By Sheri McDonald, Taking the Kids correspondent
Albuquerque, New Mexico is an area full of culture and heritage that is perfect for families who value mixing education into their vacations. However, fun isn’t sacrificed in the name of education! Here are ten activities and destinations you will find in Albuquerque that are ideal for families traveling with children.
1. Explora Science Center – Explora is the winner of Albuquerque’s Business First Nonprofit of the Year Award for 2013, and it is well deserved. The center offers a variety of activities for children that include technology, art and science. The kids learn how to fly an airplane, they alter colour with light and create energy with water. The kids will be busy all day at Explora!
2. ABQ BioPark Zoo – The BioPark Zoo is home to rhinos, elephants, zebras, hippos, giraffes and many more of your children’s favourite animals. You can enjoy underwater viewing of the polar bears and seals swimming too, and if you’re there this year you can see a baby elephant too!
3. Shark Reef Café – Located at the ABQ BioPark Aquarium, this café offers a full wall view of sharks, sea turtles and other sea creatures while you enjoy your meal.
4. Sandia Peak Tramway – Ride a tram to the top of the Sandia Mountains where you can get a spectacular view of Albuquerque and if you are feeling adventurous you can ski the slopes. The peak is home to the New Mexico Ski Museum and you can even dine at the top of the Sandias!
5. Rainbow Ryders – Float over Albuquerque in a hot air balloon with Rainbow Ryders. The balloon offers a unique view of the Sandia Mountains as well as a distant view of the Albuquerque Volcanoes. Your pilot may even sail low to get a look at the petroglyphs in the rocks.
6. Hotel Cascada – Hotel Cascada is a family hotel with an indoor waterpark. You will find affordale and delicious meals in the hotel and at night you get a great night’s sleep in your Sleep Number bed. The water park includes a lazy river, waterslides and even a Flowrider for kids and adults who want to learn to surf.
7. Indian Pueblo Cultural Center – There is a host of information here about the nineteen Pueblo tribes in the Albuquerque area. You can see how they live, learn about their heritage, admire their artistry and even try some of your own art while at the center. There are activities for the kids to do throughout the center and you can grab a bit to eat at the café.
8. Rattlesnake Museum – Learn about the many varieties of rattlesnakes, as well as many other living creatures at the Rattlesnake Museum. The director of the museum, Bob Myers, will share his insights and stories while introducing you to these amazing creatures.
9. Los Poblanos – The Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm is home to many farm animals including pigs, llamas, donkeys, peacocks and more. You can feed the goats and gather your own eggs that the chef will then prepare for you. Inside the farm shop you will find delicious jams and spices and many lavender products. The Inn features authentic décor and is a beautiful place to get away.
10. Old Town – Explore historic architecture, visit art galleries, purchase some authentic handmade jewelry and enjoy shopping in the many shops in Old Town Albuquerque.
Albuquerque is a beautiful and authentic place that seems to have a population that is proud of their roots. Visiting with my son was an amazing experience full of surprises and information that he continues to share with us each day.
Sheri McDonald is a family travel blogger and mom of four who shares her every day experiences and travel stories at kidsumers.ca.