Summer Outings for Kids in Albuquerque :: Museums and More


Albuquerque has an abundance of fun summer outings for kids. I’ve been working on a list of places to visit with my family. I’ve also been reminding myself of a few things to help our adventures go more smoothly.

Summer Outings for Kids in Albuquerque from Albuquerque Moms BlogFor example:

  • Kids feel the summer heat (and get fussy as a result) more quickly than adults do.

  • Albuquerque’s altitude means the kids and I will need sunscreen and a lot of water.

  • If there’s a gift shop, I need to decide ahead of time whether I’ll let the kids go inside.

  • Call ahead to check the hours and days of operation. (Some museums aren’t open on Mondays!)

Here are a few of the places I’d like to visit this summer:

Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum

On Wednesdays, there is a story time for kids with free admission! There is also a hands-on section of the museum with activities for kids. Most of the exhibits are aimed at adults, but it’s still worth visiting. Especially if you can schedule your visit for a time with free admission. (See below.)

Admission cost: Admission is $4 for adults ($3 with a New Mexico ID), $2 for seniors and kids 4-12, and free for kids younger than four. You can get in free if you go to Stories in the Sky or Music in the Sky on Wednesdays. Check out the events page here. It’s also free on Sunday between 9am and 1pm and on the first Friday of the month.

Time to allow for visit: Half an hour.

Gift shop: Off to the side. Pretty easy to avoid if you want to.

Stroller friendly: Very.

Be aware: It is closed on Mondays.

Bonus: Several special events are held next to the museum, including, of course, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. See the link above for a list.


Albuquerque Museum

It’s been years since I’ve visited. So it’ll be fun to see what my kids think of the art and history exhibits now that they’re older. Kids can’t touch most of the exhibits, but a woman I spoke to on the phone told me that they usually have hands-on activities in one of the galleries. (Call ahead to check.) It offers family art workshops on Saturdays from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m.

Admission cost: Tickets for New Mexico residents are $3 for adults and $1 for children 4-12. It’s free 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on the first Wednesday of every month, 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of every month, and 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. every Sunday.

Stroller friendly: Yes.

Time to allow for visit: I’m planning for about an hour.

Be aware: It is closed on Mondays.

Bonus: It’s in Old Town, though not directly on the square. For a fun activity, take examples of colors and challenge your kids to find a match in the artwork.


The Bugarium at the ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden

The Bugarium is a fairly new part of the Botanic Garden. Walk past the model trains and the dragonfly pond to get there. When you enter the building, make sure to look up—you can watch leafcutter ants cross a vine carrying bits of leaves! My kids and I love that part.

Admission cost: Included with admission to the Botanic Garden. Tickets for New Mexico residents are $10 for adults, $5.50 for seniors, $5 for children ages 3-12, and free for children ages two and under. You can also get a yearly membership (see their website for details).

Time to visit: Fifteen minutes, though it may take more if kids try the motion-capture video game.

Gift shop: Only outside the Botanic Garden.

Stroller friendly: Yes.

Be aware: If you or your kids are terrified of spiders, there are a lot of tarantulas.

Bonus: During the summer, you and your kids can look for frogs and dragonflies in the pond out front.

Website: They don’t have a separate website, but you can check the Biopark website for more information.

Rattlesnake Museum

Devoted to everything rattlesnake, this Old Town museum is is not for anyone with a snake phobia. You might think the animals are taxidermied. Nope, there are lots and lots of real rattlesnakes, along with information and videos about rattlesnakes. If, like me, you hate snakes, you may be screaming inside the whole time. Any of your kids who like reptiles will love it.

Admission cost: Tickets are $4 for kids and $6 for adults ($5 for seniors, military, students, and teachers.)

Time to allow for visit: Half an hour.

Gift shop: You can’t avoid it-you enter and exit through it. It does have a lot of inexpensive items, so if your kids want to spend allowance, they can find something affordable.

Stroller friendly: A narrow stroller could make it, but a Bob jogging stroller would only be able to fit through parts.

Be aware: There are lots of glass tanks, so this is not a place to take kids who are in a “must-touch-everything” stage.

Bonus: It’s just south of the Plaza in Old Town Albuquerque. Afterwards you can stop at a restaurant for lunch or even look into an art gallery.


Time to allow for visit: Half an hour.

Rio Grande Nature Center State Park

I’ve been there twice in the last year, and I’ve loved it! The Nature Center itself is a mini-museum about the Rio Grande ecosystem. And you can watch birds on the neighboring pond through several windows. Kids can touch almost everything and one room has activities especially for kids. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can follow paths down to the Rio Grande.

Admission cost: $5 per vehicle. You will need cash (exact change) when you enter the parking lot. If you go online, you can buy a yearly pass ($40) that covers most New Mexico state parks.

Time to allow for visit: Thirty minutes for the visitor center, plus an hour or more if you walk down the paths to the river.

Gift shop: Yes, and the helpful volunteers showed us which bird guides are most useful in this part of the country. We bought two and have been using them to identify birds in our yard!

Stroller friendly: The visitor center works for strollers. The paths down to the river are sandy and would be really challenging unless you have a very rugged stroller.

Be aware: The paths from the visitor center to the Rio Grande are confusing. Both times we got to the river and back just fine, but not necessarily in the most direct possible way.

Bonus: An observation room has benches and birdwatching guides. I can’t wait to see what summer birds visit the pond!


Enjoy Albuquerque this summer!

Summer Outings for Kids in Albuquerque from Albuquerque Moms BlogI hope you find these ideas helpful as you explore Albuquerque with your family this summer. What are your favorite Albuquerque outings with kids? Share them in the comments or on our Facebook page!

For more ideas, read Mandie’s great post here.

You can also check our Community Events Calendar.