A project of Feel Good Festivals, the New Mexico Cup celebrates the area's fine wines and craft beers while also supporting a worthy cause. This year's beneficiary is Tricklock Company, a theater organization dedicated to examining the human experience through poetic theater and absurdism. Festival-goers first sample adult beverages from regional wineries and craft breweries, then cast their vote for the tastiest pours. Professional and celebrity judges also weigh in on their favorites. The Albuquerque Convention Center echoes with the sounds of live music, the names of raffle winners, and the excited shouts of anyone who didn’t realize Prohibition ended 80 years ago.
Within an hour, Battlefield New Mexico's personnel can transform any space—from a tiny backyard to 500-acre expanse—into an outdoor laser tag venue. Before the first bout, team commanders show players how to use their taggers and run through the rules of various gaming scenarios. During the fast-paced battles that follow, participants convene at team bases and duck for cover behind inflatable crates. Along with laser tag, Battlefield New Mexico staffers run rounds of water tag during the summer and enliven parties with a 20-foot wide inflatable movie screen and projector for film viewings or big-screen video game playing.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, visitors would stop to rest at the historic El Rancho de las Golondrinas as they began or ended their long journeys along the royal road that stretched between Santa Fe and Mexico City. In the 20th and 21st centuries, Matt Damon, Salma Hayek, Val Kilmer, and the cast and crew of some 30 films used the ranch's 200 scenic acres and 34 historic structures as backdrops to their movies and personalized birthday cards. With preserved and restored villages dating back to the early 1700s sloping through a rural farming valley, the grounds collapse time, bringing the past to the present and the present to the past.
Today, guests wander this living history museum to explore how colonial and frontier life was lived the Southwest. During a self-guided tour, visitors pick up or download a map of the ranch before weaving through a snapshot of history brought to life by villagers clothed in the styles of the time. Feet patter past a molasses mill, a blacksmith shop, and defensive towers where guards kept watch on the horizon and coordinated messages for passing UFOs. With a reservation, docents will lead you through the trails that cut through a landscape dotted with goats, sheep, burros, and horses, fostering an understanding of the culture and arts of historic New Mexico.
Quartets of feet step and slide across a hardwood floor, crossing the space between walls adorned with colorful artwork. The vivid decor sets the tone for the sizzling routines demonstrated by prestigious instructors, who guide new and experienced dancers through the techniques and dramatic floral arranging that characterize tango. Pairs and solo students can partake in group classes, private sessions, and special events on the academy's schedule. Online primers on the style's history and music complement newfound kinetic knowledge with a solid background in the dance's origins.
The creative minds behind Tomato Assault have turned 40,000 pounds of tomatoes into an all-day party benefiting the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Festivities kick off at noon with music, inflatables, and a costume contest, all leading up to the main event: a tomato fight of epic proportions. Inside the tomato pit, revelers hurl, chuck, and squeeze tomato guts at their fellow participants, abiding by the rule the messier the better. The day's fun is augmented by beer and food onsite.
Although the views of the Sacramento Mountains are imposing and majestic at ground level, nothing can compete with approaching them from 10,000 feet above. That’s why the staff at Skydive White Sands offers a range of jumps and classes that let guests get a bird’s-eye view of the mountain peaks, smooth white sands, and roller-skating clouds while feeling the rush of an adrenaline-pumping free fall. Staff members send jumpers into the air in a Cessna 206, then strap themselves to students for a tandem jump or teach them how to man their own parachute during the seven-level skydiving-licensing program. While in flight, clients can choose to record their experience with a handheld camera that documents their free fall and peaceful descent to the ground.