Its summer time again! The kids are out of school and you are looking for something fun to do. Here are 25 great things to do in Las Cruces this summer for under $25. Some of these things are great family fun, but there are some adult only activities as well. Have fun!
1. Southern New Mexico Wine Festival (May 24-26) –
Visitors can sample wine from the many New Mexico wineries as well as enjoy live entertainment and local vendors. Southern New Mexico State Fairgrounds. $15 in advance. (575) 522-1232. http://www.helpinghandsevents.com/calendar.html
2. WWE LIVE–(June 7th) this will be your chance to see your favorite WWE Superstars including: Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan, The Shield, Kane, the WWE Divas and much more.
Tickets are ON SALE NOW at www.ticketmaster.com. Starting at $15.
• Branigan Cultural Center– The Branigan Cultural Center hosts a permanent local history exhibit and changing cultural exhibits, as well as educational programs, classes, and other special events.
Location: 501 North Main Street, parking at 500 N. Water Street
Days: Tuesday – Saturday
Time: 9:00 am – 4:30 pm
http://www.las-cruces.org/Departments/Public%20Services/Services/Museums/Branigan%20Cultural%20Center/Activities%20and%20Programs.aspx• Museum of Art – The Las Cruces Museum of Art hosts changing contemporary art exhibits, including national, international, juried, traveling, and invitational exhibits.
Location: 491 North Main Street
Days: Tuesday – Saturday
Time: 9:00 am – 04:30 pm
http://www.las-cruces.org/Departments/Public%20Services/Services/Museums/Museum%20of%20Art/Activities%20and%20Programs.aspx• Museum of Nature and Science – This museum is about looking and understanding—looking up to the stars, looking out to the desert, and looking down to see ancient fossils. Even learn the history of the rock a bye baby lyrics! There are three primary permanent exhibits: Desert Life, Permian Track ways, and Light & Space exhibits.
Location: 450 North Water Street
Days: Tuesday – Saturday
Time: 9:00 am – 4:30 pm.
http://www.las-cruces.org/Departments/Public%20Services/Services/Museums/Natural%20History%20Museum/Activities%20and%20Programs.aspx• Railroad Museum– Located in a historic Santa Fe Railroad depot, the Las Cruces Railroad Museum interprets the railroad history of Las Cruces and the impact of the railroad on Southern New Mexico.
Location: 351 N. Mesilla Street
Days: Thursday – Saturday
Time: 09:00 am – 04:30 pm
http://www.las-cruces.org/Departments/Public%20Services/Services/Museums/Railroad%20Museum/Activities%20and%20Programs.aspx• Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum– Visitors can watch a cow being milked, stroll along corrals filled with livestock, enjoy several gardens or watch one of our growing numbers of demonstrations. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for senior citizens and $2 for children ages 5 to 17. Children under 5 and museum members are admitted free of charge.
Location: 4100 Dripping Springs Rd.
Days: Monday- Saturday
Time: 09:00 am – 05:00 pm
4. Farmers and Crafts market – The Market celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2011, and was named “Number One Large Farmers Market in the Nation” in America’s Farmland Trust’s 2011 prestigious nationwide poll. It is held in Downtown every Wednesday and Saturday morning from 8:30- 1:00pm. http://www.fcmlc.org/
5. Live theatre –
• Black Box Theatre – http://www.no-strings.org/
• Las Cruces Community Theatre – http://lcctnm.org/ruthless.php
• Rio Grande Theatre – http://www.riograndetheatre.com/
• The Fountain Theatre – http://www.mesillavalleyfilm.org/
6. Hiking – Here are some of the most popular hiking trails in Las Cruces.
• Soledad Canyon –
Hike into a Canyon that leads to a natural waterfall. There are other paths as well with wildlife including wild Oryx. Leashed dogs are allowed.
Directions: Located on the west side of the Organ Mountains, 10 miles east of Las Cruces. From Exit 1 on Interstate 25, take University Avenue/Dripping Springs Road east for about 4.5 miles, then turn south on the Soledad Canyon Road. That road will turn east in a mile; follow it all the way to the end.
• Dripping Springs –
Natural area with over 4 miles of easy hiking.
Cost: $3 per vehicle for day use.
Directions: From Exit 1 on Interstate 25, take University Avenue/Dripping Springs Road east to the end.
• Tortugas “A” Mountain –
3 miles East of NMSU there are two trails that circle around the mountain. Leashed dogs are allowed.
Directions: Take I-25 north or south to the University exit (Exit 1) in Las Cruces. Turn east on University Avenue and follow it until A Mountain is directly to your right. Once you reach the north side of the mountain, there are two areas where cars can be parked, the most popular being the second one as you go east.
• Aguirre Springs –
Two national recreation trails start at the campground. The Baylor Pass Trail has its eastern end at the campground. This is a one-way trail of six miles, which will take you to the Baylor Canyon Road on the west side of the mountains.
Cost: $3 per vehicle for day use and $3 per night to camp.
Directions: Take U.S. 70 for 14 miles east of the I-25/U.S. 70 interchange in Las Cruces, then turn south on the Aguirre Spring Road (1.1 miles after San Augustine Pass) for six miles. At mile 4 the road becomes a one-way loop and climbs steeply.
7. Auto Racing – Every Saturday (May thru September)
Southern New Mexico State Fairgrounds, 11 miles west on I-10, exit 132. Gates open at 5 pm, races start at 7:45 pm. $9-12. (575) 524-7913. www.snmspeedway.com
8. Chile Pepper institute at NMSU –
Guided tours highlight facts about the history, production, uses, and nutritional value of Chile peppers. Guided tours usually last about one hour and are free to school classes, FFA, 4-H, and other educational groups. Tours are best scheduled in the mornings during the summer months.
9. 4th of July parade – Celebration and Fireworks Commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, Las Cruces celebrates with a parade of floats decorated with electric lights. Experience live entertainment throughout the day plus a spectacular fireworks display at night. All events are free and open to the public. (575) 528-3170, (575) 541-2200
10. Hatch Chile Festival – (August 30-31)
Labor Day weekend heralds the annual Hatch Chile Festival, a two-day celebration of our world-famous crop. Festival goers can sample famed Chile recipes, watch the crowning of the Chile festival queen, or toss a horseshoe in celebration of our most famous crop. The event also features Chile ristra contests, artisan and food booths, and a carnival.
11. Historic District tours –
Part 1 – 2nd Saturday of the month (Mesquite Historic District & Original Town site-Neighborhood Tour)
Part 2 – 3rd Saturday of the month (Mesquite Historic District and Original Town site-Downtown Tour)
Part 3 – 4th Saturday of the month (Alameda Depot Historic District)
This walking tour includes local history, architecture, galleries and restaurants in the Mesquite Historic District and Alameda Historic District. Hat, sunglasses, organic sunscreen and water recommended. All tours start at St. Genevieve’s Church Monument, N. Main Street across from Rio Grande Theatre. May – October at 11 am. $15. (575) 528-9112
12. Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park Guided Bird Tour-(First Saturday of every month)
Meet at the exhibit hall. Bring water, sunblock, binoculars and good hiking shoes. Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park, off of Calle Del Norte (heading towards Old Mesilla). 7: 15 am. Free with paid park entrance fee of $5 per vehicle. (575) 523-4398.
13. Wineries –
• St. Clair Winery & Bistro
1800 Avenida de Mesilla
St. Clair offers a variety of still and sparkling wines.
• La Viña Winery
4201 S. Highway 28 (25 miles south of Las Cruces)
Open Daily (except Wednesday). Tours at 11:30 daily by appointment. La Viña is New Mexico’s oldest winery and hosts the state’s oldest wine festival every October, plus a blues & Jazz festival in April.
• Heart of the Desert Winery
2355 Calle de Guadalupe
Wine from Eagle Ranch Winery including the 2009 New Mexico State Fair Wine Competition gold (Merlot), silver (Red) and bronze (Pistachio Rosé) winners.
• Amaro Winery
402 S. Melendres Street
Amaro is a locally owned family winery that focuses on producing, bottling and serving different varieties of New Mexican wine. They produce a variety of high quality wines from New Mexico grapes. Tasting available.
14. White sands –
Rising from the heart of the Tularosa Basin is one of the world’s great natural wonders – the glistening white sands of New Mexico. Great wave-like dunes of gypsum sand have engulfed 275 square miles of desert, creating the world’s largest gypsum dune field.
Admission: $3 http://www.nps.gov/whsa/planyourvisit/things2do.htm
15. Twilight Golf – Enjoy 18 holes 2 hours before sunset for only $12-16!
16. Billy the Kid Gift Shop –
Located in the old courthouse, this is one of the most historic buildings located in Mesilla. It is here that Billy the Kid was tried and sentenced to hang on April 13, 1881.
Open 11-5 Monday through Friday, 10-5 on Saturday and 12-5 on Sunday http://www.mesilla.com/id71.html
17. Downtown Art Ramble – (1st Friday of each month)
Do the Main Street Downtown Ramble through galleries, shops, businesses and restaurants. Enjoy art openings, exhibits, music, entertainment, open mic opportunities, shopping, refreshments and more. Downtown Main Street, 5 – 7 pm, free admission. (575) 527-5018. http://downtownlascruces.org/map-directory
18. Movies in the Park – Presented by The City of Las Cruces Parks & Recreation Department and by Pic Quick. Saturdays at Young Park 1905 E. Nevada Ave. All movies start at 7:30 pm. Cost: Free.
19. Music in the Park – The City of Las Cruces Music in the Park Series begins each year on Sunday Memorial Day Weekend with the Mayor’s Jazz Fest and presented each Sunday throughout the summer ending on the Sunday of Labor Day Weekend.
Music in the Park is a 14-week musical extravaganza offering Las Crucens an eclectic mix of music performed by local, regional and nationally recognized artist, at Apodaca Park, Klein Park and Young Park. Music types include: jazz, rhythm and blues, Mariachi, classical, country, Tejano, bluegrass, new wave and pop, among others. The Series is Free!
20. Ft. Seldon– A visitor center offers exhibits on frontier and military life.
Living history demonstrations are occasionally offered on weekends from 1-4 pm, May – Sept Admission: $3
21. Leasburg Dam – (June-July) Starting at first river flow, Southwest Expeditions will be set up near the dam to provide tube rentals, “funyaks”, and 3-mile river floats every Saturday and Sunday. (575)-993-1158
22. Batting Cages –
Located in the heart of Las Cruces baseball, we are southern New Mexico’s largest batting cages. The Strike Zone provides an unparalleled opportunity to improve your baseball skills. Only $1 for 15 pitches! http://strikezonebattingcages.com/
23. Geeks Who Drink Trivia Night at Dublin’s– live trivia pub quiz. All you trivia gurus are encouraged come join the quiz that runs from 8:00 to 11:00 for your chance to win one of our many prizes including a $25 Gift Certificate, Free Food, and many more!
24. Big Daddy’s Outdoor Market – (Every Saturday & Sunday)
Largest Flea & Farmers Market in Southern New Mexico. Merchandise and produce sold at the Big Daddy’s include antiques and collectibles. New and used furniture, clothing, Mexican Imports, crafts, fruits, vegetables, Chile, Ristras to pecans.
5580 Bataan Memorial E. 6:30am – 3 pm. Free admission & parking. (575) 382-9404.
25. New Mexico Wine Harvest Festival – (August 30th – September 1st)
Celebrate New Mexico’s wine harvest with grape stomping, wine tasting, live entertainment. Festival features arts and crafts vendors, children’s activities, hourly wine seminars and a great relaxed atmosphere. Southern New Mexico State Fairgrounds, 11 miles west on I-10 exit 132. 12 noon – 6 pm each day $13 adults 21 and older, under 21 free but must be accompanied by parent or legal guardian. $3 discount for active duty military on Monday. (575) 522-1232. www.wineharvestfestival.com