ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Penny pinchers be advised: Albuquerque’s affordable holiday deals and festivities should be on your to-do list this holiday season. 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 a taste of the authentic Southwest. Holiday specials, discounts, travel packages and coupons from more than 40 area businesses are available on the Visit Albuquerque website at  

For the city’s ornament-themed holiday celebration, community organizations and artisans are working together to create larger-than-life ornaments that showcase the stories and cultures of Albuquerque. The ornaments, including a six-foot-long chile pepper and a pottery-inspired hot air balloon, will be on display throughout the holiday season at the National Hispanic Cultural Center and the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. Free small ornament making workshops will also be held at these sites on weekends in December.

A variety of holiday events are scheduled throughout the season with some of the most notable being:

Nov. 28 – Dec. 30: River of Lights
Thousands of twinkling lights transform the Rio Grande Botanic Garden into New Mexico’s largest walk-through holiday light show. The show features giant light sculptures of plants, animals and seasonal themes.  

Dec. 3: Nob Hill Shop & Stroll
Live entertainment to include strolling mariachis will accompany shoppers for the 15th annual event.  

Dec. 4: Old Town Holiday Stroll
Celebrate the season in Old Town with live entertainment, family activities, Santa Claus and the lighting of the giant Christmas tree at Plaza Don Luis.  

Dec. 12-13: Winter Indian Art Market
Buy direct from Native American artisans during the Winter Indian Art Market at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center.  

Dec. 19: New Mexico Bowl
Kick off the college football bowl season with this nationally televised game.  

Dec. 24: Luminaria Tour
Take a driving tour of several area neighborhoods with thousands of luminarias lighting the way. The paper sacks, filled with sand and a single candle, light up rooftops and walkways and are an Albuquerque holiday tradition.  

Another exciting way to capture the holiday spirit in Albuquerque is through the many culinary items that the city has to offer. Traditional tamales, biscochitos and posole adorn the tables of New Mexican families throughout the holiday. Come get a taste of these local favorites yourself during this magical time of year.

If you are planning to visit, many area hotels are offering special packages and discounts designed to keep your pocketbook in check this holiday season. For a complete schedule of activities and travel specials, please visit  

Images of the holidays in Albuquerque are available for download here: