7 am to 2 pm.
This free event is basically a back-to-nature scavenger hunt, where participants (you!) join with scientific experts to hunt for as many living organisms as you can. That includes mammals, insects, birds, reptiles, wildflowers, and trees, and each group of participants is led by a science bod while you collect data on the flora and fauna.
It’s a family-friendly event, and kids can join in. They’ll even have a special family activities tent on Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm, with bug hunts and track making. You can also see birds from Talking Talons, reptiles from the NM Herpetological Society, and a wild fire engine from New Mexico State Forestry.
There are oodles of guided hikes to choose from. For example, you could join the dusk hike or hikes for birding, wildflowers, or reptiles. Note that hikes are up to 2 miles long, and take 1.5 to 2 hours each. They have a limit of 20 participants per hike, so arrive in good time as it’s first-come, first-served.
See the full BioBlitz schedule for details on what’s happening when.
They suggest you wear sturdy shoes and take all usual gear for outdoor activities (hat, sun protection, water, snacks) and you’re also welcome to take a picnic lunch. Take your own cameras and binoculars and field guides if you have them. Leave your pooch at home as dogs are not permitted on site during BioBlitz.
BioBlitz 2013 runs on Friday May 17 from 4 pm to 7 pm, and on Saturday May 18 from 7 am to 2 pm.
It’s organized in conjunction with the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, and takes place at the Sandia Mountain Natural History Center, 60 Columbine Lane, in Cedar Crest. Take exit 175 from I-40 East, along NM 14 / The Turquoise Trail. Full directions to the SMNHC are at the BioBlitz website links above.
Looking for some weekend fun? Good, because Casa San Ysidro and Old San Ysidro Church in Corrales celebrate Corrales Heritage Day 2013 on May 18 from 10 am to 4 pm.
Casa San Ysidro is part of the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History, and tours (usually only offered on specified dates/times) generally cost $4 for adults.
But on Corrales Heritage Day Saturday May 18 you can visit Casa San Ysidro for free, and check out the period rooms in this historic house. You can also see demonstrations of blacksmithing in the forge, spinning, weaving, bread baking in the horno, and other traditional occupations. They’ve had sheep shearing in the past too and the event often includes critters to pet, perhaps a llama or a burro, plus children’s activities. I’ve very much enjoyed watching the blacksmithing here. It was fascinating and I walked away with a nail the smithie had just made. (He gave it to me. I didn’t just steal it!) Visitors may also browse the retablos, jewelry, and other arts and crafts at the traditional Arts Mercado.
Live entertainment includes:
- Puppet show by Loren Kahn Puppet Theatre at 11 and 1 pm, presenting Floppo, the Spanish Frog Prince.
- Frank McCulloch y Sus Amigos play New Mexican music at 3 p.m.
- Watch a burro packing demonstration at 12 noon and 2 pm, when Ron and Pat Rundstrom with their faithful burros show how the early pioneers packed their burros for adventure!
At the Old San Ysidro Church you can watch a video of Heart of the Village: a History of the Old San Ysidro Church and see other historic photos and exhibits of the Corrales Historical Society. They also have kids’ activities like making tin ornaments.
Did we mention that it’s all FREE admission to this historical extravaganza?
The Rio Grande Nature Center is one of my favorite places to escape from the bustle of town and hang out on a sunny day. And I love herbs, so let’s go…
The Friends of the Rio Grande Nature Center present Herbfest 2013 on Saturday and Sunday, May 11 and 12. This free event is an Albuquerque celebration of native plants, herbs, and wildflowers at the Rio Grande Nature Center State Park and the weekend includes a bunch of family-friendly activities:
- Bird walks
- Nature walks
- Gardening and herb talks, and garden tours
- Arts & crafts vendors
- Herbs and plants for sale
- Kids’ crafts
- Live music and a raffle
Check out the entire PDF schedule of free Herbfest 2013 events for more details and to decide which day (or both!) you want to attend.
Note that while admission to the event is FREE for all, there is a parking fee of $3 per car, unless you’re a member of The Friends of the Rio Grande Nature Center.
Rio Grande Nature Center State Park is located at 2901 Candelaria Rd NW.
The Albuquerque Bernalillo County Library is holding fun free events for kids and families from April 24 to April 30, 2013, at various locations. It’s all part of El Día de los Niños – Día de los Libros or Children’s Day – Book Day celebrations. Get a free book, too!
Children’s Day-Book Day is a multicultural celebration that runs over a week at various ABC libraries, with storytellers, music, and drumming. One of the highlights is the presentation by Four Shillings Short of Around the World in 30 Instruments. This is a nationally touring act and they’ll play traditional music from all over creation, including the Americas, Ireland, and Scotland, on 30 different instruments such as the hammered dulcimer, bouzouki, Medieval and Renaissance woodwinds, tin whistles, sitar, and more. Sounds like great fun!
At the end of each free event, children will be given a free book to take home, as long as supplies last.
See the full schedule of Día de los Niños Children’s Book Events at the ABC libraries website, as events may be updated or change times. But according to a press release from the library, this is the line-up:
April 24, North Valley Library, 11 am: Songs and Stories with Sean Etigson
April 25, Tony Hillerman Library, 10:30 am: Storytime Laura Metzler
April 25, Main Library, 10:30 am: Songs and Stories with Andy Mason
April 25, Los Griegos Library, 11:15 am: Storytelling with Steven Plá
April 26, Alamosa Library, 10:15 am: Floppo Puppet Theatre with Loren Kahn
April 26, Westgate Library, 10:30 am: Songs and Stories with Andy Mason
April 26, Ernie Pyle Library, 10:30 am: Around the World in 30 Instruments with Four Shillings Short
April 26, East Mountain Library, 3 pm: Around the World in 30 Instruments with Four Shillings Short
April 27, Cherry Hills Library, 2 pm: Around the World in 30 Instruments with Four Shillings Short
April 27, Juan Tabo Library, 3 pm: Storytelling with Steven Plá
April 27, San Pedro Library, 2 pm: Songs and Stories with Sean Etigson
April 29, Taylor Ranch Library, 11 am: Around the World in 30 Instruments with Four Shillings Short
April 30, South Valley Library, 11 am: Isotopes Storytime
April 30, Erna Fergusson Library, 11 am: Songs and Stories with Andy Mason
April 30, Lomas Tramway Library, 6 pm: Around the World in 30 Instruments with Four Shillings Short
The 13th Annual Park ‘N the Park Car Show zooms into action on April 27, 2013, and admission is free…
The Rio Rancho Park ‘N the Park car show gives auto enthusiasts the chance to be totally awed (or gobsmacked, as we say in my native country) by the vision of around 300 antique and classic cars, and they usually have mucho macho muscle cars, custom cars, trucks, and street rods.
The Park ‘N the Park car show is on Saturday April 27, 2013, from 11 am to 4 pm, and admission is totally free to turn up and watch. As well as admiring the cars, expect live music including Steve’s Crusin’ with the Oldies, plus fun jumps for kids, arts and crafts vendors, food vendors, and general family fun.
If you want to get your wheels on, the Rio Rancho Park ‘N the Park car show takes place:
When: Saturday April 27, 2013
Time: 11 am – 4 pm
Where: Cabezon Park (2305 Cabezon Boulevard) in Rio Rancho
Price: Free admission for spectators
I’ve got an antique car, but I suspect it’s not the kind we’re talking about here… sigh. They’d pay me to drive away from a car show.
Albuquerque Founders Day Fiesta 2013 celebrates the city turning the grand old age of 307, and the Fiestas de Albuquerque party includes music, entertainment, kids’ activities, demonstrations, and more…
Albuquerque Founders Day Fiesta is on Saturday April 20, 2013, from 10 am to 5 pm. Here’s a reminder that all the day’s fun is focused around Old Town, with various areas dedicated to five different eras of our history and heritage: the Native American Era, the Spanish Era, the Mexican Era, the Territorial Era, and the Albuquerque Now Era.
Founders Day free activities on April 20 include:
- Music and dancing at the Gazebo and entertainment throughout Old Town
- 3:30 pm Presentation of Proclamations at the Gazebo and a sing-along of Happy Birthday and Las Mañanitas accompanied by Mariachi Nuevo Sonido and Mariachi San Jose at the Gazebo.
- Kids’ area in Plaza Don Luis and children’s activities including a rock wall for climbing, face painting, and panning for gold.
- Entertainment including Shelley Morningsong, Syd Masters, African American drumming, Red Feather Performers, USA Dance Formation Team, and Yjastros Flamenco.
- Plus a spotlight on Navajo Code Talkers, a Billy the Kid program, demonstrations from santeros and tin makers, and more…
Here’s the full Fiestas de Albuquerque schedule.
Happy birthday Albuquerque! You look better with every new candle on the cake!
To celebrate National Junior Ranger Day and National Park Week, Petroglyph National Monument hosts a day of free activities for kids on April 20, 2013, including see a wolf!
Pack a picnic lunch and take the family to join in the free events at Petroglyph National Monument Visitor Center this Saturday April 20 from 10 am to 3 pm. Here’s the Junior Ranger Day schedule:
- 10 am: See a live wolf with Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary
- 11 am: Safe solar viewing – I guess that’s the solar telescopes!
- 1 pm: See a raptor presentation
- 2 pm: String a shell necklace
Usually, all the participating children have received Junior Ranger awards too. I’ve no idea if that will be happening this year (there’s no mention of it) but we can hope so!
No reservations are needed, and there’s no fee to enter Petroglyph National Monument or to join in the activities. Call them at (505) 899-0205 x333 for any other info.
Tippi Hedren appears in person as the guest with host TCM’s Ben Mankiewicz, at a special screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s Marnie at the KiMo Theatre. Tickets are free, but you need to get yours in advance!
Turner Classic Movies is running a Road to Hollywood Classic Film Festival in multiple cities around the country. They’re bringing that festival to Albuquerque’s KiMo Theatre on April 18 at 7:30 pm, with a screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1964 thriller Marnie, starring Tippi Hedren and Sean Connery. (They’re both deliciously cool and gorgeous, aren’t they?) The movie will be shown in Hi-Def with Dolby sound.
Better yet, Tippi Hedren will be a special guest during the evening, making an appearance with host Ben Mankiewicz of TCM. The info about the event is at the KiMo website, but to join the Hollywood fun, you need to register in advance here for your free tickets.
The only way to get tickets is from the Turner Classic Film Festival link above. Sadly, Sean Connery will not share the stage. This is just as well, as any appearance by Mr Sexy Voice is likely to make me come over all peculiar.
Tippi Hedren was discovered by Alfred Hitchcock when she was a model, and he cast her in all her icy blondeness in The Birds and then in Marnie. Little known fact (here at Cheap Central, anyway): Hedren is the mother of actress Melanie Griffith. Journalist and news anchor Ben Mankiewicz is the weekend daytime host of Turner Classic Movies.
The Tippi Hedren appearance and free screening of Marnie takes place:
- When: Thursday April 18, 2013
- Time: 7:30 pm
- Where: KiMo Theatre
- Price: Tickets are free, but register for a pass at the link above.
The KiMo Theatre is located at 423 Central Avenue NW.
The Albuquerque Public Library Foundation has teamed up with ABC Library to host a new series of community baby showers for new parents and expecting parents. The first one is on March 24, 2013.
The free quarterly events aim to encourage parents to use and enjoy library resources and programs, and foster a love of learning in kids from an early age.
Parents and parents-to-be are invited to the first free Community Baby Shower on Sunday, March 24 from 2:30 – 4 pm at the Erna Fergusson Branch Library. Take baby along too so they can gargle and giggle at other babies while the moms and dads chat too! The event includes crafts, gifts, and a chance to learn about Albuquerque and Bernalillo County library resources and community information.
Partners in the program include St. Joseph Community Health, ABQ Health Partners, the New Mexico Breastfeeding Task Force, March of Dimes, Women, Infants and Children (WIC), and Albuquerque Business Education Compact.
Erna Fergusson Branch Library is located at 3700 San Mateo Boulevard NE.
Feeling star-struck? Take a tour of the constellations and hear about comets at the free and family-friendly Star Party on March 2, 2013.
The Albuquerque Astronomical Society and the Albuquerque Open Space Visitor Center team up to host a star party on Saturday March 2 from 6 pm to 9 pm.
They’ll be studying the heavens with the astronomers’ telescopes to get an up-close-and-personal view of the stars and planets, plus green laser guided tours of the night sky. There will be two talks by Dr. Barry Spletzer during the evening:
- 7 pm – The basics of amateur astronomy.
- 8 pm – A talk on comets and the PANSTARRS comet due in March and the ISON comet due in November.
Astronomy Magazine honored The Albuquerque Astronomical Society (TAAS) with the 2011 Out-of-this-World Award for excellence in public educational programming. I’m not surprised because whenever I encounter TAAS members at public events they are always fantastically helpful and informative, and I’ve seen some amazing sights up in the skies under their expert guidance. They’ll have telescopes on hand, or you’re welcome to bring your own.
The Albuquerque Astronomical Society Star Party goes into orbit:
- When: Saturday March 2, 2013
- Time: 6 pm – 9 pm
- Where: Open Space Visitor Center
- Price: Admission free! No reservations are required.
Note that this will be one of the last events at the Open Space Visitor Center before it closes from March 4 to April 5, 2013, to gussy itself up with improvements to the facility.
Albuquerque Open Space Visitor Center is located at 6500 Coors Blvd NW, between Montaño and Paseo del Norte.