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Holiday events kick off in the Duke City this weekend


The Twinkle Light Parade Saturday evening / Image courtesy CABQ


With Thanksgiving over and done with, the holidays have officially arrived in Albuquerque. There is plenty of holiday cheer to partake in over the next couple of weeks in Albuquerque, starting this weekend with the annual Twinkle Light Parade downtown and the River of Lights event at the Biopark tomorrow night.

Here's a rundown on what the week has to offer those of us looking for holiday events and fun in Albuquerque.


Twinkle Light Parade - Saturday, November 28, 5:15 pm. The parade will begin at 3rd St. and Central Ave., head west on Central Ave., ending at the Rio Grande Botanic Gardens, Central Ave. and New York, (approximately 2 miles). Free. Website

River of Lights - November 28 - December 30, 6-9 pm. Closed December 24 & 35. The Botanic Garden at Albuquerque Biopark lights up with a colorful display of holiday cheer, as numerous light installations create sparkling sculptures - everything from daunting dinosaurs to twinkling turtles and more! A great after-event to pair with the Twinkle Light Parade. $7 for adults over 13; $3 for children (babies 2 and younger free). Free parking at the Botanic Garden lots and Tingley Beach. Purchase tickets online through the website or in person from 5:30 pm on.

Nob Hill Nights - December 3, 5-10 pm. If you missed this event last month, you can still make it out for the annual Shop 'N' Stroll event, for which Central Ave. closes down, and families and pets alike enjoy a wide variety of late night shopping, dining, street food, music and more. Website

Old Town Holiday Stroll - December 4, noon-9 pm. This Albuquerque staple event includes the lighting of the Old Town Christmas Tree at 6:15 pm. All day, you can enjoy entertainment, dancers, singers, great food and fun around Old Town. Parking is limited in Old Town, so you might consider using the Rapid Ride red line public transit, which drops off conveniently near the entrance to Old Town. Website

Jingle Bell Walk/Run - December 5, 9 am. Kicking off from Mariposa Basin Park on Taylor Ranch Rd, this is a festive way to kick off your holidays by helping others! Wear a holiday themed costume. Tie jingle bells to your shoelaces. Run or walk a 5 or 10 kilometer route with your team members and celebrate the season by giving to the Arthritis Foundation. Website

Holiday Open House and Family Workshop at Casa San Ysidro - December 5, Workshop: 1-3 pm; Open House: 5-8 pm. Celebrate holiday tradtitions around the world, create your own holiday themed art works and explore different cultural traditions through music and food. In the evening the historic home will be decorated with farolitos and holiday greens and all ages can participate in ornament making and singing carols around an open bonfire. Website


The Nutcracker Ballet - November 28-29 and December 5-6, 2 pm and/or 7 pm. This weekend and next, the New Mexico Ballet will put on their annual performance of the Christmas classic, The Nutcracker, at UNM's Popejoy Hall. Tickets range from $11 - $45 and are available through UNM Tickets, the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra website, or in-person at the UNM Box Office in front of Popejoy Hall.

Christmas Traditions: Music Concert - December 5, 7:30 pm. The program will include sacred, traditional and contemporary selections for the holiday season such as O Holy Night, We Wish You a Merry Christmas, and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. Concert to be held at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in the North Valley/Corrales. $10 adults, $5 kids and seniors.


Rio Grande Arts & Crafts Festival Holiday Show - November 27 - 29, 9 am - 5 pm (10 am on Sunday). Now in its 10th year of operation at Expo New Mexico (State Fairgrounds), this holiday-themed arts and crafts fair is chock-a-bloc full of wintery crafts and great gifts ideas, like homemade jewelry, paintings and more. There are plenty of great things to eat, and the kids will enjoy the "Cookie Walk" and the "Holiday Creation Station", where they can create their own ornaments and gifts. Admission is $6 for adults or $8 for a 3-day pass, and free for children under 12. Parking at Expo New Mexico is $4. Website

Ornament Making at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center - Saturdays in December, 9 am - 4 pm.  An ornament-making worshop presented by the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center and the National Hispanic Cultural Center. Visitors can make a traditional holiday ornament in tin, clay or straw. $6 adults, $5.50 seniors, $3 students & kids. Website