11 Free and Off the Beaten Path Things to Do in Albuquerque, New Mexico

 Your next vacation just got even better. In this guide, we’ll go over eleven of the best free and unique things you can do in Albuquerque, New Mexico. If you’re planning a trip to this classic American city, you don’t want to go without reading this piece first. With the information contained here, you can budget your trip and still have a great time. And if you can stretch your vacation, you will be able to do even more! 

Keep reading to find out what you can do to make your next vacation even better!

1) Visit Historic Old Town

What better way to start off this list than with Old Town? A quaint area of the town complete with an outstanding gazebo, it’s a testament to the American Southwest and architecturally magnificent.

Old Town - Free Things to Do in Albuquerque, New Mexico

You will love seeing the different sites, locations, and vendors that exist in Old Town. Simply put, a trip to Albuquerque won’t be complete without visiting this area, so make sure you do. Remember—it’s free!

2) Go to the Albuquerque Museum

For those under the age of four, the Albuquerque Museum is free. For most who aren’t, however, general admission prices still stay between three and six dollars. This makes the museum, one of the best in the state, a must-see for anyone looking for off-the-path destinations in Albuquerque. See various cultural and regional exhibits that showcase the diversity of the region and truly get you in tune with the arts and culture of the American Southwest. You’ll love your trip to the Albuquerque Museum, so make sure to schedule it into your travel plans today!

3) Visit the City Parks

Albuquerque is home to many parks such as Balloon Fiesta Park, where you can go and spend a lazy afternoon.

Albuquerque Roosevelt Park - Free Things to Do in Albuquerque, New Mexico
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Enjoy the scenery, participate in outdoor sports, or simply have a picnic with your loved ones. No matter what you do, you are certain to enjoy your day relaxing outside!

4) Take a Trip to the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

Free for all under the age of five, the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center is a fantastic place for you and the kids to learn about the culture of the American Southwest. Truly get a sense of the traditional culture in Albuquerque through the exhibits and programs offered at this institution. For those who aren’t under five, admission is about $8.40, with many discounts available. Make sure to plan this budget excursion into your next vacation!

5) Go to Tingley Beach

Tingley Beach is a 100% free outdoor area that’s perfect for the whole family. With three incredible fishing ponds and locations for hiking, it’s a great place to take the kids and simply spend an afternoon.

Tingley Beach - Free Things to Do in Albuquerque, New Mexico
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

The area has a family vibe that’s safe for kids of all ages; remember, however, that if you plan on fishing with kids twelve and up, you are all required to have a New Mexico state fishing license. Keeping this in mind, you can certainly have the vacation of a lifetime at Tingley Beach!

6) Visit the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology

The Maxwell Museum of Anthropology, located on the campus of New Mexico University, is a fantastic institution that houses many exhibits on regional culture. Find out how the native people of the area lived for thousands of years and truly soak in Southwestern culture and lifestyles. You won’t soon forget your trip to this outstanding m museum. 

7) Stop by the Albuquerque Biopark and Zoo

The Albuquerque Biopark and Zoo is free to children under the age of two and heavily discounted for New Mexico state residents, veterans, and seniors. If you’re looking for a great way to get up close and personal with a variety of animals, you don’t want to miss out on a chance to visit this zoo.

Albuquerque Biopark - Free Things to Do in Albuquerque, New Mexico
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Perfect for those on a budget, it’s a great way to learn about different species while interacting with them in real time. The Albuquerque Biopark and Zoo is great for both adults and kids alike, so consider bringing the whole family along when you go!

8) Visit the Farmer’s Market

Don’t underestimate a trip to the Albuquerque Farmer’s Market. With tons of low-priced food, it’s a great place to take the kids. More than that, however, it’s a social hub in the city and is a great place to learn about the culture and the sights of the region. If you’re looking for a way to truly interact with the local residents and get a feel for the culture, make a stop at the farmer’s market part of your trip!

9) See the Petroglyph National Monument

Are you ready to do some hiking? The Petroglyph National monument offers the best hiking in the area, with four different trails spanning multiple levels of difficulty.

Petroglyph National Monument - Free Things to Do in Albuquerque, New Mexico
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

You’ll love the scenic walks and the ability to test yourself and your athleticism. Keep in mind that while the hiking itself is free, you will be charged a minor parking fee. 

10) Visit Explora

The Explora is an interactive museum free for young children (one and under) where you and the family can go to learn about a variety of ideas and concepts. The slogan “ideas you can touch” is a testament to the institution’s creativity and dedication to expanding critical thinking and awareness. Interested? Make sure you travel there during your next vacation!

11) Take a Trip to the Albuquerque Flea Market

The Albuquerque Flea Market is home to an assortment of items and collections that you’ll just love looking through.

Flea Market - Free Things to Do in Albuquerque, New Mexico

From knick-knacks to books, the market has just about everything you could ever want. Certainly, it’s a great place to spend the afternoon. If you’ve got the time and are looking for a quality free activity, you can’t go wrong with a trip to the Albuquerque Flea Market!

The Bottom Line

Albuquerque truly is a city like no other. With the information in this guide, you can experience it while saving tons of money! Use this piece to help you put together a cheap vacation that you and your loved ones will be talking about for years to come!

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