Weekender Extended Magazine - Dec. 2019

Page 44

Go, Do, See

Swim through a River Story and photos by Kathleen Walls Publisher/editor www.americanroads.net There’s a reason the Travel Channel cites Albuquerque BioPark Botanic Garden as one of the top 12 in the country. It is composed of an array of garden scenes winding through more than 1.5 miles of paths through formal and whimsical gardens. Their River of Lights occurs nightly from December 1-23 and December 26-30 makes the holidays a perfect time to visit this natural paradise. The aquarium on the same property makes it a two for one treat.

Botanical Garden

The Botanical Gardens covers more than 1.5 miles of paths through Old World Walled Gardens, Mediterranean Conservatory, Desert Conservatory, Camino de Colores, Rio Grande Heritage Farm, Sasebo Japanese Garden, Curandera Garden, Butterfly Pavilion, Railroad Garden, Children’s Fantasy Garden, Dragonfly Sanctuary Pond, Cottonwood

Gallery, and the BUGarium. In December it transforms itself into a River of Lights. You step into a gate decorated for the holidays and then enter a archway leading to the gardens that is covered with greenery and bright Christmas lights beckoning you into a wondrous world of plants. You travel past a lake with a fountain. The outer gardens leading to the tall conservatory are mainly desert plants such as cactus and prickly plants but once inside the glass enclosed replica of a flying saucer honorbuilding beautifully colored flow- ing the legacy of nearby Roswell, ers from all over the world greet New Mexico. you along with desert plants. Orchards and flowers that are so brightly colored and perfect you might think they are artistic reproductions. They are not. They are real plants showing off wondrous pinks and oranges against the green foliage. Outside again you arrive at the Japanese garden with more formal settings. The Rio Grande Another represents a typical Heritage Farm displays old piec19th century New Mexico family es of farm equipment as well as a inside their pueblo preparing to barn. There is a garden of herbs celebrate a holiday meal. called El Jardin de La Curandera Throughout the garden holiday or Healers Garden. It honors the lights are set up preparing to custom of the curandera, a healer, transform the garden into a River usually a woman, found in alof Lights. most every New Mexico village, who used her knowledge of herbs Aquarium to heal and cure villagers. Just inside the Aquarium enThe Garden displays sculptures trance you see a 1950 Hudson both old and modern as well as as it passes over the Rio Grande plants. One interesting one is a at Central Bridge. A big part of

-44- | WEEKENDEREXTENDED.COM ~ December, 2019

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