Enjoying a Friendly Christmas in Albuquerque

If you are planning on a Christmas in New Mexico, then Albuquerque is the place to be.  It is a city that is rich with culture and history as there are plenty of different events to get everyone in the holiday season. Albuquerque Christmas events are abundant from November all the way through the New Year — parades, tree lightings and plenty of cultural décor to keep you happy.  Here’s a bit more about Christmas in Albuquerque.

Christmas Attractions and Events in Albuquerque

During the holiday season there is always a festive event going on in Albuquerque.  Right after Thanksgiving the city hosts what is called the River of Lights at the local Botanical Gardens near the Albuquerque Aquarium, just off the Rio Grande.  The River of Lights is made of up thousands of lights which are formed to create animals, scenes and light the night sky on a cool winter evening.

If you are just looking for a calm evening on the town, consider perhaps a winter stroll in Old Town Albuquerque, or in Nob Hill.  These areas are riddled with shops and restaurants that are famous for their holiday décor, including the New Mexico famous luminarias. A cultural tradition of careful lights that are placed in brown bags to light up a storefront or walkway, the experience is one-of-a-kind.

As the holiday season approaches as do the markets and fairs in the area.  The Winter Arts and Crafts Fair, and Weems International Art Festival are just two traditions that make the area a great attraction during the holidays.  The Weems Festival is dedicated to artwork from some of the most famous artists in the world. While the Winter Fair allows you to see some of the more locally-made holiday items that make perfect Christmas gifts.

While You’re Here in Albuquerque for Christmas

Regardless of the time of year there is plenty to do in the Albuquerque area. You can take a hike outdoors on the La Luz trail of the Sandia Mountains, which will overlook the city and surrounding areas when at the peak.  Or, if you are looking for a different kind of outdoor activity you can take a bike ride along the Rio Grande bike path, which follows the Rio Grande for miles alongside some of the prime real estate in the area. For the golfer in the family you can take an afternoon trip to the Sandia Casino & Resort where you can golf on their many courses, or play casino games, all while taking in the views of the Sandia Mountains.

Where to Eat in Albuquerque

Famous for their New Mexican cuisine Albuquerque is home to some deliciously amazing restaurants.

  • Little Anitas - With several locations across the city, Little Anitas is a great restaurant that serves New Mexican style dishes, with chili right from New Mexico too. If you have a desire to taste the heat you can head there for exactly that!
  • Zios Restaurant - If you are tired of having chili while you are in Albuquerque (which it is really hard to be!), Zios is the perfect Italian restaurant for you and your family.  Their excellent service and wonderful atmosphere make this restaurant perfect for the everyone.
  • El Pinto Restaurant – When in New Mexico if you are looking for environment and native food, El Pinto is the spot. With their several uniquely designed eating areas, you can have a romantic dinner alone, or take in a meal outdoors on their beautiful patio.

Where to Stay in Albuquerque

When you are staying in Albuquerque there are plenty of places to lay your head down peacefully, such as the following recommendations:

  • Plaza Inn The Plaza Inn is a newer style hotel that is centrally located, making your vacation easy to manage as you are within miles of every attraction you can imagine.  You are also going to be impressed with their quality of service and dedication to your comfort.
  • Hard Rock Hotel and Casino If you are searching for a family style hotel that has something for the adults too, the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino is it! There are plenty of fun and interesting activities for children, especially the indoor pool on a cool winter day, which will keep moms and dads happy too.
  • Sandia Resort and Casino If you are seeking a romantic getaway with amenities galore, the Sandia resort is ready to provide you with what you are looking for. As previously mentioned, they are famous for their views, their ambience, and their casino wins!

This year if you are seeking to spend your Christmas in Albuquerque you are certain to get a sweet holiday treat! I know where I will be this season!

Photos by sburke2478, sburke2478, alentinapowers,  Mike “Dakinewavamon” Kline