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Albuquerque's museums feature unique and captivating exhibits on history, the arts, culture, science and more. Explore Albuquerque's many museums for a fascinating, enlightening visit.
The Albuquerque Museum of Art & History, located in the heart of historic Old Town, features art of the Southwest as well as 400 years of regional history. The museum presents both permanent displays and traveling exhibitions. 505-243-7255, www.cabq.gov/museum
The “Hot Air Ballooning Capital of the World” is home to the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum. The museum, located at Balloon Fiesta Park, houses engaging exhibitions and informative programs on the history, science and art of ballooning worldwide. 505-768-6020, www.balloonmuseum.com
Located within walking distance of Old Town, the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science offers a journey through time, with exhibit halls that take guests through the formation of the universe, the age of the dinosaurs, and geologic changes such as volcanoes and ice ages. The Lockheed Martin DynaTheater is the largest movie screen in New Mexico, and the museum also has an "out of this world" planetarium. 505-841-2800, www.nmnaturalhistory.org
Visitors can explore the development of the Atomic Age through the Manhattan Project and the Cold War. Learn about the contributions of nuclear medicine, and examine the pros and cons of nuclear energy. The museum also includes Heritage Park, a nine-acre outdoor exhibition area for aircraft, missiles and nuclear submarines. 505-245-2137, www.nuclearmuseum.org
Explora is New Mexico’s premier hands-on learning center. More than 250 interactive exhibits, educational programs and activities encourage creativity, imagination, inspiration and inquiry into science, technology and art. 505-224-8300, www.explora.us
The National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC) is the only national cultural institution dedicated to the study, advancement and presentation of Hispanic culture, arts and humanities. The NHCC offers both permanent and traveling exhibits that showcase visual, performing, media and literary arts, history and education. The center is also home to a restaurant and indoor and outdoor performing arts spaces. At the entrance to the NHCC is the Torreón Fresco, a massive painting depicting the cultural development of Hispanic heritage from prehistory to the present day. The painting was created by internationally renowned artist and New Mexico native Frederico Vigil, in the ancient fresco technique. 505-246-2261, www.nhccnm.org
Located minutes away from historic Old Town, the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center is dedicated to the preservation and perpetuation of Pueblo Native American culture, history and art. The museum's displays feature the Pueblo cultures from prehistoric times to the present through a variety of fascinating exhibits and artifacts, representing all 19 pueblos found in New Mexico. The center also has a restaurant that serves authentic cuisine throughout the day, as well as special weekend brunches accompanied by Native American music. 866-855-7902, 505-843-7270, www.indianpueblo.org
Learn about snakebites, venom and fangs at the world’s largest collection of live rattlesnakes. Dedicated to animal conservation and preservation through education, the museum offers a large array of snake-related artwork, artifacts and memorabilia. 505-242-6569, www.rattlesnakes.com
Specializing in the cultural heritage of the Southwest, this museum on the University of New Mexico campus has four exhibit areas and also features a reconstructed cave setting, complete with replica Ice Age drawings and sculptures, and a spectacular collection of prehistoric pottery. The museum is world-renowned for its holdings of art and artifacts from this region. 505-277-4405, www.unm.edu/~maxwell/
The Institute of Meteoritics (IOM) is a premier research institution for the study of early solar system and planetary evolution. IOM research focuses on a wide variety of extraterrestrial materials, and the IOM meteorite collection, located on the University of New Mexico campus, now totals more than 600 different meteorites, including one of the largest in the world. Visitors can also take a virtual tour online. 505-277-1644, www.meteorite.unm.edu/meteorites/meteorite-museum/
Learn about the Holocaust, genocides and other forms of persecution that have affected people around the world. Exhibits discuss the Holocaust, the Native American cultural genocide, the Armenian and Greek genocides, and slavery in America. Content is not limited to one religion, culture, geographic area, or time period. The museum, which also has an educational mini-theater, is a beneficiary agency of the Jewish Federation of New Mexico and is located downtown at 616 Central Avenue SW, near the historic El Rey Theater. 505-247-0606, www.nmholocaustmuseum.org/
Examine 3,000 years of evidence for the historical authenticity of the biblical text, displayed through ancient artifacts. 505-217-1330, www.mabh.org
Journey through a mine-tunnel replica and see rare and spectacular turquoise specimens from around the world. Discover interesting facts about turquoise and its presence in New Mexico, and view turquoise samples from over 100 mines. Beautiful turquoise jewelry is available for purchase at the museum. 505-247- 8650 or 800-821-7443, www.turquoisemuseum.com
Ross Ward spent more than 40 years of his life carving, collecting and constructing what is now Tinkertown Museum. During the 1960s and 1970s, his miniature wood-carved figures traveled to fairs and carnivals around the country. This collection includes over 50,000 glass bottles, wagon wheels and old-fashioned store fronts. A highlight of the collection is a 35-foot antique wooden sailboat that went on a 10-year voyage around the world. Tinkertown is located in Sandia Park on Sandia Crest Road. 505-281-5233, www.tinkertown.com