The Albuquerque Bio Park's annual display, "River of Lights" is underway and well worth a visit. The show runs from 6:00 to 9:00 PM through December 30th. (closed Dec 24 & 25) What a wonderful way to start your holiday spirit flowing for the season. For some reason, my Christmas spirit has been slow to get started this year so I really appreciated the good tunes playing in the main patio area. Most nights, local choirs and bands entertain visitors from a unique truck bed bandstand in the patio.
My friends and I went to the River of Lights show on a recent snowy night so the mood was heightened by snow flakes on our noses. That particular evening we were lucky to start out our tour with some hot cider and biscochitos served at the appreciation reception for Bio Park volunteers. (One of the many benefits of being a volunteer at the park; you might want to consider it.) There are vendors with hot drinks and other food choices available every night.
Even if you've been to the light show before, you'll find some new features this year. This is the largest walk through light show in New Mexico featuring literally thousands of lights and other displays. One of the new features this year is an ice skating rink. Yes, ice skating, here in New Mexico! The skating rink is free but you have to bring your own ice skates. There are also some new light displays but I don't want to give away all the surprises.
Light displays are found throughout the main areas of the botanical park so there is plenty of room for an evening of walking and enjoying the lights. If you have children that love the garden railroad, or you just use that excuse to go watch it yourself, the railroad is in operation for the show on Wednesday through Sunday nights. Special parking areas and extra entrances are opened to handle weekend traffic, just follow the directions of the staff on site.
The Moorish garden display is especially beautiful this year, perhaps it was the special effects the snow added. The Mediterranean greenhouse is the setting for hundreds of poinsettias which have been added to dress up the greenhouse for the light show. The fragrance filling the building is heavenly, tuberoses in bloom I believe, but don't quote me on that. Since I wear glasses which immediately steamed up when I entered the greenhouse it was truly a dreamy experience.
Prices are a reasonable $6 a head for adults, $2 for kids 3 to 12 , younger are free. You can buy tickets at the door or even buy in advance on line courtesy of the New Mexico BioPark Society. There are other daytime displays underway at the Botanic Garden this month which is, without doubt, one of Albuquerque's treasures. Check here for detailed information on what else is happening at the Botanic Garden this month.