A newcomer’s guide to an Albuquerque holiday

By Talullah Begaye / NM News Port

It’s that time of year when snow dusts the Sandias, the wind carries the smell of piñon, lights twinkle and you’re ready to make memories with friends and family. Here are three things to do to keep people entertained (and more importantly to keep the peace.)

Winter Wonderland at Expo NM (Nov. 24–Jan. 2)

Want to get the kids out of the house? Drive through a mile of family-friendly lighted displays at Expo New Mexico and see scenes from familiar movies such as The Grinch Stole Christmas and Frozen. Live actors and princesses join Santa Claus to interact with good little boys and girls. Arts vendors will be there on Dec. 3 for the First Friday Art Walk. Bring toys to donate to the Toys for Tots drive. A portion of the proceeds will go to Carrie Tingley Hospital Foundation and the Ronald McDonald House said event organizer Kori Kobayashi. Tickets and more information can be found at https://winterwonderlandnm.com

River of Lights (Nov. 27-Dec. 30)

Want a holiday date spot? The Albuquerque BioPark Botanical Gardens River of Lights is a walk-through experience of around 600 glowing dinosaurs, ducks, butterflies and other critters. There’s even a Santa’s Workshop for kids to spend time with Santa, which includes s’mores, hot chocolate and ornaments to decorate. The attraction opened its doors for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic. The tickets are timed for only an hour and only booked online. The proceeds made from the attraction go into projects for the BioPark Society. For more information and tickets: https://riveroflights.org

River of lights runs from Nov.27 – Dec.30 not including Christmas eve and Christmas day. Talullah Begaye / NM News Port

Luminaria Tour (Dec. 24)

Want a peaceful way to celebrate the holidays? Each luminaria is made with a brown paper bag, sand (to keep it weighed down) and a votive candle. Lighting them at Christmas is a tradition that dates back to the 1500s. In Albuquerque, many families in the Country Club and Old Town neighborhoods light them on Christmas Eve. You can walk, bike or take the ABQ Ride Tour from the Convention Center: http://luminariatour.com.

Luminaria Tour Route via Luminaria Tour

Talullah Begaye is a reporter for NM News Port and can be reached @thbegaye on twitter.