Last Updated on September 11, 2020

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Albuquerque isn’t the capital of New Mexico, but it is the largest city in the entire state. We’ve explored it extensively and are happy to share our list of free things to do in Albuquerque including many easily-overlooked attractions hiding in plain sight. Don’t let a tight budget deter you from exploring the Land of Enchantment’s most underrated destination.

Uncover a Variety of Free Things to Do in Albuquerque

We lived here for several years, so take advantage of our insider’s guide. This article goes beyond standard tourist attractions, although we do mention some. Instead, we focus on an assortment of lesser-known stuff to do which won’t cost you anything

Looking for Albuquerque’s best free sights? Check out the curious bug house, take a spin out to see a couple of sizeable sculpted snakes hiding in the median of a main road or visit a historic landfill that attracts local artists. We’ve got enough suggestions for a day or a week! Choose which free activities to do in Albuquerque according to whatever interests you:

  • Iconic Attractions – Create your own Breaking Bad tour, then find a spaceship in the middle of a residential neighbourhood.
  • Interesting Finds – Browse vintage goods or take a free downtown Albuquerque art walk.
  • Outdoor Activities – Learn more about the city’s 30,000 acres of open space, walk along the Rio Grande or climb three ancient volcanoes.
  • Museums – From hot air balloons to meteorites or art to archaeology, Albuquerque is full of free museums.

Looking for More Ways to Save Money in Albuquerque?


Iconic Free Stuff to Do in Albuquerque


Certain things are exclusive to a particular place and Albuquerque is certainly no different. From a pop culture pilgrimage to vintage treasures buried in the ground, uncover the best free Albuquerque-only sites and get off the beaten path.

Stone Snakes on a Road

Where: University Boulevard SE, Albuquerque.

Directions: Take I-25 south to exit 220, then east on NM 500/Rio Bravo Boulevard SE. Turn right at the traffic light onto University Boulevard SE. Look for the large snake sculpture in the median.

This giant, sculpted diamondback rattlesnake takes pride of place in a highway median on University Blvd. Unfortunately the powers that be neglected to realise the curb appeal of this reptilian roadside attraction – there is no parking here. So for those hoping to take a photo there is only a partial shoulder for pulling in on to grab a quick snap

Strangely enough this 400-foot slithering sculpture is unknown to the majority of Burqueños (Albuquerque residents) themselves. In fact, there are actually two rattlesnake sculptures within the same median; continue uphill to see the other snake.


The Spaceship or Bug House

Where: 3501 Monte Vista Boulevard NE, Albuquerque.

Let’s start by saying these are private residences – please respect the property of the homeowners. Indeed, the homeowner is Bart Prince himself, the architect behind this completely unique structure.

A spaceship-like house with iron dinosaur sculptures in the front yard - one of the lesser-known things to do for free in Albuquerque.
The Spaceship House/Bug House in Albuquerque

An unusual box-like house designed by Bart Prince in a residential neighborhood in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Affectionately referred to as the Spaceship House or the Bug House, this quirky construction and its next-door neighbour easily stand out from the surrounding adobe homes. This is also a stop on both the ABQ Trolley and Breaking Bad Tours, if your budget is so inclined. However, it’s completely possible to discover the curb appeal of these free Albuquerque landmarks on your own.


Albuquerque’s Glass Graveyard

Where: Rio Grande Valley State Park, Albuquerque.

Directions: From downtown head south on 2nd Street to Barelas Railroad Park, located on the right. Park your vehicle here, head behind the baseball fields and follow Riverside Trail to the left; the Glass Graveyard site is about 100 yards along this trail and to the right – the shimmering glints of millions of pieces of broken glass confirm your arrival at this secret Albuquerque free-for-all.

Tip: Wear suitable shoes as you’ll be walking across broken glass – flip-flops or sandals are not suitable footwear here.

The glass graveyard encompasses about 20 acres of the Rio Grande Valley State Park. This was once part of the city’s Old River Landfill from 1920 until 1948. Over the years rubbish has been burned in the landfill; mixed amongst the shards are congealed and warped blobs of molten glass.

Two large concrete drainage pipes sticking out of the ground, which is covered in broken glass.
Unearth Some Free Things to Do in Albuquerque at The Glass Graveyard

Today all that remains of yesterday’s rubbish are acres of shimmering shards of broken glass and pottery covering the ground. Every now and then intrepid treasure hunters will find complete old glass containers of different shapes and hues.

If you’re partial to a free scavenger hunt, Albuquerque’s Glass Graveyard is the place for you. Local artists moonlight as glass detectorists here, recycling uncovered treasures into their latest creations. Finding complete bottles involves luck and a little digging, so bring a shovel if you’re serious!


Take Your Free D.I.Y. Breaking Bad Tour

The final episode of the cult television series Breaking Bad aired in 2013. However, this show lives on in memoriam, not least because it’s possible to visit many filming locations throughout Albuquerque for free!

Indeed, many credit this series for making Albuquerque a destination. Not only have die-hard fans made the pilgrimage here but
major movie studios have taken note, building studios and becoming a presence in the local economy and landscape.

The official Breaking Bad Tour is $75 per person. Fans visit select filming locations in a Bounder RV,  just like the one Walt and Jesse started their enterprise in. So, how do you save $75 instead? Create your own D.I.Y. Breaking Bad tour for free!

The Los Pollos Hermanos logo from the Breaking Bad television series on a wall at the original filming location.
D.I.Y. Breaking Bad Tour

As with anything these days, Google has the answer for you. Simply cobble together your own free tour from filming locations found online. Although this is one of the cheapest ways to to enjoy Albuquerque, you will need a vehicle for the free tour due to the sprawling nature of the city!

For the ultimate cheapskate scavenger hunt, combine locations from Breaking Bad and it’s spin-off, Better Call Saul. Remember, many of these filming locations are either private residences or businesses –  please be respectful of private properties!

Looking for Cool and Unusual Attractions in Albuquerque?  

Look beyond the usual sights and sites during your visit with our guide to the Duke City’s lesser-known unique attractions.

Bonus Tip: Finding Walter White’s Headstone

Where: 6855 4th Street NW, Albuquerque.

Directions to Walter White’s headstone: From downtown Albuquerque head north on 4th Street NW past El Camino Hotel. Just beyond this hotel are the Village Shops at Los Ranchos; turn left into this small plaza. Walter White’s headstone is mounted on a wall at the rear of this shopping plaza.

The site of the Walter White tombstone which is increasingly becoming one of the most popular free things to do in Albuquerque.
An Increasingly Popular Free Attraction in Albuquerque

This headstone didn’t feature in the series but it’s one of the coolest things to do for free in Albuquerque, especially with Breaking Bad fans, Finding this mysterious memorial is the tricky part; refer to the directions above and pay your respects to Walt during your visit.


Old Town Albuquerque

Albuquerque was founded in 1706 with historic Old Town representative of it’s colonial beginnings. The only remaining building dating to the actual Spanish colonial period is San Felipe de Neri Church, built in 1793. The other old historic adobe structures in Old Town date to the 19th and 20th centuries.

Old Town Plaza Albuquerque is the heart of this historical neighbourhood. The plaza dates to the founding of the city although this is smaller than its original precursor. Such central plazas are inherent to former Spanish colonies throughout the world.

Today, local artisans line the sides of the plaza selling handmade jewellery. Known as the Old Town Portal Market, this is the place to buy or simply peruse traditional southwestern pieces.

The Plaza Gifts building in Old Town Albuquerque, painted in blue on white with two red chile ristras hanging from the gable.

The plaza also plays host to cultural exhibits throughout the year. If you’re lucky you may catch a free concert on the gazebo or you may even be treated to a mariachi or flamenco performance. Alternatively, grab a bench with some shade and simply sit and people watch.

There’s no doubt Old Town Albuquerque is a major tourist hub with the typical temptations, whereby you and your cash part ways rather easily – shops and restaurants beckon at every doorway! Window shopping doesn’t have to be your only free means of enjoying this thriving tourist area.

Take a stroll through the ten blocks comprising this historic district and make sure you have your camera with you. Old Town Albuquerque is a photogenic beauty, full of cost-free opportunities to capture that quintessential New Mexican shot.


San Felipe de Neri Church

Where: 2005 N. Plaza Street NW, Albuquerque

Phone: (505) 243-4628

Website: www.sanfelipedeneri.org

Without a doubt the pride of Old Town Albuquerque is the church of San Felipe de Neri. Standing in its current location since 1793, this parish church is one of the oldest buildings in Albuquerque and continues to actively serve its congregation to this day.

The adobe San Felipe de Neri church in Old Town Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The church was built in Spanish Colonial style with five foot thick adobe walls. Over time certain embellishments have been made with the most noteworthy and identifiable being the two towers added in the mid-nineteenth century. On the other hand, the inside is quite simple and plain.

The image of San Felipe de Neri Church is synonymous with Old Town Albuquerque. This is one of Albuquerque’s most historic sites and the convenient downtown location means this church is a favourite attraction with visitors eager to snap a photo.


Interesting Free Finds in Albuquerque


Browse around at your own pace while exploring some urban art and plenty of antiques. More free Albuquerque activities include self-guided art walks and several flea markets filled with vintage and collectible goods perfect for browsing.

Enjoy a Free Downtown Albuquerque Art Tour

A mosaic on the facade of a building in downtown Albuquerque, New Mexico of a Native American woman pouring water from an urn with a white heron or crane beside her.
Take the No-Cost Art Tour in Albuquerque

Like most cities, street art has come to adorn many downtown Albuquerque buildings. Central Avenue and 2nd Street are the main thoroughfares of interest but keep your eyes peeled for structural adornments everywhere.

Albuquerque’s legendary role in iconic Route 66 history is proudly depicted on many facades. Take the free free mural tour in downtown Albuquerque and enjoy some colourful and creative things to see and do here.

A painted mural of Route 66 with a red sports car and a homeless person pushing a shopping trolley.

Street artists often use their talents to incorporate historical and controversial subject matter into their work. Entire murals may be dedicated to topical issues, or the subtle inclusion of a figure or two can speak volumes on local matters. Examine the local street art carefully and find out more about Albuquerque and New Mexico.


The Free Outdoor Flea Market at EXPO New Mexico

Where: 300 San Pedro NE, Albuquerque

Hours: Saturday & Sunday 7:00 am – 3:00 pm, weather permitting.

Parking: $5 per vehicle

Website: www.exponm.com

You don’t have to spend a penny to enjoy Albuquerque’s iconic outdoor flea market. This weekly gathering takes place at the State Fairgrounds and it’s one mega perusers-paradise. You name it, you’ll find it here, either new or used and everything in between. Take your time and amble through the aisles and see what you discover along the way.

A diverse group of people browsing a variety of used goods at the Expo Flea Market, one of the weekly free things to do in Albuquerque.

Discover great finds from cool antiques to artisans to just plain ol’ junk. It’s a great way to put in a few hours at the weekend, and even though parking is $5 this is arguably one of the best cheap things to do in Albuquerque.


Uneek Findings Indoor Flea Market 

Where: 5901 Lomas Boulevard NE, Albuquerque

Hours:

  • 10:00 am – 6:00 pm, Monday through Friday.
  • 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm, Sunday.

Phone: (505) 265-9095

Website: www.uneekfindings.com

Visit Uneek Findings if you need a flea market fix outside of the weekend. Browse the vendors plying plenty of vintage-cool and upscale antiques. The items on sale here are less of the shabby and more of a retro-chic. This is a fun way to spend some time and the choice is entirely yours if you spend any money or not!


Free Outdoor Things to Do in Albuquerque


Active people will be happy to know Albuquerque is filled with stuff to do without spending any money. Scramble up and down ancient volcanoes, spend a day at the beach and visit sculptures which arose from the ashes of a forest fire.

Paseo del Bosque Trail & Riverside Bike Path

Bosque Definition: A woodland/cluster of trees found along river banks.

Website: www.cabq.gov

Tip: Bring plenty of water and sunscreen.

An early morning walk along Paseo del Bosque Trail is one of our favourite free Albuquerque activities. By early we mean sunrise early! There are two reasons to take this sunrise stroll; firstly to beat the heat and secondly because this is a prime location to see hot air balloons almost daily!

The trail itself runs along a levee with vistas of the Sandia Mountains as well as surrounding farmlands and countryside. So take a walk and experience one the most peaceful, budget-friendly outdoor activities in Albuquerque.

Hot air balloons in the sky over a paved trail lined with trees.
One of Albuquerque’s Many No-Cost Outdoor Activities

The 16-mile trail is relatively flat except for minor dips located near highway underpasses, however there are no roads to cross. It’s quite common to see coyotes, road runners and rabbits on this urban nature trail and you may even see some porcupines resting in the trees above.

A sculpture of herons silhouetted against a blue sky along the free Paseo del Bosque Trail in Albuquerque.

This paved path runs parallel to the Rio Grande River although you won’t see this from the trail. However, dirt trails through stands of cottonwood trees are found along the river. Paseo del Bosque Trail is part of Albuquerque’s Open Space Lands (see Albuquerque Open Space Visitor Center below).

This is a world-removed from the veritable sideshow of downtown Albuquerque – no wonder this is one of the best bike trails in the Western U.S. according to Sunset Magazine. Paseo del Bosque Trail is open to walkers, joggers, cyclists, equestrians and is great for photographers.


Pueblo Montaño Sculpture Garden

Where: 4100 Montaño Road NW, Albuquerque.

Directions: Take I-25 north to Montgomery/Montaño Exit 228, then west on Montaño across the Rio Grande. The Pueblo Montaño Sculpture Garden and Picnic Area is one block east of Coors Boulevard, on the south side Montaño Road.

A tree stump carved into a figure of a heron or crane, part of a free outdoor art exhibit in Albuquerque.
The Free Sculpture Trail Along the Rio Grande River in Albuquerque

This pleasant diversion off of Paseo del Bosque Trail is actually the result of an unfortunate event. In 2003 a fire destroyed 250 acres of the bosque here. As luck would have it, Mark Chavez a local firefighter who battled the blaze, also happens to be a chainsaw artist. He carved remnants of the charred trees into local, familiar subjects as part of the rehabilitation effort of the scorched area.

A tree stump carved into a figure of an owl and a woman.

Included in these representations are coyotes, a road runner and all manner of wildlife which call the bosque home. Chavez even pays homage to the legend of La Llorona (the ditch witch). This phantom of Mexican and New Mexican folklore believed to be found wailing along bodies of water has been striking terror into children for over 500 years!


Rio Grande Nature Center State Park

Where: 2901 Candelaria Road NW, Albuquerque.

Hours:

      • 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, daily
      • Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Phone: (505) 344-7240

Website: www.emnrd.state.nm.us

Access this free New Mexico State Park while walking along the Paseo del Bosque Trail (above). An entrance from this trail leads to the park’s botanical garden and the visitor center is just beyond here. Vehicles entering the park must pay $3.

Windows overlooking a pond at the free Rio Grande Nature Center State Park located in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Rio Grande Nature Center State Park offers indoor and outdoor viewing areas, perfect for wildlife and bird watching. If you’re looking for no-cost activities in Albuquerque with kids this natural distraction is educational and fun for the entire family.

Here, not only can you learn about man’s impact on the mighty Rio Grande but the hands-on exhibits provide information on the
local natural history and flora and fauna too. Check out the link above for more information as well as special events and kid’s activities, including storytelling time.


Tingley Beach

Where: 1800 Tingley Drive SW, Albuquerque

Website: www.cabq.gov/biopark/tingley

New Mexico is a land-locked state and this technically isn’t a beach. Instead you’ll find three ponds stocked with trout and catfish. Anglers over age twelve need a valid New Mexico fishing license. Children under age twelve have their own dedicated pond to fish in.

This spot is popular with with dog walkers (leashes required), joggers, families and bird watchers. On a hot summer’s day shade from the Cottonwood trees provides welcome respite from the sun and offers a perfect spot to enjoy a picnic. Refreshments can be purchased from the on-site Tingley Beach Cafe and toilets are provided. Interestingly, swimming at Tingley Beach is strictly prohibited.

This is part of ABQ BioPark which includes a zoo, aquarium and botanic garden, which are all only free for those two and under! Combo tickets are available if you’re interested in seeing more of ABQ BioPark. Check out the visitor info & tickets page on their website for applicable discounts. Unlike its three cohorts, Tingley Beach is free for everyone!


Albuquerque’s Free Open Space Visitor Center

Where: 6500 Coors Boulevard NW, Albuquerque

Hours:

      • 9:00 am – 5:00 pm Tuesday through Sunday.
      • Closed Monday and holidays.

Phone: (505) 897-8831

Website: www.cabq.gov/open-space-visitor-center

Get away from it all (for free!) at the Albuquerque Open Space Visitor Center. This building and its grounds represent just a small percentage of the 30,000 acres of open space owned by the city. Here you’ll find 18 acres of land providing excellent wildlife and bird-watching opportunities, right in the city! The visitor center also provides information on all of Albuquerque’s open spaces.

Also included are a farm with rotating crops used to feed migratory birds, wildlife and pollinators. Stroll throughout the grounds and explore the gardens and artwork scattered throughout. The visitor center features an art gallery and even holds special events like Sunday yoga classes and educational programmes.


Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge

Where: 7851 2nd Street SW, Albuquerque

Phone: (505) 248-6667

Website: www.fws.gov

Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge is quite simply acres of rural land located seven miles south of downtown Albuquerque. Visitors can bike, hike, picnic and enjoy the wildlife calling these lands home. This is a popular spot to see the migratory Sandhill Cranes who make their seasonal home throughout New Mexico from October through February. See the website above for visitor centre hours, rules and regulations.

Dirt roads on either side of a canal surrounded by green fields and trees with a blue sky in the background.
More Free Outdoor Attractions in Albuquerque

The 570 acres of land and waterways of this former dairy farm are now under the jurisdiction of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Thanks to the concern and involvement of local community members, this significant parcel of land and water rights were consequently saved and protected from developers, and became a national wildlife refuge in 2012. Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge is the first urban refuge in the Southwest, and encompasses lands that were once part of the historic El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro trail.


North Valley Bike Park

Where: 9800 4th Street NW, Albuquerque

Facebook: North Valley Bike Park Bernalillo County

Tip: Helmets are required.

You don’t have to be a pro-rider to enjoy this well maintained bike park. North Valley Bike Park has courses for all skill levels, from absolute beginners right up to experienced riders. There’s even a separate small course for younger kids and beginners. Whether your preferred ride is a BMX or a mountain bike you’ll find jumps, ramps and other obstacles for everyone. You may even get to see some trick riders show off their skills.

This popular recreation area offers free family fun for all ages complete with ample parking, shaded picnic benches and a nearby playground.  It’s also a great free spot to watch the balloons during the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.


Hike Three Ancient Volcanoes

Directions: I-40 West to Exit 149. Head North on Atrisco Vista Boulevard (formerly Paseo del Volcan) for 4.8 miles to the volcanoes.

Hours:

      • 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, daily.
      • Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Website: www.nps.gov

There are actually five dormant volcanoes here but three in particular dominate this otherwise flat landscape. These three dormant volcanoes are known locally as the Three Sisters or the Albuquerque Volcanoes.

Although this is part of Petroglyph National Monument, there are no visible petroglyphs here. Instead, hike amongst these three geographical wonders, known officially as JA, Black, and Vulcan volcanoes. Whether or not you have an interest in geology, these trails make for a unique and peaceful stroll. The volcanoes are easily accessible and are just a 5-minute walk from the parking area.

Tips:

      • There is no shelter from the elements so be weather-aware for lightning strikes and wind.
      • Beware of rattlesnakes – stay on the trails and keep your eyes peeled at all times!
      • Wear plenty of sunscreen along with a hat and sunglasses
      • Bring plenty of water and snacks.

Three small ancient volcanoes in evening sunlight with the Sandia Mountains in the background.

Whether or not you have an interest in geology, these trails make for a unique and peaceful stroll. Although these are now dormant, smoke was seen rising from them in 1881. Geologically, these cinder piles are in the cooling stage. On the rare occasion when it snows in Albuquerque, this is the first area in the city to see melting due to residual heat from below!

Get the free AllTrails app to access the 13-mile Volcano and Petroglyph Trail; refer to the tips above and come prepared! Most importantly, know the weather forecast beforehand – if the slightest possibility of storms are present do not attempt this bruiser of a hike!


UNM Duck Pond

As simple as it sounds this is a beloved spot among those in the know. Here you’ll find a series of water features with ducks, turtles and fish surrounded by grassy knolls and soothing shade from the trees. Looking for some peace and quiet? Relax with a book or simply zone out here.

This is a great spot to take the kids. If you’re looking for free activities that are fun for the whole family come feed the ducks and enjoy a picnic. If you’re traveling as a couple, grab your significant other for a romantic stroll around the pond. Step away from the hubbub of the city during a visit for a little slice of serenity tucked away on the UNM campus, all in the heart of Midtown Albuquerque.


Free Museums in Albuquerque


The variety of things to do Albuquerque for free is evident in the following museums, mostly located on a university campus. These museums offer a chance to get a free education at the University of New Mexico (UNM), in a figurative sense anyway!

Dig in to history, discover world-famous art or visit both a meteorite and a geology museum. The several other museums mentioned in this section are located throughout Albuquerque.

Note: With the exception of the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology, parking at UNM isn’t free. Buses ply the main roads around the campus and it’s easy to get to UNM via public transport from downtown and points throughout the city. For much more information visit the UNM Parking & Transportation Services page on their website.

The Maxwell Museum of Anthropology

Where: University of New Mexico campus at the corners of University Boulevard and Central Avenue NE.

Phone: (505) 277-4405

Website: www.maxwellmuseum.unm.edu

Hours:

      • 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, Tuesday through Saturday.
      • Closed Sunday, Monday and Holidays.

This free museum is a must for learning about the history and culture of New Mexico and the southwest. The People of the Southwest is a permanent exhibit focusing on local archaeology and anthropology with collections of textiles, jewellery, baskets and ceramics. Trace the evolution of humankind through the Ancestors exhibit, complete with fascinating facts about early man.

The Maxwell Museum of Anthropology is considered one of the finest of its kind in the country. It also houses temporary exhibits as well as plenty of artefacts from around the world. Although this fascinating museum is free, donations are welcome. Limited free reserved parking is available on the west side of the building with a permit available from the museum attendant.


The University of New Mexico Meteorite Museum

Where: University of New Mexico campus at the corners of University Boulevard and Central Avenue NE.

Phone: (505) 277-2747

Website: www.meteorite.unm.edu

This small museum houses hundreds of celestial bodies. It’s a good choice for free things to do in Albuquerque with kids interested in getting up-close and personal with space-travelling rocks. Otherwise, true science and astronomy fans will benefit the most from this museum. Have you found a meteorite? This isn’t the place to take it. According to their website “We do not inspect suspected meteorites.”


The University of New Mexico Art Museum

Where: University of New Mexico campus at the corners of University Boulevard and Central Avenue NE.

Phone: (505) 277-4001

Website: www.artmuseum.unm.edu

Hours:

      • 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, Tuesday through Friday.
      • 10:00 am – 6:00 pm, Saturday.
      • Closed Sunday, Monday and Holidays.

Nourish your inner culture vulture and visit New Mexico’s largest collection of art for without spending a dime! Rotating exhibitions blend with permanent collections of photography, lithography, painting, sculpture, and prints.

A modern stylized painting of orange canyon, with green hillsides and black crows circling overhead.
Canyon with Crows – Georgia O’Keeffe

Works by Ansel Adams, Diane Arbus, Georgia O’Keeffe, Bridget Riley and many others form the foundations of the University of New Mexico Art Museum’s collection. You don’t have to be an art critic to enjoy a free visit to the galleries here.


The University of New Mexico Geology Museum

Where: University of New Mexico campus at the corners of University Boulevard and Central Avenue NE.

Phone: (505) 277-4204

Website: www.eps.unm.edu/museums

Hours: 8:00 am – 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday.

A marine fossil set into grey rock, surrounded by leaves and twigs on a trail near Albuquerque.

Having an interest in mountains, minerals, volcanoes, fossils, rocks or anything at all relating to the earth’s structure means this museum is for you. Millions of years of local geology from this area and beyond are on display. This is another free museum in Albuquerque perfect for families to visit. The University of New Mexico Geology Museum is located within the Earth & Planetary Sciences Building.


Free Days at Albuquerque Museum

Where: 2000 Mountain Road NW.

Phone: (505) 243-7255

Website: www.cabq.gov/albuquerque-museum

Albuquerque Museum Free Admission Days:

      • 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, first Wednesday of each month
      • 5:00 pm – 8:30 pm, third Thursday of each month (except December)
      • 9:00 am – 1:00 pm, every Sunday

Note: Fees for special exhibits and events still apply for Albuquerque Museum free admission days.

Prepare to spend a few hours at this fantastic museum. Displays take you from pre-colonial conquest right up to the present day. Take your time and explore the wonderfully-curated Only in Albuquerque exhibit for an in-depth look at the Duke City and its history.

Exhibits feature a combination of photography, art, sculpture and interactive displays and aren’t solely restricted to Albuquerque. You’ll even find hand-written letters from Billy the Kid on display. The museum also hosts temporary top notch exhibits, and don’t forget to visit the outdoor sculpture garden.

A sculpture of a large grey head laying on it's side in the back garden of the Albuquerque Museum in New Mexico.
Take Advantage of the Free Admission Days

Although you have to time it right, put this museum on your list as a must-see, money saving attraction near Old Town Albuquerque.


The New Mexico Holocaust & Intolerance Museum

Where: 616 Central Avenue SW, Albuquerque.

Phone: (505) 247-0606

Website: www.nmholocaustmuseum.org

Hours:

      • 11:00 am – 3:30 pm, Tuesday through Sunday.
      • Closed on Monday and Holidays.

Some would say now more so than ever we need a museum like this. Not only does this museum focus on the atrocities of the Holocaust of
World War II, it also highlights the ongoing persecution, intolerance and genocide suffered by people, throughout the world to this very day.

The goal of the museum is “…to inform and educate, to eradicate intolerance and promote activism in our communities by becoming upstanders…”

Permanent exhibits include; Jewish Life Before, During and After the Holocaust; African American Experience; Genocide of Christian Minorities in the Ottoman Empire; Rwanda: The Tolerated Genocide; and Southwest Native American: Physical, Cultural and Environmental Genocide. Also on display are thought provoking interactive exhibits and moving testimonials from Holocaust survivors and their families.

Sadly, of all the free museums in Albuquerque, this one is perhaps the most overlooked. What this wonderful museum lacks in size, it more
than makes up for with content. Be prepared for an educational and emotional experience during your visit. Admission is free, but donations are accepted.


The Anderson Abruzzo International Balloon Museum

Where: 9201 Balloon Museum Drive NE, within Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Park.

Directions: From downtown Albuquerque take Interstate 25 north to exit 233 (NM 528/Alameda Boulevard). Turn left on Alameda Boulevard. Continue straight for several blocks, then right onto Balloon Museum Drive.

Phone: (505) 768-6020

Website: www.balloonmuseum.com

Free Admission: 9:00 am – 1:00 pm each Sunday and the first Friday of the month, excluding October. Admission outside these times is $6 per adult.

Discover all you ever wanted about hot air balloons, from the early days of flight to their use in WW II and beyond. Exhibits detail balloons used for espionage, record-breaking experiments, space exploration and doomed North Pole adventures. The interactive exhibits keep the kids occupied and everyone can have a go at the hot air balloon flight simulator.

The front entrance of the Anderson Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum.

This city is synonymous with the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, held each October at Balloon Fiesta Park. Not only is it the world’s largest hot air balloon festival but it is also the most photographed event in the world!  A visit to the museum or the International Balloon Fiesta represents one of the most iconic things to do during your visit to Albuquerque.


In Conclusion

You’ll always find loads of fun stuff to do in Albuquerque that won’t cost you anything, no matter what the season. These range from the obvious sights and activities to the practically unheard of. See them all whilst seeing parts of Albuquerque few know about and get ready to save some serious money!

Planning on Visiting Albuquerque and Beyond? 

Whether you’re visiting Albuquerque solo, as a couple or with the family we’ve got lots of suggestions to keep you occupied in the Duke City and beyond.


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Green, blue, yellow and purple mosaic of a stylised frog.

A large road-side art installation in Albuquerque of a rattlesnake made from carefully placed, stacked and mortared stones.
A silhouetted metal statue of two waterfowl set against a bright blue sky with a hazy sun in the background.
A painting on the side of a building in Albuquerque depicting a woman in a white dress poring water from a white jug.
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8 Comments

  1. Barbara Durner

    Hi Jerry and Fiona, It is Barb and Joseph from Rio Rancho. We stayed at the airbnb near El Morro and met you there a couple of weeks ago. We looked up your website and blog, and were excited to learn about the rattlesnake sculpture in Abq. We are going to visit it today and also the Pueblo Montano Sculpture Garden. We did not know about either of them until we read your site! Thanks for the information. Hope you are both doing well and say hi to Nellie and Lily for us if you are still there. We enjoyed meeting you!!

    • Hello Barbara and Joseph,

      Thanks so very much for your comment! It’s so nice to know we let you in on a few of the free hidden secrets in Albuquerque – the Duke City is a favourite of ours.

      It was lovely meeting you both as well and, as a matter of fact, we are back in Ramah at this very moment! We told Nellie and Lily you said “hello” – they hope to see you both again some day.

      Do let us know what you think of the stone rattlesnake and the sculpture garden. It really was lovely to meet you both and we’re sorry we missed you before you both headed out to the Wolf Sanctuary in Candy Kitchen. How was that?

      Take care Barbara and Joseph – maybe we’ll see you again some day in Ramah! Thanks for checking out our blog, too – we really appreciate it!

      Your Drifters,
      Fiona and Jerry

  2. About 20 years ago I went on a side street off of north Coors north of I-25 and took a street off of Coors going east and there was dinosaur bones in an arroyo and I can’t find them now, are they still there and if so where?

    • Madonna,

      The only dinosaur bones we know of are between Bernalillo and San Ysidro – a bit out of Albuquerque. There must be quite a few to be found…if you know where to look. We’ve never heard of any within the city but we certainly hope they’re still there.

      Do you think you can still find that spot off Coors Blvd?

      Your Drifters,
      Fiona and Jerry

  3. I love roadside attractions and quirky things like these. Sadly, I missed all of these on my first drive through Albuquerque several years ago. The good news is that I’m planning a trip back this fall and will add them all to my list but if I only had to choose one those rattlesnake sculptures will be at the top. It would have been nice had they thought to add a space to pull off though.

  4. David Cousineau

    Dang it! Now there’s another place I have to add to my bucket list 🙂

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