Santa Fe Opera Free Insider Days

June 23, 2014 by  
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Santa Fe Opera free summer talks and backstage tours, and they even throw in the coffee and muffins! Weekly until August 23, 2014.

Santa Fe Opera Free Insider Days give a behind-the-scenes view of the opera on Saturday mornings this summer 2014 through August 23.   Turn up at the Santa Fe Opera – I love that beautiful building high on the hill – and enjoy a free coffee and muffins reception hosted by Opera Guild members, followed by a talk by an Opera staff member, then a backstage tour.

Yep, you’ve got to get up early, they start at 8:30 am. But it’ll be worth it for the Santa Fe Opera free Insider Day experience, and of course the views are just gorgeous.

  • When: Saturday mornings until August 23, 2014
  • Time: 8:30 am coffee and muffins and talk, followed by the tour
  • Where: meet at The Santa Fe Opera Box Office
  • Price: FREE!

If you’d rather go on a weekday, regular Santa Fe Opera backstage tours take place each day at 9 am Monday to Friday until August 22, 2014, with a walk around the costume shop, scene shop and other areas to learn how they put the whole spectacle together. For that you pay $10 or $8 for seniors. Children and young adults aged up to 22 years go free! Again, you meet at the box offices and you don’t need to book in advance.

Santa Fe Opera directions: it’s located at Exit 168 of US Highway 84/285 seven miles north of Santa Fe.

–Tania


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Free Sandia Mountain Natural History Center Geology of the Sandias

August 2, 2013 by  
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The Sandia Mountain Natural History Center is usually closed to the public, but on the first Sunday of each summer month until October 2013 the center runs a series of open days. Visitors have free access to explore, hike, take in the scenery, try geocaching and enjoy the monthly themed activity or presentation.

That means the Sandia Mountain Natural History Center in Cedar Crest is open to all this Sunday August 4, 2013, from 9 am to 4 pm, and admission is free. The next open and free dates are September 1 and October 6.

Usually the 128 acre piñon-juniper forest with over 5 miles of walking trails is only open to school groups, but this Sunday anybody can turn up to hike, spot wildlife from the observation deck and bird blind, do geocaching, or even take a picnic.

At 10 am  on August 4, there will be a presentation on Geology of the Sandias. I went to one of their recent presentations and it was very interesting, then I traipsed around the trails with Mr Cheap. It’s a great opportunity to get outside and enjoy the land – and it’s always a little cooler up in the East Mountains!

Sandia Mountain Natural History Center open day:

  • When: Sunday August 4, 2013
  • Time: 9 am – 4 pm. Presentation at 10 am. No registration required to visit.
  • Where: Sandia Mountain Natural History Center, Cedar Crest
  • Price: Admission is free!

Sandia Mountain Natural History Center is located at 60 Columbine Lane, Cedar Crest. Take exit 175 from
I-40 East, along NM 14 / The Turquoise Trail. Get directions to the Sandia Mountain Natural History Center.

–Tania

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Elena Gallegos Picnic Area Summer Sunset Series

June 26, 2013 by  
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The Elena Gallegos Picnic Area Summer Sunset Series is underway for 2014, with free talks and performances through August 23, 2014.

This Albuquerque Open Space program at Elena Gallegos Picnic Area offers family-friendly events at sunset on Saturday evenings. I often forget about this until it’s part-way through the summer. But it’s lovely up there and a tiny bit cooler than the city center, so there’s a lot to enjoy! Especially if you take a picnic to devour with the views.

The 2014 Elena Gallegos Summer Sunset Series includes talks on subjects from food history to the life of a cop. Entertainment includes storytelling, dance, and live music. Although the events themselves are free, there is a $2 per vehicle entry charge to the park.

All events are on Saturdays at 7 pm, except for Solar Viewing on June 1st which will begin at 5 pm, and all are held at Elena Gallegos Double Shelter Amphitheater. The schedule looking ahead is:

  • June 28: Kevin Caffrey and The San Gregorio Jam Crew will entertain with a night of Beatles Sing-a-long.
  • July 5:The Nahalat Shalom Community Klezmer Band with Rikud Dance Troupe, presenting a concert of Eastern European music and dance.
  • July 12: Flamenco- Kiwanis Shelter. Watch the Students of Casa Flamenca perform Flamenco under the direction of Jesus Muñoz.
  • July 19:  Meet the Birds of Avian Ambassadors – An enchanting bird talk and display by Sid Price of Avian Ambassadors.
  • July 26:  Strange But True Tales of New Mexico – Enjoy an evening of New Mexico stories by talented Storyteller Mary Diecker.
  • August 2:  Poetry and Spoken Word evening featuring various artists led by Gina Marselle.
  • August 9:  Kubatana Marimba Ensemble –Albuquerque’s African Marimba Band will perform Zimbabwe inspired traditional and contemporary music.
  • August 16:  Ballads and Runes in stories and music. The evening of ancient tales and original music is performed by Scott and Johanna Hongell-Darsee and their guests.
  • August 23: Seth Hoffman – Seth is a musical performer who will entertain with songs he’s written describing his travels and the unique characters we encounter on our journey through life.

See the full Elena Gallegos Picnic Area Summer Sunset Series schedule and details including directions.

Elena Gallegos Picnic Area is part of the Albuquerque Open Space system. Find it at the end of Simms Park Road, east of Tramway Boulevard, just north of Academy.

–Tania

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Free Sandia Mountain Natural History Center Wildflowers of the Sandias

May 31, 2013 by  
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The Sandia Mountain Natural History Center is usually closed to the public, but on the first Sunday of each summer month until October 2013 the center runs a series of open days. Visitors have free access to explore, hike, take in the scenery, try geocaching and enjoy the monthly themed activity or presentation.

That means the Sandia Mountain Natural History Center in Cedar Crest is open to all this Sunday June 2, 2013, from 9 am to 4 pm, and admission is free.

Usually the 128 acre piñon-juniper forest with over 5 miles of walking trails is only open to school groups, but this Sunday anybody can turn up to hike, spot wildlife from the observation deck and bird blind, do geocaching, or even take a picnic.

At 10 am  on June 2, there will be a presentation on Wild Flowers of the Sandias. I went to one of their recent presentations and it was very interesting, then I traipsed around the trails with Mr Cheap. It’s a great opportunity to get outside and enjoy the land – and it’s always a little cooler up in the East Mountains!

Sandia Mountain Natural History Center open day:

  • When: Sunday June 2, 2013
  • Time: 9 am – 4 pm. Presentation at 10 am. No registration required to visit.
  • Where: Sandia Mountain Natural History Center, Cedar Crest
  • Price: Admission is free!

Sandia Mountain Natural History Center is located at 60 Columbine Lane, Cedar Crest. Take exit 175 from
I-40 East, along NM 14 / The Turquoise Trail. Get directions to the Sandia Mountain Natural History Center.

–Tania

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Free Sandia Mountain NHC Open Day and Bears

April 5, 2013 by  
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I can’t guarantee you’ll see a bear, but you’ll certainly hear about them!

The Sandia Mountain Natural History Center is usually closed to the public, but the center has started its 2013 series of monthly summer open days when visitors have free access to explore. On the first Sunday of the month until October you can hike, take in the scenery, do a bit of bird-spotting, try geocaching and the solar telescope, and enjoy the monthly themed activity or presentation.

That means the Sandia Mountain Natural History Center in Cedar Crest is open to all this Sunday April 7, 2013, from 9 am to 4 pm, and admission is free.

There is a presentation on bears at 10 am. I’m really hoping to get to this with Mr Cheap, as I want to find out more about bears. I saw a bear in the wild for the very first time last year… on my birthday! That felt like an extra-special birthday gift, although the poor bear took one look at me and ran away. (And I even had my makeup on.)

Usually the 128 acre piñon-juniper forest with over 5 miles of walking trails is only open to school groups, but this Sunday anybody can turn up to hike, spot wildlife from the observation deck and bird blind, do geocaching, or even take a picnic. During the open day a solar telescope will be available to view the sun.

Sandia Mountain Natural History Center open day:

  • When: Sunday April 7, 2013
  • Time: 9 am – 4 pm. Bear presentation at 10 am. No registration required to visit.
  • Where: Sandia Mountain Natural History Center, Cedar Crest
  • Price: Admission is free!

Sandia Mountain Natural History Center is located at 60 Columbine Lane, Cedar Crest. Take exit 175 from
I-40 East, along NM 14 / The Turquoise Trail. Get directions to the Sandia Mountain Natural History Center.

–Tania

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Free Sandia Mountain NHC Open Day

February 26, 2013 by  
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The Sandia Mountain Natural History Center is usually closed to the public, but the center is about to start up its 2013 series of monthly summer open days when visitors have free access to explore. On the first Sunday of each month from March to October you can hike, take in the scenery, try geocaching and the solar telescope, and enjoy the monthly themed activity or presentation.

That means the Sandia Mountain Natural History Center in Cedar Crest is open to all this Sunday March 3, 2013, from 9 am to 4 pm, and admission is free.

Usually the 128 acre piñon-juniper forest with over 5 miles of walking trails is only open to school groups, but this Sunday anybody can turn up to hike, spot wildlife from the observation deck and bird blind, do geocaching, or even take a picnic if it’s warm enough. During the open day a solar telescope will be available to view the sun.

They usually have a presentation or activity at 10 am, and according to the SMNHC’s own website, this Sunday it should be a Spring Ecology Hike.  In any case it’s a great opportunity to get outside and enjoy the land!

Sandia Mountain Natural History Center open day:

  • When: Sunday March 3, 2013
  • Time: 9 am – 4 pm. Presentation at 10 am. No registration required to visit.
  • Where: Sandia Mountain Natural History Center, Cedar Crest
  • Price: Admission is free!

Sandia Mountain Natural History Center is located at 60 Columbine Lane, Cedar Crest. Take exit 175 from
I-40 East, along NM 14 / The Turquoise Trail. Get directions to the Sandia Mountain Natural History Center.

–Tania

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New Mexico 100 Years of Statehood Talk: December 12

December 10, 2012 by  
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I guess this is the last of this year’s free talks in the New Mexico Centennial Speaker & Living History Series at the KiMo Theatre, seeing as the Centennial is just about over.  But hey, it’s a very pertinent subject to wrap up the year!

Tom Chávez presents New Mexico: 100 Years of Statehood at the KiMo Theatre on Wednesday December 12, 2012, at 7 pm, and admission is free.

Historian Chávez looks at the past and the present, the old and new, the traditional and the less traditional aspects of our 100 years of statehood in New Mexico. That includes the multicultural influences that have shaped and defined our unique and absolutely wonderful state.

Dr. Chávez has a Ph.D. in history from UNM, and is the author of eight books of history with three more on the way. (Does the man ever sleep?) He was formerly the director of the Palace of the Governors State History Museum and the Executive Director of the National Hispanic Cultural Center.

The presentation is followed by a meet and greet with the speaker and free gourmet coffee and herbal teas.

This is the closing talk in the New Mexico Centennial Living History Series and doors open at the KiMo at 6:30 pm.

The presentation on New Mexico’s 100 Years of Statehood takes place:

  • When:  Wednesday December 12, 2012
  • Time: 7 pm
  • Where:  KiMo Theatre
  • Price: Admission is free!

The KiMo Theatre is located at 423 Central Avenue NW.

–Tania

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Free Science Cafe: Inside the Megastorm

November 30, 2012 by  
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Free Science Cafe at Los Poblanos Inn and Cultural Center to explore the science around storms like Hurricane Sandy.

New Mexico PBS is hosting a free Science Cafe event and discussion at 10 am on Saturday December 15, 2012, called Inside the Megastorm. They’ll be exploring whether the recent Hurricane Sandy was simply a freak combination of weather systems, or was it an example of increasing intensity in hurricanes due to a warming climate?

Watch a NOVA segment of Inside the Megastorm, find out more, and discuss this hot issue with a local scientist. The event and discussion is held at the lovely Los Poblanos Inn & Cultural Center.

The New Mexico PBS Science Cafe often fills quickly in advance, so make your reservation soon. RSVP by contacting Rose Poston, (505) 277-2396 or email for a reservation. Seats are limited and available on a first come, first served basis.

  • When:  Saturday, December 15, 2012
  • Time:  10 am to noon
  • Where:  Los Poblanos Inn & Cultural Center
  • Cost:  FREE! Reservations required.

Los Poblanos Inn and Cultural Center is located at 4803 Rio Grande Boulevard NW.

–Tania

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The Labs and High Tech in New Mexico Talk: November 14

November 13, 2012 by  
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I’ve just found out about this week’s free event in the New Mexico Centennial Speaker & Living History Series at the KiMo Theatre, and it sounds like a good one. 

Carlos Vásquez presents The Labs and High Tech in New Mexico at the KiMo Theatre on Wednesday November 14, 2012, at 7 pm, and admission is free.

Vásquez is Director of History and Literary Arts at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. He’ll be talking about the historic impact of the Sandia National Labs and the Los Alamos National Laboratory when they arrived in their respective communities. His research explores how the traditional agricultural economy and culture of Los Alamos was influenced by the arrival of the Manhattan Project.

The presentation is followed by a meet and greet with the speaker and free gourmet coffee and herbal teas.

This is part of the New Mexico Centennial Living History Series and doors open at the KiMo at 6:30 pm.

The Labs and High Tech in New Mexico takes place:

  • When:  Wednesday November 14, 2012
  • Time: 7 pm
  • Where:  KiMo Theatre
  • Price: Admission is free!

The KiMo Theatre is located at 423 Central Avenue NW.

–Tania

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New Mexico Health & Wellness Mecca Talk: October 10

October 8, 2012 by  
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The next free event in the New Mexico Centennial Speaker & Living History Series at the KiMo is an illustrated talk about New Mexico’s historical importance as The Place To Go for restorative health and physical and spiritual revival. I live here and I could still do with some of that.

Professor Jake Spidle presents New Mexico: Health & Wellness Mecca at theKiMo Theatre on Wednesday October 10, 2012, at 7 pm, and admission is free!

The good Prof is an Associate Professor Emeritus at UNM and has a boat-load of qualifications behind him that I won’t repeat here, but let’s just say he Knows His Stuff.  Professor Spidle will talk about the ancient settlements near the hot springs of Ojo Caliente and the Truth or Consequences spas that attracted TB patients to the state for healing in the early 20th century.

I always find the health mecca history of New Mexico fascinating, and the role it’s played in the story and commerce of our state, right through to today, and on every level from the physical to the spiritual.  There’s something in the water, right enough. Or maybe the air. Or maybe the green chile?

The presentation is followed by a meet and greet with the speaker and free gourmet coffee and herbal teas.

This is part of the New Mexico Centennial Living History Series and doors open at the KiMo at 6:30 pm.

New Mexico: Health & Wellness Mecca takes place:

  • When:  Wednesday October 10, 2012
  • Time: 7 pm
  • Where:  KiMo Theatre
  • Price: Admission is free!

The KiMo Theatre is located at 423 Central Avenue NW.

–Tania

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I WISH YOU A GOOD LIFE.