1 See the sparkle.

Twinkling lights make for one of the most magical holiday experiences. Catch your share of glittery cheer at these parades and farolito-laden sites this weekend.

Twinkle Light Parade, Albuquerque
The Twinkle Light Parade illuminates a mile-long stretch of Central Avenue in Nob Hill on Saturday. Featuring decked-out firetrucks, marching bands, and holiday-themed floats, the parade steps off at 5:15 p.m. and follows Central from Washington Avenue to Girard Boulevard. The area closes to traffic at 3 p.m., allowing families time to shop local businesses, have a bite to eat, and grab a spot to watch.

New Mexico’s Winter Wonderland, Albuquerque
Drive through spectacular holiday displays at Expo New Mexico and walk the newly added displays inside Villa Hispana. Snap pics with Santa Friday through Sunday from 5 to 9 p.m. before he heads back to the North Pole. Winter Wonderland is open Thursdays through Sundays until December 31.

Old Town Holiday Stroll, Albuquerque
Historic Old Town marks the holiday season with a festive shop and stroll on Friday from 5 to 9 p.m. Listen to live music from mariachi groups and local choirs, visit nearby museums offering free admission, and catch the lighting of the massive Christmas tree at 6 p.m., featuring over 17 thousand lights.

Holiday Lights Parade, Los Alamos
On Saturday at 6 p.m., the Holiday Lights Parade “Winter Around the World” highlights a weekend of Los Alamos Winter Fest activities that includes Santa’s Workshop at Fuller Lodge, PJs and Movies at the SALA Event Center, and a host of shopping opportunities. Head to Ashley Pond afterward and see the tree lighting.

Lighting Ledoux, Taos 
Farolitos, bonfires, and carolers make Taos's Ledoux Street merry and bright on Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. Shop for gifts at a makers' market and visit local museums offering free admission and hands-on holiday activities like greeting card and ornament-making Studio. 

The Madrid Christmas parade draws a crowd for the festive event. Photograph by Steve Gleydura.

Christmas Parade, Madrid
The little hamlet of Madrid kicks off the holiday season with a community parade on Saturday at 4 p.m. Meet at NM 14 and Back Road if you want to join the procession. Local Madrid businesses stay open late on Saturday and serve refreshments until Christmas.

Luminaria de Abo, Salinas Pueblo Mission, Mountainair
Piñatas, warm drinks, tamales, bizcochitos, and more than 1,000 farolitos light up the Abó Mission at Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument, located west of Mountainair, on Saturday from 4 to 7 p.m. A mass will be held at 4 p.m., with luminaria viewings, drinks, and live music at 5:30.

Festival of Lights Parade, Ruidoso
Bring new, unwrapped toys for the Toys for Tots drive, which will have a float accepting donations, during the Festival of Lights Parade. It starts at 5:30 p.m. on Sudderth Drive and ends at Wingfield Park, where the after-party will take place. Expect cars covered in strings of colorful Christmas lights, Santa’s reindeer, and other holiday characters. 

Christmas Tree Lighting at Bishop’s Lodge, Santa Fe
Made from stacks of farolitos, the unique Bishop’s Lodge Christmas tree and over 3,000 more farolitos on the property—light up on Friday at 4:30 p.m Stop by Friday and Saturday from 1 to 6 p.m. for a holiday market.The seasonal shindig includes live music by the Albuquerque High Tea Carolers, a Victorian caroling troupe from, as well as tasty bites, bizcochitos, and beverages from SkyFire restaurant.

Shop Christmas in the Foothills at the Hillsboro Community Center. Photograph courtesy of Sierra County Recreation and Tourism.

2 Shop the markets.

Capitán Bazaar, Capitán
The annual Christmas bazaar, hosted by the Capitan Women’s Club, takes Capitán Municipal School’s Traylor Gym on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Local makers and crafters set up booths to sell their wares in time to go under your Christmas tree.

Winter Spanish Market, Santa Fe
Embrace a weekend of santos, exquisite metal jewelry, weaving, ironwork, woodcarving, pottery and more by supporting local artisans for the wintery holiday with music and New Mexico’s best cuisine. Hosted by the Atrisco Heritage Foundation, Winter Spanish Market comes to the Santa Fe Community Convention Center on Saturday from 9 to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Winter Craft Show, Corrales
Visit the historic Old San Ysidro Church, in Corrales, and shop for handmade gifts from 40 New Mexican artists at the 35th annual juried Winter Craft Show on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Galisteo Holiday Market, Galisteo
Felted toys, retablos, jewelry, aprons, notecards, herbal remedies, ceramics, and more, all made by Galisteo-based makers, are available at the Galisteo Community Center on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Christmas in the Foothills, Hillsboro
Shop artisan-made products and handcrafted goods made by creatives at the Hillsboro Community Center on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Local shops and businesses are open and welcoming visitors with stockings full of cheer.

Silver City Holiday Market, Silver City
Shop natural gemstone jewelry, ice-dyed clothing, digital artworks, photographs, and more from Silver City’s makers and artists at the Grant County Business and Conference Center on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Christmas Arts & Crafts Fair, Taos
Hang out with Santa and shop goods made by more than 20 Taos artists and makers on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Talpa Community Center. Make sure to visit Santa on site, at 1pm on Saturday.

Stroll the Bosque Redondo Memorial at Fort Sumner for Winter Letters & Farolito Tour. NMTD

3 Step into history.

The Bosque Redondo Memorial at Fort Sumner hosts the Winter Letters & Farolito Tour on Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m. Every 20 minutes, a one-hour tour takes visitors through the farolito-laden grounds, stopping at significant points to read archival military correspondence and oral histories from Indigenous people held at the fort. The juxtaposing points of view paint a deeper picture of the historic site. A self-guided audio tour is available for those who want to wander the site independently. Posole, bizcochitos, coffee, and hot chocolate will be available while supplies last.

Robert Mirabal performs his traditional holiday concert at the Taos Center for the Arts. Kate Russell

4 Enjoy the sounds of the season.  

Taos Center for the Arts features a holiday concert by Grammy Award-winning musician Robert Mirabal (Taos Pueblo) on Friday at 7 p.m. Mirabal is joined by The Mirabal Sisters, Hail Creek Drummers and Singers, and Sky House Dancers for a celebration of family, culture, heritage, and the land.

A bonfire of skis highlights Ullr Fest in Cloudcroft. Photograph courtesy of Ullr Fest.

5 Celebrate the god of winter.

Cloudcroft celebrates all things snowy and cold with Ullr Fest, a tribute to the Norse god of winter, at the ice rink in Zenith Park on Saturday from 7 to 11 p.m. Gather round an impressive bonfire made from burning skis and keep warm with appetizers, desserts, hot chocolate from the Ristras food truck.

Read more: For more things to do, check out our online calendar of events.