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.
Celebrate Noche de Luces at the historic Casa San Ysidro. It’s free for all the family on December 7, 2013.
Casa San Ysidro in Corrales is part of the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History, and tours (only offered on specified dates/times) generally cost $4 for adults. In any case it’s closed during December and January. UNLESS….you get in the holiday spirit and join them for the free Casa San Ysidro Noche de Luces event this Saturday, December 7 from 5 – 8 pm.
Casa San Ysidro celebrates the holiday season by welcoming one and all to enjoy its decorations of farolitos and holiday greens. The free event includes a craft activity, a display of traditional New Mexican artifacts, and music by Breaking Blue in the grand sala. They will also be serving hot cider and cookies. Tra-la-la! Wrap up warmly as much of the activity is outdoors.
Casa San Ysidro Noche de Luces celebration takes place:
- When: Saturday December 7, 2013
- Time: 5 pm – 8 pm
- Price: Free admission for all
Casa San Ysidro is located at 973 Old Church Road in Corrales.
The 2013 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree is on its way from Washington State to Washington D.C. and that means we get to see it in Albuquerque! This year’s tree is an Engelmann Spruce standing 88 feet tall – that’s a whopping 15 feet taller than last year’s tree! The tree is being transported on a massive great truck, tied down with 4,000 feet of parachute cord. You can bet your life I’ll find myself driving behind that baby.
The tree will be on display in Albuquerque on Friday November 15 from 4 pm to 6 pm at the New Mexico National Guard Armory Building, 600 Wyoming Boulevard NE. According to an Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau press release the free event includes hot chocolate, cookies, live music, and crafts for kids. I believe there will be some kind of viewing platform to see some of the ornaments that were created by Washington State school children. During the event you can also donate a new, unwrapped toy for the Marine Corps Toys for Tots collection.
(Note: The official U.S. Capitol Christmas tree site says the tree will be in Albuquerque from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm, so turn up early if you want and take your chances.)
The tree is on its way to the U.S. Capitol, where it will be decorated and ceremonially lit. Each year, a different National Forest provides the tree and this year it’s the Colville National Forest in Washington State.
The last time New Mexico supplied the Christmas tree was in 2005 from the Santa Fe National Forest, so it probably won’t be our turn again any time soon. This is your chance to see the People’s Tree before it heads to the U.S. Capitol lawn, to be lit by House Speaker John Boehner and admired by people all over the world.
If this inspires you to think about your own Christmas tree, don’t forget about the Home Depot Christmas light trade-in deal I mentioned in a previous post, running until November 17.
Despite the posh-sounding name, the Rio Grande Cup is an event for radio-controlled model sailboats, which I think is actually more fun! And it’s free to cheer the boats on…
The 6th annual Rio Grande Cup Regatta 2013 sets sail this weekend on October 26 and 27 at Tingley Beach, captained by the Duke City Model Yacht Club. I reckon kids (of all ages) would love to go for a walk around the model boat pond to see the fleet of boats race, and I know there’s a lot of skill in racing these model boats, so I expect the competition will be fierce. Landlubbers can go and watch for free, and let’s just hope there are no pirates…
The Rio Grande Cup races start at 11 am on both October 26 and 27. They will race until 4:30 pm on Saturday with a lunch break for the skippers to stock up on vittles. On Sunday, the racing is from 11 am until about 1 pm, followed by a trophy presentation at 1:30 pm.
The Duke City Model Yacht Club will also be doing practices at Tingley Beach on Friday afternoon, October 25, so if you’re in the ‘hood, you could drop by and watch those too.
Tingley Beach is part of the ABQ BioPark at 1800 Tingley Drive SW.
Coronado State Monument’s free event this Saturday for all the family…
The Fiesta of Cultures at Coronado State Monument celebrates New Mexican traditions on Saturday October 19, 2013, starting at 10 am.
Admission is free and you can expect to see arts and crafts people and demonstrations too, including drum carving and forging a horseshoe. The event is very much geared towards families with activities to keep the kids occupied. They usually have live musical entertainment too, although I haven’t had any word on that this year. Of course, it’s also a nice opportunity to tour the murals in the Painted Kiva and enjoy the John Gaw Meem architecture at the Visitors’ Center. Food vendors? Yep, so you can snack while enjoying the view.
Coronado State Monument Fiesta of Cultures gets festive:
- When: Saturday October 19, 2013
- Time: From 10 am to 3 pm
- Where: Coronado State Monument, Bernalillo
- Price: Admission is free!
Coronado State Monument is just off I-25, at exit 242, in Bernalillo.
The Local Food Festival and Field Day at the Gutierrez-Hubbell House is a celebration of Albuquerque history, culture and farming. It’s true to its name, with family fun including free food tastings from Albuquerque chefs, gardening and food preservation workshops, kids activities, tours, live music, and even a homemade pie contest!
The 2013 Local Food Festival and Field Day is held this Sunday October 13 from 11 am to 4 pm at the Gutierrez-Hubbell House and Demonstration Farm. In previous years, the organizer told me around 3,000 people went, so it should be lively down on the farm!
Admission is free to all, and celebrations at the sixth annual Local Food Festival and Field Day include:
- Free food tastings and Albuquerque chef demonstrations
- Free tours of the historic Historic Hubbell House and farm, and walk the nature trail.
- Free homesteading workshops and talks on food preservation, gardening and urban farming, and beekeeping, plus a seed giveaway.
- Kids’ activities include a climbing wall, face painting, petting zoo, story time, kids’ sack races, and seed spitting contests.
- Workshops for kids include leather crafting!
- A Youth Showcase Parade.
- Free film screenings.
- A South Valley cycling tour
- Live music including Mala Mana and Cactus Tractor.
If you want to enter the home cook pie contest sponsored by Edible magazine, sign up fast! Admission is free and there are prizes to be won. The emphasis is on local pies featuring at least one ingredient grown or produced in New Mexico, such as fruit, pecans, or pumpkin. There are categories for adult cooks and for kids too. You have to register online for the Edible Pie Contest by 5 pm on October 10, then take your pie to the Local Food Festival on Sunday.
The Local Food Festival and Field Day is held at Gutierrez-Hubbell House, 6029 Isleta Blvd SW, Albuquerque, 3 miles south of Rio Bravo.
The Music on the Rocks festival twangs up its guitar strings on Saturday August 24, 2013. It’s free for all and family-friendly.
Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort hosts the free Music on the Rocks festival, featuring live music from a host of performers including headline acts Ryan McGarvey and the Sean Healen Band. Lots of dancing! And it’s cooooool in them there mountains, in every sense of the word. They also reckon they’ll have some kind of art happening in the meadow, although I went to Music on the Rocks in 2012 and I don’t remember the art so much. Then again, I might not have been looking in the right direction. I’m usually not.
Even though it was rainy last year, the music was fab and we all had a good time dancing. I had mud up to my knees and I loved every minute of it! Mr Cheap and I filled up on some pretty good food too. It was casual fare, but very tasty and reasonably priced.
Music on the Rocks 2013 runs on Saturday August 24 from 10 am – 10 pm, and the headline acts at the free concerts are Ryan McGarvey and the Sean Healen Band. Other performers at the event are Main Street Garage Band, Pawn Drive, Jeromino Keith, Eric George, Prudy Dimas, Steady Rollers, and Jenne McIntosh.
Sipapu is about a 2.5 hour drive from Albuquerque via Santa Fe, 20 miles southeast of Taos. Get directions to Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort.
If you want to stay over, Sipapu *may* still have some lodging available. Lodging is a mere few steps away from the festival stage, so it’s very convenient to run back to if you get overwhelmed by too much partying.
You might also be able to take advantage of the Sipapu lodging deal to stay two nights and get the third night free with the promo code: ULTIMATE FREE FAMILY VACATION. That 3rd night free deal is available on hotel rooms, cabins, suites, and lodge rooms until October 17, 2013, with some blackout dates. Call 800-587-2240 for lodging info.
It’s the Mayor’s annual picnic in Rio Rancho this weekend, and the Sunday is Funday event features a Superheroes theme. Specifically a “Superheroes…Bullying Stops Here!” theme.
Mayor Swisstack’s Rio Rancho Sunday is Funday event on Sunday August 18, 2013, offers lots of family fun from 12 noon to 4:30 pm.
Admission is free to the Rio Rancho Sunday is Funday, which has now officially changed its name to the Tony Popper Memorial Mayor’s Sunday is Funday. The event includes Mayor Swisstack’s fun pentathlon, live music, and activities for kids including clowns, jumps, and a rock climbing wall. You can also browse vendor booths from local businesses.
Parking is $3 per car at the Rio Rancho High School, and you will need to pay for your food too of course, although it’s usually inexpensive so you can feed the kids without breaking the bank.
Rio Rancho Sunday is Funday:
- When: Sunday August 18, 2013
- Time: Noon to 4:30 pm
- Where: Rio Rancho High School, 301 Loma Colorado Boulevard, Rio Rancho, just west of Loma Colorado Park.
- Admission: Free, but parking at Rio Rancho High School is $3 per car.
If you haven’t made it yet to the 2013 summer program of Casa San Ysidro free admission days on the second Sunday of the month, your last chance is coming up!
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 Sunday August 11, 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.
This Sunday August 11, 2013, from 1 – 4 pm, the Casa San Ysidro free program features demonstrations by a blacksmith and a hide-tanner. At 2:30 pm you can see a piece of living history as Edward Wallace gussies up in period costume and presents a Chautauqua-style portrayal of mountain man Jim Beckworth.
Beckworth was a real historical character who overcame slavery and established a life as a frontier hunter, trapper, guide, and hotel operator. (Hotel operator? I guess we’re resourceful here in New Mexico and always have been!) Edward Wallace will tell us all about it in his performance of “From Slave to Super Star.”
Casa San Ysidro: The Gutiérrez-Minge House is located at 973 Old Church Road, Corrales.