The clouds have broken, the rain of constant deadlines has cleared, and the light of a three-day weekend is moving our way. And what better way to celebrate Memorial Day than with a family picnic in one of Albuquerque’s picturesque parks or open spaces?
Check out this roundup of our favorite places to pitch our pic-a-nic baskets in the Duke City:
Elena Gallegos Picnic Area: There’s plenty of room for frisbee, tag, and fried chicken (hopefully not at the same time) within this secluded section of foothills near the Sandia Mountains. Visitors are invited to roam more than 640 acres of virtually untouched open space, making Elena Gallegos the perfect place for an afternoon hike, followed by a heaping helping of potato salad. The picnic area has seven covered tables (for the random summer sunburst) and two reservation areas with barbecue grills included. But be wary–if you choose to travel up the trails for your picnic, keep an eye out for the forest residents. Visitors have reported seeing evidence of coyotes, cougars, and the occasional bear. Unless the bear answers to “Yogi,” wears a purple tie, and has a sidekick named “Boo Boo,” you’ve got nothing to worry about.
For more info and directions, visit cabq.gov and search for “Elena Gallegos Picnic Area.”
Tiguex Park: If you want some open space but without all the hassle of getting out of the city, visit Tiguex Park–a perfect place for taking the children or partaking in some sports debauchery. Release the kiddos on the park’s concrete slide (not as intimidating as it sounds), woodchip-lined playground area, or let them make a few laps on their bikes, rollerskates, or scooters. The park has nearly a mile’s worth of eight-foot-wide sidewalks just begging to be walked or rolled on.
After stuffing yourself silly, burn some calories off exploring the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, which is directly across the street from the park. Make sure to check out Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition—a temporary exhibit that displays a somber assortment of artifacts recovered from the Titanic’s final resting place at the bottom of the Atlantic. Make sure to check out the recreated interior of the ship, as well.
For more info on Tiguex Park, visit cabq.gov and search for “Tiguex Park.”
McDuffie Park: It’s the park with a split personality. On one hand, this shady summer oasis is officially known as McDuffie Park, but to the locals, it’s simply called “Hidden Park.” No matter what name you choose to call it, the narrow, secluded strip-of-a-park provides a perfect haven for a quick picnic getaway. Relax and read a book under the shady eaves of deciduous trees, or discuss the future with your honey from atop the picnic blanket. As far as amenities go, this park is bare-bones; just grass and trees, so naturally, it makes a better destination for adult picnics and older children.
For more info, visit manzano.cabq.gov.
Walk it off!
Why not walk or run it off for a good cause? Shake a leg and join in the Tuskegee Airmen’s first-annual 5k For Flight! Walk/Run on Saturday, starting at 8 a.m. Profits will be used for the General Lloyd W. “Fig” Newton Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math scholarships and education programs, as well as for the placement of a Tuskegee Airmen statue at the New Mexico Veterans Memorial.
Registration is $30 for adults and $15 for children. To register, visit tai-albuquerque.org.
The only question is…what are you doing this weekend?