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Albuquerque Innsights

Former New Mexico innkeeper knows secrets and tells anyone who will listen.

Albuquerque River of Lights Festival, aka Holiday Stress Relief

Peacock at River of LightsThe time spent with friends and family during the holidays is precious time, so why ruin it with the over-stay blues, differences of opinion that really don’t matter anyway, and just general friend and/or family overload. There are plenty of things going on in Albuquerque for you and/or your out of town guests to keep every one happy, so get the heck out of the house! Go as a group or go it alone, but do get out for a while. The 12th Annual River of Lights Holiday Light Festival can de-stress you real quick.

The River of Lights is ALWAYS going to get you in the holiday mood. When I get bogged down with tedious preparations this festival helps me to feel the meaning of the holiday season again.  It is a large walk-through exhibition of holiday lights, live music and more. The lights are beautiful, the music is medicine to the soul, and seeing the children get so excited about all of it is priceless. Wear a scarf and gloves! Hot food and beverages are available on site. Here is all the skinny on it…
Albuquerque River of Lights
Nov. 29 – Dec. 30 (closed Dec. 24 & 25)
at the Albuquerque Aquarium/Botanic Garden (Bio Park)
West of Old Town at 2601 Central Ave NW

You may purchase tickets online and print them yourself to save waiting in line, or stand in line for the on-site ticket sales starting each night at 5:30pm.

7 for adults 13 and older
$3 for children 3 to 12
babies 2 and younger free

I mentioned this is more than a light show, so here is what else is happening at the River of Lights:

T Rex at River of lightsMusic, Music, Music every night. Holiday tunes are performed by various artists and groups, ranging from choirs to jazz to rock to strings to brass bands.

• A free Holiday Nature Crafts program will be offered in the Aquarium/Garden Education building on consecutive Wednesdays on Dec. 3, 10 and 17, from 6 to 7:30pm.

• The Miniature Garden Railroad, decked out for the holidays, will operate from 6:00 to 8:30 pm Wednesdays through Sundays (weather permitting).

Glass Snowmen Exhibit on the Bio Park Plaza

The Shark Reef Café will offer special holiday meals Dec. 16-23 and Dec. 26-30. Reservations will be taken for parties of 15 or more. (Strangely, this is one of my personal favs – I like to eat with the fishes an this is THE place to do it, with one side of the restaurant being part of the “Big Tank”).  For information about restaurant dining call 505-848-7182 This isn’t five star dining, but the food is priced well and tastes fine. It’s all about the fish swimming next to you. I think it is pretty cool.

• The Bio Park Gift Shop has evening hours during this festival, so you can even make a shopping event of it.

For more info about Albuquerque’s River of Lights Festival, you may call for additional information, please call 505-764-6280, or visit their website which has more info than you could possible need. Check out this video I found from 2007 River of Lights, remembering…that was two years ago and each year this show gets bigger and bigger with new displays never seen before previewing every year. What are you waiting for? Get out of the house now!



I know the best things to do in Albuquerque!
Sarah Dolk, Adobe Nido Bed & Breakfast
Expert on Destination Albuquerque and Central New Mexico!

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One Response to “Albuquerque River of Lights Festival, aka Holiday Stress Relief”

  1. I don’t unremarkably comment but I gotta state thanks for the post on this one : D.

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copyright 2009 :: sarah dolk, adobe nido bed and breakfast, albuquerque nm :: photos by susan see, abq, nm & marianne groszko, mariannephotography.net