Above: Dusk settles over Isotopes Park.


THIS PLACE IS THE BOMB

On July 16, 1945, a shock wave boomed across the desert near the Carrizozo Plain, mountains blazed with white light, and a mushroom cloud punched a hole in the sky, rising seven and a half miles. The site of the world’s first nuclear explosion, which proved the concept of the atomic bomb, is usually closed to the public. But on April 1, the gates open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. for one of the twice-a-year Trinity Test Site Tours at White Sands Missile Range (second chance: October 7). On-your-own tours do not require reservations. For a guided experience, sign up for one of the bus tours led by the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History, in Albuquerque (505-245-2137 x103; nuclearmuseum.org), and the New Mexico Museum of Space History, in Alamogordo (575-437-2840 x41132; nmspacemuseum.org). Bring your government-issued ID. If you’re driving, carry your vehicle insurance card or rental agreement—and a full tank of gas. (575) 678-1134; wsmr.army.mil



A WHOLE NEW BALL GAME

The Isotopes may have taken their name from an episode of The Simpsons (even though the franchise moved here from Calgary, not Springfield), but Albuquerque’s love for its Triple-A Colorado Rockies farm team is very real. Get in on the good vibes when the ’Topes open the season with a five-game home stand, April 6–10 at Isotopes Park. Stretch a blanket on the Creamland Berm hillside in center field, eat dinner on the Delta Dental Deck, or enjoy carnival rides in the Fun Zone—perfect for kids who may not share their parents’ interest in ERAs, slugging percentages, and pNERDs. (505) 924-2255; abqisotopes.com



BY THE BOOK

More than 1,500 people crowded into last year’s Gallup Authors Festival, and the Octavia Fellin Library promises more literary treats for this year’s crowd, April 7–8. The lineup of 30-plus writers includes folklorist Nasario Garcia; Albuquerque poet laureate Jessica Helen Lopez; historian Simon Ortiz; Hillerman award winners C.B. McKenzie and Kevin Wolf; and 1960s activist Mark Rudd. With author readings, signings, panel discussions, and book sales, the event promises to feed a bibliophile’s passions. (505) 863-1292; galluplibrary.com



¡ARRIBA! ALBUQUERQUE

Old Town Albuquerque’s looking pretty spiffy for its 311 years (see Old Town, New Era). Founded in 1706—with an extra R that somehow got lost along the way—the city celebrates its birth on April 8 with Fiestas de Albuquerque, in the neighborhood where it all started. Bring the kids for hands-on activities, demonstrations, local food vendors, folklorico, Native dancers, and mucho mariachi music. During the Founders’ Procession at 3:30 p.m., descendants of the original families dress in their 18th-century finest. nmmag.us/abqfiesta; facebook.com/OldTownEvents



BOLLYWOOD CALLING

Each year, India’s Hindi-language film industry, known as Bollywood, cranks out 1,000 movies—nearly twice Hollywood’s output. What’s more, these two-hour-plus blockbusters are often stuffed like samosas with action, romance, and over-the-top song-and-dance numbers. A new stage version, Taj Express: The Bollywood Musical Revue, rolls through New Mexico, April 12 at the Lensic in Santa Fe, April 14 at Popejoy Hall in Albuquerque, and April 17 at the Flickinger Center in Alamogordo. Expect a colorful swirl of music, gargantuan sets, and more than 2,000 costumes. tajexpressthemusical.com



PARK IT HERE. . . AND THERE

From the ancient ruins of Chaco Culture National Historical Park to the spectacular formations of Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico covers a lot of National Park Service turf. (See nmmag.us/parkCentral.) Pick your passion—petroglyphs, hikes, volcanoes—and also enjoy free admission to some of New Mexico’s most jaw-dropping places, April 15–16 and April 22–23, during National Park Week. All the parks amp up the fun factor with special Junior Ranger activities that, yes, include earning a badge, but also invite all the family to take part in exploring and learning. Fort Union National Monument opens its April 16 events with a black-powder demonstration, plus arts and crafts and 18th-century games. Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument hosts an April 22 sky party. White Sands National Monument offers free nightly sunset strolls and, if you make reservations ahead of time, a tour of Lake Lucero on April 23. nps.gov/state/nm



PUEBLO REVIVAL

Easter Sunday, on April 16 this year, inspires Corn Dances at pueblos across the state, including Jemez and Santo Domingo, while Nambe celebrates the Bow and Arrow Dance after Mass. Various dances occur throughout the weekend, including those at Picuris, San Ildefonso, and Zia pueblos. Contact pueblos directly for visitor information and guidelines. (505) 843-7270; indianpueblo.org



MAMMA MIA!

Celebrating Mother Earth means so much to the folks at the Albuquerque BioPark that they spread Earth Day over four days, April 19–22. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day, the action flips from the aquarium to the zoo, Tingley Beach, and the botanic garden. You can have an animal encounter, chat with a zookeeper, learn how to identify birds, and take in story time and face painting. “Saturday is family fun,” says education coordinator Cheri Vogel. “We do the Children’s Seed Festival, give away starter plants, make seed balls on-site, and talk about the importance of soil and water and how plants grow. Kids love to make these connections.” (505) 768-2000; abqbiopark.com



In Los Alamos, the Pajarito Environmental Education Center’s Earth Day Festival takes over the building, parking lot, and nature trails from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 22. Recreational and conservation groups will have information booths with terrific swag, including great trail maps. The Recycle Man performs at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., and the town’s only grown-up, kind-of-marching-but-mostly-dancing band, the Hill Stompers, plays at noon. Food trucks complement the mud pies your little ones might make. (505) 662-0460; peecnature.org



NATIONAL PRIDE

North America’s biggest powwow is about to get even bigger. After more than 30 years at the Pit (aka UNM’s WisePies Arena)the 35th Gathering of Nations, April 27–29, is moving to Tingley Coliseum and EXPO New Mexico in Albuquerque. That means more space for the 700 tribes, 800 artists and craftsmen, massive Native food court, and of course drumming and dance competitions. There’s even room for some new visitors—Native-raised livestock, including a rare white buffalo. (505) 836-2810; gatheringofnations.com



HIGHT FIBER FEST

New Mexico’s fiber-arts renaissance of the past few decades owes much to Tierra Wools, in tiny Los Ojos. From raising sheep to teaching local folks to shear, spin, weave, and knit, the little co-op that could shares its success story during the annual Tierra Wools Spring Harvest Festival from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 29. This year’s goal is to give kids hands-on time with as many aspects of the wool trade as possible, although they’ll only get to watch the sheep shearing. Register for free door prizes made by local artists and shop for a take-home treasure in the historic T.D. Burns Mercantile Building. (575) 588-7231; handweavers.com