Heading to the Southwest this spring? If you’re leaving on a jet plane and touching down in the ABQ in May, you’re in luck—there are so many things going on in May in Albuquerque that we at Barcelona Suites don’t know where to begin. Let’s jump right in—here are some special events and attractions you will not want to miss during your stay in New Mexico.
Albuquerque Renaissance Fair
If you can’t get enough of Medieval Times, Game of Thrones, jousting and other Middle Ages-themed fun, check out Albuquerque’s Renaissance Fair, on May 2 at the Anderson Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum. Featured at the Faire are food, music, archery, fencing, arts and other activities that one would have experienced living life in the Middle Ages. The Renaissance Faire takes place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children 4-12, and free for children 3 and under—or, spring for the “Royal Feast” option, which is $20 per adults, and $11 for kids 12 and under.
Face the Future Conference
Interested in learning more about what’s to come in the future business with regards to technology, education, energy, medicine, media, healthcare, travel, robotics and more? Check out the Face the Future conference, which is taking place May 4-6 at the Albuquerque Convention Center. There will be panels and lectures about how various aspects of daily life and industry will change the future, and how they will impact and change corporate America. Here, you (and your employees, if this is a business trip) will learn about things like how gender is affecting corporate dynamics, how you can provide affordable healthcare for employees, leadership training and effectiveness, how to do business in the constantly evolving digital world, and so much more.
27th Annual Rio Grande Valley Celtic Festival
The Rio Grande Valley Celtic Festival and Highland Games brings Celtic culture right to you with a celebration of lifestyles, traditions, cultural heritage and more. Learn more about how Celtic culture has influenced American life, and get a peek at all things Celtic—song, dance, clothing, foods, language revival, stories, poetry, history and more. Everything from the famous Highland war pipes to Highland games, rugby, and hurling, will take place at this festival. Want to go? This year’s Rio Grande Valley Celtic Festival takes place May 16 and 17 at Balloon Fiesta Park, and admission is $15 for adults, $10 for seniors, and $7 for kids.
Albuquerque Wine Festival
Prefer to travel for pleasure rather than business? Don’t we all! If you love your Pinots, both Grigio and Noir, you won’t want to miss the Albuquerque Wine Festival. Held over May 23-25 at the Balloon Fiesta Park (it’s a multi-use facility!), this festival brings together some of the greatest wineries from around the state. Here, you’ll get to experience samples, glasses and bottles of New Mexico’s best wines, as well as enjoy food, arts and crafts vendors, and live music. The New Mexico Wine Growers Association (NMWGA) will be hosting this year’s festival, and the event will showcase a vast array of award-winning New Mexico wines. All adults who attend must have a photo ID with them, and admission is $20 per person, regardless of whether they intend on drinking any of that sweet, sweet wine. Anyone under 21 is allowed to attend for free, but must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
Albuquerque Isotopes Baseball
Though not specific to May—the ‘Topes play from April to August every year—games are affordable to attend, with tickets ranging from $7 to $25 per person. Perfect for the whole family, catching a ball game is the perfect way to spend an afternoon or evening in Albuquerque.
Explora’s XOXO: An Exhibit About Love & Forgiveness
Located at Albuquerque’s Explora museum, 1701 Mountain Rd. N.W., the XOXO exhibit runs through May 10. This interactive exhibit about love and forgiveness through words, movement, art making, performance, and play helps kids and families learn. This exhibit was created by the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, so be sure to stop in while it’s here in ABQ. While you’re at Explora, check out the other exhibits, including toddler activities, attractions for the kids, and more. It’s a perfect family-friendly outing.
Unfolding Albuquerque Art & Design
Taking place at multiple venues throughout Albuquerque, “Unfolding Albuquerque Art & Design” is a cultural partnership that celebrates central New Mexican art. Featuring more than 20 different organizations, public institutions are collaborating with private galleries to present exhibitions, lectures, performances and educational programming that investigates the art in the greater Albuquerque area. Check out the art and design work created in the Middle Rio Grande Basin, and visit the various venues this showcase will be taking place, including the Albuquerque Museum, The National Hispanic Cultural Center, the University of New Mexico Art Museum, Central Features, and the Richard Levy Gallery.
Other Things to Do in Albuquerque
Whether you’re staying for just a few days or are temporarily relocating to the area for a long work assignment, you’ll need to find ways to pass the time. Some popular activities you might want to check out might include:
- Hang Gliding. If you’re a daredevil-type person, head to High Desert Hang Gliding and find out what it feels like to really have the wind in your hair. Here, you’ll learn the basics of launching and landing, and then you’ll be cleared to take off on your own to soar across the Albuquerque sky. Students and instructors reach altitudes of up to 500 feet over various New Mexico locations, so make sure you come prepared to really fly like an eagle.
- Learn to Paint. At Not Made in China Pottery Studio, you can take a class to create an acrylic painting that’s one of a kind. Simply bring yourself and an outfit you don’t mind getting a little bit dirty—the studio is stocked with clay, wheels, paints, brushes and instructors help you along to develop techniques to create your very own masterpiece.
- Take a Jewelry Class. Meltdown Studio offers a five-hour class where you can learn how to make what they call “small metals jewelry.” Learn the basics about jewelry tools and equipment and learn basic surface and cold connection techniques. In the class, skilled jewelry designers teach students how to create their own pieces of jewelry using various techniques.
- Experience Formula Driving. If your kind of metals and paints are connected to revving engines rather than pottery wheels, consider going to a ride-along experience in ABQ. At the Formula Experience, visitors get the option to check out a 3-lap ride along or a 5- or 10-lap intro to driving an F2000-style Formula car or Factory Five Shelby Cobra. Rusty Wallace, 2013 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee, allows amateurs to feel how driving one of these steel beasts really feels. If you feel the need, the need for speed, this experience is made for you.
- Check Out Dirt Racing. In a similar vein, if you’re into driving but want something a little bit grittier, you’ll love this 3-lap ride along or 10/15-lap riving session with dirt racing expert Kenny Wallace. NASCAR racers often enjoy dirt races, as it allows them to get back to their “racing roots.” If you want to try it out yourself, you can head to Kenny Wallace Dirt Racing Experience, where you’ll have to option to ride along or drive for yourself, similar to the Formula driving activity.