It’s no secret that Albuquerque is a haven for lovers of the great outdoors. We put together a guide outlining the best free and almost free things to do outside this summer.
Get Your Zen on at the Open Space Visitor Center
Tuesday – Sunday, 9am – 5pm
The Visitor Center overlooks 18 acres of agricultural land for the benefit of wildlife with indoor and outdoor viewing areas where you can watch Sandhill cranes, geese and other birds make use of the area. The calm, serene space also houses an art gallery with rotating exhibits that interpret and celebrate the natural and cultural resources of our city. Yoga classes are held every Sunday.
Visit Sandia Lakes
Daily, 7am – 7pm
Owned and maintained by Sandia Pueblo, the three lakes are kept in pristine shape and are surrounded by plenty of shade trees and lush grass to lounge in. Entry to the property ranges from $2 – 4 while fishing fees are upwards of $20. More info here.
Check Out the Petroglyphs
Petroglyph National Monument
Daily, 8:30am – 4:30pm
The Petroglyph National Monument is a hiking trail along the western edge of Albuquerque. The area is well known for images that were etched into the lava rocks that sprinkle the landscape. The trail is also home to the “three sisters,” three dormant volcanoes that dominate the western view of the city.
Catch a Movie in the Park
Neighborhood Parks Throughout Albuquerque
Fresh evening air, open space, and a family friendly movie- what’s not to love? Bring a lawn chair or picnic blanket and your favorite snacks to munch on. Where Burquenos go, food trucks follow so food truck eats will usually be available. Find a full list here.
Spend a Day in the Sandia Foothills
Daily, 7am – 9pm
More than 5 trails and numerous picnic areas are sprinkled throughout the Sandia foothills. Trails range from easy to moderate with elevation gains allowing hikers to easily distinguish three zones: dessert, forest and above treeline. Trailheads provide access to foothills trails as well as the Sandia Mountain Wilderness Area. Find more info about the open space here and detailed information on hikes here.
Cast a Line at Tingley Beach
Daily from sunrise to sunset
Tingley Beach is a great spot for anglers of all ages and abilities to hone their skills. Fly fishers can use the Bob Gerding Catch and Release Pond, which is stocked once a year with rainbow trout. Fishing with baits or lures is allowed in the Central Pond where anglers can catch their limit of rainbow trout in cooler months or channel catfish in warmer months. The Children’s Pond is open to ages 12 and under where kids can keep their limit. Be sure your fishing license is up to date! Find more info here.
Cool off at Civic Plaza
400 Marquette Ave
Daily, 7am – 10pm
Dip your toes in the splash pad, play a game of basketball, rent an e-scooter and zoom around or just lounge in the grass and people watch. There’s plenty to do in the block-wide civic park in the heart of the city.
Connect with Nature in the Bosque
Along the Rio Grande
Sunrise to sunset, 7 days a week
The Bosque trail extends for an impressive 16 miles beside the Rio Grande with access points at Alameda, Paseo del Norte, Montano Rd, Campbell Rd, Central Ave, Marquez St and Rio Bravo Blvd. Walk, run or bike and don’t forget to bring along your four legged friend. The Bosque trail runs through the cottonwood forest and has been recognized as our city’s premiere trail with striking views and wildlife sightings. The Open Space Visitor Center offers free guided tours through the Bosque on the first Saturday of every month, find more info here.
Take an Educational Stroll Through Historic Old Town
Tuesdays – Sundays, 11am
Take a leisurely, docent-led tour of the original town site of Albuquerque laid out by Spanish colonists in the 1700s. Tours are included with cost of admission to the Albuquerque Museum ($5 for NM residents).
Grab Some Grub at a Food Truck Roundup
Every Tuesday, weather permitting
The best of Burque’s food trucks gather at Hyder Park every Tuesday for Tasty Tuesdays, a community gathering with music, yoga, face painting, and farm fresh produce.
Take A Tour of Albuquerque’s Incredible Public Art
Public art of all mediums by artists from all walks of life is scattered throughout the city just waiting to be discovered. From 10 foot tall murals to life size bronze sculptures, find it all on this self-guided tour. Find the map here
Listen to Sounds of the Big Band Era at the Balloon Museum
June 19th, 17th & 31st, August 14th
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Tonight at @balloonmuseum – The High Desert Jazz Band & the Albuquerque Concert Band head back to the east lawn of the Balloon Museum this summer for a series of five FREE evening concerts that feature themes popular with the crowds. Attendees are invited to bring lawn chairs and blankets. A local Food Truck will be on site so that attendees may purchase food and beverages while enjoying the concert. The Balloon Museum will have extended hours and FREE admission from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. during each summer concert performance. Learn more at http://ow.ly/2Dpa50ufcnB.
Pack up your lawn chairs and blankets for free jazz concerts during extended Balloon Museum hours. Sounds of the Big Band Era fill the air of the east lawn during these free evening shows.
Take the Kiddos to a Story Time in the Park
Various locations- visit find the list here
Monday – Thursday, 11am – 1PM
Join APS teachers in reading aloud to students at summer meal sites across the city. Stories will be at reading levels Pre-K – 9th grade.
Bird Watch at the Rio Grande Nature Center
Daily, 8am – 5pm
The center is situated on the Rio Grande flyway with excellent birdwatching opportunities throughout the year. The indoor and outdoor wildlife viewing areas overlook many ponds, plus there’s trail access to the Rio Grande. Parking at the lot is $3.
Practice Your Yoga Poses on the Bosque at Dusk
Tingley Beach, Bosque Trail
Every Sunday, 7 – 8pm
Wind down your Sunday with a tranquil hour of yoga on the beautiful Bosque. All skill levels are welcome. These sessions are open to all and donations are welcome.
Take A Two Wheeled Adventure
Bikes available 24/7
200 bikes are scattered throughout Albuquerque ready to use. Simply download the app to find a bike and lock it at the closest location when you’re done. It’s as easy as that. Rentals cost as little as $1 per 15 minutes. More information here.
Catch Live Music at the Old Town Gazebo
Historic Old Town
Friday, Saturday & Sunday, 7 – 9pm
Catch live, local music three nights a week in Old Town all summer long. Genres include everything from Jazz and Soul to Country and Funk. Full line-up here.
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