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Parks & Recreation Encourages Burqueños to #OptOutside this Black Friday

City of Albuquerque has nearly 300 parks and more than 29,000 acres of open space

On Friday, November 23, 2018, the City of Albuquerque Parks and Recreation Department is encouraging folks to #OptOutside and enjoy the City’s parks and open spaces. Outdoor recreation retailers and advocacy groups started the #OptOutside campaign four years ago in an effort to improve the physical and mental health of millions of Americans by encouraging them to spend time in nature in addition to (or instead of) just shopping on Black Friday.

“Instead of stressing out and fighting Black Friday crowds, head outside to improve your physical and mental health,” stated Dave Simon, Director of Parks and Recreation. “A walk in your neighborhood park, the bosque, or the foothills is the best Black Friday bargain in Albuquerque.”

As part of the #OptOutside campaign, the Open Space Visitor Center is holding several events this weekend for folks to enjoy. In addition to the events listed below, visitors can enjoy self-guided nature walks, miles of Bosque hiking trails, viewing areas of Sandhill cranes, and other wildlife, art galleries, and permanent exhibits. This Visitor Center will be closed on Thanksgiving and will reopen Friday, November 23 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

To find a park or trail near you, visit

Upcoming Open Space Visitor Center Classes, Workshops, and Gallery Exhibits:

  • Bosque Wild: Guided Nature Walk: Friday, November 23, 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. The Middle Rio Grande valley is nature’s laboratory with a different lesson plan every season. This is a moderately strenuous guided hike through one of the largest riverside-cottonwood forests in the world and along the banks of the Rio Grande. Please leave your pets at home. Space is limited. Please call 897-8831 to register.
  • Home Composting Basics: Saturday, November 24, 9:30 am to 12:00pm. Home composting is recycling that produces a useful soil conditioner. Basic composting science will be presented with a special focus on useful practices for a high desert climate. A variety of home composting options will be covered. Useful take-home information will help a participant get started and/or improve an already chosen composting method. Instructor: Mary Green.
  • Yoga with a View: Every Sunday at 9:00 a.m. Begin Sundays with an invigorating YOGA session at 9:00am. Your first class is $5, subsequent classes are $15, and if you buy in bulk, they’re even less. Class fees include a donation to the Open Space Alliance.
  • New Mexico Wildlife and Wildscapes – the art of Julia Cairns and L. Wren Walraven: ONGOING through December 30. The Open Space Visitor Center presents New Mexico Wildlife and Wildscapes, the Art of Julia Cairns and L. Wren Walraven. L. Wren Walraven has received a BFA from Ohio University, and has worked in wildlife rehabilitation and bird surveying. She has been a professional artist for 19 years. Julia Cairns was born in Oxford, England in 1959. She paints at her studio in Galisteo, NM and takes part in the annual Studio Tour there every October. Julia teaches and travels, taking a group to Italy every year to paint the beautiful landscapes of Tuscany. Her inspiration comes from nature and the world around her.
  • Far Off the Path, Watercolors and Words by Betsy James: ONGOING through December 30. The Open Space Visitor Center presents Far Off the Path, Watercolors and Words by Betsy James, through December 30. Betsy James is the author-illustrator of seventeen books for adults and children. Her latest novel, Roadsouls, was a finalist for the 2017 World Fantasy Award. She teaches at UNM Honors College, and lives in the North Valley.

About the Open Space Visitor Center:

The Open Space Visitor Center is an interpretive hub for the Open Space program, lands, and resources. Visitors enjoy educational exhibits, art displays, wildlife fields, a Traditions garden, Bosque trails, and a variety of talks, workshops, demonstrations and entertainment. The Open Space Visitor Center is located at 6500 Coors Boulevard, between Montaño Road and Paseo del Norte at the end of Bosque Meadows Road. Look for the Flyway art installation. Call 505-897-8831 or see for more information.