FUN AND GAMES
Isotopes: Baseball "is" America's pastime. Indulge in old-fashioned excitement with $5 tickets for the grass-level and $9 for reserved seating. (Never mind the $6.25 beer.)
Steve Hurlbert, director of media relations for the 'Topes said going to a ballgame is a perfect way to kick off the summer.
"It's great affordable, family-friendly entertainment. It's a terrific way to spend a warm evening in New Mexico."
Go to Albuquerque baseball for information.
Hinkle Family Fun Center's Nickel City: Avid gamers will get numb thumbs with just a handful of nickels.
Admission is $2.50 a person, and all arcade games play off 5 cents each. Break open the piggy bank and let the games begin.
Call 299-3100 for information.
Bowling: Sport those groovy bowling shoes and have some fun while you aim for a strike.
Prices usually start at about $3.50 per game and $2 for shoes.
Call a bowling alley near you, as prices and times may vary.
Salsa at the Cooperage: Now that "Dancing with the Stars" is over, it's time to get off the sofa and put on those boogie shoes.
Move your hips to the saucy Latin beat of various salsa bands. Fridays and Saturdays at 9:30 p.m. at the Cooperage. Price: $7. Call 255-1657 for information.
Putt Putt Golf & Games: Swing the ball past the giant giraffe and try to make a hole-in-one in a castle. Games range from $7-$9. Call 881-9866 for hours.
Swimming: City pools are open. All city pools except West Mesa Aquatic Center and East San Jose range from 25 cents to $2. Call your neighborhood pool for hours or visit City of Albuquerque.
OUT IN THE WILD
Rio Grande Nature Center: Enjoy bird walks at 8 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, and nature walks at 1 p.m. on Sundays.
Beth Dillingham, park superintendent at the Rio Grande Nature Center, said there are a variety of reasons people should visit the center during the weekend.
"We're under the shade of the cottonwoods, and they can observe wildlife and look at water," she said. "In the summertime, I love to look at water. You get to look at turtles, geese, ducks, bullfrogs and wildlife; and listen to bird songs and watch hummingbirds."
Price: $3 per vehicle. Call 344-7240.
Albuquerque Biological Park:
• Rio Grande Zoo - During the month of June, polar bears can be seen swimming or diving for fish. Sea lions will do tricks for treats, and hippopotamuses will come out to play. Don't miss a chance to see the baby giraffes and baby flamingo.
• Albuquerque Aquarium and the Rio Grande Botanic Garden - Who says Albuquerque doesn't have any exotic fish or colorful flowers? A visit to the aquarium and the garden will have you forgetting you're in the desert.
Admission for the zoo and the aquarium/gardens (separately) is $7 for adults, $3 for seniors and $3 for kids.
Go to City of Albuquerque for information.
Petroglyph National Monument: Witness the evidence of New Mexico's early inhabitants and enjoy a long hike.
Diane Souder, chief of interpretation and outreach at the monument, said it's a perfect place to get out and experience nature.
"We have trails to see petrogylphs, (and) for people who want to see wildflowers, and trails for people who want to hike," she said. "I think for people who are looking for something to do, this is a wonderful wildflower season - lots of color out here."
Price: $1 on weekdays and $2 on weekends. For information, go to Petroglyphs.
Expo New Mexico Flea Market: Ken Salazar, general manager for Expo New Mexico Flea Market, said the outdoor market is a good place to find deals.
"There's vendors selling just about everything you could think of, from garage-sale items to antique items. Bargains galore."
Event is free; parking is $4.
Thrift stores: A pair of Banana Republic pants for $5? It's possible when you shop smart. Sometimes you can find some real treasures at secondhand stores.
Savers, Goodwill and Thrift Town are good places to start.
Antiques: Looking for old Life magazines and "Stars Wars" figures? You'll probably find them at an antique store.
Start at Classic Century Square at 4616 Central Ave. S.E. with its three levels of antiques.
Call 265-3161 for information.
Farmers markets: Shop for fresh fruits, vegetables, handmade soaps and other homemade and home-grown items at a variety of city markets. Visit Farmers markets for information on where to go.
Shady Lakes: Grab your fishing rod and take a short drive to Roy Road, just west of I-25. Shady Lakes offers rainbow trout, black bass, bluegill and channel catfish.
Stephen Rustvold, spokesman for Shady Lakes said the lake is a great place to go in the summer.
"It's an oasis in the desert; it has a lot of cottonwoods, two trout lakes and two major lakes."
No fishing license required. Price: $5.25 fishing fee for adults; $3.25 fishing fee for children and seniors. But keep in mind, when you catch a fish, it costs 55 cents an inch.
Call 898-2568 for information.
Fishing is free, if you have a license.
Children can hang out at the children's pond. Each pond is stocked with rainbow trout in the winter and channel catfish in the summer.
If you don't have a license, you'll have to pay $25 for one. Don't despair, though, there are still plenty of things to do for under $10.
You can rent a mountain bike for $8 an hour; a two-seat paddle boat for $8; model boats for 50 cents an hour.
Go to City of Albuquerque for information.
Isleta Lakes: Experience the beautiful Isleta Pueblo and have a picnic at Isleta Lakes, just south of I-25. Take a sack lunch and have a picnic.
Price: $2 per adult. Go to Isleta Pueblo for information on fishing prices.
ON THE MOVE
Labyrinths: Enjoy the path to self-discovery as you walk to the center of a labyrinth, a group of concentric circles walked in a meditative state.
Marge McCarthy, president and founder of the Labyrinth Resource Group, said there can be many reasons to visit a labyrinth this summer.
"Some people do it to deal with grief. Some people do it to calm down. Some do it to solve a problem or stimulate creativity or just because it feels good. It's different for each person every time they do it."
Go to labyrinthresourcegroup.org for a guide to many free labyrinths in Albuquerque. Some are by appointment, so call the numbers listed on the Web site.
New Mexico Rail Runner Express: Explore Sandoval, Bernalillo and Valencia counties on the tracks. For $4, riders go from Bernalillo to Belen and back.
Indian Pueblo Cultural Center: Dive into the culture, art and food of the pueblos as well as the origins of New Mexico.
Tazbah McCullah, marketing director, said the center is full of activities during the summer.
"Each weekend, a visitor can count on seeing traditional Native American dance performances and a featured artist demonstration in addition to exciting exhibitions," she said.
Price: adults, $6; seniors, $5.50; New Mexico residents, $4; students with ID and children over 5, $1; children under 5, free.
National Hispanic Cultural Center: Check out "The African Presence in Mexico: From Yanga to the Present." The exhibit looks at the contributions of African descendants in Mexico.
Museum admission is $3 for adults; $2 for seniors over 60; free for youths 16 and under. Call 724-4720 for information.
Old Town: You don't have to be a tourist to step back into city history. Walk around, visit the San Felipe de Neri Church and taste some of New Mexico's delicious "comida".
On Saturdays, experience music, dance, poetry and storytelling on the plaza from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (free). Music will be featured on various days of the week. Visit City of Albuquerque for times.
Parking near the Old Town area is $3 all day; free if you don't mind a short walk.
Summerfest: The city's outdoor series of live entertainment, food vendors and an arts and crafts market starts June 16. Event is free, but parking in the garage under Civic Plaza will cost a small fee. Go to City of Albuquerque for information.
EXPLORATION AND DISCOVERY
Tinkertown Museum: Visiting this miniature town made of recycled materials is, says owner Carla Ward, like taking a mini-vacation.
"It's like being transported to another place and time with a miniature Western town and circus. It's a true recycler's dream."
Tinkertown is on N.M. Highway 536 on the way to Sandia Crest.
Price: $3 for adults; $2.50 for seniors; $1 for kids.
Call 281-5233 or go to Tinkertown for information.
Museum Corner: Learn about our past, present and future at the museums in the Old Town area.
• New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science - exhibits, DynaTheater, Lodestar Planetarium, and Lodestar Virtual Voyages cost $7 for adults; $6 for seniors; $4 for kids.
Open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day. Call 841-2802 for information.
• Explora Science Center and Children's Museum - Learn about science, technology and art in an interactive environment with your child.
Price: $7 for adults; $5 for seniors; $3 for children; free for children under 1. Museum is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.
Call 224-8300 for information.
• Albuquerque Museum - Experience 400 years of Albuquerque history through displays and exhibits at the museum. Contemporary art by local artists will also be displayed.
Price: $4 for adults; $2 for seniors; $1 for kids; free for children under 3. Admission is free Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Call 242-4600 for information.
Movies West and Movies 8 are a good place to bring the whole family for under $10.
Prices vary from 50 cents to $2 depending on when you come.
Movies West: 898-4664; Movies 8: 888-1992.
University of New Mexico duck pond: Take a walk; read a book; look at the ducks, turtles and goldfish; or simply meditate. The best part? It's free.
Dog parks: Some parks in the city allow owners to spend time with their dogs and let their dogs get all their energy out. Go to http://www.cabq.gov/pets/dogpark
for a listing of dog parks in your area.
Story time at the library: Library staff read stories to children for free at many libraries. They will also sing songs or perform dances with the kids.
Call your local library or visit City of Albuquerquefor library listings and story times.
Children's workshop: The first Saturday of the month, Home Depot holds free workshops in carpentry, painting and other home improvement activities for children and their parents. Workshops start at 9 a.m.
Call your local Home Depot for more information.
ArtStreet: Adults and children can let their creativity splash all over a blank canvas at the open studio program on 1217 First Street N.W.
The studio is open Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Fridays from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and the third Saturday of every month from 1 to 5 p.m.
Monday's program is called KidStreet for kids and an accompanying adult from 4 to 6 p.m.
Supplies are provided, but visitors can bring their own supplies.
Call 248-0817 for information.