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Albuquerque Innsights

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

River of Lights 2011 at Albuquerque’s BioPark

The Albuquerque River of Lights is a great Christmas Holiday tradition for kids of all ages, and one of the “Must Do” Christmas things to do in Albuquerque. It is held at the ABQ BioPark Botanic Gardens and it is the perfect venue. There is more than just the lights this season…so check this out!

First – The River of Lights is a presentation of millions of sparkling, glowing and blinking light sculptures displayed throughout the grounds of the ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden. Some are animated, some have synchronized patterns and all are set to a musical background of holiday music. The atmosphere is truly magical and I usually walk away with an ache in my jaw from smiling the whole time I’m there.

The River of Lights is happening right now through December 30th, 2011, but is closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas so the fine folks who volunteer for this month long event can be with their families for the Christmas Holiday.

Be sure to dress warmly. This venue is in the valley, close to the Rio Grande and is generally the coldest area of the city in the winter. Don’t spoil your fun by forgetting hats and gloves! You can buy River of Lights tickets online and avoid standing in line. Chillin’ – not always a good thing.

River of Lights Hours:
6 pm – 9 pm      November 26th – December 15th
6 pm – 10 pm    December 16th – December 30th
$8    Adults
$4    Children Ages 3-12 (under 3 free)

It can get pretty crowded on the weekends so you can utilize the FREE Park and Ride from the Zoo for the River of Lights. You can buy tickets online and avoid the lines. Before you chose your night, check out this link to the full Music Schedule at River of Lights, in Albuquerque.

NextShark Reef Cafe – There is a really neat cafe on location at the Bio Park and they will be open for dinner during this great Albuquerque event, so eat with the fishes at the Shark Reef Cafe before strolling through the lights. Santa will be there too (Dec 12 -23 only), though I don’t know how he finds the time. From Dec 26 -30 you can still dine in the evening at the Shark Reef, but Santa will be busy elsewhere.

Last but not least – Kadomatsu in the Japanese Garden – Kadomatsu is a bamboo and pine arrangement and is a Shintu tradition for the New Year in Japan. Come see the arrangements in the BioPark’s Japanese Garden. This event is running December 17 through January 6th, 2012. Kadomatsu arrangements are usually done in pairs and represent strength, flexibility vitality and purity – all virtues to start the new year with. Admission is the general entrance fee during the day.


Address for the River of Lights, Shark Cafe and Japanese Garden:
ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden
2601 Central Ave. NW

If you’re in Albuquerque for the Holidays, don’t miss out on this extraordinary venue.

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