Events: Covid Fun In Burque

Don’t Let A Pandemic Stop Your Summer

Carolyn Carlson
6 min read
Elena Gallegos Open Space
Didn’t the newly renamed The Chicks have a song about this? (Brandon Stephenson)
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Drive-in movies, golf and swim strokes, hundreds of miles of a variety of trails and virtual tours of museums, zoos and other cultural gems are available distractions to ward off the COVID stir crazies.

Can’t Keep Us Down

Social distancing, mask wearing and the travel restrictions put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic are making it hard to have fun like back in the day. All is not lost, however, as local governments, museums and outdoor areas are offering ways to keep us connected to a quality of life and a sense of community.


We are no doubt spending a lot of time doing Netflix, Hulu, Disney and all the other streaming services. Those have their place in the passing of couch time. Take a break from big brainwashers and check out some local video tours and exhibitions.

While the Botanic Garden and Tingley Beach are now open, our local BioPark animal neighbors at the zoo, aquarium and BUGarium miss us very much. On the
ABQ BioPark’s public Facebook page (, you will find almost daily posts with behind-the-scenes looks at what some of our favorite critters have been up to.

Albuquerque Museum is hosting an online exhibition of various multimedia artists’ responses to the detonation of a nuclear weapon near Alamogordo, New Mexico back in 1945. It’s the 75th anniversary of that unimaginable day that changed history.
Trinity: Reflections on the Bomb runs through September 6. According to museum curators the exhibition features the work of more than 50 artists and it presents a snippet of history through the artistic, ecological, humanitarian, political and popular culture lens. To see the complete exhibit on your laptop, go to

¡Explora!, the city’s hands-on science museum, is not open to the public, but there are future
virtual and in-person camp dates for youth through July and August. Check out all of the COVID-friendly offerings on the museum’s website (


There are podcasts galore churning out of New Mexico. A search showed a couple dozen locally generated ones ranging from every political persuasion to preparing to go hunting, ones for environmentalists, news podcasts, stories of New Mexico’s people, places and history. There are many good ones, but one of the unique highlights worth mentioning is The Mesa, a local podcast that explores and keeps alive the stories of the women and unborn baby found murdered and buried on the city’s sprawling West Mesa. Another one is City on the Edge podcast that tells quirky stories of Albuquerque’s past and present. Both are available through Soundcloud, Apple, I Heart, Radiopublic, Stitcher and other streaming services.

Over on the page, one of the upcoming happenings is Dan Wetmore hosting
The Skinny on the Short Line Stuff from 6:30 to 8:30pm on July 17. Wetmore is a poet of 50 years and will share his insight on his journey with poetry and prose, and offer tips on how to get your prose and poems out of your head and into the world. There are online painting classes, jewelry classes and many more listed at the online bulletin board.

There are many who are missing the classical sounds of the
New Mexico Philharmonic Orchestra and many who don’t know what they are missing. Our talented musical neighbors are doing weekly broadcasts at 7 p.m. on Wednesdays from their website at “NMPhil Wednesday Night Live!” is a video broadcast hosted by Music Director Robertor Minczuk as he shares conversation with guest artists.


The plethora of surrounding mountains, open space, Bosque trails, walkable ditch banks, urban and rural walking/bike paths and parks scattered around the metropolitan area are still there, waiting for your use. Both the city and the county’s parks and recreation, and open space webpages ( and have detailed lists and maps for these hidden gems.

Is lap swimming your deal? As of press time, select pools are open for lane swimming. There are no public pools open for the two-legged yard animals. The city’s pools require a reservation for
lap swimming while the county pools do not. Go to to sign up. None of the local spray parks/splash pads are open.

Golf is still stroking along at the city’s courses, but you must make a reservation. It would be best to call the private and the University of New Mexico golf courses to see what COVID restrictions they have in place (


If you have wheels, then you are luckier than a duck because you can go see an old time drive-in movie or take off in any direction out of the Burque valley.

Bernalillo County is hosting
drive-in movies at the Isleta Amphitheater, and Balloon Fiesta Park will be hosting family friendly drive-in movies. Check out and for a schedule of films and dates.

Sadly for non New Mexico peeps, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham closed all
New Mexico State Parks to out-of-state visitors. But us locals can head out into one of the 35 state parks scattered around the state. Overnight camping remains prohibited. Check out the list and the restrictions at

The National Park system has most locations open to in- and out-of-state visitors. According to its website at, it is best to call the individual park ahead of time. Here in the greater Burque area, those parks that qualify for a day trip drive include Petroglyph, Salinas Pueblo Missions, Santa Fe Historic Trail and the Valles Caldera.

A day’s drive or shorter will get you to some top-notch scenery. Head east, then up the backside of the Sandias to the breathtaking view of the Rio Grande Valley and beyond. Go west toward the sacred Mt. Taylor peak for a different view. South gets you to Bosque del Apache for a little bird watching. North can find you along the Rio Grande in Corrales or up the Turquoise Trail to Santa Fe. Heck, just driving around Santa Fe looking for a precious sighting of G.R.R. Martin can eat up a whole day.

Keep Up

To keep our sanity we need to think creatively to find ways of injecting fun into each long COVID day. There are so many other ideas, places, podcasts, online educational opportunities we missed, so feel free to add to the list of happy things to do, either via email or post it on our website in the comment box under this article.
COVID Fun in Burque

Brandon Stephenson

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