Skip to main content

River of Lights

The holidays sparkle each year at the ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden.

A family takes their photo in the holiday light covered carriage at River of Lights

New Mexico BioPark Society’s 26th Annual River of Lights

Presented by TLC Plumbing, Heating and Cooling

Nov. 25 - Dec. 30, 2023 | Closed Dec. 24 & 25

Get into the holiday spirit at River of Lights, New Mexico’s original and largest walk-through holiday attraction! Enjoy a stroll through our 1.5-mile path of over 800 one-of-a-kind hand-welded light displays, animated and 3D sculptures, and millions of twinkling lights on a suggested one-way path.

For all River of Lights event information,  visit the official website



Monday – Thursday
Adults: $14
Child (age 3-12): $7

Friday – Sunday
Adults: $17
Child (age 3-12): $9

Children 2 and under free

For group ticket sales, visit

Timed Ticket Sales

Ticket sales begin Tuesday, Nov. 7, at 10 a.m. Visit visit the official website to learn event details and to find the ticket link.

For member presale information, please visit

Please Note: All sales are final. 

Timed Ticketing Details

River of Lights requires a reserved timed ticket, available for purchase online only. The hour timeslot required for your purchase is your entry window of time rather than the amount of time you have to visit the event. Check in anytime during your arrival hour and stay as long as you would like (until closing time).

River of Lights is a fundraising event; ticket purchases are not refundable. If an emergency or extenuating circumstance occurs, your timed tickets may be rescheduled up to 72 hours prior to the event, pending availability and sell-out status. Tickets purchased within 72 hours of the event date are immediately locked in and non-refundable.

River of Lights is an all-weather event. We do not offer refunds or rescheduling of tickets missed due to inclement weather when the event is open. For weather updates, check and follow us on social media. If the event is canceled by New Mexico BioPark Society management, an alternative date will be offered.


Box office hours are available Monday – Saturday. Call 505-718-1002 or email [email protected], and an associate will return your message within 24 hours (excluding Sundays). Include your name, contact number, and your order confirmation number.

Getting to River of Lights

Free Park & Ride

Beat the traffic and use the official River of Lights free Park & Ride at the ABQ BioPark Zoo. Service runs nightly. Closed December 24 and 25.

Times: Service runs from 5 – 10 p.m. (last time to return to Zoo).
Pick Up: ABQ BioPark Zoo, 903 Tenth St. SW, Albuquerque NM, 87104
Drop Off: ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden – River of Lights

Friendly reminder: When making your way to River of Lights, no matter where you park, please consider that vehicular traffic converges from four major thoroughfares around the ABQ BioPark and Old Town area. In addition to River of Lights, other holiday events in the area are impacting traffic. Please give yourself ample time to navigate the traffic.

Free ART Service

Take advantage of ART and ride to River of Lights free of charge. Stay safe, observe the HAWK signals, and keep clear of the ART lane.

Bus Frequency (subject to change): ART will arrive every 8-15 minutes. Last bus will leave River of Lights ART station around 9:30 p.m., 7 days a week.

766 Red Line
The 766 Red Line will provide service from the Central & Unser Transit Center to the Uptown Transit Center and all ART stations in between.

777 Green Line
The 777 Green Line will provide service from the Central & Unser Transit Center to Central & Tramway and all ART stations in between.

Find more information about ART.

Learn about the HAWK Signal:

Parking Information

The Botanic Garden does have an ample number of accessible parking spaces. However, for the best chance of securing one of these parking spaces at the Botanic Garden during River of Lights, we recommend visiting during one of the less crowded times. Guests visiting on weekdays and during the first River of Lights arrival window have the best opportunity to park in these spaces at the Botanic Garden.

However, there are also many accessible parking spaces available at the Zoo for Park and Ride. There is always at least one shuttle in rotation from park and ride during River of Lights that can accommodate wheelchairs as well.

Dining and Extras

Sit-down dining

The Shark Reef Cafe is open on Mondays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Thursday - Sunday from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Quick-serve dining

There are many stations throughout the Botanic Garden. The Botanic Garden reopens for River of Lights timed ticket entry at 5 p.m., except December 24-25.

River of Lights Presents Santa’s Magical Experience

Brought to you by Bank of Albuquerque

Enjoy a magical VIP experience with Santa Claus and his elves for an extraordinary evening of ho-ho-holiday merriment! From a build-your-own s’mores station and a holiday story to a meeting with Santa, you’ll be surrounded with holiday cheer before being whisked away to the enchanting River of Lights! Ticket Sales begin Nov. 6 at 10 a.m.

Dates: Select dates starting Friday, Dec. 1, 2023
Location: ABQ BioPark Tingley Beach, Santa's New Mexico Headquarters
Price: Children & Adults: $30 | Toddlers 2 and under: $18
River of Lights admission included
No member discount

Tickets are limited. While supplies last! This event sells out quickly! For more information and to buy tickets, visit

River of Lights Presents Santa’s Workshop

Brought to you by Bank of Albuquerque

Santa's swinging the secret doors of his New Mexico HQ wide open for an 18+ bash that includes bedazzling your own nutcracker, drool-worthy s’mores and hot chocolate indulgence, and a ride to jump the line into River of Lights! Ticket sales begin Nov. 6 at 10 a.m.

Dates: Select dates starting Friday, Dec. 15, 2023
Location: ABQ BioPark Tingley Beach, Santa’s New Mexico Headquarters
Price: $60, must be 18+ for this event
River of Lights admission included
No member discount

Tickets are limited. While supplies last! For more information and to buy tickets, visit

Thank You to our Sponsors!