Albuquerque Old Town
Originally the city center, Albuquerque Old Town covers about eight square blocks of historic adobe buildings and is rich with history. The historic plaza is centrally located and in walking distance to many shops, museums, and restaurants.
I am not surprised when I hear Albuquerque tops many lists for best places to vacation with families. There are tons of fun family friendly activities throughout the city including museums, outdoor hiking and walking trails, historic sites, and restaurants. Nestled at the base of the Sandia Mountains, the city is beautiful. Old Town is the perfect spot to begin your Albuquerque adventure.
Guests enjoy coming to Old Town to get a true feel for our unique New Mexico architecture and culture. Strolling thru Old Town is always pleasant and full of fun little surprises. You can shop for southwest jewelry from local vendors who display their goods under the portal near the plaza. On a summer night, you may even be treated to a mariachi band or folk band performing in the Old Town gazebo on the plaza. Around the holidays, Old Town buildings are adorned with luminarias (lanterns). There is a tree lighting ceremony the first Saturday of December each year, as well.
Enjoy a delicious authentic New Mexican meal at a local cantina. Locals will ask you if you prefer red or green. Chile, that is. Be adventurous and ask for "Christmas", which is a sampling of both! Or, say "on the side" if you want to sample chile at your own pace. Have a sweet tooth? There are many sweet shops and chocolatiers that stock delicious candy, ice cream, and other treats you can enjoy.
From visiting the quirky little Rattlesnake Museum (jam packed with reptiles and fossils and a neat gift shop), to touring the beautiful and historic San Felipe De Neri Catholic Church, kids of all ages will enjoy many fun sidetracks in Old Town. There are a plethora of restaurants, stunning art galleries, and southwest jewelry stores packed with beautiful turquoise and gemstone pieces.
MUSEUM OF NATURAL HSTORY
Our kids always enjoy the Museum of Natural History and Science chocked full of dinosaur information, interactive exhibits, as well as fossils. There is also an IMAX Theater with a 5 story giant movie screen, as well as a Planetarium on site. A gift shop and cafe there are convenient. Backpacks and strollers are allowed.
EXPLORA CHILDREN’S MUSEUM
Also in Old Town is EXPLORA Science Center, a fun hands-on children's museum for families with children of all ages. There is a separate toddler area perfect for crawlers, as well as a ton of interactive stations for kids and adults that will really get your brain working in a fun way. Our favorite stops here are the large bubble station on the second floor as well as a ride on the oversized elevator equipped with sofa and chairs! There is also a nice gift shop, grassy outdoor shaded area, and playground with picnic tables. There is a second outdoor area on the second floor. Backpacks and strollers are allowed.
THE ALBUQUERQUE ART MUSEUM
A third museum option in Old Town is The Albuquerque Museum. This art museum showcases the rich culture of the people of New Mexico through fine art exhibits and continues to be a leading center for art, history, and culture in the entire Southwest. Our kids have visited many times for school field trips and learn something new each visit. They particularly like exploring the outdoor sculpture garden as well as the permanent collection of New Mexico art. Strollers are allowed.