1 Beware the bumps in the night.
A haunted mansion full of scary (and fun!) events invades Los Alamos for Halloweekend, including Trick-or-Treat on MainStreet, spooky science events at the Bradbury Science Museum, starry Halloween stories, a fall craft fair, a pumpkin glow, and a scarecrow contest.
On Friday, more than 75 local businesses hand out treats from their shops from 4 to 6 p.m. during Trick-or-Treat on Mainstreet. In addition, the Bradbury hosts fun hands-on activities during High-Tech Halloween, and Pajarito Environmental Education Center delivers an out-of-this-world Halloween Astronomy presentation from 6 to 7 p.m.
On Saturday, run off all that candy morning at the 5K Fun Run hosted by Barranca Elementary School at 9 a.m. The fall fun lasts throughout the day with an arts and crafts fair at Crossroads Bible Church from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., a pumpkin carving and glow at Fuller Lodge, and a ghost hunt at the Los Alamos Little Theatre.
“The town goes crazy for Halloween,” says Jacquelyn Connolly, executive director at Los Alamos MainStreet. “We set up and light all the pumpkins on Fuller Lodge’s lawn and you can walk through and see them all.”
Sky Railway Fright Train
Dress in costume and hop aboard the Sky Railway Fright Train, which leaves from the Santa Fe Depot for a spooky trip through the desert. Tickets include a glass of champagne, and more Halloween-themed drinks and snacks are available for purchase on board. Boogie the night away to a monster-mashing set from a deejay.
Fright or Flight Haunted Hangar, Las Cruces
Take off for a spooky experience the Flight of Fright Haunted Hangar at the War Eagles Air Museum, in Santa Teresa, from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Prepare to see ghouls, ghosts, and monsters as you meander the dark hangar and try to escape whatever awaits you.
2 Celebrate Día de los Muertos.
The Calavera Coalition hosts the 25th annual Día de los Muertos Celebration on the historic Mesilla Plaza. The celebration of life includes marigold-laden ofrendas, performances by Grupo Folklorico Valle del Sol, a Frida Kahlo costume contest, and a Friday-night screening of Coco.
“We’ve made so many friends doing this over 25 years,” says Peggy King, co-coordinator of the Calavera Coalition. “It’s so rewarding to us to share with so many families, and they build altars that are just beautiful and heartwarming. We meet families, and we acknowledge loss. But we get to meet the babies, too, and the grandchildren. It’s such a great cultural event.”
The altars and candles decorate the Mesilla Plaza, where local vendors will be selling arts and crafts on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. A special traditional wedding happens Saturday night at 7 p.m. with a dollar dance and wedding march. Then, join the Calavera Coalition again on November 2 at 6:45 p.m. for a candlelight procession from the plaza to the cemetery.
Thousands of orange marigold blooms decorate the structures and vigas throughout Albuquerque’s Old Town this weekend to celebrate Día de los Muertos. On Saturday, the Fall Music Festival brings live musical performances from acts including Spanish Broom and Bomba at Plaza Don Luis from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Family photos will be available at the Little Moon photo booth at Luna and Luz from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the Pixar movie Coco will be shown in the San Felipe de Neri courtyard at 6 p.m.
The Día de los Muertos celebration in Lincoln happens on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with live music, face painting, altar offerings, food and drinks from Bonito Valley Brewing, and a cultural celebration of loved ones who have passed. Bring cash.
A new tradition for the City Different, the second-annual Día de los Muertos celebration takes over the Santa Fe Plaza on Friday from 4 to 10 pm. and Saturday from noon to 10 p.m. with festive mariachi and traditional music, cut-paper decorations, and hundreds of marigolds. In addition, check out arts, crafts, and food vendors, face painting, a photo booth, a screening of Coco, and candlelight parade.
The Museum of International Folk Art continues the Día de los Muertos celebration on Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. Decorate sugar skulls, see an ofrenda created by artist Stephanie Riggs, taste traditional pan de muerto, watch folklórico dancers Los Niños de Santa Fe perform, check out the Cartonería exhibit, and hear a talk from Leigh Thelmadatter, author of Mexican Cartonería.
Celebrate Día de los Muertos at the Artesia Historical Museum & Art Center on Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. with an art market and holiday-themed crafts.
A puppet show about New Mexican folk legend La Llorona, a parade, face painting, dance performances, and an ofrenda blessing are part of the Día de los Muertos celebrations in the courtyard at the Silver City Museum on Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.
3 Dine with history buffs.
Fred Harvey’s entrepreneurial legacy stretches from railroad eatery hotels in Kansas to a string of former Harvey Houses throughout New Mexico, including in Santa Fe, Las Vegas, Albuquerque, Clovis, and beyond. On Friday and Saturday, the Fred Harvey History Weekend pulls into Santa Fe for a foodie dinner and auction at La Fonda and in-person lectures at the New Mexico History Museum.
“This weekend has sustained because it’s really not just about Fred Harvey,” says Stephen Fried, the weekend’s host and author of Appetite for America: Fred Harvey and the Business of Civilizing the Wild West. “The Fred Harvey company and the railroad brought generations of people to the West. The people that worked for the Harvey company were involved in trying to explain to people coming to this place what it meant, and what the nexus of cultures were all about.”
Although tickets for the dinner and lectures are sold out, there are still ways to get involved. Lectures are available online, and you can also peruse a silent auction of Fred Harvey memorabilia. Hit the newly reopened Legal Tender Saloon in Lamy on Saturday at 9 a.m. for a Fred Harvey breakfast, or have a Fred Harvey-themed dinner at the Castañeda Hotel in Las Vegas on Saturday at 6 p.m. “We like telling interesting stories,” Fried says. “The Fred Harvey story is very rich, and it takes you lots of places. We are always looking for new ways to explore it.”
4 Jazz up the weekend.
Celebrate jazz music during the 16th annual Roswell Jazz Festival. More than 25 musicians perform at venues throughout Roswell, displaying the breadth of the genre. Two full days of free live music start on Friday at 10 a.m. at L.J. Reischman Memorial Park with concerts throughout the day. The final concert features a series of solo performances on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art.
5 Experience nuestra querencia.
The Albuquerque Museum hosts a reading and book signing for the New Mexico Poetry Anthology 2023, which collects works by 218 New Mexican writers, on Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m. The collection, edited by Levi Romero and Michelle Otero, includes more than 220 previously unpublished poems about the land, culture, history, life, and community in the Land of Enchantment.