Freebies for Kids with Dion’s Club Read

July 10, 2014 by  
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Dion’s Club Read is a great way to encourage kids to read, because they get FREE gifts in return… and maybe a chance to be Orbit’s guest at Isotopes Park!

The Dion’s Club Read program is for for preschool to 5th grade kids, running till July 25, 2014. The program is a partnership between Dion’s Pizza and the Albuquerque Isotopes, so it has a baseball theme – what’s not to love?

Here’s how it works: Pick up a scorecard brochure at a Dion’s location, or download it from the Dion’s Club Read website. After a child reads any six books of their choice (or it’s fine for parents and teachers to read books to youngsters who are still learning to read) they fill in the scorecard with the name of the books and they’ve hit a home run! The completed scorecard earns the student free gifts and a new scorecard. The child receives a different free gift for each scorecard they fill:

  • The prize for the First Home Run (the first scorecard of six books read) is a free backpack and an official Club Read T-shirt.
  • For the Second Home Run (the second scorecard of six books read) the child gets a ticket voucher to watch an Isotopes game, a coupon for a free small drink at Isotopes Park, and a new book.  They also get entered into a prize drawing.

The prize drawing is to win tickets to be Orbit’s guest at the Isotopes game with four Club Level seat tickets, plus a Dion’s Pizza, a Dion’s $20 gift card, and an autographed baseball. AND the child can make a ceremonial first pitch! How cool is that? If this doesn’t encourage kids to read, then I don’t know what will!

The Dion’s Club Read program is for preschool children through 5th grade, and it runs until Friday July 25, 2014.

All the Dion’s locations and details on how the offer works are in the brochure on the Dion’s Club Read webpage.



ABQ BioPark Military Discount

July 9, 2014 by  
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The Albuquerque BioPark military discount gives a price break to active and non-active military personnel visiting the BioPark Zoo, Aquarium, and Botanic Garden. That’s a very good move to thank our service men and women.

The ABQ BioPark military discount on tickets was introduced during 2012, and it gives $2 off adult admission and $1 off children’s admission. The discount is valid for active and non-active personnel, although you do of course need to show your military ID.  The ABQ BioPark military discount is only for general admission, not for any special events such as the concerts at the zoo.

Albuquerque BioPark regular admission for entry into either the Zoo, or the Aquarium and Botanic Garden is:

  • New Mexico residents: $9 for adults, $4.50 for seniors 65+, $4 for kids aged 3-12, and ages 2 and under go free.  Take your New Mexico ID to get the local admission rate.
  • Visitors who are not New Mexico residents: $12.50 for adults, $5.50 for seniors 65+, $4 for kids aged 3-12. And hey, they don’t discriminate against non-New Mexican kiddies. Tots ages 2 and under still go free.

A combo ticket for all BioPark locations is only available on Tuesday to Sunday mornings from 9 am to noon. That’s because if you don’t buy the combo ticket early in the day, you won’t have time to trip round all the BioPark venues anyway. The combo tickets include the fun mini-train rides between the locations.

For New Mexico residents the combo cost is $15 for adults, $8 for seniors, and $6 for kids. For out-of-state visitors, the combo cost is $20 for adults, $10 for seniors, and $6 for kids.

The BioPark’s Tingley Beach is always free for everyone, at 1800 Tingley Dr SW.

Albuquerque BioPark Zoo (formerly the Rio Grande Zoo) is located at 903 10th St. SW.  Albuquerque BioPark Aquarium and Botanic Garden is located at 2601 Central Avenue NW.



Casa San Ysidro Free Day and Frontier Life

July 3, 2014 by  
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Casa San Ysidro offers occasional free admission days with family-friendly activities.

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 Saturday July 12, 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.

At 2:30 pm, you can enjoy a family friendly program about the history of dogs in the Southwest and their role in Native communities will be presented by Dody Fugate, Curator of Archaeological Research Collections, Museum of Indian Arts and Culture.

Casa San Ysidro: The Gutiérrez-Minge House is located at 973 Old Church Road, Corrales.



Free Bee & Pollinator Awareness Day: June 22

June 21, 2014 by  
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Free honey tasting, meet beekeepers, and learn all about making your garden bee-friendly, or even keeping bees yourself, at the Bees, Bats, and Butterflies event on June 22, 2014.

Oh yes, it’s a free bee freebie!

So no, you don’t get free bees, but when you buzz down to the Bee, Bats and Butterflies Pollinator awareness day at the Open Space Visitor Center on Sunday June 22 between 10 am and 3 pm, you do get to taste honey and see a bee hive. You can also learn about pollinator-friendly plants to grow in your garden, and meet an Albuquerque beekeeper to find out how you could do it yourself.

Other activities for adults and kids include:

  • Put on a beekeeping suit and have your photo taken (sounds fun! How will anyone know it’s YOU though?)
  • Make a native bee house
  • Make pollinator plant seed balls
  • Make rolled beeswax candles
  • See the Wings of Enchantment Butterfly Life Cycle display
  • 10:30 am: Presentation on the Butterfly Life Cycle, Wings of Enchantment
  • 11:30 am: Bats as Pollinators presentation by William Gannon, a UNM Biologist
  • 1 pm: Mead Making presentation with Phil Grosfblatt
  • 2 pm: Basics of Beekeeping Presentation

They are also promising pollinator plant giveaways. See all the Bee, Bats, and Butterflies Pollinator Awareness Day info at the link.  The bee celebration takes place:

  • When: Sunday June 22, 2014
  • Time: 10 am to 3 pm
  • Where: Open Space Visitor Center
  • Cost: Free!

This is part of the National and New Mexico Pollinator Week, an initiative to raise pollinator awareness of species vital to our food systems and economy. We love the bees here at Albuquerque on the Cheap, and if you’re interested in keeping bees yourself, don’t forget to check out the Albuquerque Beekeepers Group which is a great resource for anyone interested in urban beekeeping.

Open Space Visitor Center is located at 6500 Coors Boulevard NW (between Montano and Paseo del Norte).



Cheap Family Movies Summer 2014: $1 Tickets

June 8, 2014 by  
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Take your pick of these cheap family movies deals to take the kids to see films for only $1 per ticket. These two summer 2014 programs are through Cinemark and Regal/UA cinemas.

Cheap Family Movies with Cinemark Summer Movie Clubhouse

Albuquerque cinemas participating in the national Summer Movie Clubhouse promotion are Cinemark Movies 8 and Cinemark Movies West. They show different movies each week, all rated either G or PG. All tickets – for adults or children – cost $1.

Get a PDF of movie schedules at these links, and also a coupon for $1 off a Movie Snack Pack, or a candy upgrade:

The $1 movies at Cinemark Movies 8 are on Tuesdays at 9:30 am to July 29.
The $1 movies at Cinemark Movies West are on Wednesdays at 9:30 am to July 30.

Each venue shows the same movie each week, so it just depends which location suits you better, and whether you prefer to go on a Tuesday or a Wednesday.  The program of films is:

  • Tuesday June 10 and Wednesday June 11:  Ice Age: The Meltdown
  • June 17  and 18:  Epic
  • June 24 and 25:  The Croods
  • July 1 and 2:  Turbo
  • July 8 and 9: Not sure yet!
  • July 15 and 16: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2
  • July 22 and 23:  Walking with Dinosaurs
  • July 29 and 30: The Lego Movie

You’ll find Cinemark Movies 8 at 4591 San Mateo Boulevard NE, and Cinemark Movies West at 9201 Coors NW.

Cheap Family Movies with Regal Summer Movie Express

Regal Entertainment’s Summer Movie Express 2014 Family Film Festival starts this week in Albuquerque, also with G and PG rated movie tickets at $1 each. The cheap family movies run every Tuesday and Wednesday at 10 am for nine weeks until August 6.

The Summer Movie Express 2014 Family Film Festival has two participating Regal/UA cinemas in Albuquerque: the Regal Winrock Stadium 16 and Cottonwood Stadium 16.

Movies kick off with these films showing this week and next week:

  • Week 1: Hotel Transylvania on Tuesday June 10, and The Smurfs on Wednesday June 11
  • Week 2: Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2 on June 17 and The Pirates: Band of Misfits on June 18

See the complete Summer Movie Express 2014 schedule at this link.

Just pick up the $1 movie tickets at the box office. It’s the same $1 price whether you’re an adult or a kid. Of course, seating is limited, based on the theatre’s capacity, and tickets are first-come, first-served.

Plan to stand in line for tickets, but it’s probably well worth the effort. And you can spend your saved dollars on popcorn! A portion of the $1 ticket fee for the Summer Movie Express cheap family movies series will be donated to the Will Rogers Institute.

Regal Winrock Stadium 16 is at 2100 Louisiana Boulevard, NE. The Cottonwood Mall Stadium 16 is at 10000 Coors Blvd NW .



Free Fishing Derby: April 12

April 9, 2014 by  
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Fishing Derby at Tingley BeachDad, mom, the kids, couples, singles, anyone who’s handy with a rod is welcome to join a fun day of fishing in the free fishing derby at Tingley Beach.

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.



Opera Southwest Free Event For Kids

March 26, 2014 by  
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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.



50% Off Entertainment Book 2014

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The Entertainment Book is on sale  at 50% off plus FREE Shipping at this Entertainment Book website link. That brings the price of the Albuquerque book down to $20 (usually $40)  for the sale running through March 12, 2014. The half price promotion is valid for any city book.  You can start using the coupons and mobile coupons now, until December 2014.

The Albuquerque / Santa Fe Entertainment Book for 2014 includes 570 coupons including 2-for-1 coupons, 50% off discounts, freebies with purchase, and other ways to save. The coupons are for local attractions, entertainment, leisure, shopping and casual and fine dining. Right now I’m seeing 243 restaurant coupons and 139 shopping coupons, to name just two categories.

The book purchase includes online and mobile coupons.

Currently I’m spotting coupons for Tucanos Brazilian Grill, Golden Pride Chicken & Ribs, Pizza Hut, Burger King, Arby’s, Boston Market, Mary & Tito’s, Prairie Star Restaurant & Wine Bar, Albuquerque Little Theatre, Hinkle Family Fun Center, Albuquerque Indoor Karting, several bowling venues, Rattlesnake Museum,  Putt-Putt Golf & Games, ABQ Jump,  iT’Z, National Museum Of Nuclear Science & History, Best Buy, Payless Shoe Source, Famous Footwear, Family Dollar Stores, Big 5 Sporting Goods, The Gap, and too many more to mention…

See more details on the Entertainment Book 50% Off and Free Shipping sale at the link. The sale continues under March 12, 2014, and it is valid on the coupon books for all American cities nationally.


–Tania FYI I’ve given you my Entertainment Book affiliate links.


Free Meet A Wolf

December 12, 2013 by  
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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 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.)



Bugg Lights Christmas Display

December 12, 2013 by  
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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.



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