Albuquerque is possibly the best family vacation destination, having something for all interests. The city has been voted among the top 10 cities for families several times. Albuquerque is home to 19 museums with a range of topics for any interest, and every visitor is encouraged to be a kid at heart. From nature centers and museums to amusement parks and sports venues, families are guaranteed to have plenty of Albuquerque fun to choose from. The little ones might be interested in seeing the animals in the zoo, while the older ones may want to try hands-on science experiments. If your family is looking for outdoor activities, there are many opportunities for hiking, biking, golf and even ballooning.
As far as kid friendly vacations are concerned, Albuquerque has many options, plus it's so affordable that you'll find your travel budget goes far. In fact, in 2012, Hotwire.com® named Albuquerque a Top 10 Value City in the U.S. If you’re looking for the very best family vacation destination, from dinosaur exhibits to outdoor fun, look no further than Albuquerque.
Nature Centers and the Zoo
The Albuquerque climate is perfect for family outdoor activities and wildlife experiences. The variety of ecosystems and abundant natural beauty are showcased through a number of resources devoted to the high desert environment. See animals up close and talk to their caretakers at the zoo. The natural setting offers many possibilities to visit creatures that live around Albuquerque. Located on the central Rio Grande flyway, Rio Grande Nature Center State Park offers excellent bird watching throughout the year. If you are interested in seeing the volcanoes, bring your family to the Petroglyph National Monument to hike the Rinconada or Piedras Marcadas Canyons from sunrise to sunset. If the kids love animals, they will enjoy the hands-on experiences at Albuquerque Alpacas or the Wildlife West Nature Park.
The ultimate for kid friendly vacations, The ABQ BioPark is a unique environmental museum comprising four facilities - Aquarium, Botanic Garden, Zoo and Tingley Beach (fishing lakes), that all foster environmental awareness, education and stewardship. At the Zoo, the little ones can get up close to exotic animals, or they can take a look at the ecosystem along the Rio Grande at the Aquarium. In the Botanic Garden, you will find formal and whimsical gardens designed to delight your senses, while Tingley Beach offers something for the whole family including fishing, walking, hiking, model boats and rental bikes. There is also a train connecting the Aquarium & Botanic Garden with the Zoo, and another that loops around the Zoo.
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Have fun in Albuquerque and try rollercoasters, water parks, paintball and more in any of the family entertainment centers. During the warmer months, April through September, kids enjoy a trip to Cliff’s. New Mexico’s only amusement park offers family fun on rollercoasters, water rides, Kiddieland and more. Thrill rides like the Cliff Hanger and the SideWinder will keep you on your toes and don’t miss the New Mexico Rattler, one of the Top 25 Wooden Roller Coasters in the World. Kids can climb walls and ride bumper cars at IT’Z, and enjoy affordable family dining with quality entertainment such as mini-bowling and a gaming room. You won’t be bored at this place! Hinkle Family Fun Center offers an 18-hole Miniature Golf Course, Hinkle Extreme Paintball Adventure and much more.
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If your family is into outdoor activities, there are many opportunities here. Albuquerque family outdoor activities include biking, hiking, skiing and multiple sports. There are many hiking trails that follow the meandering path of the Rio Grande, while the Sandia mountains provide fantastic terrain for hikers and bikers. Get a bird's eye view from the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway. Rent a bike at one of the city’s bike shops, located near Old Town and downtown. The stores offer everything you need to set off before seeing the Sandias, the cottonwood forest, or your neighborhood of choice, or you may even choose a guided bike tour with your family. Cool summer and fall evenings are perfect for enjoying dinner on a patio, and in the winter, Sandia Peak offers skiing and snowboarding overlooking the city.
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Are your children into science and history? The city offers many interesting historic attractions and learning opportunities for family fun in Albuquerque. There are multiple learning centers and museums filled with history, which the whole family will appreciate. New Mexico Museum of Natural History’s has dinosaur exhibits and their Planetarium has two things that kids love: stars and planets. Inside the museum is the Lockheed Martin DynaTheater, where films come to life in 2D and 3D. There are shows playing eight times a day, usually with an educational theme. Across the street you will find Explora, a hands-on science discovery center with exhibits, activities, programs, theater performances and events in science, technology and art. Another special attraction is the American International Rattlesnake Museum, home to the world's largest collection of live rattlesnakes. Or you can see a county fair, a three-ring circus and an entire handcrafted village at Tinkertown Museum, a guaranteed unique experience! The city’s cultural and historic centers offers a fun and fascinating look at the history that shaped New Mexico and the blend of cultures that makes this area so unique.
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Additional Resources for Family Travel Planning