Albuquerque is a city of contrasts. The Old Town dates back to 1706, when it was founded as a Spanish colony, and today, the area features historic architecture reflecting its colonial period. The modern downtown, sitting high in the desert, offers museums, galleries, and a robust culinary scene highlighting the area’s famous chilies.
The city’s close proximity to hiking, mountain biking, and other outdoor activities makes it a haven for lovers of the outdoors. A favorable economy and an active artistic community only add to the overall vibe of this dynamic city. Perhaps best known as the home of the International Balloon Fiesta, New Mexico’s largest metropolis attracts visitors from all around the world. Here are a few of the best activities for family fun.
Indian Pueblo Cultural Center~
Long before the Spanish arrived in New Mexico, this region was home to a large variety of Pueblo people. The fascinating and diverse history of these indigenous people is excellently portrayed in this educational museum, which is filled with art, history, and a series of cultural events.
New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science~
“Jurassic Park” comes to life in the form of enormous fossil exhibits, including a T-Rex skull, which is sure to delight kids of all ages. Thanks to the IMAX theater, 75 million years of history, and extensive hands-on exhibits, the whole family will relish a visit to the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science.
International Balloon Fiesta~
Image via Flickr by Woody H1
For a full week each year, the sky over Albuquerque is filled with a rainbow of colors as almost 600 balloons launch every single day during the International Balloon Fiesta. Many describe this festival as essential for any bucket list, due to the beauty, color, and spectacle it offers. Single- and multi-day passes are available, so the whole family can join in the fun.
Sandia Peak Tramway~
Climbing 2.7 miles from the desert below to the 10,378-foot summit of Sandia Peak, this tramway is the longest in the world. The views are spectacular any time of day, but sunset is especially striking. Upon arrival at the top, visitors can enjoy hiking or some lunch and shopping at the small welcome center. However, the main attraction is the view.
Maxwell Museum of Anthropology at the University of New Mexico~
It isn’t often that a university is considered a family-friendly attraction, but the University of New Mexico’s small campus offers up many art exhibits, several museums, and a performing arts center. It’s easy to find many lodging options near the newly renamed Dreamstyle Stadium, which is the epicenter of the campus. The Maxwell Museum of Anthropology also has a wonderful collection of ancient Mimbres ceramics.
In addition to these sights, Albuquerque offers up parks, colorful cafés, and water parks that offer enough activity to satisfy all members of the family and keep them wanting to return for more. Albuquerque’s dry climate and high altitude make for a pleasant climate, and the city has an extraordinary number of options for outdoor fun, culinary adventure, and cultural highlights.