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.



ABQ BioPark Half-Price Weekend July 2014

July 3, 2014 by  
Filed under Attractions, Half Off Deals, Kids

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ABQ BioPark Half Price Weekend

Photo by ABQ BioPark

New Mexico residents always get cheaper admission to the Albuquerque BioPark  than out-of-state visitors. So all you locals,  remember to take your ID when you go to the ABQ BioPark Zoo, Aquarium and Botanic Garden.  Tots aged 2 and under go free.

But everyone near or far gets a price break on admission during the quarterly Albuquerque BioPark Half-Price Weekend on July 19 and 20, 2014.

All individual tickets on this special discounted weekend are reduced by 50%.  That means admission to either the ABQ BioPark Zoo or the Aquarium and Botanic Garden on those dates for New Mexico residents is $4.50 for adults, $2.25 for seniors aged 65+, and $2 for kids aged 3-12.

For visitors to New Mexico, the half-price weekend admission fees are $6.25 adults, $2.75 seniors, and $2 for children.

Seal & Sea Lion Feeding at the Zoo will be at 10:30 am & 3:30 pm daily and Polar Bear Feeding at 2:30 pm daily.

At the Aquarium, divers feed animals in the Coral Reef Tank at 11:30 am and in the Shark Tank at 2 pm daily. The Botanic Gardens conducts tours of the Japanese Garden are given on Wednesdays and on Sundays.

This is the one of a series of slated ABQ BioPark half-price weekends, scheduled every three months. Plan ahead and make the most of this half-price deal!

Military families, remember that military (both active and non-active) always get $2 off adult admission and $1 off children’s admission, with your military ID.

Albuquerque BioPark admission is always free for children aged 2 and under, and of course the BioPark’s Tingley Beach is also always free for everyone.



Free Chick-fil-A on Cow Appreciation Day

July 2, 2014 by  
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Free Chick-fil-A on Cow Appreciation DayI can’t quite believe it’s been a whole year since I last encouraged you to dress up as a cow in order to get free food.  Here we are, all sane and rational people, and yet so many people love this Chick-fil-A Cow Appreciation Day freebie every year! They’re all crazy at Chick-fil-A (in a nice way), and it seems we’re as nutty as they are.

So, here’s the deal. Get a Free Chick-fil-A meal for Cow Appreciation Day at all locations on Friday July 11, 2014,  if you show up fully dressed as a cow. They’ve even got a kit to show you how! (Hey, that rhymes.)

Or if you go partially dressed as a cow, sporting a cow spotted hat, vest, purse or other accessory, you’ll get some kind of free entree item instead of the full combo meal.

The freebie is valid at breakfast, lunch or dinner and there are various options on the combo meals available, all including a beverage. Details on those menu items are in the FAQs at the link. If you take a child in cow costume, they get a free kid’s meal. And they will of course be scarred for life if they are not enthusiastic about cavorting about as a cow. So you’ll have to weigh the pros and cons there regarding the free meal versus years of therapy :-)

To go FULLY dressed as a cow from head to hoof, Chick-fil-A gives you a starter kit for the full Cow Appreciation Day. I have to confess that even though I’ve looked at it several times, I’m still not sure how to transform myself into a cow with it. But you readers are much cleverer than me, and the photo above may help.

This  brilliant bovine day of beauteous bargains is ONLY on Friday July 11, 2014.

So put your best hoof forward, practice moo-ing, and chew the cud at any Chick-fil-A location. If you don’t know the one nearest you, check out the Chick-fil-A locations map.



Albuquerque and New Mexico Fourth of July Free Events 2014

July 2, 2014 by  
Filed under Freebies, Holiday Events, Kids, Music, Parades, Weekend & Day Trips

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New Mexico Fourth of JulyTime to celebrate our freedom with these Independence Day events in and around Albuquerque. Plus some New Mexico Fourth of July events if you feel like going on a trip…

The big 2014 Freedom Fourth party at Balloon Fiesta Park is indeed FREE! (Although there is a parking fee – check out the details below).

Other New Mexico Fourth of July freebie celebrations are in Rio Rancho, Corrales, Madrid, and further afield around the state.  So let’s (erm) go forth: Bring on the fireworks, flags, and fun!


Freedom Fourth – Albuquerque - Friday July 4, 2014

  • Gates open at 3 pm with free admission for all! Freedom Fourth is held at Balloon Fiesta Park, and live entertainment includes five-time Grammy winner, country music star Wynonna Judd at 8 pm. Leading up to that headline act,  you can hear OnQ Chorus (4 pm), Sim Balkey & the Honky Tonk Crew (4:45 pm), Joanie and Combo Special (5:45 pm) and Rudy Boy Experiment (6:45 pm). At 7:45 pm, Manzano Day School will perform the national anthem.
  • Other Freedom Fourth fun includes a car show, kids’ activities, and a cultural stage with entertainment ranging from Irish music and Polynesian dancing to Flamenco.  A microbrew beer garden and food vendors will keep everyone refreshed. Of course, this all culminates in the fireworks display after dark.
  • Parking is $10…  You could save cash (and possibility your sanity) by taking the Park & Ride for $1 round trip; 35c for seniors aged 62+ and children. Kids aged 9 and under ride free.  Take exact change and bus passes aren’t accepted for Park & Ride. Westside pick up is St. Pius High School, eastside is  Coronado Center at the northwest corner on San Pedro, starting at 3 pm until 8 pm to go to the event.
  • There are quite a few “thou shalt nots” at Freedom Fourth - such as don’t take alcohol (although alcohol is available to purchase), so check the City of Albuquerque Freedom Fourth page for the event schedule and info on what you can and can’t take.

Rio Rancho Holiday Parade and Fireworks - Friday July 4

  • Bike Decorating Contest registration starts at 9 am – open to kids and adults with prizes for the kids contest only (natch!) for best decorated, most patriotic, and most original bikes! Register free at the Bank of America parking lot, 3101 Southern Blvd, then join the parade (children must wear a helmet).
  • The Rio Rancho Holiday Parade starts at 10 am, heading east from Country Club Drive down Southern Boulevard, and concluding on Pinetree Road near the Esther Bone Memorial Library and the Rio Rancho Veterans Monument Park.
  • A Declaration of Independence ceremony follows at the Veterans Monument Park, starting at around 11 am.
  • Free fireworks at the Rio Rancho High School football stadium start at around 9 pm – but the stadium opens at 6 pm.

Madrid Fourth of July Parade on the Turquoise Trail starts at noon on July 4, and if you want to watch a baseball game first, get to the Oscar Huber Memorial Ballpark for 10 am.

Corrales Fourth of July Parade and Fun Day starts with the parade at 10 am (from Target Road) and ends at La Entrada Park for the family fun day.

Other New Mexico Fourth of July Events:

If you’re planning to travel around the state, check out these other mostly free New Mexico Fourth of July celebrations.  See each link for more details. (Please bear in mind that depending on weather and fire conditions, firework events may be subject to change. Call ahead before setting off on a long road trip.)

  • Alomogordo The Made in America Fourth of July Parade starts at 10 am, with Freedom Faith fireworks in the evening.
  • Cloudcroft Parade at 2 pm on July 4, followed by various community events.
  • Clovis Smoke on the Water fireworks display follows music concerts in the afternoon
  • Farmington Freedom Days with various events and entertainment run from July 3 – 6. Highlights for July 4 are the Electric Light Parade at 9 pm, and day events including Party in the Park entertainment, a pizza-eating contest, water balloon fight, live music, and a skateboarding competition.
  • Las Cruces Electric Light Parade on July 3 at 9 pm. On July 4, entertainment includes music by Don McLean (American Pie!) and a Beatles tribute band, followed by fireworks.
  • Red River 4th of July Parade at 10 am, followed by live music in Brandenburg Park, with activities for kids and the annual Egg Toss & family games.
  • Santa Fe The Fourth of July fireworks return to Santa Fe High School this year. The event starts at 5 pm with musical entertainment, and they request a $5 parking donation.  The Santa Fe Pancakes on the Plaza fundraiser event ($8, or $7 for advance tickets) takes place as usual in the Plaza from 7 am to noon, with activities and entertainment and, yes, pancakes.
  • Silver City Parade on July 4, followed by an Ice Cream Social, free games for kids, a cakewalk, and live music concerts.
  • Socorro Free Fourth of July festival and entertainment including Al Hurricane & Al Hurricane Jr., El Gringo, and Clan Tynker, all followed by fireworks.
  • Arroyo Seco and Taos The Fourth of July Parade in Arroyo Seco starts at around noon but arrive in good time, you may have to park a little away from the village.  The evening fireworks in Taos start at around 9 pm.
  • Taos Ski Valley Fourth of July Parade starts at 2 pm, the annual Rubber Duck Race is at 3 pm, and the Taos Mountain Summer Music Series from 3 pm to 6 pm offers music from Brent Berry y Tambien, plus volleyball & kiddie play area.

Plenty of places to celebrate a very New Mexico Fourth of July…. completely free or on the cheap! Happy Independence Day!



Free Composting Classes

July 2, 2014 by  
Filed under Events, Freebies

Free composting classes and vermicomposting classes too? I’ll need my rubber gloves for this one!

As far as I’m aware, there are three advantages of composting.  Firstly, it’s a good way to dispose of veggie peelings and other food and organic waste, including leaves and cut grass. (The smart people at the Open Space Visitor Center tell me that food waste is the single largest and least recovered waste stream in the USA.)

Secondly, composting is great for mulching and aeration if you’re into organic gardening, rather than buying commercial fertilizers. And last but not least… it’s free!

I’m no gardening expert. (Mr Cheap has the green thumb around here. With the exception of my lovingly-tended herbs, I usually only have to look at a plant and it withers… even if I have my make-up on.) But I’ve planted a strip of green beans, kale, Swiss chard, and broccoli this season, all nourished by our own compost, and they’re doing pretty well so far. Fingers crossed!

If you’re interested in learning about composting, Bernalillo County Extension Master Composters offer a bunch of free composting classes for all ages at various locations, including vermicomposting or composting with worms.

Although the classes are free they usually require registration before the event, so check details at the link to see where to phone or email to register for each class, as well as full info on times and locations.

Updated dates for summer 2014: These are the upcoming free composting classes for the next few months, but check the schedule in case of additions or changes:

  • July 23 : Home Composting in the Desert 6:00 pm (UNM Continuing Education)
  • July 26 : Home Composting Basics 10:00 am (Palo Duro Senior Center)
  • August 7 : Home Composting Basics 5:00 pm (Los Volcanos Senior Center)
  • August 9 : Composting with Worms (Vermicomposting) 10:00 am (Palo Duro Senior Center)
  • August 17 : Home Composting Basics 1:45 pm (Albuquerque Tomato Fiesta)
  • August 30 : Home Composting Basics 10:00 am (Los Volcanos Senior Center)
  • September 11 : Composting with Worms (Vermicomposting) 5:00 pm (Los Volcanos Senior Center)
  • September 18 : Home Composting Basics  5:30 pm (Loma Colorado Public Library)
  • September 27 : Composting with Worms (Vermicomposting) 10:00 am (Los Volcanos Senior Center)
  • October 9 : Bucket Composting with Bokashi Method 5:00 pm (Los Volcanos Senior Center)
  • October 15-November 8 : Master Composter Training Wednesdays and Saturdays (Bernalillo County Extension Office)
  • October 25 : Bucket Composting with Bokashi Method 10:00 am (Los Volcanos Senior Center)



Free Admission to NM Museum of Natural History & Science: July 6

June 30, 2014 by  
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New Mexico residents get in free to The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science on the first Sunday of every month.  So the next free admission day is this Sunday July 6, 2014, from 9 am to 5 pm.

This Sunday July 6 between 1:30 and 2:30 pm, they’ll also be offering a free guided tour of the museum exhibits, although it’s limited to 14 participants,  for ages 13+. It’s a first-come, first-served basis, so I’d ask about it as soon as you arrive at the museum.

You can visit the  museum’s displays for free, including T-Rex Attack and the Naturalist Center room for kids to see specimens and go ‘hands-on’ with exhibits.

To get free admission on the first Sunday of the month, take your New Mexico ID.  The free admission day saves $7 per adult (aged 13-59), $6 for seniors aged 60+, and $4 for kids (aged 3-12) on the usual ticket price.

Even with the freebie, you have to pay regular admission if you want to go in to the Lockheed Martin DynaTheater or the Planetarium.

New Mexico resident seniors age 60+ also continue to get free admission every Wednesday to the NM Museum of Natural History and Science.

New Mexico Museum of Natural and Science is located in Albuquerque Old Town at 1801 Mountain Road NW.



Free Zoo Admission June 30 Open House

June 29, 2014 by  
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We’ve just had word that admission to the Albuquerque BioPark Zoo will be free to visitors on June 30, 2014.

The ABQ BioPark Zoo will be free to enter on Monday June 30 from 9 am to 5 pm. The Zoo Open House is for the final public information session of the master planning process for the ABQ BioPark.

You’ll be able to see a display of plans and ideas all day in the gazebo just inside the zoo’s main entrance. You’ll also be able to chat with the folks from the planning team and ask any questions between 11 am and 1 pm.  Everyone is encouraged to go to the zoo, see the new ideas, and give your input on the master plan.

Note that the BioPark Aquarium and Botanic Garden is NOT part of the free admission offer. You’ll still have to pay regular admission to those facilities on Monday.

Thanks to Phil for passing on the word to us!



Free Movies Under the Stars

June 26, 2014 by  
Filed under Freebies, Kids, Movies

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Free outdoor Movies Under the Stars for all the family on four Fridays this summer, ending on August 15 2014.

City of Rio Rancho free outdoor movies this summer 2014 are shown on a super-size inflatable screen at dusk and all the movies are family-friendly. The  Movies Under the Stars screenings are all at Cabezon Park and they start at dusk, so grab your picnic, and a blanket or folding chair.

These are the six Friday dates for this summer:

  • June 27 – Little Giants
  • July 11 – Wings of Life
  • July 18 – Dolphin Tale
  • July 25 – The Lego Movie
  • August 1 – E.T.
  • August 15 – The Nut Job

Take your picnic or your popcorn, but no alcohol is allowed.

Obviously the outdoor movies depend on the weather and programs may change, so you can check this City of Rio Rancho link  to find out any updates on Free Movies Under the Stars.



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