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Cliff’s debuts its first-ever holiday experience

acliffsCliff’s is feeling festive.

For the first time in its 54-year history, the Albuquerque amusement park is hosting special holiday hours between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The park will be open 5-9 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights from Nov. 29-Dec. 29, plus additional sessions on Monday, Dec. 23, and Thursday, Dec. 26.

Cliff’s owner Justin Hays said most of the park’s kids’ rides will be open as part of the “Cliff’s Magical Christmas” run. There also will be some cold weather-appropriate family and thrill rides available, but no water attractions or roller coasters.

Hays said crews have tried to “Christmas it up” around the venue by stringing hundreds of thousands of lights.

Cliff’s also has a 120-foot Christmas tree that can move to music, a Santa Claus ready to mingle with kids (through Dec. 23) and holiday food choices like tamales, posole and hot chocolate.

Admission is $10 and includes rides.

“It’s a pretty big spectacle,” said Hays, whose grandfather, Cliff Hammond, founded the park in 1959.

He said Cliff’s has tried other off-season events in the past, but a harvest-time run wasn’t as successful as owners had hoped and scary Halloween events didn’t fit the park’s mission.

Hays said he was approached by the Red Shovel landscaping company about decorating for a holiday run and decided to give it a try.

“If it’s successful, (it’s) something we want to build on for sure,” he said.

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