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.
ChamberCHOPS is the Chamber Music Cooperative of the Southwest and you can turn up to enjoy two free concerts this weekend!
I love listening to chamber music whether recorded or – even better – in a live performance. I’m especially atuned to any opportunity to hear it for free. (Yes, that would be a pun. Atuned. Look, I never promised you *good* puns. Just good deals.)
So I was pleased to spot these two ChamberCHOPS free concerts coming up on February 23 at 7:30 pm, and on February 24 at 2 pm. The program for both concerts features work by New Mexico composer Michael Mauldin, including Canyon Light: Four Scenes for woodwind quintet, A’ts’ina: Place of Writings on the Rock for string quartet, and two other pieces for brass quintet. The Hat Box Quartet by Philip Freihofner is also on the roster.
The concerts take place on:
- Saturday February 23, 2013, at 7:30 pm at John XXIII Catholic Community, 4831 Tramway Ridge Drive NE.
- Sunday February 24 at 2 pm at Central United Methodist Church, 201 University Boulevard NE, a block north of Central Avenue.
Admission is free, although they’ll gladly take donations.
The Albuquerque Great Backyard Bird Count on February 16-17, 2013, is a free event for bird-watchers and it contributes to the national bird count compiled by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
If you’re into bird spotting, or you want to find out more about how to identify birds, here’s a quick “tweet tweet” that you might like to join the Great Backyard Bird Count this weekend. It’s a free event at two Albuquerque BioPark facilities, although they’d like an RSVP to know how many people are attending. It sounds like a fun way to get outside, meet other birders, and also help the national effort to create this annual snapshot of migratory birds.
The Tingley Beach Great Backyard Bird Count on Saturday February 16 starts at 8 am, when a volunteer from the Central New Mexico Audubon Society will lead birdwatchers on a hike from Tingley Beach to the Bosque, highlighting local bird species. The event at Tingley Beach runs till noon.
The ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden count is on Sunday February 17 at 8 am. Botanic Garden admission is free for volunteers who arrive at 8 am for the start. If you arrive after 8 am, regular admission will be charged, according to a BioPark press release. Curator Bill Aragon will be on hand to help people spot birds in the garden. The event runs till noon.
They’d like to know who’s coming to count by Friday. So if you want to volunteer, contact the BioPark Education office at 505-848-7180 by Friday February 15.
Take your binoculars! Discovery Stations at both venues will give info on bird-watching techniques and how to identify birds.Volunteers are provided with bird-spotting checklists, and all the info collected will be sent to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to compile with other data from all around the country.
We don’t have to wait till Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta to see the skies dotted with a fleet of balloons!
Love is in the air this weekend in anticipation of Valentine’s Day, with the Free Friends and Lovers Balloon Rally on the mornings of February 9 and 10, 2013. Well over 100 balloons will launch from Balloon Fiesta Park, and it’s free to roll up and watch, so take your sweetie or family to cuddle up to in the cool morning. Balloons launch around sunrise – 7 am. The balloon rally by local pilots is a Valentine’s tradition, organized by the Albuquerque Aerostat Ascension Association.
This weekend also sees the opening of a new exhibit at the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum, to celebrate Albuquerque’s special relationship with hot air balloons and the history of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.
‘We Fill The Sky With Dreams’ opens on February 9 and runs until March 30. If you’re going to the balloon rally on Sunday morning, you’d be smart to head over afterward to see this new exhibit, as Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum admission is free on Sunday from 9 am to 1 pm.
The free Winter Bird and Bat Festival on Saturday gives you a chance to see live bats, and of course, plenty of birds.
Some people are scared of bats (the old “will it get caught in my hair?” fear) but I have a lot of hair, I’ve spent a lot of time around bats, and I’m the biggest wuss you can imagine when it comes to critters. I can honestly report that bats have such a finely honed navigational sense, I’ve never been zapped by one. So I’d say no, bats don’t get caught in your hair. Unless you, like, use one for a pillow. On the other hand, I’ve also spent a lot of time around people who are quite batty, and they are much more likely to get in my hair
Check the bats out for yourself at the Winter Bird and Bat Festival on Saturday January 12, 2013, at the
Rio Grande Nature Center. The free event runs from 10 am – 4 pm, just pay the park admission fee of $3 per vehicle.
The free festival activities include:
- Children’s crafts
- See live raptors plus bird identification with the Audubon Society
- Guided bird walks and nature walks
- A talk on Birds of the Rio Grande Bosque at 11 am
- A Live Bats’ Captive Care Workshop by a bat expert at 12:30 pm
- A Bird Photography talk on “Photographing Sandhill Cranes” at 2 pm
See the full Winter Bird and Bat Festival schedule for 2013 in the PDF at the link.
The Rio Grande Nature Center is located at 2901 Candelaria Rd NW.
Albuquerque’s Books to the Big Screen free movie series celebrates books that have been adapted to film. I’m celebrating too as you don’t have to pay a cent to enjoy these film favorites.
The series runs through January 2013 in an initiative by Albuquerque and Bernalillo County Libraries, partnering with various screening locations including the Guild Cinema and the South Broadway Cultural Center. There are movies here for adults and kids, starting on January 5.
The Books to the Big Screen free movies on the schedule at time of writing are:
- January 5 at 12:30 pm : Wise Blood directed by John Huston, based on the Flannery O’Connor novel, at The Guild Cinema.
- January 12 at 12:30 pm : Watership Down based on the Richard Adams book, at The Guild Cinema.
- January 12 at 2 pm : Charlotte’s Web from the children’s book by E.B. White, at the South Broadway Cultural Center’s John Lewis Theater.
- January 19 at 11 am : Sense and Sensibility from the Jane Austen novel and starring Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman, at the Downtown Main Library on Copper.
- January 26 at 11 am : Little Women based on the Louisa May Alcott classic and starring Winona Ryder, at the Downtown Main Library.
- January 26 at 2 pm : Vertigo, the Alfred Hitchcock thriller starring James Stewart and Kim Novak, based on the French novel by Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac, at the Special Collections Library on the corner of Central and Edith.
Admission is free – check out the Books to the Big Screen site for updates and more info.
Meet a friendly wolf (or two!) on Sunday December 16, 2012.
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 16 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. 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 recent 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 Hokshila the timber wolf for a $10 donation (I think Bindi the wolf will be there too, but don’t hold me to that) and you can shop for wolf calendars, stocking stuffers and wolf-fur filled ornaments, plus buy raffle tickets, to be drawn straight after the presentation.
Arrive early to be sure of a seat at the beginning of the presentation, as late arrivals are not 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 16, 2012
- Time: 12:30 – 2 pm. Arrive promptly for the 12:30 start as late arrivals aren’t guaranteed admission.
- 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.)