With holidays that seem to be all about the food, it’s essential to have plans to burn off the extra calories and perk yourself up after the tryptophan overload you may experience after eating your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Fortunately, Albuquerque has lots of great places to get outdoors, get some exercise, and still visit with family and friends. Here are some popular suggestions.
Hike the Bosque
With fall turning leaves orange, yellow, and red, this is a great time to take a stroll along the riverside bosque trails that Albuquerque has in abundance. Walk among the trees of the forest, watch for ducks looking for the next meal on the Rio Grande, and enjoy the beauty of nature. Take a few minutes to experience the quiet and fill yourself with gratitude!
Here are some other great places to go hiking in Albuquerque to help burn those calories.
Birdwatching is another great way to get outdoors, but at a slower, more relaxed pace with a goal: spot some interesting birds! Whether you’re an absolute beginner or a seasoned birder, this is a great time of year to go birding. In fall, the leaves have fallen from the deciduous trees, making it easier to spot birds that are perching on branches.
Even if you can’t identify the birds you see, you can enjoy observing them as they go about their day. Depending on where you go, you may see a wide range of waterfowl and even large sandhill cranes. Watch for the greater roadrunner, New Mexico’s state bird, and common finds like white-winged doves and mourning doves.
Download the Merlin Bird ID app and it can help you identify birds even by sound. If you really enjoy birding and want to learn from others, connect with a group like the local Audubon Society chapter and go along on a guided bird walk or help with their December Christmas bird count.
Head to the Dog Park
Maybe Spot needs some exercise, too! While many hiking trails welcome leashed dogs, he may deserve some time devoted to hanging out with his four-legged friends and running off-leash. Albuquerque has a wealth of dog parks you both can enjoy. These are just a few of them.
Albuquerque is home to many great parks, large and small, where you can have a picnic on a nice day, play a game of basketball, tennis, or pickleball, or just stroll around and watch for birds while you visit. We’ve got lots of lists of nice parks by neighborhood but here’s an overview of some of the Duke City’s best parks.
Wow your holiday guests with a visit to Petroglyph National Monument, which is not only free to visit, but will allow them to experience a wealth of ancient rock art created hundreds and even thousands of years ago by early Indigenous people. Make it a scavenger hunt for the kids: Find a petroglyph that looks like an animal or one that looks like lightning. Or ask them to explain what they think the message was behind the designs. Just make sure they don’t try to add any of their own rock art!
If teens are part of your holiday crowd, you may need to find something special to catch their interest. We have a list of teen-approved activities to enjoy in Albuquerque. Never fear: they’re all something everyone else will enjoy, too! From riding the Sandia Peak Tramway to fun by the water or at a skatepark (where you can applaud their mad skills), there’s plenty for the teens to do.
These are just a few of the many things you can enjoy in Albuquerque before or after your big holiday meals to either work up an appetite or burn off those extra calories. For more ideas, keep clicking through the pages on Albuquerque.com!