17 Awesome Things to do in Albuquerque with Kids

Heading to New Mexico? Make sure to take this beautiful stop and find the best things to do in Albuquerque with kids for the whole family to enjoy!

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We spent our spring break in New Mexico exploring all over the state. We really wanted to take the kids to Albuquerque to discover the cultural aspects we read about and enjoy them ourselves.

From gorgeous churches, historical walks, and live, caged snakes (for those who are snake fans!), there are plenty of family-friendly things to do in Albuquerque to have a unique experience.

pinnable image of things to do in Albuquerque with kids, 4 images: adobe building with turquoise doors; tall tan colored church with two white spires on either side of entrance; mountains with trees covering them; unique house shaped like a spaceship
Native American dressed in black dress off one shoulder and traditional accessories, dancing among a few others outside with tan adobe building in back

Photo Credit: Indian Pueblo Cultural Center performers, Gage Skidmore from Flickr

1. Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

2401 12th Street NW

The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center is a beautiful way of honoring and learning about the Pueblo people and culture that has a vast presence in New Mexico. Walk among the galleries, murals, and exhibits, and enjoy dance performances on the weekends.

Make sure to also visit the Indian Pueblo Kitchen. Here you can order dishes from traditional Pueblo cuisines, breads, stews and other items made with traditional and local ingredients.

You can shop local artists and pick up something to remember your visit by in the gift shop.

2. National Museum of Nuclear Science and History

601 Eubank Blvd SE

After being relocated through the years, the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History landed in Albuquerque in 2009. The museum is all about preserving the history and enlightening the visitor on the process of nuclear advancements, as well as the people who have been involved in it.

The museum has temporary exhibits (like the machines of DaVinci) as well as permanent exhibits (like how we dispose of radioactive waste) that kids and adults will find fascinating as they walk around the museum.

You can also walk around outside among 9 acres of planes, missiles, cannons, and more.

There is a lot to learn about nuclear science here, including how it makes an appearance in our everyday lives.

kids climbing up steep rock area, large dark boulders, blue sky above

3. Petroglyph National Monument

6510 Western Trail NW

Petroglyph National Monument is a fun, outdoor stop near Albuquerque that kids will love! While it’s not a larger national park like the others in New Mexico, is a really cool place to hike around.

You won’t have to drive far for this special place. The monument land is filled with hundreds of petroglyphs that have been around up to 700 years. They were created by Pueblo people that lived on the land as well as early Spanish settlers.

Here you’ll find great hiking, petroglyphs everywhere, volcanoes, canyons, and great views.

Head to Boca Negra Canyon for a quick, steep hike up to the top of the Mesa. This shorter trail is great if you are short on time. It’s steep, but less than a mile. Totally doable for kids.

Make sure to stop at the Visitor Center and information booth first. The kids can grab a Junior Ranger booklet and you can see a map of the different areas to hike in.

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4. Turquoise Museum

400 2nd St SW

If you’ve got a child that appreciates gems, rocks, and minerals (mine LOVES rocks), then make sure to stop by the Turquoise Museum in Albuquerque.

The museum hosts plenty of beautiful turquoise pieces and jewelry, brought from over 100 mines around the world. Walk around this castle-like building to discover how turquoise is used as an art form.

Having been mined in New Mexico for over 1,000 years, this official New Mexico state gem is an important part of local history.

Book Your Tickets for Turquoise Museum (please note this is one of few Viator experiences that is not refundable, so book shortly before your planned visit!)

5. Explora Science Center and Children’s Museum

1701 Mountain Rd NW

This is one of the most recommend things to do in Albuquerque for kids and families.

The Explora Science Center and Children’s Museum is filled with wonder and hands-on exhibits to keep kids entertained and learning.

This S.T.E.A.M museum includes math exhibits that feel more like play than learning, gravity exhibits you can play with to test a marble’s journey, water table areas (always a favorite), and SO much more.

If your family enjoys children’s museums, then Explora should definitely be on your list.

a polar bear at the Albuquerque BioPark zoo, walking on large slab rocks in front of a water hole

6. Albuquerque BioPark

There are 4 sections of the BioPark, so you are sure to be able to spend an entire, enjoyable day in one of Albuquerque’s most popular spots.

From Macaws to jaguars and gorillas, the Albuquerque BioPark Zoo is a great place for families to spend a day in Albuquerque. Kids will love the elephants, giraffes, and dragons that come from all over the world.

Next, head to the BioPark Aquarium where you can see anything from colorful corals to jellyfish and sea otters. Kids will also love the resident sea turtles and sharks that swim the waters of the aquarium.

After you get your fill of animals, head to the gorgeous BioPark botanic gardens area. Even if it’s snowing where you are coming from, it’s likely that something beautiful will be blooming down in Albuquerque at the gardens. You’ll be amazed at this beautiful place, just as The Travel Channel was.

The last section of the BioPark consists of Tingley Beach. This is a beautiful lake-front area where you can hang out in the sun or walk around the trails. Fishermen in the family can grab a license and try their hand at a great catch. There’s even a children’s pond for young fishermen.

7. Anderson Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum

9201 Balloon Museum Dr. NE

Albuquerque is well-known for their hot air balloon presence and grand festival in the fall. If you’re not around for the balloon fiesta, step inside the Anderson Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum.

Kids will love climbing aboard a stationary balloon basket for a sense of what it’s like to soar in the sky. You can also enjoy the feel of the balloon envelope fabric as you learn about flight patterns and general info about the balloon festival over the years.

You’ll be intrigued at exhibits which highlight the history of ballooning across the ocean, and even around the world. See how it was done, by whom, and the many attempts it took to be successful.

Tip: If you’re lucky enough to visit in early fall, try to time it with the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. We went to a balloon festival in Telluride, CO one year, and that was cool. The Albuquerque one blows that one away!

looking up from below a hot air balloon, the balloon is rainbow colored blocks with a small brown basket below

8. Hot Air Balloon Ride

While you are exploring the world of hot air balloons, why not take a bucket-list adventure by lifting-off into the sky yourself!

Book a hot air balloon ride while visiting Albuquerque and amaze the whole family with the experience and views of the town.

This sunrise flight will take you on an hour journey along with a knowledgeable pilot who can tell you all about the surrounding lands. Adults will get a sparkling wine and everyone can enjoy a light breakfast after landing.

a large, tan, adoble style church with two towers of spires offset from the center, reddish brown pavers in the plaza area in front of the church.  The San Felipe de Neri Church is one of the best things to do in Albuquerque that doesn't cost anything

9. San Felipe de Neri Church

2005 N Plaza St NW

We are the kind of people that enjoy culture, history, and architecture. So San Felipe de Neri brought all 3 in one.

The San Felipe de Neri Church is located in old town Albuquerque, right near the center. This church is large and beautiful, both inside and out.

Visitors may enter and walk through the gift shop and mass area when mass is not in progress.

Even kids can appreciate the grandeur of the inside and hopefully share an appreciation of past and present cultural values.

10. New Mexico Steam Locomotive History Museum

1833 8th St. NW

Kids who love trains will really appreciate witnessing this historic steam locomotive.

It originally ran over a million miles before going into retirement. That is, until 2021 when restoration efforts led to the train powering up by steam again for the first time in years.

Visitors can stop by and tour the site on Wednesdays or Sundays. Be a witness to where the restoration of this $3.5 million locomotive happened.

Tip: must have closed-toe shoes. No Sandals.

11. Rio Grande Nature Center State Park

2901 Candelaria Rd. N.W

If you are an outdoorsy family that enjoys a little hiking (more like nature-walking) and nature, stop at Rio Grande Nature Center State Park.

Kids can keep an eye out for birds and turtles as you take a short hike just over a mile on the interpretive trail in the park. There are 270 acres to explore along the Rio Grande river.

Search for animals among the pond area and wetlands area, then head to the gardens for plants and butterfly visitors.

This is a great way to get fresh air, and a great budget-friendly thing to do in Albuquerque for the whole family.

exterior of rattlesnake museum in Albuquerque New Mexico.  A one-story, flat roof adobe building with turquoise double doors. Natural-looking wooden posts to hold a covered area around the exterior walk

12. American International Rattlesnake Museum

202 San Felipe St NW

As much as you may not be a fan, the International Rattlesnake Museum share how snakes actually make lots of impact on our everyday lives.

Enter through the front door, explore the gift shop, and then continue on to what is the largest collection of live rattlesnakes in the world.

Open Tuesdays-Saturdays. Also open Monday in the summertime.

13. Cliff’s Amusement Park

4800 Osuna Road Northeast

From toddler rides to free-fall thrills, Cliff’s Amusement Park is a great place for families of all ages. Older kids will love the rollercoasters and younger ones have their own bumper car area.

And if you visit on a hot summer day, take respite on one of the water rides or in the splash area.

You’ll also get carnival games and face painting to even out your day of adrenaline.

Open with various weekly schedules late April through early August

a unique thing to do in Albuquerque is drive by the spaceship house in Nob Hill neighborhood.  View from across the street, looking at a home that has a flat, oval shape to the second story with glass windows and wood bottom

14. Spaceship House

Nob Hill Neighborhood

The Spaceship House is one of the quirky roadside stops that is kinda fun for the family to see.

This unique home was built by architect Bart Prince back in the 1980’s. While this is his residence and gallery, he is known for other unique architectural projects across the southwest. You can learn more about his history and projects online.

You can’t go in the Spaceship House (it’s his home, after all), but you can drive by and admire it!

Check it out on Google Maps in the Nob Hill neighborhood of Albuquerque.

tree covered mountains with a tram that appears small at the distance hanging overhead going up the mountain

15. Sandia Peak Aerial Tram

30 Tramway Rd

The Sandia Peak Aerial Tram is one of the most popular things to do in Albuquerque.

Get to the peak of the Sandia Mountains quickly, smoothly, and easily! While the views may take your breath away, you’ll breathe easy on this high-flying journey up the mountain.

At the top, take in the views outdoors. You can also hike around from your choice of over 100 hiking trails on the mountain.

After you’ve built up an appetite, take in the views while eating at the TEN 3 restaurant that offers both fine and casual dining.

The tram leaves for its return to the bottom every 15 minutes, so enjoy however long you’d like at the top and hop back on to return.

Make sure to bring a sweatshirt or jacket as the summit can be much cooler than the starting ground below.

16. Hinkle Fun Center

12931 Indian School Rd NE

Hinkle Fun Center is your everyday family fun center. It’s a great way to spend some quality time together when you’ve explored what you’ve wanted to around town and area ready for some hard core fun.

Families will love the climbing wall, arcade, XD ride, bumper boats, mini golf, go karts, laser tag, and more attractions.

Old Town Albuquerque has a central plaza with a gazebo in the center, paver walkway around the gazebo, grass area to the sides of the walkways.  Bare trees sporadic around the plaza and tan colored buildings in the far back

17. Old Town Albuquerque

Old Town

Walking around old town was our favorite way of getting to know Albuquerque. Old Town has a great plaza and gazebo area, with shops along 3 sides and the San Felipe de Neri on the fourth side.

There’s definitely an old-town feel that takes you back to the historical and cultural side of Albuquerque.

Explore the buildings, shops, visitor center, and hang out in the charming central plaza of old town.

Want more out of your Old Town Walk? Try a highly-rated walking tour that’s perfect and easy for families!

Best Things to do in Albuquerque with Kids

While there are a million things to do, those are the top things to do in Albuquerque with kids! Whether your family loves to hike, play, learn and explore or just get to know a town’s history, Albuquerque offers some great family-friendly things to do for any interest.

So enjoy your next visit knowing that it’s going to be fabulous and that there are plenty of fun, family-friendly activities in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Next Stop: Santa Fe

Don’t miss Santa Fe next! Treat yourself to a self-guided walking tour while you’re there.

pinnable image of things to do in Albuquerque with kids, 4 images: adobe building with turquoise doors; tall tan colored church with two white spires on either side of entrance; mountains with trees covering them; unique house shaped like a spaceship

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