Whether you’re just passing through or preparing for your first chilly season as a Duke City resident, you might be wondering, “What are the best things to do in Albuquerque in the fall and winter months?”
If you’re looking to fill your activities docket between October and February, this is the guide for you. We’re exploring some of the most popular activities in Albuquerque in the fall and winter.
Trust us — between catching the farolitos in Old Town, museum-hopping, and hitting the slopes, you’ll never have a dull moment.
Fall and Winter Activities in Albuquerque
You’re in Albuquerque, the temperatures are starting to dip, and you have some free time. What should you do? Let’s explore just a few fall and winter happenings in the city.
#1 See the Sights (and the Lights)
Fall and winter are excellent seasons for good old-fashioned sightseeing excursions. And, if you’re new in town, this is a great time to get your bearings in Burque:
- Hop in the car (or on your bike) and just start going. While looking at a map can help you navigate, you’ll only get more comfortable on the Duke City streets by finding your favorite local routes.
- You can also take advantage of our free public transit system, ABQ Ride. Check out the route map, head to a bus stop, and explore local routes.
One of the most popular events to occur in fall is the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. For nine days in October, more than 600 hot air balloon pilots gather to be part of ballooning’s premier event. Get up early and head to Balloon Fiesta Park to see hundreds of colorful hot air balloons ascending, including fun special shapes. Or attend an evening glow to enjoy the beauty of the balloons on the ground and lit from within.
If you’re looking to incorporate some seasonal excitement while you find your footing, consider checking out local winter attractions like Old Town’s luminaria displays. Old Town’s holiday paper lanterns are a time-honored tradition in ABQ, and this is a perfect opportunity to revel in Duke City culture.
#2 Savor the Chilly Weather Outdoors
If you can’t get enough of the cool breeze (or even the errant snowfall), autumn and winter offer numerous outdoor activities for locals and visitors alike:
- Hop on the nearest ski lift – There are multiple ski and snowboard destinations within a few hours of the Duke City. If you just can’t resist the slopes, take a short road trip to a nearby slope for a taste of winter fun.
- Check out our parks – Albuquerque’s green spaces are second to none, and they’re dotted around the city’s various neighborhoods. Pack a picnic, phone a friend, or pace through a grassy path without breaking a sweat.
- Hike and bike – There are more than 400 miles of bike trails in the Duke City, and hikers won’t find any shortage of excursions either. From simple hikes to rugged mountain biking routes, fall and winter are excellent times to discover Albuquerque al fresco.
#3 Escape the Cold with a Museum Crawl
Albuquerque is the cultural hub of the American Southwest, and our museum circuit is one of the best in the country.
Plus, many of our local museums and galleries are within walking distance of each other. Since they’re mostly concentrated in the Downtown and Old Town neighborhoods, Albuquerque is the perfect place for a museum crawl.
#4 Shop for Holiday Gifts
When the weather cools down, our holiday shopping lists start to grow — and Albuquerque offers numerous opportunities to tackle holiday shopping. Some of the Duke City’s best shopping hubs include:
- Nob Hill – If you’re looking for locally-owned shops with unique ware, check out Nob Hill. Situated along a stretch of iconic Route 66, Nob Hill offers something for everyone. Don’t forget to stop for a snack at one of the neighborhood’s many eateries.
- Old Town – Check out Old Town’s array of charming boutiques. Knock out your holiday shopping while exploring the adobe architecture and taking in ‘Burque’s most culturally rich neighborhood.
- Uptown – If you’re a bona fide Black Friday expert (or you want to tackle all of your big box store holiday shopping in one trip), head to Uptown. Nestled near Louisiana Boulevard and I-40, Uptown is centrally located and offers numerous shopping options for holiday shopping.
FAQ about Fall and Winter Weather in Albuquerque
What else should you know about spending fall and winter in the Duke City? Let’s answer some FAQ from locals and visitors like:
- What is the weather like during the fall and winter in Albuquerque?
Closely tied with spring, fall offers some of the best weather in ABQ; average highs reach the 50s and 60s and lows dip to the 30s and 40s. Winter can certainly get a little chillier, and the city does get the occasional snowfall. Temps average in the high 40s during the day and can drop to the high 20s at night — you’ll certainly need a jacket if you plan any nighttime activities this winter!
- What’s the coldest month in Duke City?
December is typically the coldest month in Albuquerque. The average high is 46 degrees and the average low is 26°. But remember that ABQ is a desert ecosystem; since the air is dry, even the chilliest nights feel more comfortable than they would in a humid landscape.
- What are the top activities to enjoy as the weather cools down?
As summer winds to a close and the autumn chill starts to set in, many Burque locals enjoy outdoor activities like hikes or garden strolls. But, once the winter is in full force, many locals opt for indoor activities like museum-hopping or exploring the food scene.
Albuquerque: The Perfect Fall and Winter Getaway
Whether you’re getting settled in your new Duke City digs or just passing through on a weekend trip, there are plenty of things to do in Albuquerque in the fall and winter months. Brave the chill with outdoor activities (like hiking and skiing), explore indoor opportunities (like local shops and museums), or find the best of both worlds.
Regardless, you’re sure to fall in love with the Duke City’s chilly charm!