Hinkle Family Fun Center houses a multitude of yawn-busting attractions, from the Bumper Cars and Miniature Golf courses to their all-new futuristic Lazer Tag arena and Virtual Reality pods. Under the direction of the Hinkles, the park has blossomed into a veritable utopia of thrills and amusements for all ages. Neon and LED lighting engulf bumper cars, paintballs explode in bursts of neon aqua across a 13,500-square-foot arena, and hidden obstacles spell the end of all but the craftiest golf balls. Indoors, the Nickel City Game Room and Prize Center and Fun Center Game Room and Prize Center brim with more than 200 games and more than 1,000 prizes, and strobe lights illuminate LED chest packs found throughout the new ultimate laser-tag arena.
With 24 rides and counting, Western Playland Amusement Park entertains kids of almost any age. Here's a sampling of the thrilling attractions.
Rides that reach for the sky Younger kids test their fear of heights as they ascend the Frog Hopper or pilot a plane on the Red Baron ride; their older siblings get a bird's-eye view of the park in the Sky Glider, then test their mettle on the Bandido Roller Coaster.
Satisfy the need for speed The gleaming Hurricane roller coaster takes riders taller than 50" on a twisting jaunt; younger kids get their free-falling feet wet on the slightly tamer Miner Coaster.
Classic rides For a bit of nostalgia, visitors take a turn on the merry-go-round, make their heads spin on the tilt-a-whirl, or battle it out in the bumper car arena, the one place where it's okay to high-five someone after you rear-end them.
Rides for toddlers The tiny set can cruise the park too?on pint-sized boats, cars, and ladybugs.
The Rio Grande Community Farm Maize Maze, which has become an annual fall tradition for many local families, celebrates the harvest season and educates guests through interactive outdoor activities. Every year, Rio Grande Community Farm adopts a special nature-based theme as the inspiration for its attractions, including an 8-acre corn maze carved into a playful image. Autumn at the farm also presents visitors with the chance to view animals and wildlife up close and pick the perfect pumpkin for carving or tattooing the family crest on. All proceeds raised by the Maize Maze are doled out to charitable programs that support education, wildlife, and the community.
Whether the name of the game is to have some family fun or to scream like a banshee, Cliff's Amusement Park has been the place to do it for more than 50 years. The first thing you'll notice as you drive up is the New Mexico Rattler, a 3,000-foot wooden roller coaster that twists and turns its way around the edges of the park and plunges—for a few terrifying seconds—into an underground tunnel. The Cliff Hanger makes an anticipation-building ascent before freefalling back to earth, and the SideWinder twirls passengers 80 feet into the air on a structure resembling Paul Bunyan's spare wagon wheel.
The jungle-themed WaterMania area lets youngsters climb like monkeys and race down slippery water slides. They also can enjoy slower-paced fun inside bumper cars, on the Tilt-A-Whirl, or during a leisurely trip around the park on an old-timey train.
In an outdoor setting filled with acoustic music and dancing, the Albuquerque Folk Festival perpetuates the American folk tradition and engages the community in international music performances. During the festival, three performance stages will showcase the talent of more than 20 musical acts including nationally-recognized bluegrass duo Tim O?Brien and Darrell Scott, North American roots musicians Birds of Chicago, Grammy Award-winner Ramblin? Jack Elliott, Old Time musicians Spencer and Rains, and National Hammered Dulcimer champion Tina Gugeler. Regional performers include The Rifters, Steve Cormier, Felix y Gatos, Breaking Blue, and many more.
Festival goers who prefer to strum their own instruments can compete alongside a random group of instrumentalists at the band scramble, sign up to perform on a first-come first-serve basis at the Sign-Up Stage, or play in open jam sessions. Workshops teach techniques for playing instruments such as the bodhr?n, banjo, and harmonica, while dance lessons focus on how to move freely during contra or execute a Highland Schottische without losing your kilt in front of passing strangers.