Free or Budget-Friendly Albuquerque Events in December

by Cash Store Staff

Free Family-Friendly Events

Parade Santa 
  • 12/02 - Bosque Wild: Guided Nature Walk - Albuquerque
    The Middle Rio Grande valley is nature’s laboratory with a different lesson plan every season. This is a moderately strenuous guided hike through one of the largest riverside-cottonwood forests in the world and along the banks of the Rio Grande.

  • 12/07 - Old Town Holiday Stroll - Albuquerque
    Set the holiday season in motion with entertainment, dining, shopping, and more.

  • 12/12 - Mrs. Claus Storytelling Performance - Albuquerque
    Celebrate the holidays with Mrs. Claus and her delightful Storytelling Show. Experience her lively and participatory Storytelling, Sing-A-Longs, Magic, Giveaways, and Photo Opportunities (be sure to bring your own camera). Mrs. Claus is sure to enhance your seasonal celebrations with joy, laughter, and cheer.

  • 12/1/2018 - 12/2/2018 - Festival of Trees - Albuquerque
    View over 80 uniquely decorated trees while enjoying complimentary coffee or hot cocoa. Don't miss out on children crafts, live entertainment and visits with Santa for children young and old! Wreaths and centerpieces will also be displayed and available for purchase with proceeds benefiting the Carrie Tingley Hospital Foundation.

  • 12/1/2018-11/24/2018 - Santa's Wonderland at Cabela's - Albuquerque
    Santa’s Wonderland is the ultimate free family Christmas event coming to Cabela’s for the first time. Albuquerque-area families are invited to enjoy this enchanting Christmas village offering FREE 4x6 studio-quality photos with Santa and free family holiday activities including fun crafts and games.

  • 12/12/2018 & 12/19/2018 - Holiday Nature Crafts - Albuquerque
    Bring your whole family to River of Lights and visit the Education Building to make beautiful gifts inspired by nature! All craft materials will be provided. No admission is required.

  • 12/14/2018-12/16/2018 - 5th Annual Rail Yards Holiday Market - Albuquerque
    The event is co-presented by the Downtown Growers' and Rail Yards Markets together to bring food, art, and music together for the Holidays. Sample New Mexico's finest cuisine, peruse all the local gifts, create some fun in the Children's zone, participate in our famous Ornament Exchange, and give back to your community at our Donation Station.

Free Recurring Events

Boot camp


Budget-Friendly Events

Santa Paws
  • 12/01 - Festive Fire Truck Photos with Santa - Albuquerque - $40/family
    Firefighters Random Acts of Kindness, Nicole Bridges Photography, and Valerie's Cakery are teaming up to bring some holiday cheer with a chance to take a picture with Firefighter Santa! **Price includes 5 edited digital images and 2 cookie crafts per family. Donations of hygiene items (toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, etc.) will also be accepted and used to create hygiene kits at a later date.

  • 12/01 - Kringle Jingle: 5k, 2Miler Kids Run and Kids K - Albuquerque - $10-$35
    This event is a must on your holiday to do list. The Kringle Jingle is set in the beautiful Mariposa Park.  Age Group and Overall Awards including Best Costume Prizes.

  • 12/03 - 10th Annual Pueblo Gingerbread House Contest - Albuquerque - Under 5: Free, 5-17: $5.40, Adults $6.40-$8.40
    A favorite holiday tradition at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center: children and adults are invited to enter a gingerbread house inspired by a Pueblo village, house, community, church, or historic building with prizes awarded in children’s and adult categories.

  • 12/04 - Elf Trivia - Albuquerque - $5/team
    Join us  for Elf Trivia for your chance to win a $40 gift card! Groups of 4-6 are encouraged but smaller groups or individuals are welcome as well.

  • 12/04 - International Cheetah Day - Albuquerque - Adults $14.50, Children (3-12) $6, Children (2 and under) Free
    As cheetahs race against extinction, join BioPark education and the Cheetah Conservation Fund to learn about these magnificent cats during International Cheetah Day. Enjoy hands-on discovery stations, crafts and keeper chats!

  • 12/07 - Gingerbread Enchantment Contest & Auction - Albuquerque - $5
    Build a house… buy a house! Gingerbread Enchantment is a unique and fun way to get you in the holiday spirit and help out a great cause at the same time. You can choose to build a house, buy a house or both! All proceeds go to benefit Meals on Wheels of Albuquerque’s Low Income Meal Program… the ONLY one of its kind in the Albuquerque area.

  • 12/24 - 54th Annual Luminaria Tour - Albuquerque - Adults $3.50, Children $2.20
    Take a magical ride with ABQ RIDE on its 54th Annual Luminaria Tour. The tour, which begins and ends at the Albuquerque Convention Center, takes approximately 45 minutes and travels through Old Town and the Country Club area.

  • 12/31 - NOON Year's Eve Family Celebration - Albuquerque - Adults $8, Children $4
    Perfect for everyone who won't be up at midnight! We'll have a countdown and balloon drop at NOON.

  • 12/31 - Brew Year's Eve Party - Albuquerque - $5
    $5 cover charge (Includes: Champagne Toast @ Midnight + Party Favors + Complimentary Chips & Salsa). Upgrade your ticket experience to enjoy a 4-course meal with special beer pairings for $35.

  • 12/1/2018 & 12/2/2018 - 30th Annual Winter Spanish Market - Albuquerque - $6-$10
    Come and join this Hispanic festival including art, local music, food, demonstrations and more. Interact personally with extraordinary artists; learn about their traditions; take home a special purchase to add to a collection or give as a gift

  • 12/1/2018-12/30/2018 - River of Lights - Albuquerque - Adults $12, Children $6
    Experience millions of glowing, sparkling lights and over 150 dazzling light displays, animated sculptures and synchronized music light show at New Mexico’s largest walk-through holiday production. 

  • Saturdays in December - Stories by the Fireside - Albuquerque - Under 5: Free, 5-17: $5.40, Adults $6.40-$8.40
    Let your kids experience the age-old tradition of hearing stories while gathered in a cozy circle around the fire. Every Saturday a storyteller will weave a different Pueblo tale, after which our own education team will guide the little ones in an art activity that relates to the story. Our friends at the Pueblo Harvest will offer hot chocolate for sale throughout.

  • Weekly on Sundays - Red Riser Yoga - Albuquerque - $5 suggested donation
    Start your Sunday Funday off right with Red Riser Yoga!! No experience necessary, $5 suggested donation. All funds this quarter are going to Paws & Stripes! Bring your mat, bring a friend, and have fun. See you on the mat!

Sips & Snacks

Holiday cheers


  • 12/08 - Breakfast with Santa - Albuquerque - $14.95-$24.95
    Taste ABQ BioPark proudly presents the first annual Mrs. Claus's Grand Breakfast Buffet! Celebrate the holiday season, enjoy a hearty breakfast and take pictures with Santa!

  • 12/15 - 3rd Annual Santa Claus Pub Crawl - Albuquerque - $20
    Suit up for a Santa-themed* "hop-on, hop-off" brew cruise featuring some of the best beers in Burque. Your ticket gets you unlimited Trolley transportation during your 3.5-hour "flight" and a discount at each brewery.

  • 12/31 - New Year's Eve Party - Albuquerque - $30
    Ring in the New Year and dance the night away with the sounds of hONEy hoUSe and special guest! Champagne toast, bowls of stew, and New Year’s Eve party favors included!

  • 12/31 - Brew Year's Eve Dinner - Albuquerque - $35
    We are saying BYE to 2018 with Brew Years Eve! Enjoy a 4-course meal (each being paired with a specialty beer), party favors, a champagne toast at midnight and entry to party. Not interested in the dinner? Come to the party for a $5 cover charge and enjoy complimentary chips & salsa, party favors, and the champagne toast!

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer Toys


  • Any Time - Meals on Wheels - Albuquerque
    Individual volunteers are the very backbone of Meals on Wheels of Albuquerque. Giving of their valuable time and money is a selfless act that allows us to continue to meet the nutritional needs of the home bound citizens in our area. 

  • Any Time - Animal Humane New Mexico - Albuquerque
    Join over 400 volunteers and make a difference in the lives of New Mexico’s pets. Whether you prefer working with computers or cameras, pets or people, chances are we have a way for you to get involved! 

  • Any Time - Mission: Graduate - Albuquerque
    Mission: Graduate's volunteer board features education-related opportunities across central New Mexico. Check out opportunities to get involved!


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