ABQ Mom’s Back-to-School Guide

back-to-school guide, ABQ MomBack-to-school time is one of the busiest times of year for families, so we at ABQ Mom wanted to make your life a little bit easier and gather great resources all together in one place. Whether you are jumping into homeschooling, going totally virtual, or navigating the hybrid-model, we want you to know that you are supported.

We are grateful to Club Z! Tutoring Services for sponsoring this back to school guide. Families and students can use as much support as possible this school year. ClubZ! Tutoring Services provides in-home and online tutoring for all subjects PreK through adult. A better future for your child starts with better grades today. On average, students who utilize ClubZ! Tutoring Services increase two letter grades in just 60 days. Start the school year off excelling! Give ClubZ! a call at 505.313.0073
  • One-on-One Tutoring in Your Home (Following All CDC Guidelines)
  • Online Tutoring (If You Prefer)
  • Qualified, Fully Screened Tutors
  • School-Based Curriculum
  • Study/Organizational Skills
  • Flexible Schedule to Fit Your Lifestyle
  • No Long-Term Contracts
  • Learning Pods Available

How to use this guide:

Click on each of the images below for a resource specific to that topic. This will be your greatest resource for all things summer! Is there a resource you wish we had? Let us know by emailing [email protected]

Happy 20/21 School Year!

ABQ Mom’s Blog Guide to Moving to Albuquerque (With Kids)

Guide to Moving

We are excited to present our readers with the ABQ Mom’s Guide to Moving to Albuquerque. This guide aims to be a one-stop shop for our families out there who are moving to our favorite city in the world, Albuquerque.

We’ve compiled all the need-to-knows and nice-to-knows so that you and your family can feel right at home in the Southwest.

Thank you to our sponsor, Montessori ONE Academy.

Moving your family to a new city can be both an exciting adventure and an overwhelming task. From choosing the right home and the right school, to exploring your way around town and creating new friendships, blooming where you’re planted takes more than New Mexico sunshine and Rio Grande waters.

For families considering private education in Albuquerque, Montessori ONE Academy is the city’s only Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) school. Montessori ONE Academy serves infants through sixth-grade and provides a variety of program options to instill confidence and peace-of-mind while providing students with the best possible care and education. Parents can choose between part-time (infants, toddlers), full-time (all ages), and distance learning (primary preschool, elementary) programs.

On Campus Learning provides students with an authentic Montessori education conducted in small groups with a tried and tested Covid-19 safety plan. Students enjoy scheduling consistency, socialization, and a homework-free education model. On Campus Learners also have access to on-site before and after-care, on-site extracurricular activities, gardening, Spanish or ASL instruction, and award-winning play equipment. The full-time Distance Learning program provides students with an authentic Montessori education, a consistent schedule, live lessons, virtual social engagement, Spanish instruction, and a homework-free education model.

Recognized as one of the best preschools in Albuquerque, the culturally diverse students at Montessori ONE Academy are encouraged to explore, investigate, and fulfill their natural curiosity about the world around them, creating independent thinkers and adept problem solvers.  When choosing a private school in your new hometown, we invite you to join the Montessori ONE Academy community, where education starts at birth.

Moving Healthcare

Guide to Pediatricians

Pediatrician Moving

Finding someone to care for your little(s) can be a daunting task. Check out our guide for finding the perfect person to care for you child’s health.

Guide to Pregnancy & Postpartum

womens health moving

Mama, make sure you find the person who can take care of you. You can’t care for those babies if you are not at your best. Look for all of your womanly and pregnancy needs in our Guide to Women’s Health. 

Guide to Dentists and Orthodontists

dentist moving

My Dad always said, “You only get one set of teeth.” But baby teeth need taking care of too. Finding someone to take care of those teefers is extremely important. Check out here for our Guide to Dentists and Orthodontists around town. 

Guide to Fitness, Health, and Wellness

fitness moving

Finding a place to work out can sometimes sound daunting. We live in a world where there are gyms on every corner. We want to make it easy to find your new favorite place to get fit. This guide is filled with places we love to spend our downtime. 

Moving Education

Guide to Preschools and Childcare

preschools moving

Finding the perfect place to care for your kiddos when moving to a new town is a top priority. Albuquerque has a lot of preschool and childcare options. Check out this guide to find your child’s new favorite teacher. 

Guide to Private Schools

private schools moving

Some parents opt to send their children to private school. If that is something that you are looking for, we have a guide filled with top-notch private schools. These schools are scattered all across your new city. 

Guide to Charter Schools

charter school moving

Charter schools are another alternative option some parents choose. Here we have our Guide to Charter Schools. One of these schools could be a great place for your student to attend. 

Moving Activities

Guide to Parks

park moving

Parks are a free, fun option to take the kids for hours of entertainment. We have broken down our favorite parks into five areas of town. Check out our park guide for these favorites, as well as a full list of all the parks around ABQ. 

Guide to Pools and Splashpads

pools splashpad moving

Whether it’s trying to stay cool in the hotter months or your child is working on their freestyle stroke, we have the complete list of all pools and splashpads located right here in our great city. 

Guide to Kids Eat Free

kids eat free moving

Moving can be super expensive. Until that kitchen gets unpacked, you may be looking for some quick, cheap options to feed the family. This is your guide to where you can stop for a bite to eat and the kiddos can eat for free (or close to it!) 

Guide to Birthday Parties

birthday party moving

Did your move happen to fall on or near one of your little one’s birthdays? No worries! We have a great resource for planning the next milestone in your kiddo’s life. 

Moving Relax

Guide to Coffee Shops

coffee shop moving

If you are like me, coffee is a very important part of your daily routine. Luckily, Albuquerque has a lot of fun, local options to stop and sip or grab and go. Check them out here!

Guide to Date Night

date night moving

Getting away with your significant other is a crucial part of parenting. Whether you are looking for something fun or romantic, New Mexico has so many options for a night out without the kids. Click here to find you and your boo’s newest date night spot. 

Moving New Mexico

Guide to New Mexico Travel

NM travel moving

One of the coolest things about living in New Mexico is all the great places that are just a short drive away. You might be looking to discover more of what this great state has to offer. Check out this guide and get ready for some southwest beauty. 

Guide to Hiking and Trail Walks

hiking moving

If hiking is something that you like to do, Albuquerque is the spot to do it. If you are wanting to hike around solo or looking for a trail the whole family can hike on, this is the perfect guide to check out!

Guide to Adventuring in NM - State Parks, Lakes, Hiking ,and More

Guide to Adventure

We live in a beautiful state. There are so many different parts of New Mexico that have so much to offer, and with summer travel plans being limited this year, the list below has a bunch of options that you can reach by just hopping in the car. Grab your adventuring crew and check out the ABQ Mom’s Guide to Adventuring in New Mexico.

Moving Links
This post is sponsored by Montessori One Academy. ABQ Mom strives to partner with businesses we feel bring value to our readers.

Free First Day of School Printables (Two Designs To Choose From)

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Even though school looks much different this year, let’s celebrate our kiddos’ milestones. If we can maintain a positive attitude and make the most out of a less than desirable situation, that will go a long way in helping our kids be successful this school year.

Whether you’re blinking away tears or celebrating, you’ll want to commemorate the beginning of the school year! Some families choose to take photos on the first day of school. Why not take your little scholar’s photo with one of these cute printables?

back-to-school printables, 2020-2021 school year, ABQ MomTo help make your life just a little easier, we are providing you with some free printables available for download.

Print the correct grade out. Or if you can have your little scholar hold an iPad with their grade on it. Have your student strike a pose. And there you have it. An easy memory and a fun social media share.

We hope you and your kiddos have a fantastic first day of school! Don’t forget to tag ABQ Mom in your pictures on social media. We want to see those little cuties!


DOWNLOAD YOUR 2020-2021 BACK-TO-SCHOOL PRINTABLES BELOW.

There are two designs for you to choose from. Each design has a page for every grade preschool through 12th grade.

Design One

Download design one here.


Design Two

Download design two here.

 

Everything You Need to Know About NM’s 2020 Tax Free Weekend

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New Mexico’s tax free weekend is here, which, of course, means back-to-school shopping! Here are all the details you may need to know about the tax free holiday! Plus scroll down for my #1 tip when it comes to back-to-school shopping.

New Mexico's tax free holiday weekend 2020, ABQ MomWhen is New Mexico’s tax free weekend?

The tax holiday starts at 12:01 a.m. on August 7, 2020 and ends on August 9, 2020 at midnight.

What items are tax exempt?

  • Shoes and clothing that are less than $100.
  • Computers that are less than $1000.
  • Computer monitors, speakers, printers, keyboards, microphones, or mouse that are less than $500.
  • School supplies students normally use in a standard classroom priced at $30 or less per item.
  • E-Readers (if the model has computing functions such as word processing, spreadsheets, etc.)
  • Tablet computers
  • School backpacks

What items are excluded?

  • Accessories, jewelry, watches.
  • Clothing and shoes specifically designed for athletic activity or protection.
  • Radios, compact disc players, headphones, sporting equipment, portable desktop telephones, video equipment, copiers, office equipment, furniture or fixtures.
  • E-readers (if it only has Internet access and no other functions), PDAs, MP3 players, cassette players and recorders, cameras, books, CDs, DVDs, magazines, and other periodicals.
  • Computer software.
  • Musical instruments.
  • All games, including video games, board games, computer games, and handheld gaming devices.
  • Swimwear
  • Hiking backpacks

What types of sales are tax exempt?

  • Rain checks from a store that has run out of an item are tax exempt.
  • If you put an item on layaway, it’s eligible for waived taxes only if final payment and delivery take place during tax-free weekend.
  • If you need to exchange an item bought during the tax free holiday for another item of the same price, the exchange is still tax free.
  • If the exchange is of greater or lesser price than what you originally paid, it is subject to tax.
  • Online sales if the item is both ordered and paid for during tax-free weekend and it’s billed to a New Mexico address.

My #1 Back-to-School Shopping Tip

Don’t battle the crowds if you don’t have to. The tax free weekend is a great thing, but it doesn’t mean you have to stand around a bin of crayons with 50 other parents and tote your rambunctious kids to the store when they’d rather be playing.

Buy your school supplies online. (They’re still tax exempt if you order them this weekend.) Put on your sweatpants, pour a glass of wine, whip out that school supply list, and start clicking. All from the comfort of your couch. Seriously, getting your school supplies delivered to your front door is life-changing.

Happy shopping!

Steps We Took To Pay Off $95k of Debt in Three Years

$95k in debt gone in three years.

To be honest, one of the reasons why my husband and I moved to Albuquerque over 10 years ago was because it was rated the #4 place to live to get ahead financially in the US.

We moved down here with $95k in debt from our two cars and student loans. We decided to tackle this before we had kids because I wanted to stay home.

paying off debt, ABQ MomWe paid it down in three years. And no, we didn’t do Dave Ramsey, but looking back we did so some of his principles.

Here are the steps we took to get out of debt:

  1. Make a spreadsheet of all your debts and bills. Do not include your home. List what you pay monthly for that specific bill and the total remaining balance you owe. We did NOT put down any interest rates. Then categorize your bills by the remaining balance, smallest to largest.
  2. Put down other expenses. Budget money for groceries, spending money, and eating out.
  3. List all of your income that is stable. My husband and I were both working 9-5 jobs at the time so we put both of ours down. Now that I am a photographer and my income varies, I would average what I bring home monthly (and low-ball this).
  4. Add up all of your monthly expenses. Add up all of your income.
  5. Take 60% of what is leftover and round it to the nearest $100.
  6. That amount above (the 60% leftover) should be going to your SMALLEST bill amount. It doesn’t matter the interest rate.
  7. Paying off your smallest first will free up that payment. Then you will roll that payment into your next largest bill. Do that until all of your debt is paid off.

We paid off our last bill the week before my daughter was born, and I cannot explain the financial freedom that gave us. I want others to feel the same. The only bills we had were the ones that we needed to be up and running every day.

Since then we have upgraded cars, but now we see it as a tackle-fast item because we have done it before. It has set us up to think of debt differently.

I would love to answer any questions that you have about paying off debt.


Pin this post on Pinterest.

paid off $95K debt in 3 years, ABQ Mom

Introducing New ABQ Mom Contributor Roslynn Gallegos

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When I was little, my grandmother had this pink box. Inside were hats that she used to wear in the ’40s and ’50s. I loved that box of hats. Getting to try them on and dress up in her clothes and shoes was like magic. I remember posing in her bedroom mirror and wearing them in her living room while we watched old Audrey Hepburn films. When I think about who I am and my life, I reflect on wearing those hats and how each were different, but all were unique and beautiful.

I have worn many hats in my life.

Right now, I wear my single mom hat most frequently, but I also get to wear my writers’ hat, social worker hat, and political activist hat. On the weekend I get to wear my volunteer hat, and most recently I have gotten to wear my student hat. It is a privilege to wear these hats. Even on the days that I am tired or overwhelmed, I am often reminded how fortunate I am to have the opportunity to love, serve, and learn.

roslynn gallegos, ABQ MomMom Hat

I am a single mom to a beautiful eleven-year-old daughter. She is strong, smart, and kind. She has overcome so much in her little life and I couldn’t be more proud. My daughter is a child with Autism, but she is also a 4.0 student and aspiring vocalist. She serves alongside me when I am able to volunteer and has a beautiful heart. It is an honor to wear this hat. Sometimes I struggle and life gets difficult, but I know how blessed I am to be able to love this incredible little human.

Social Work Hat

I graduated with my Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work in 2014. Since then I have been given the opportunity to do some pretty amazing things. I have been fortunate to have met people in my life that have been willing to take a chance. They have allowed me to learn and grow in this profession. Currently, I am a school social worker by day and a human trafficking victim advocate by night. My job is challenging, but I love the hat I get to wear and the opportunity to serve and love my community.

Future Politician Hat

This year I was accepted into the EMERGE New Mexico program. This program helps to train women to run for office. Whether that is your child’s school board or a seat as a Congresswoman, this program trains you to learn to run a campaign based on your beliefs and values. I have loved meeting women across the state who share a passion for loving New Mexico. They are women working to support our communities. I have learned from women who have worked across the state to promote education reform, renewable energy, healthcare reform, and have fought on the frontlines for human rights. These women are amazing, and I am so lucky to be a part of this program. I hope that someday I can run for a seat in the House of Representatives and work to promote change in behavioral health and wellbeing across our state.

Writers Hat

I have always loved to write. When I was little, I always struggled in math classes. During high school and college, it was apparent that my math skills would not allow me to obtain a degree in physics. However, I was always attracted to writing. I took several creative writing classes and was able to work with local poets. Although I am not a poet, I did work on my writing and took advice from individuals who had the ability to ignite a thousand emotions in a single phrase. I love everything about writing from journaling and narrative therapy to storytelling and public speaking. It was such a gift to be selected to contribute to this collective. I hope that I will meet many more women that are willing to share their wisdom through words.

When my grandma passed in 2019, she left some of her hats for me. It was such a gift to have these pieces of my childhood. I often take these hats out of my grandmas’ pink box and hold them close. There is so much joy in my heart when I am scrolling through channels and see Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I pause and reflect on how grateful I am to wear the hats that I have been blessed with. I hope to keep adding to my collection of fabulous hats. So if you ever see a woman at the farmers market or writing in a journal somewhere scenic and she is wearing a fabulous hat, ask for her name, and hopefully she’ll say, “It’s Roslynn.”

Introducing New ABQ Mom Contributor Rosa R. Pynes

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Introducing New ABQ Mom Contributor Rosa R. Pynes.

About Me

Hi, I’m Rosa!  I am lucky enough to have been born in Durango, Mexico and, at age nine, my family and I moved to Grants, NM for my dad’s job. Because of this, I consider myself a proud New Mexican. I attended the University of New Mexico where I obtained my Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. While I always thought my career would evolve in corporate America, I actually fell in love with the idea of dismantling education inequity and started my professional career as a bilingual teacher in Dallas, Texas.

While in Texas, my high school sweetheart and I reconnected, and we have been married for almost five years! We have a handsome baby boy named Isaac Ray and two sweet rescue dogs named Harley and Rocky. After living in Texas for five years, we moved back to the Land of Enchantment in 2016 for my husband’s job and (most importantly) to be close to family. I am currently on the governing board for Albuquerque Collegiate Charter School and work as a Site Operations Manager for a national education nonprofit organization.

Family and Motherhood

Family is everything to me. I am the oldest of three daughters, and I can truly say my sisters are my best friends. Regardless of the distance between our relatives in Mexico and us, my parents have always instilled in us the importance of family. They have exemplified this through family trips to visit our hometown yearly and by ensuring we stay connected to our roots. Now that I am a mom, my hope is to be able to instill these values in my son (and future children to come).

Motherhood has been like a roller-coaster ride with many ups and many downs. If there is anything that I have learned, it is to take it one day at a time and to enjoy the ride. The past 15 months have flown by! Although there have been many trying times, I am truly making it a point to enjoy every stage. Trying to balance being a wife and a working mom has been challenging. I have to keep reminding myself that I can’t do it all and how important having a tribe is. Our families have also been extremely supportive and helpful as we navigate parenthood.

New Mexico True

After living in Texas for five years, I can say that I appreciate our city and our state so much more. Our state is rich in culture and amazing food. The unbelievably beautiful landscape and the diverse groups of people are some of the things I love most.

Even though we have lived in New Mexico the majority of our lives, I am embarrassed to admit that we haven’t ventured around our state much. However, we have tried to change that recently and have been having various weekend adventures around the state in our RV. We are new to the RV camping world, but we are really enjoying it! You can follow along with our adventures on our Instagram account @wknd_rvlivingfam.

 

Am I Too Old for Leather Pants?

Spoiler alert: No, you aren’t.

Recently I bought a pair of leather pants. I know what you’re thinking, “Haven’t you seen that episode of Friends where Ross gets stuck in the leather pants?” Don’t worry, they’re not real leather.

Am I too old for leather pants, ABQ MomI bought the pants because I like them. Period. But when I got them, I started thinking maybe I was too old for leather pants (I just turned 39).

I put on the pants and my husband and I went to a birthday party at a piano bar. Obviously, this was pre-Covid.

When we got to the bar, one of the musicians was wearing a Flounder shirt, as in Flounder from The Little Mermaid. I wondered if she had the same conversation with herself that I did. Did she think she might be too old for a shirt with a cartoon character? I suspect she did not because she was rocking that Flounder shirt with the confidence of a toddler with underwear on his head. And then, her confidence gave me confidence. I started wondering why I was so concerned about the pants to begin with?

Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we overthink? Why are we filled with self-doubt over such silly things? Why do we care what other people think? Who decides if we are too old or young to wear something, or like something, or be something? What’s the worst that could happen? Maybe some Judgy McJudgerton, who I don’t know and will never see again, makes fun of me. Oh well. I probably won’t even know it. The next time you’re feeling self-conscious about what you’re wearing, ask yourself two things: is it appropriate, and do you like it.

Is it appropriate?

I didn’t wear the pants for a job interview, a court appearance, or to church. I wore them to a bar. If they are appropriate for the setting, why the heck not?

Do you like it?

I like the leather pants. The musician likes Flounder. If you like it, just go for it! You’re not too old for a Mickey Mouse watch or a Barbie T-shirt. You’re not too young for socks and sandals or an eyeglass chain. But whatever you do, just do it proudly.

And then carry over that confidence to another aspect of your life.

Things To Do In ABQ :: A Mom’s Guide to August

a mom's guide to August, AlbuquerqueWell Mamas that was one summer for the books. And while we still have a couple weeks left, there is a lot to get ready for. If you are needing a break from all the commotion check out one of the many things going on the month of August. Read more below!

Below are some ABQ happenings for the month of August.

And for more at-home summer fun check out our Summer Bucket List.

:: Virtual Events ::

Ongoing Events

Bookworks Albuquerque

Bookworks is hosting virtual events multiple times a week. RSVP for these Zoom events via their Facebook events page.

Explora Science Museum

Explora is posting activities multiple times a week on their YouTube page.

Weekly Classes

Keshet Arts

Summer Dance Challenges are 6-week challenges (for all age groups) that come with activity bags available for curbside pick-up. Register here.

Harwood Art Center

Virtual Summer Art Camp Classes are June through July with different themes weekly. Each class has a daily lesson accompanied by a Zoom call on Fridays. For more info and to register click here.

The Little Gym 

From 10 mos – 12 yrs there is a perfect weekly virtual class being hosted by The Little Gym Albuquerque. Sign-ups are available online or by phone 505.897.0496.

B> Online Summer Camps

Be Greater than Average is an organization offering STEM classes for children. They currently have four different types of classes being offered for ages 6-17. Register online.

:: In-Person Events ::

I-9 Sports

From flag football to cheerleading to lacrosse, I9 offers a wide variety of activities at multiple locations starting at 3 years old. Learn more and register here.

:: Fun Holidays in August ::

August 2 :: Friendship Day

You guys. What would we do without our friends? They lift us up, make us laugh, and share in all the craziness of this life with us. Celebrate by checking out some great friendship quotes here. (Bonus points if you send them to your besties!)

August 4 :: National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day

So it’s pretty much already established what you will be eating all day. If you’re looking for a recipe to make your own — look no further than Ms. Joanna Gaines’ recipe. Check it out here.

August 6 :: Fresh Breath Day

Toothpaste, check! Flossing, check! Mouthwash, check! Your dentist is so proud of you, and there’s one thing I know fresh breath is good for. Giving someone a big smooch.

August 9 :: Book Lovers Day

Curling up with a nice book is honestly THE BEST. Need some ideas? Head over to our Pinterest board dedicated to the book lover in you (and your kiddo.)

August 10 :: Lazy Day

Let this be your excuse mama. BE LAZY, relax, don’t move off the couch, order food in, and Netflix it up.

August 12 :: Middle Child’s Day

Being a middle child isn’t always the easiest — celebrate by reading these secret advantages all middle children have to the one in your life.

August 17 :: National Thriftshop Day

Turn up your Macklemore and head out to do all your back to school shopping at the thriftshop. Don’t know where to start? Check out this post on thrifting for kids clothing.

August 26 :: National Dog Day

They have been there for you on your hardest days and on your happiest days. They are always willing to give you a lick and wag of the tail. Take today and celebrate your furry best friend.

August 31 :: National Eat Outside Day

On a blanket, on a patio, in your yard, all of these options are more than acceptable to grab a plate and enjoy the outdoors. Looking for a place to go? Check out our Guide to Patio Dining.

ABQ Mom’s Guide to Adventuring in NM :: State Parks, Lakes, Hiking, & More

We live in a beautiful state. There are so many different parts of New Mexico that have so much to offer, and with summer travel plans being limited this year, the list below has a bunch of options that you can reach by just hopping in the car. Grab your adventuring crew and check out the ABQ Mom’s Guide to Adventuring in New Mexico.

But first, we want to thank Elite Partners and Associates Real Estate Group for making this guide possible. The members of Elite Partners began their endeavor as friends with a vision of achieving a high level of success in the real estate industry, while incorporating their love for the spectacular state of New Mexico, strong work ethic, commitment to holding themselves to the highest ethical standards, and dedication to helping others.

Over the last 4 years, they have grown the team and continue to grow together with a common goal of maintaining a successful business, while raising children. They have begun to lay the foundation on which to build a legacy that their children can be proud of.

If you are looking to move, make sure to contact Elite Partners and Associates Real Estate Group. The housing market is hot right now, so make sure to not miss out on your next dream home.

PARKS

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the current New Mexico state health order, camping is not currently permitted at state parks. In addition, out-of-state visitors are restricted at state parks. Visitors to state parks must demonstrate proof of residency. Please see this link for the most recent updates.

Cerrillos Hills State Park

Located off Turquoise Trail Highway in between ABQ and Santa Fe, this day-use park includes trails, mountain views, and miles of mining history.

Features:

• Hiking

• Birding

• Visitor Center

• Equestrian

Current Hours : Daily 6am – 9pm


Cimarron Canyon State Park

Northeast of Angel Fire find the Cimarron Canyon State Park along the Cimarron River. Keep a lookout for some wildlife viewing as the park sits in the Colin Neblett Wildlife Management Area.

Features:

• Camping

• Hiking

• Birding

• Picnic Area

• Fly Fishing

• Equestrian

Current Hours : Thursday- Sunday 8am – 5pm


City of Rocks State Park

Located in between Silver City and Deming, this park is named after the volcanic rock formations that reside in the park. The volcanic rock was formed 34.9 million years ago and resembles a “city” while the trails that run through them resemble “city streets.”

Features:

• Camping

• Hiking

• Birding

• Mountain Biking

• Picnic Areas

• Botanical Garden

• Visitor Center with restrooms and hot showers

Current Hours : Daily 7am – 4pm


Coyote Creek State Park

This park is located southeast of Taos in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains along a stream.

Features:

• Camping

• Hiking

• Birding

• Fishing

• Picnic Areas

• Playground

• Visitor Center

Current Hours : Friday – Sunday 7am- 4pm


Hyde Memorial State Park

Just a short drive from Santa Fe located along Little Tesuque Creek, you’ll find New Mexico’s first state park. Hyde Memorial has so much to offer from activities to places to stay and is super close to ABQ.

Features:

• Camping

• Hiking

• Lodging

• Yurts

• Picnic Areas

• Playground

• Snow activities (Snow-shoeing, cross country skiing, sledding)

• Visitor Center (with wi-fi)

Current Hours : Thursday – Sunday 8am- 5pm


Leasburg Dam State Park

Just north of Las Cruces next to Radium springs, find this peaceful and relaxing state park. It offers a variety of amenities right on the Rio Grande.

Features:

• Camping

• Hiking

• Fishing

• Birding

• Kayaking

• Canoeing

• Swimming

• The Observatory (offering events and programs)

Current Hours : Thursday – Sunday 7am- 4pm


Living Desert Zoo & Gardens State Park

Tucked right outside of Carlsbad find this wildlife zoo park. There are at least 40 different species and hundreds of plants that are able to be viewed up close.

Features:

• Hiking

• Birding

• Visitor Center

• Picnic Area

Current Hours : Thursday – Sunday 9am- 5pm


Manzano Mountains State Park

Right in Albuquerque’s backyard, find the Manzano Mountain State Park. If you’re looking for a quick getaway with plenty of trails and great views, check out this park.

Features:

• Hiking

• Birding

• Wildlife Viewing

• Picnic Area

Current Hours : Closed


Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park

Right outside of Las Cruces, find the Mesilla Valley Bosque park.

Features:

• Hiking

• Birding

• Ranger-led Tours

• Picnic Area

Current Hours : Daily 7am – 4pm


Oasis State Park

Named because of its representation of a true oasis, this state park is located right outside of Portales. If you’re looking for fishing (and many more activities), this is your spot.

Features:

• Hiking

• Birding

• Fishing

• Sand Dunes

• Equestrian

• Picnic Area

Current Hours : Friday – Sunday 8am – 5pm


Oliver Lee Memorial State Park

In the Sacramento Mountains just south of Alamogordo, find the Oliver Lee Memorial State Park.

Features:

• Hiking

• Birding

• Camping

• Picnic Area

Current Hours : Thursday – Sunday 8am – 5pm


Pancho Villa State Park

Right on the border of Mexico, find a state park with a lot of history.

Features:

• Museum

• Birding

• Camping

• Picnic Area

• RV Camper hook-up

• Playground

Current Hours : Daily 7am – 4pm


Pecos Canyon State Park

One of New Mexico’s newest parks and still under development, Pecos Canyon is located just north of the Village of Pecos.

Features:

• Fishing

• Hiking

• Camping

• Picnic Area

Current Hours : Thursday – Sunday 8am – 5pm


Percha Dam State Park

Just south of Truth or Consequences is a quiet, peaceful park great for camping.

Features:

• Fishing

• Hiking

• Camping

• Birding

• RV Hook-up

• Restroom and Showers

• Picnic Area

Current Hours : Thursday – Sunday 8am – 5pm


Rio Grande Nature Center State Park

In the heart of Albuquerque, if you haven’t been already (possibly on a field trip), you will find the Rio Grande Nature Center. This is a great place for a fun, day trip exploring with the kiddos.

Features:

• Hiking

• Birding

• Wildlife Viewing

• Visitor Center

• Picnic Area

Current Hours : Thursday – Sunday 8am – 5pm


Rockhound State Park

Just south of Deming is the Rockhound State park located in the Little Florida Mountains.

Features:

• Hiking

• Camping

• Birding

• Picnic Area

Current Hours : Daily 7am – 4pm


Villanueva State Park

Located in the heart of Villanueva, this parks includes sandstone bluffs and the beautiful Pecos River.

Features:

• Hiking

• Birding

• Camping

• Picnic Area

• Fishing

• Equestrian

• Playground

Current Hours : Daily 8am – 5pm

LAKES

Bluewater Lake

• West of Grants • Currently closed

Bottomless Lakes

• SE of Roswell • Currently closed

Brantley Lake

• North of Carlsbad • Sat – Sun 7am – 5pm

Caballo Lake

• North of T or C • Thurs – Sun 7am – 5pm

Clayton Lake + Dinosaur Trackways

• North of Clayton • Fri – Sun 6am – 9pm

Conchas Lake

• NW of Tucumcari • Fri – Sun 7am – 5pm

Eagle Nest Lake

• North of AngelFire • Thurs – Sun 8am – 5pm

Elephant Butte Lake

• T or C • Thurs – Sun 9am – 8pm

El Vado Lake

• SW of Chama • Daily 7am – 5pm

Fenton Lake

• N of Jemez Springs • Currently Closed

Heron Lake

• NW of Chama • Daily 7am – 5pm

Morphy Lake

• NE of Santa Fe • Currently Closed

Navajo Lake 

• NE of Bloomfield • Daily 6am – 6pm

Santa Rosa Lake

• N of Santa Rosa • Sat – Sun 7am – 5pm

Storrie Lake

• N of Las Vegas • Daily 7am – 5pm

Sumner Lake

• NW of Fort Sumner • Sat – Sun 7am – 8pm

Ute Lake

• NE of Tucumcari • Daily 6am – 9pm

 

FAMILY-FRIENDLY HIKING TRAILS

Travertine Falls

Tijeras Exit to Arrowhead Trail and follow to the end.


Powerline Trail and Coyote Trail

East on I-40 and exit at Exit 175. At the bottom of the ramp there is a traffic light. Continue straight through the light on NM 337 for approximately 2 miles.


Alameda Open Space

South of Alameda at Rio Grande.


Cienega Picnic Area

East on I-40 to Exit 175 to Cedar Crest. Follow The Turquoise Trail for approximately 6.5 miles, to NM 536. Turn left onto 536 and follow it for about two miles. Turn left at the Cienega Picnic Area sign.

OTHER FUN PLACES TO ADVENTURE

White Sands National Monument

This national park consists of miles upon miles of white soft sand. BBQ grills, picnic sites, and a gift shop accompany the rolling white dunes. Grab the sled and some hot dogs and make a day trip out of it.


Jemez Springs 

Jemez Springs has so many adventures in one small place: lodging, campsites, hot springs, and so much more. Jemez is just a short trip northwest of ABQ, and you’ll find all the fun your family is looking for.


Carlsbad Caverns

With more than 119 different caves, the beauty and awe of the caverns cannot be beat. Learn all about the history of the caverns and enjoy a picnic on this trip about five hours from Albuquerque.


Four Corners Monument

Have you ever been in four places at once? Well, here you can! This is the spot where New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and Utah meet up at one exact point. Four Corners Monument is 60 miles northwest of Farmington on Hwy. 160.


Keep Up with Elite Partners and Associates Real Estate Group on Social

Aimee Pilegrene: @aimee_elite_realestate & Facebook

Jamie Cline: @jamieclinerealtor & Facebook

Margo Tapia: @newmargoinnewmexico & Facebook

Roxanne Gonzales: @roxannegrealty

Introducing New ABQ Mom Contributor Gina Lee Bryant

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About Me

Gina Lee Bryant

Hello ABQ Moms! My name is Gina and I am a brand new contributor to ABQ Mom!  I am the lucky mother of 3 (Leila, Ramone, & Ava).  I am the fur mom to our French Bulldog, Napoleon. Professionally, I have been in the radiology field since 2001. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Nuclear Medicine and a Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration. I am an Air Force veteran. Also, I am the owner of Gina Lee Kimchi where I produce small-batch kimchi using locally sourced ingredients. I love cooking exotic dishes, DIY projects, and traveling.

Albuquerque

One of the biggest blessings that I’ve had is the opportunity to live in so many different places. I’ve been fishing in the Mississippi delta. I’ve eaten Fugu pufferfish in Japan. I’ve hiked the Red Rock Canyon of Las Vegas, NV. I’ve sped up and down the Autobahn of Germany. I’ve marveled at the size of the jackrabbits in Texas. I’ve hunkered down becaue of numerous hurricanes in Savannah, GA. I never thought that I would be lucky enough to add Albuquerque and all of its amazingness to my bucket of memories. My husband’s job is what brought our family to Albuquerque in January 2019. For me, it was love at first sight.  The Sandia Mountains took my breath away the first time that I saw them. The Albuquerque culture and overall atmosphere are a perfect fit for my family. We love the weather, the people, and the green chile!

Motherhood

I have always been a meticulous planner. I thought that I had motherhood planned out to the tee. I imagined that I would be the type of mother who would have a never-ending arsenal of motherly wisdom to impart on my children. Little did I know that my children would actually be the most influential life teachers of my existence. My oldest daughter (Leila) taught me the real meaning of unconditional love. My son (Ramone) taught me about stick-to-it-ness. My youngest daughter (Ava) taught me how to roll with the punches. As a trio, my children bring so much joy to our home with their laughter and shenanigans. I find myself constantly learning something new from these amazing little people. This version of motherhood is nowhere near to what I had planned . . . it’s everything and so much more!

This Online Community

I am so excited to be a part of the ABQ Mom team. It amazes me to see so many different women from all walks of life come together in matriarchal harmony. As mothers, we come in all shapes, sizes, and forms. However, we share a common goal: to make the world a better place for our children. With this goal in mind, we are able to couple our collective talents with the world wide web to produce dreams and aspirations galore! You can take a peek into my world as I share my love of my Korean culture! You can follow me on Instagram or you can check out my website, Gina Lee Kimchi.

Helping Your Kid Find Independence & Confidence with Skiddies

This post is brought to you by Skiddies. We at ABQ Mom choose to work with businesses we feel bring value to our readers.

One of the most bittersweet aspects of motherhood is when your sweet little babies start to become independent toddlers and preschoolers. Everything becomes “I can do it” or “by myself,” which is a nice load off your shoulders, but sometimes this new found independence causes new to-dos for mom.

Take potty training for example . . .

Maybe I was naive (wait . . . I was definitely naive) when I thought that potty training was a two-week period of teaching and then BAM, no more potty worries. Oh the things we imagine parenting to be before we are parents, am I right?

In reality, potty training is years of work. Once your little ones know when and where to go, then comes the very long stage of “Mom, can you wipe my bottom?” I know I’m not the only mama that has dealt with a tantrum in a Target bathroom because you have to toss the beloved character undies because Mr. “By Myself” is still working on wiping accuracy.

Thankfully now, I know about Skiddies, a genius invention for families with children who are too independent for pull-ups, but need some extra confidence when it comes to keeping those big kid undies clean. Skiddies are a soft, super thin 100% cotton sheet that kids cannot feel. The adhesive that holds them in place is FDA approved and will keep the Skiddies secure all day long.

Parents all over are raving about Skiddies for the independence it provides their children and helping children accelerate out of the “can you wipe me” phase that we all dread. If you want to give them a try, Skiddies is offering one FREE trial pack per family (CLICK HERE).

Here’s what parents from around the country have to say about Skiddies.

FROM COLORADO
We love your product!!! This is a game-changer for my son! He leaks and he’s 7 years old! With Skiddies, he doesn’t have to wear pull ups now. These allow him to wear real underwear without bulk or noise from pull ups. I prepare beforehand and put them in his underwear drawer and he gets them out like “normal.”  He now even gets to stay nights with a friend with this kind of freedom. It makes playing sports much more comfortable. His confidence has risen! Thank you! Gift from Heaven!!!!
FROM CALIFORNIA
I got these for my 4 year old that leaks small amounts of poop a few times a day. Until now, we’ve been using panty liners because she refuses to wear pull-ups. Now we’ve found Skiddies! They cover a wider area and the thinness of the fabric makes it so she doesn’t even notice.

Creating an At-Home Learning Space That Works for You

School may look different this coming year, but with an at-home learning space and some organizational tools, your children can succeed!

You may have never pictured yourself teaching your children at home, but now that the re-opening of schools is uncertain, you may have started thinking about creating an at-home learning space.

As a former early childhood and elementary school teacher, I have some DIY tips and organizational tools to share with you! It’s easy to put together a learning space that works for you and your family.

The first thing to do is to find a space in your home that you feel comfortable dedicating to “all things school.” In our home we utilize a space right off of the kitchen. The counter space holds my teaching necessities like file folders, printer, and sorted crayons. Think of what school supplies apply to your child and grade level. What are the most used items for their work? Keep those items readily available.

Storage Storage Storage

Labeling your storage bins can be extremely helpful for you and your child. I have to admit that labeling is just second nature to an early childhood educator. We LOVE to label things! But it helps so much when you need to grab that next activity fast or you need to clean up quickly. It also leads to teaching your little one self-sufficiency.

I found these labels for free printing on Pinterest.

An over-the-door shoe storage has been my favorite part of my home classroom. If you have access to a nearby closet, I highly recommend using a shoe organizer to store even more supplies. The clear cubbies add even more accessibility to your daily school routine.

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DIY

I used soup cans to create pencil and marker holders. If you have more than one child, having more than one set of supplies can be very helpful.

After I washed out and dried the can, I used hot glue and applied a small ribbon of glue over the rough inside edge for safety. I then spray painted the cans to add a more appealing look. My empty spice rack came in handy to hold small arts and craft supplies.

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Create a space that feels natural to you!

What works for me and my littles may not work for you or your family.

And that’s okay!

The best advice I can give to you is to find a consistent place for your child to study. It can look more traditional, or it can be your kitchen table. It needs to feel good.

Once you have found that happy place for learning, try leading activities. This may work best for younger children. In the mornings I place a tray out with an activity or skill that we are working on.

Follow me on Instagram @roxybarry for ideas and activities! You will soon find that your child will look forward to seeing what’s new with little to no prompting. It’s super fun to watch!

Homeschool
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Last but not Least

Saving your child’s work.

I am not sure how much work will be required for online learning, but if you have children who create copious amounts of tangible work, displaying them is a wonderful sight!

I use string and clothespins to hang up paintings, drawings, and writings. Hanging the work at eye level for the student creates so much magic. They enjoy looking at their masterpieces.

Take a deep breath. Use this information as a guide. Tweak, change, and use what you can to create that at-home learning space that works for you and your child.

And have fun!


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creating an at-home learning space, ABQ Mom

 

Introducing New ABQ Mom Contributer Angelica Ponce

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Hey Moms! My name is Angelica Ponce!

I’m married to an active duty Airman, and we have two kids, Israel (Izzy) and Evelyn (Ev). I also have a small, lazy pup named Yoda. I met my husband, Wilmer, in 2010. We have been inseparable ever since. We got married the spring of 2014. I grew up a military brat, but Pensacola, Florida is home. As a family, we love to travel and often go on both small and big adventures. I enjoy crafting, DIY, cooking, and baking. I love being creative and making people smile. In my “kid-free time, which, as I’m sure you can imagine, is super rare, I enjoy a good bottle of wine and a true-crime podcast.

Albuquerque

I have been fortunate to live and travel all over the world thanks to my nomadic lifestyle and family. But Albuquerque has been unlike anywhere I have been or lived. This city is so diverse and unique. I love the variety of restaurants and the charming New Mexican culture. The picturesque mountains and desert backdrop make this city truly remarkable.
Plus, Albuquerque has that central location to all of the fun landmarks that New Mexico has to offer. I can see why New Mexico is called the “Land of Enchantment.” I have only lived here for a short while, but Albuquerque has definitely made an impact on my life.

Mommin’ Ain’t Easy

Motherhood came to me as a surprise. Both of my children were unplanned blessings, and are an absolute joy to my life. My son, Israel, was born in 2015, and my daughter, Evelyn, in 2017.

I was a working mom until 2018, when my husband and I decided that staying home was a better option for our family. I enjoy staying home more than I thought I would and the kids definitely keep me very busy. Also, I have a background in education and childcare. I am excited to share my tips and tricks to keeping toddlers busy with you guys.

As a military family we have unique, and let’s be honest…odd, experiences while trying to parent. I am so happy to share my journey in motherhood, and how I have navigated the crazy military family life along with being the best mom I possibly can.

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You can find me on Instgram and Facebook. 

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In + Around ABQ

ABQ Mom’s Blog Guide to Moving to Albuquerque (With Kids)

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We are excited to present our readers with the ABQ Mom's Guide to Moving to Albuquerque. This guide aims to be a one-stop shop...