Albuquerque’s Old Town Plaza is gleaming at Christmas Eve, with sacks of paper. – Photo courtesy of Steve Larris
Albuquerque accepts the holiday season with a complete calendar of events. Here are some of Duke City’s biggest festivals that will give Scrooge the biggest smile.
There are 25 new ones in Albuquerque this year.Th Annual Winter Spanish Market, November 29-30. Formerly held in Santa Fe, the event is held at the Hotel Albuquerque near the Old Town, the country’s oldest and largest Spanish market. It features the work of more than 100 members of the Spanish Colonial Arts Society and includes traditional tin punching, painting, retablus and other traditional New Mexican art forms.
Also, the weekend of November 29 is the beginning of Cliff’s Magical Christmas. Albuquerque’s favorite cliff amusement park is open until December 29, with light displays for winter, music, holiday food, Santa Claus and amusement rides.
Join Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry as he helps light up New Mexico’s largest manor at the Civic Plaza Chanocah celebration on December 1 at 4:30 pm (401 2nd St. NW). The festivities continue with a kosher dinner at the convention center, with children’s activities and performances by Pink Flamingo and Eli Marks ($ 8 adults, بچے 5 children). Click here for more information and concerns.
Speaking of lights, ABQ Biopark’s annual River of Lights is a lovely tradition in Albuquerque that rocks the crowds from November 30 to January. 5 (Closed on December 24 and 25). New Mexico’s largest light display with carols singing and hot chocolate flowing from 6pm to 9pm, hundreds of light displays reflecting the landscapes of plants, animals and holidays make the earth glow. Admission is $ 10 (children ages 3 to 13 are $ 5; children under 3 are free).
Old Town joins the holiday spirit after Santa Claus arrives on December 6 with its annual Old Town Holiday stroll and tree lights at Don Louis Plaza. Free concerts begin at 4 p.m., with lights at 6:10 p.m., followed by the Santa Parade. Hundreds of luminarias line up at the plaza – the foreground of the thousands of people who flicker on Christmas Eve. On December 24, the entire Old Town is lined up with luminarias as carols sing and hot chocolate flows.
The next day, December 7, Nob Hill is packed with luminarias and family entertainment venues for its annual Nob Hill Shop and stroll and Twinkle Light Parade from noon to 10 pm. The parade starts at 5:15 a.m. from the corner of Central and Gerard and travels west to the center.
New Mexico is predicted to have the best ski season this year, and depending on the snow, the Sandia Ski Area will hopefully open to skiers and shredders this month, and sliders will love the free Sandia Snow Play Area. Tubes and sledding bring families to an open slope south of the ski area, which usually has enough powder for these activities even if the ski area is not yet open. Snowshoeing at an altitude of 10,000 feet on the summit of Sandia Mountain is another popular local activity. Take the Sandia tram to the top, or climb the back of the mountain via high-speed NM 536.