If you’re wondering what to do in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, this is just the list you’ve been waiting for! We have compiled a list of 23 of the top things to do in and around Rio Rancho to keep you busy any time of year.
1. A Park Above
A Park Above is the first fully inclusive and accessible playground in New Mexico and spans over six acres. The more “usable” space makes for an inclusive environment and features a pedestrian path and loop, a play area with perimeter fencing and special surfacing, a sport/basketball court area, splash pad, shade structure, dog park, adaptive swings/wheelchair swings and much more.
2. ABQ BioPark Zoo
The ABQ BioPark Zoo is considered one of the top tourist destinations in the state. The park allows visitors to experience animals in their natural habitats while feeling as if they are going from country to country. You may start in Africa with a safari-like feel and then end in Antarctica with penguins and polar bears. The zoo also offers an aquarium, botanic garden and Tingely Beach. All of these must-see sights are wrapped up into one big BioPark for your pleasure.
Price: $6 – $14.50
3. ABQ Trolley Co.
ABQ Trolley Co. is among one of the best ways to get accustomed to the city of Albuquerque. This 85-minute trolley ride will take passengers around 18 miles of the city where one can learn the lay of the land, the history and the overall outline of Albuquerque. The trolley also has a custom designed, open-air, “uniquely Albuquerque” feel to it, so that passengers can enjoy the full experience.
Price: Starting at $13
4. Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is an annual event that will be held from Oct. 5-13, 2019. Although this is not a year-round event it is still a great way to enjoy the area. You can watch hot air balloons and gas balloons as well as enjoy other activities including chainsaw carving and performances from award-winning musicians, including country singer Brett Young.
Price: General admission $10, GA+Park and Rides: $7-$15, Kids 6 and under FREE
5. Albuquerque Museum
The Albuquerque Museum includes incredible permanent and travelling exhibits as well as educational and fun classes and workshops for all ages. The museum is also home to 10,000 pieces of art, 27,000 historical objects and countless items in their photo archives. With so much community culture can be found at this museum, it’s definitely a “must see.”
Price: $3-$6 (Free general admission at certain times)
6. American International Rattlesnake Museum
The American International Rattlesnake Museum is an animal conservation museum. Guests have the opportunity to learn how rattlesnakes and other “undesirable animals” affect human life. Visitors also learn about different types of snakes, venom, rattles, fangs and more. According to their website, the museum is home to the largest collection of different species of live rattlesnakes in the world.
7. Breaking Bad RV Tours
Fans of the Emmy Award Winning series Breaking Bad will love this experience. The tour was created as a way for fans to relive the sights and sounds of Breaking Bad. Interactive tour guides are people who worked on the set and as actors on the critically-acclaimed television show. Fans are taken to favorite locations such as Jesse’s house, Walt’s super lab, Jane’s, Chucky’s and even locations from the show’s spinoff Better Call Saul.
Price: $75 (includes meal and drink)
8. Cliff’s Amusement Park
Cliff’s Amusement Park has been a part of Albuquerque for the past 55 years. The amusement park was designed for children and families of all ages. Cliff’s has thrill rides, family rides, watermania and a kiddy land. There are season passes available as well as day passes, and they also offer the opportunity to host parties.
Price: $26.99 – All day ride pass (includes entry into park and Watermania)
9. Downtown Growers’ Market
Support and promote local agriculture, small business development and community engagement at the Downtown Growers’ Market. It is located at historic Robinson Park on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon. Throughout the market, shoppers will find 75 New Mexican growers selling the highest quality produce available in Albuquerque. Plus, local artists and prepared food artisans show off their skills.
10. Dragon Lights Albuquerque
Also known as the New Mexico Chinese Lantern Festival, Dragon Lights Albuquerque takes place over two months from October through December. Enjoy displays, lanterns, performances, handicrafts, food and cultural activities for the entire family.
11. Explora Science Museum and Children’s Museum
The Explora Science Museum and Children’s Museum was designed to engage visitors of all ages. Guests have the opportunity to learn about topics including gravity, water life, light/shadow, as well as try out the labs at the experiment bar with microscopes, pigments, and more. Visitors can also do arts and crafts with recycled materials. The museum includes a sketch theatre where visitors can draw and digitalize your own animations.
Price: $6-$10, Children under 1 FREE
12. Gravity Park
Gravity Park is full of fun for everyone. The indoor park is comprised of a trampoline arena with a ninja obstacle course, extreme dodgeball, slackline, foam pits, aerial skills area and so much more. Gravity Park is able to host parties as well as open jump time. They also host themed and special nights including Kid Jump (six and under), family night, college night, 80s night and even a club night for teens 15+ with black lights, lasers and music.
13. J & R Vintage Auto Museum and Bookstore
The J & R (Joiner-Roy) Vintage Auto Museum and Bookstore is a hidden gem in Rio Rancho. The museum displays approximately 70 vintage vehicles ranging from a 1912 Buick to a 1969 Mercury Cougar. Typically, there are several cars for sale or trade and visitors can also expect to find auto-related books, die-cast toys, and tin or porcelain signs.
Price: $6 Adults, Seniors (55+) is $5, Children 6-12 $3, Children 5 and under free
14. Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument
The Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument is on the Pajarito Plateau in north-central New Mexico. The monument is a product of volcanic eruptions that occurred six to seven million years ago. Kasha-Katuwe ranges from 5,570 – 6,760 ft above sea level and includes recreational hiking trails, birdwatching, geological observation and plant identification. Dogs are not allowed on the monument.
Price: $5 Privatte vehicle
15. New Mexico Escape Room
Escape rooms are all the rage right now and we understand why. This experience is a fun way to escape the heat and bond with friends, family and coworkers. The New Mexico Escape Room provides a variety of rooms designed for unique experiences. In scenarios such as, “The Cabin,” “Blackwell Manor,” “Family Jewel,” and more, players are challenged to put their brains together racing against the clock to escape the room before time runs out.
Price: $25-$28 per person
16. New Mexico Wine Festival
For wine connoisseurs, Albuquerque will host its 19th annual wine festival during Memorial Day Weekend. The festival is held at Balloon Fiesta Park and features wine from New Mexico’s top wineries, delicious food truck options, local artisans, all topped off with award-winning musicians.
Price: Starting at $10
17. Old Town Albuquerque
Old Town Albuquerque is full of history for everyone to explore and enjoy. There are countless restaurants, museums, galleries and gardens all with an authentic Albuquerque feel for locals and tourists to enjoy.
18. Quiet Waters Paddling Adventures
This outdoor adventure on the Rio Grande River gives visitors the opportunity to embark on a number of different tours. From guided to self-guided down the Coronado course or the Bosque course, Quiet Waters offers rafting, floating and paddling for any level of adventure.
Price: Prices vary for date/time, check website
19. Rainbow Ryders Hot Air Balloon
Albuquerque has some of the most beautiful views from the sky. It’s no wonder locals and tourists alike love to take hot air balloon rides. Rainbow Ryders offers hot air balloon rides over the city of Albuquerque with a number of options such as sunrise, sunset, dawn patrol, private and even wedding rides.
Price: Prices vary for date and time, check website
20. Rio Rancho Aquatic CenterAnother way to stay cool from the summer heat is at the Rio Rancho Aquatic Center. The center is indoors and provides everything from aqua fitness and Zumba, to aqua therapy, lap swim and open swim.
Price: $4 Day Pass
21. Tinkertown Museum
The Tinkertown Museum is filled with culture and animation. It began with the hand-carved wooden figures made by Ross Ward in the 60s. Today, Tinkertown Museum has grown into a 22-room museum with an unimaginable western town full of wooden hand-carved figures, glass bottles, wagon wheels and other eclectic western memorabilia.
Price: $1.50 – $4
22. Willow Creek Trail
Willow Creek Trail comprises 3.1 acres of beautiful New Mexico terrain filled with multiple trails for hiking as well as smaller, easier walking paths. Willow Creek is also handicap accessible and includes a parking lot near the trail.
23. 505 Pinball
505 Pinball was a concept that opened in 2013 and sprouted into so much more. This Rio Rancho specialty allows guests to experience an arcade full of vintage pinball machines and other retro arcade games. There is a small entry fee but once you are in, all of the games are set on free so that guests have unlimited access to play the games.
Price: $9 Adults, $7 Children
Looking for a new home or custom home site near Albuquerque? Nestled among the foothills of Rio Rancho, Mariposa is a master-planned community situated just 30 minutes north of Albuquerque. Mariposa is designed for living naturally and offers a fully-equipped fitness center, resort-style indoor and outdoor pools, parks, sports courts, miles of trails and abundant open space, and endless views at the Mariposa Preserve and surrounding mountains. Learn more at https://www.liveinmariposa.com/