We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Travelling with kids. What to do?

Charlotte, North...
Level Contributor
162 posts
4 reviews
Save Topic
Travelling with kids. What to do?

Hi. I am planning a cross-country trip for my family. One of the stops we will be making is in Albuquerque. Can anyone recommend some interesting places to take my sons, ages 14 and 8? I would like to do something fairly unique to the location - something historic or educational would be nice (not like a zoo or a children's museum though). Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

Bend, OR
Level Contributor
899 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Travelling with kids. What to do?

When are you going?? TheSandia Tram is somewhat unique, and there is a interesting little hike off of Coors Rd on the west side of town to see some great petroglyphs. I forget the name, but we really enjoyed this spot. Also, Tent Rocks National Park is north and west of ABQ, and has some great rock formations, and an interesting little slot canyon hike.

santa fe, NM
Level Contributor
187 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Travelling with kids. What to do?

Be sure to stop at some of the Native American ruins... a drive up to Bandelier (about 1 1/2 hrs from Abq past Santa Fe and near Los Alamos) to explore the cave dwellings is a great idea - the kids love it! It's a good day trip from Abq if you include the atomic museum - see "Fat Boy" and "Little Man"! - in Los Alamos and if you have the time. Otherwise, you could go to the Coronado State Monument outside ABQ which is still pretty cool for kids. Petroglyph National Monument on the west side of abq is good if your kids like hiking. Also, the Natural History museum (we call it the dinosaur museum)in downtown abq is well worth a visit... lots of real dinosaur bones and some are HUGE and a couple of other great exhibits. As you head further west, stop at Acoma Pueblo (about an hour west on I-40 and take the tour of the cultural center and the mesa top. Also west, check out the lava tubes and the ice caves near Grants, NM.

santa fe, NM
Level Contributor
187 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Travelling with kids. What to do?

Be sure to stop at some of the Native American ruins... a drive up to Bandelier (about 1 1/2 hrs from Abq past Santa Fe and near Los Alamos) to explore the cave dwellings is a great idea - the kids love it! It's a good day trip from Abq if you include the atomic museum - see "Fat Boy" and "Little Man"! - in Los Alamos and if you have the time. Otherwise, you could go to the Coronado State Monument outside ABQ which is still pretty cool for kids. Petroglyph National Monument on the west side of abq is good if your kids like hiking. Also, the Natural History museum (we call it the dinosaur museum)in downtown abq is well worth a visit... lots of real dinosaur bones and some are HUGE and a couple of other great exhibits. As you head further west, stop at Acoma Pueblo (about an hour west on I-40 and take the tour of the cultural center and the mesa top. Also west, check out the lava tubes and the ice caves near Grants, NM.

Charlotte, North...
Level Contributor
162 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Travelling with kids. What to do?

Thank you so much for the great info!

albuquerque
Level Contributor
13 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Travelling with kids. What to do?

Hi Peach:

I would recommend the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center on 14th St. (just north of I-40). Owned and operated by the 19 remaining Pueblo "tribes" in New Mexico, it offers a museum of Pueblo history back to their Anasazi Ancestors, a permanent exhibit of the many arts and crafts that have become internationally reknowned, a Native-American restaurant (try some Indian Fry Bread with honey (more of a pastry than bread, yum!), shops, etc...if you stop on weekends, they have traditional dance programs about mid-day.

The Natural History Museum, and historic Old Town nearby are also recommended. Boys would probably like the "Rattlesnake Museum," in Old Town, but maybe not mom. LOL.

If one doesn't mind the heights, the world's longest tramway will carry you up to the 11,000ft. crest of Albuquerque's adjacent Sandia Mountains for views of 100 miles on clear days. There is also a "National Scenic Drive" highway that goes up the east slope to the crest from NM14, north of I-40. Great picnicing in the cool pines!

The "Petroglyph National Monument" on the West Side, is interesting, with over 15,000 petroglyphs scratched into the black basault lava flows of the West Mesa's long extinct volcanoes.

You didn't say how long you would stay in Albuquerque, or what time of year, but these are a few highlights, especially for your son's ages.

Check with the Albuquerque Convention and Visitor's Bureau for events during the dates you plan to be here, and other info.

http://www.abqcvb.org/visitors/events/

I'm an Albuquerque-based travel writer for over 20 years. Have a great time in the "Land of Enchantment!"

Level Contributor
669 posts
38 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Travelling with kids. What to do?

There's the Atomic Museum and the Natural History Museum which has a great display of dinosaur bones. They may also like the Natice American Ruins at Badelier National Monument near Los Alamos. If they never seen rattlesnakes before they may get a kick from the Rattlesnake Museum in Old Town Albuquerque.

Level Contributor
669 posts
38 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Travelling with kids. What to do?

Meant Natural History Museum...

Albuquerque, NM
Level Contributor
160 posts
51 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Travelling with kids. What to do?

I thought I'd post some more off-the-beaten-path ideas.

If you want to go a bit out of town, the Turquoise Trail is an interesting, quirky half-day trip I think kids and adults will enjoy. Some sights along the trail are: --The Tinker Town Museum: a surreal world of little buildings, figurines and folk art carved by the artist Ross Ward over some 40 yrs. It's sort of like being inside a Tim Burton animation. --Madrid: A former coal mining town now turned into a cool little village of artists and craftspeople and their galleries. They still offer tours of the mine, too. And Shona Sol -- a sculpture garden of modern Zimbabwean art , of all things. (I think there are websites for all these places and one for the Trail overall as well.)

Sort of in the same general direction, in Edgeweood, NM, there's a really neat place called the Walk-N-Circles Horse Ranch that's kind of an adoption agency for abandoned and abused horses from around the Southwest. (www.wncr.org) I know it sounds depressing, but it's actually a very fun place to visit, especially with kids, because the horses are well taken care of and have lots of personality. You should probably call ahead to let them know you're coming. The owners are nice and I'm sure they'll be glad to give you a tour.

I think a pueblo tour is also a must-see when you're out here. Taos is probably the most polished, entertaining and comprehensive, but Acoma is nearer by and has spectacular views. Very informative, fun and beautiful. The Pueblo Cultural Center, which someone else recommended, is a bit on the tame side for some children, but the wonderful staff can give you info on all the local Native American activities.

Lastly, some kids I know say that a big, cheap, greasy breakfast at the Frontier Restaurant and dessert at Flying Star Cafe, both in the UNM area, as well as green-chile-cheeseburgers and Taos Cow ice cream milkshakes at Rte 66 Diner, are mandatory Albuquerque experiences. There are some cool little local shops in the UNM area your boys might enjoy, too, like Astro Zombies, Addicted to Comics, Beeps, The Magic Juggler and the Spy Shop.

Hope you have fun.

Albuquerque, NM
Level Contributor
160 posts
51 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Travelling with kids. What to do?

Oh, and one more thing is a really interesting movie/ride type thing at the Museum Of Natural History. The premise of it is that scientists use CSI-type techniques to recreate what activities brought about the deaths of several dinosaurs whose bones were found together in some area. Then animators recreate the scene and as you watch the final showdown between the dinosaurs, your seats, which are sort of like fixed roller coaster cars, move around with the action. Although it's not NM-specific, it's unlike anything I've seen in other science museums. Very exciting and kids love it (although if you have a bad neck or upper back you might want to be careful as the seats move quite radically).

Niceville, Florida
Level Contributor
14 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Travelling with kids. What to do?

Peach, We went to a rock climbing gym with friends and their similarly aged kids. It's called Stone age. they teach you how to to do it safely it is very easy and very safe. Kids went crazy for it.

It is a little difficult to find so get directions before you leave. Have fun!!