A look at family-friendly events across the state for ringing in the new year - Albuquerque Journal

A look at family-friendly events across the state for ringing in the new year

Cathryn Cunningham/Journal

In New Mexico, there’s never just one way to celebrate the New Year.

This year, in-person events are being put on — of course with health restrictions in place.

From Santa Fe to Taos and

Las Cruces to Albuquerque, there will be plenty of celebrations

to welcome in 2022.

Here are a few of the free public and family-friendly events.


While there’s no public celebration in the state’s biggest city, there are still plenty of options to ring in the New Year.

The Albuquerque Museum will host “New Year’s Eve Before Dark” from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 31. Officials say the entire family can go to the museum and create New Year-inspired art, as well as tour the galleries for free.

The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science will also be participating in “New Year’s Eve Before Dark.” The museum will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visitors can enjoy hands-on activities, free with regular admission, in the museum’s atrium from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The Anderson Abruzzo International Balloon Museum will also have events as part of “New Year’s Eve Before Dark” from 10 a.m.-noon.

According to officials, visitors can learn about history, science, sport and art of ballooning. They can also participate in a scavenger hunt to get to know the various exhibits at the museum. When completed, visitors can turn in the scavenger hunt to get a prize by noon. This event is also free.

At Explora, the interactive museum is bringing back its “Noon Year’s Eve” celebration. This event is for families with young children who won’t be awake until midnight.

The doors will open at 10 a.m. with activities through 2 p.m.

The event will feature two indoor balloon drops at noon with 2,022 balloons.

According to museum officials, those planning to attend must reserve space at a cost for the event ahead of time as walk-ins will not be accepted. The event will be capped at 800 people for the safety of staff and visitors. More information can be found at explora.us.

Santa Fe

The City Different will say “adios” to 2021 with the Seventh Annual New Year’s Eve on the Santa Fe Plaza.

The free festivities begin at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 31, with the Plaza warmed by stationary heaters and cozy piñon bonfires scenting the night air.

Manzanares, Sol Fire and Theo Kutsko will provide live music from the Plaza.

The Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe will provide free bizcochitos, New Mexico’s official state cookie, while supplies last.

At 11:45 p.m., Mayor Alan Webber and city officials will invite the crowd to count down to a peaceful, prosperous new year.

When the countdown ends, a colorful Zia symbol hand-crafted by a traditional local artisan will rise at the stroke of midnight. The Zia will rise against a backdrop of sparkling fireworks launched from Santa Fe’s most historic hotel, La Fonda on the Plaza.

Officials say the event will be conducted in observance of public health orders in place at that time. The event can also be viewed online at earthcam.com/usa/newmexico/santafe.


Revelers can begin to get to the Historic Taos Plaza, from 5-10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 31.

Taos Mayor Dan Barrone and his family will be serving a pig roast dinner free to the community and visitors.

Musical performances by Michael Hearne, Beat Root Revival and Chris Dracup will run from 5-9:30 p.m.

Fireworks will be provided by Town of Taos and Fire Department.

According to Taos officials, parking and vehicular traffic to the Plaza will be closed from 7 a.m.-midnight Friday, December 31.

Foot traffic and the Taos Plaza merchants will be open on Saturday, Jan. 1. Officials say event parking will be available at Loretto Parking Lot and McCarthy Parking Lot located on Cantu Hill, opposite side of I Love Taos. All metered parking lots will be free.

For handicapped parking and for people requiring ADA access to the event, there will be extra parking on the area next to the McCarthy parking lot directly behind the old County Courthouse.

Las Cruces

Will it be red or green?

In Las Cruces, the New Year’s Eve Chile Drop returns to in person to the Plaza de Las Cruces on Friday, Dec. 31.

“We’re excited to welcome back visitors in-person for the Chile Drop,” said Dan Trujillo, interim marketing director for Visit Las Cruces. “This one-of-a-kind event is a celebration of Las Cruces food and culture, and is an exciting way to bring in a new year of new experiences.”

Event organizers says live music, food and entertainment will be offered beginning at 9 p.m. in downtown Las Cruces. The Memphis Band will headline the night.

Main Street will be blocked off around the plaza so the event will be able to allow for foot traffic.

In previous years, when the chile was dropped, it would be red, green or both when the clock struck midnight. This year, organizers put the vote out to residents via a QR code or via their Facebook page.

Voting will continue until 11 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 31.

“A new year ushers in opportunities to try something new and exciting,” added Trujillo. “If you’ve never been to the Chile Drop, we invite you to visit Las Cruces and spice up your 2022. For those coming in from out of town, don’t forget to try our local cuisine and taste for yourself the incredible flavors of Las Cruces.”

For more information on the event or to cast your vote ahead of time, visit the Las Cruces Chile Drop Facebook page.


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