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Fun Things to Do on Christmas Day in Albuquerque

Find a Movie, Hike a Trail, Get Out in the Snow


The packages are unwrapped, the cookies are eaten, and everyone's looking for something to do. There are alternatives to spending the day at home, and not surprisingly, a lot of them include the outdoors. Albuquerque is an active town.

1. Visit the Bosque, Hike a Trail

Walking through the forest on a quiet day is one of our family's favorite winter activities. If the weather is clear, you might want to take a stroll along the river. This is a favorite of our family. If you don't live near the bosque trails, they can be accessed from trail entries off Candelaria, Mountain Road, Tingley Beach or at the Open Space trailheads off Coors (the Open Space Visitor Center is closed Christmas day). The City of Albuquerque's Open Space division has miles of trails in all parts of the city. Find one near you and enjoy the outdoors.

2. Hike the Sandia Foothills

There are several trails to take and every one of them is beautiful. The Open Space division has trail parking areas at the following locations, all off Tramway Boulevard. Look for the following trails, all of them east of Tramway:

Copper: On Copper Avenue
Embudo Canyon: On Indian School Road
Menaul: On Menaul Boulevard
Piedra Lisa Canyon: On Candelaria Road and south on Camino de la Sierra
Embudito Canyon: On Montgomery, go north on Glenwood Hills and east on Trailhead Street
Manzano/Four Hills: On Stagecoach Road in the Four Hills neighborhood

3. Take in a Movie

For some families, seeing a movie on Christmas Day is part of their holiday tradition. The season features family films and holiday themed stories, and movies provide a great place to relax and unwind.
Century 24 Theater at I-25 near Jefferson
Cinemark Movies 8 on San Mateo
Century 14 Downtown
Starport at Cottonwood Mall
Winrock 16 & IMAX
Four Hills Theater
Premier Cinema in Rio Rancho

4. Ski Sandia Peak

The Sandia Peak ski area is open Christmas day for those who want to ski or snowboard. Hours are from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. daily. Adult tickets are $50 for an all day pass on all lifts; $40 for teens, children and seniors.<br />

Take a short drive to the Sandia Crest and go skiing or snowboarding, enjoying the great outdoors. Sandia Ski Area is open and all runs are in operation. There are ski rentals if you don't have your own, and snowboarding runs have great appeal for the tweens and teens. Open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Sandia Crest area is also open for recreational activities such as cross country skiing and snowshoeing.

5. Visit Tingley Beach

The ponds are open Christmas day if you like to fish and you already have a license and equipment (the store will be closed Christmas day). But the area is beautiful, and if the weather is clear, you could bring your bikes and take to the trails. The trails are also good for hiking and there are trails into the bosque if you want to visit the river.

6. Ride the Tram and Hike the Trails

Snow is the draw here, and seeing it from on high. You don't have to ski to take the Sandia tram. Take a ride to the top of the mountain, enjoy the view, and get some hot chocolate. The trails along the crest are open for hiking and exploring. Just be sure to dress warmly and wear good hiking shoes. The trails are slippery where the snow has melted into ice.

See the Sandia District trail report.

Hiking the trails isn't necessary, of course. The tram alone is nice.

7. Go Bowling

Bowling offers the chance to get up and move and have fun with the entire family. The Starlight has arcade games as well.

Santa Ana Starlight Lanes
Jemez Canyon Dam Road - Santa Ana Pueblo
(505) 867-0000
Hours: Noon - Midnight

8. Visit the Casinos

The casinos are open on Christmas day, offering everything from bingo to slots.

Isleta Hard Rock Hotel and Casino
11000 Broadway SE, Albuquerque
(877) 747-5382

Route 66 Casino
14500 Central Ave SW, Albuquerque
(505) 352-7866

Sandia Casino and Resort
30 Rainbow Blvd NE, Albuquerque
(505) 798-3700

Santa Ana Star Casino
Jemez Canyon Dam Road, Santa Ana, NM
(505) 867-0000

San Felipe Casino Hollywood
25 Hagon Road, Algodones, NM
(505) 867-6700

9. Eat Out for Christmas Dinner

The range of Albuquerque area restaurants open on Christmas day has widened beyond the usual casino and hotel options. But they're sure to be busy, so make a reservation if you decide not to cook this year.

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