Rail Yards Market: Albuquerque Summer Fun

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One of my favorite things about Albuquerque in the summer is the number of activities that you can find to do at any given point in time.  I love the weather, especially in this pre-summer stage.  I love spending time outside. But the sun is blazing in the middle of the day, so if you’re looking for a fun activity to do with the family that gets you all out and about without having to stand in the sun, meet the Rail Yards Market.  Heading into their third season, the market is open now through October on Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm.

Rail Yards Market

At first sight, the rail yards look completely run down and abandoned.  As I drove closer, though, I saw the long line of cars waiting to get in to the parking lot for the opening day of the market.  Even though the day I went was painfully cold, the entire market area was buzzing with families.

As I entered the markets, the aroma of delicious foods wafted through the air.  I’m still not entirely sure what it was that I smelled, but it was enough to make me want to sample each of the vendors I came across.  Mexican, Argentinean, and Tibetan food are all available as well as some more familiar tastes.  More than 100 vendors set up each week at the rail yards.  So many, in fact, that I will have to go back to explore them more fully.  You can find plants of all sorts from local farmers and growers if you have a green thumb and enjoy gardening.  Artists set up their stunning artwork.  Creators and makers have all kinds of goods to sell, and the workmanship is amazing.

Music filled the air as I walked through the markets as well.  That morning, La Rondalla de Albuquerque was performing not only music but dance and had gathered quite the audience.  The dancers were a blast to watch and the group warmed up the chilly morning with their smiles and music.

The kids aren’t left out of the fun, either.  Foxy Girl Designs has toys for the kids to check out.  Pop Fizz can provide you with all-natural fruit paletas (popsicles) for a delicious summer treat.  GoToArtCamp.com caught my eye quickly.  The owner sells art kits, and my kids love doing anything art related.  My kids would also love checking out the petting zoo (sponsored by One World Rug Care) that they host outside the markets.

The Rail Yards Market sponsors what they call the “STEAM Zone”, which is an educational zone for kids that takes a look at science, technology, engineering, and mathematics combined with the arts and design.  Past STEAM zone projects have included mask making, silver smithing, and watercolor art.  I love that the STEAM Zone group wants to show kids (and adults) how accessible science is in our everyday lives and even make learning science fun.  The Kids’ Zone is another area for kids to enjoy the markets with the family.  The Kids’ Zone helps to create engaging ways for children to learn for free through community groups and educators.

I love celebrating and supporting local entrepreneurs, and I love that the Rail Yards Market coordinators have found a way to bring Albuquerque together in a beautiful and historic place.  Check out the Rail Yards Market website here.  Head down to 777 1st St. SW on a Sunday over the summer to support local businesses, enjoy the hum of the old rail yards coming alive, and come hungry – the food smells absolutely delectable.