Albuquerque, NMNew Mexico's largest city observes the holiday season with notable style and a variety of festivities. Within a short drive or a direct flight, you can be strolling the laid-back streets of Albuquerque - your destination for holiday shopping, a quick escape, a dose of holiday tradition and even college football. Holiday specials, discounts and travel packages are available on the Visit Albuquerque website at Celebrate the season in Albuquerque this year. 

Shopping - Albuquerque’s unique shopping areas including Old Town and Nob Hill, the new upscale ABQ Uptown along with the traditional Coronado Center and Cottonwood Mall, are sure to provide the perfect gift for everyone on your list. Several new shops in ABQ Uptown recently made their New Mexico debut including Anthropologie, L’Occitane, McAllister’s Deli and locally-owned Pink Leash Boutique. This year seek out something special in a fun, festive atmosphere. Albuquerque’s holiday shopping events bring the joys of the season to convenient one-stop shops.

Nov. 30 - Dec. 2: Annual Rio Grande Arts & Crafts Festival - Holiday Show
Shop for a one-of-a-kind gift created by one of 200 national artists exhibiting at the show.

Dec. 6: 13th Annual Holiday Shop & Stroll in Historic Nob Hill
Central Avenue will be closed to cars from Girard Street to Washington Street in the Nob Hill district and filled with music, food and special holiday sales.

Dec. 7: Annual Holiday Stroll in Old Town
Live entertainment, dancers, shopping specials, family activities, Santa Claus and lighting of the giant Christmas tree make Old Town sparkle for the holidays. 

It’s Show Time - December is abuzz with live performances in Albuquerque from the traditional Nutcracker to Mariachi Christmas. Some highlight events include:

Nov. 30 - Dec. 2: 11th Annual Nutcracker on the Rocks
A modern spin on a traditional dance piece.

Nov. 30-Dec. 1, Dec. 7-9, Dec. 14-16: Gift of the Magi
A heart-warming musical based on the classic O. Henry story that captures the true spirit of giving.

Nov. 30-Dec.1, Dec. 7-9, Dec. 14-16, Dec. 21-23: It's A Wonderful Life
One of the most beloved movies of all time springs to life onstage this holiday season.

Dec. 1: Funky Khanikeh Freylekh
A Yiddish translation that means "The Funky Hanukkah Joyous Event."

Dec. 1-2, Dec. 7-9:
The Nutcracker Ballet with the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra
Time honored traditional holiday ballet.

Dec. 11: Mariachi Christmas 
This Mexican Christmas celebration is sheer holiday cheer.

Dec. 12: The Carols of Christmas
Open the Christmas season with a visit to the St. James Tearoom for an evening of delicious treats, a steaming pot of tea and carols by the hearth.

Dec. 14: Christmas at Kuaua
Luminarias, Santa, the elves' workshop, choral singers and Pueblo drummers at Coronado State Monument.

Dec. 15: Once Upon a Navidad “Posadas y Pastorelas”
Las Posadas is the traditional New Mexican/Mexican Christmas reenactment of Joseph and Mary’s search for shelter on Christmas Eve.

Dec. 16: Christmas from Dublin
Filled with traditional Emerald Isle songs of the season.

Dec. 21-22: A Very Merry Pops
Family favorite holiday sing-a-long musical performance.

For the Athlete in us All - Let your playful side come out in December.  

Dec. 16:  New Mexico's Farolito (Trail of Lights) 5K
A 5K fun run illuminates the holiday season.

Dec. 22: Second Annual New Mexico Bowl
Check out some high caliber college football as the Mountain West Conference takes on the Western Athletic Conference in this nationally televised bowl game.

Local Traditions - Annual events in and around Albuquerque bring cheer to all.

Nov. 24: Twinkle Light Parade
Kick off the season with Albuquerque's brightest holiday event in Downtown Albuquerque.

Nov. 24- Dec. 30
: River of Lights
New Mexico’s largest walk-through light show at the Rio Grande Botanic Garden is sure to please every family member.

Dec. 24: Luminaria Tour
Tour the historic Old Town neighborhood, which will be adorned with thousands of luminarias creating a stunning soft glow.

Dec. 24: Pueblo Events   Call ahead of time for details and please observe Pueblo etiquette.

  • Sundown procession with bonfires and children's dance at Taos Pueblo (505-758-1028)
  • Sundown procession of the Virgin/Matachina Dance at Picuris Pueblo (505-587-2519) and San Juan Pueblo (505-852-4400)
  • Dances after midnight Mass: Santa Ana (505-867-3301), San Felipe (505-867-3381) and Tesuque (505-983-2667)
  • Dances after 10am Mass: Laguna Pueblo (505-552-6654)
A Quick Escape
If all of the hustle and bustle of the holidays sends your blood pressure soaring, it is important to take a breather. Slow down. Treat yourself. Albuquerque’s many spas offer much needed rest and relaxation during the busiest time of the year. Visit for spa packages.