Top 8 holiday events in Rio Rancho and Albuquerque

Top 8 holiday events in Rio Rancho and Albuquerque

Posted on November 28, 2022

December is a time for celebration for residents and visitors to Rio Rancho and the Albuquerque area. From enjoying magical festive lights to exhilarating fun runs with the family, here are eight great activities for all ages to enjoy this spectacular holiday season.

Mannheim Steamroller
Mannheim Steamroller is the top-selling holiday act of all time and you won’t want to miss it. For one night only on Dec. 27 at 7:30 p.m. at the Santa Ana Star Center, holiday cheer will be spread through song and instrumentation. Chip Taylor gives audiences carols and holiday songs with a unique Neo-classical twist that brings joy. All ages are welcome – but make sure to get your tickets in advance before it’s sold out.

Date: Dec. 27, 7:30 p.m.
Admission: Tickets starting at $75.
Location: 3001 Civic Center Circle NE, Rio Rancho, NM; 6.5 miles from Mariposa in Rio Rancho.

Old Town Holiday Stroll

During December, Old Town Albuquerque becomes a winter wonderland as each building is decked out in lights and decorations. On Dec. 6, from 5 to 9 p.m., the Old Town Holiday Stroll offers local shopping, dining, entertainment and celebration. Sip on hot chocolate or coffee as you enjoy the tree lighting at 6 p.m. in Plaza Don Luis with your loved ones.

Date: Dec. 6, 5-9 p.m.
Admission: Free.
Location: 303 Romero St. NW, Albuquerque, NM; 30 miles from Mariposa in Rio Rancho.

Winterfest Arts & Crafts Festival

Attention crafters! On Dec. 14, at the Santa Ana Star Center, you are invited to sell your crafts to holiday shoppers from 12 to 5 p.m. Spaces are 8 feet by 8 feet and are limited so be sure to pre-register and claim your spot. Handcrafted gifts always are a fan-favorite of holiday shoppers. This is a unique shopping experience!

Date: Dec. 14, Noon to 5 p.m.
Admission: Free.
Location: 3001 Civic Center Circle NE, Rio Rancho, NM; 6.5 miles from Mariposa in Rio Rancho.

Breakfast with Santa

From 9-11 a.m. on Dec. 7, the Sabana Grande Center in Rio Rancho will host breakfast with Santa, open to all ages. This is the perfect way to begin your 2019 holiday season. There will be an array of breakfast foods served, including pancakes and sausage. It is recommended that you pre-register, although walk-ups are welcome as space permits.

Date: Dec. 7, 9-11 a.m.
Admission: $5 when with pre-registration; $7 at the door.
Location: 4110 Sabana Grande Ave. SE, Rio Rancho, NM; 13 miles from Mariposa in Rio Rancho.

Twinkle Light Parade

The dazzling Twinkle Light Parade, which is free and family-friendly at Historic Nob Hill in East Albuquerque, moves down Central Avenue from Sierra Drive to Dartmouth Drive. The street closes at 2 p.m. on Dec. 3 before the Twinkle Light Parade begins at 5:15 p.m. Whether you choose to spend the day in Nob Hill and do local shopping and dining or come just for the parade this is an event you won’t want to miss.

Date: Dec. 3, 5:15-8 p.m.
Admission: Free.
Location: 4310 Central Ave. NE, Albuquerque, NM, 24 miles from Mariposa in Rio Rancho.

 Jingle Bell Run

The Jingle Bell Run encourages holiday spirit, exercise and charity, raising funds and awareness for the Arthritis Foundation. Dress in your favorite holiday outfit and join the Arthritis Foundation on Dec. 8 at 8 a.m. at Tiguex Park to spread holiday cheer, but don’t forget to register first!

Date: Dec 8, 8 a.m.
Admission: Varies.
Location: 1800 Mountain Road NW, Albuquerque, NM, 31 miles from Mariposa in Rio Rancho.

Annual production of Christmas Joy

Presented by the National Hispanic Cultural Center, you won’t want to miss the Bravos award-winning annual presentation of Christmas Joy. This production includes a wonderfully choreographed Christmas dance by The Performers Ballet and Jazz Company. The three shows are full of tradition, beauty and joy: Dec. 14 at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m., and a matinee Dec. 15 at 2 p.m. Don’t miss it!

Date: Dec 15 and 15, various times
Admission: $22-$33.
Location: 1701 Fourth St. SW, Albuquerque, NM, 31 miles from Mariposa in Rio Rancho.

Trolley of Lights

The ABQ Trolley Company presents the Trolley of Lights. Participants take this family-friendly 75-minute trolley tour of breathtaking holiday lights, luminarias, trees and decorations around Albuquerque. Tours run Dec. 15-28. Be sure to dress warmly, as temperature can drop below freezing. For more information on dates and times follow the title link.

Date: Dec. 15-28, various times
Admission: $25.
Location: Old Town Albuquerque (Please check ticket for pick-up location), 30 miles from Mariposa in Rio Rancho.


Looking for a new home or custom homesite near Albuquerque? Nestled among the foothills of Rio Rancho, Mariposa is a master-planned community 30 minutes north of Albuquerque. Mariposa is designed for living naturally and offers a fully-equipped fitness center, resort-style indoor and outdoor pools, parks, sports courts, miles of trails, abundant open space and endless views at the Mariposa Preserve and surrounding mountains. Learn more at


Stay Connected!

We'd love to share community news, builder updates and upcoming events with you.
Sign up below to get email updates from us.

Thank You!

Thank you for contacting us, someone will be in touch with you soon!

  • To help you better, let us know what you're most interested in.
  • When do you plan on purchasing?
  • I am interested in homes from:
  • I prefer to be contacted by:
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Find Your New Home