Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Albuquerque museum hopping

Exploring hot air balloon baskets at the International Balloon Museum
When Phil first announced that he was going to a conference in Albuquerque, I googled things to do in Albuquerque with kids and found this gem of a list. It sold me right away that we could have a fun family trip there.

I couldn't wait to check out hot air balloons inside and out at the Anderson Abruzzo International Balloon Museum. Added bonus: the museum hosts an award-winning story time every Wednesday morning. 

The museum is a few stories high (to accommodate legit blown up hot air balloons) and the back wall is all glass and overlooks a huge field. It's a great spot to check out balloon sightings, particularly during the  annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in October when more than 700 hot air balloons take to the sky. The coolest! I also loved how inexpensive museum admission is ($8 for our family).

(Clockwise: bubbles!, hands-on instruments, my chain reaction scientists, Sienna flying a plane)
During our first couple of days, we kept getting suggestions to visit the Explora! Science Center and Children's Museum. It definitely didn't disappoint. We had so much fun there that we drove to the hotel to pick up Phil after his conference sessions were over and brought him there so he could see what we did all day. 

We probably spent the most time in the front of the museum where you could build chain reaction experiments with pulleys, little balls and all kinds of other contraptions. I also love the section of the museum with instruments and sound experiments. And, older kids can ride a bike on a high wire near the museum's ceiling. 

Extra friendly geese at Tingley Beach
If we had more time, we definitely would have visited more museums, particularly those in the ABQ Bio Park, which features the zoo, aquarium and botanical garden and a fun train that takes you around to all three (extra ticket needed if you don't buy the combo pass). Because we wanted to enjoy the outdoors after Cleveland's unforgiving winter, we only visited Tingley Beach, a series of fishing/duck ponds near the Rio Grande within in the Bio Park. There's a designated kids' fishing pond, which I had to distract D from big time, and a trail along the river. 

One additional museum we visited was the Rattlesnake Museum in Old Town. Great area close to downtown that I'll talk about in my next and last ABQ post.

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