ABQ BioPark Botanic Gardens: Everything You Need to Know | Plantly (2024)

Welcome to the ABQ BioPark Botanic Gardens, a magnificent oasis of 36 acres of nature and beauty in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

This article provides a comprehensive guide to everything you need about this enchanting botanical garden haven.

Discover the captivating history and mission behind the ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden, learn about the diverse plant collections that await you, and explore the highlights that make this destination unique.

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a gardening fan, or simply seeking a serene escape, the ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden offers a world of wonder and discovery in this fantastic town.

So, let’s embark on a journey through this lush sanctuary with formal and whimsical gardens designed for you to unravel the secrets of its abundant flora and engaging attractions.

The History and Mission of ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden

ABQ BioPark Botanic Gardens: Everything You Need to Know | Plantly (1)

Tucked away in the vibrant heart of Albuquerque, the ABQ BioPark Botanic Gardens beckons nature enthusiasts and curious wanderers alike. This botanical garden of greenery boasts a rich history and an enduring mission.

Established in 1996, the Botanic Gardens aim to showcase the diverse flora of New Mexico and educate visitors about the importance of conservation and environmental stewardship.

Things To Know Before Going To BioPark Botanic Garden

The Albuquerque Biopark is one interesting place to walk and explore with the botanic garden, exotic creatures, animal encounters, walking paths, and so much more; for this reason, it helps to plan your day before heading to town to see the attractions at this amazing place in the sun to sunset.

Hours and Days of Operation

The botanic garden is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm from Tuesday to Sunday. The garden is closed on Thanksgiving and from December 25 to New Year’s Day. During winter, the Albuquerque Biopark Botanic Garden is closed from Mondays to February 14.

The only day it will open on a Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Admission To The Gardens

    • Adults –$10 (New Mexico Residents*), $14.50 (Non-Residents)

    • Seniors (65+) – $5.50 (New Mexico Residents*), $7.50 (Non-Residents)

    • Youth (3-12) – $5 (New Mexico Residents*), $6 (Non-Residents)

    • Children (2 and under) and Members – Free

Parking Location

The parking lot is free to park at all the Biopark facilities. The ABQ Biopark Botanic Garden is at 2601 Central Ave NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104.

Photography Policy

All visitors that visit the Biopark are welcome to take personal and non-commercial photos. All commercial and other photographers need to obtain a Photography Permit.

Best Time to Visit for Different Plant Displays

Timing is everything when it comes to enjoying specific plant displays. Check the website or contact the garden to find out when your favorite flowers or plants bloom. Plan your visit accordingly to experience the most vibrant and captivating displays.

Accessibility and Facilities for Tourists with Disabilities

Albuquerque BioPark Botanic Gardens strives to be accessible to all visitors. Wheelchair-accessible paths, ramps, and designated parking spaces are available throughout the gardens. Additionally, accessible restrooms and other amenities ensure a comfortable visit for individuals with disabilities. For specific needs or inquiries, reach out to the parks in advance.

Things To See Inside ABQ Biopark Botanic Garden

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At ABQ Biopark, there are many things for a family to do. Here are some highlights of each of the facilities:

Botanic Garden

You can create a romantic atmosphere in the botanic garden to enjoy with your beloved.

Formal And Whimsical Gardens

You can explore the rose garden on the benches throughout spring and summer. The High Desert Rose Garden will let you immerse yourself in a vast collection of flowers in all colors and is perfect to start to spring off with a picnic. Or head to the ceremonial garden, where you are greeted with a cozy classical garden to host ceremonies.

Other highlights are the Cottonwood Gallery, Sasebo Japanese Garden, and the heritage farm.

Mediterranean And Desert Conservatories

Throughout the Mediterranean Conservatory, you are greeted with rockroses, olive trees, bottlebrushes, and numerous other outdoor plants in this gorgeous coastal environment. In this part of the botanical garden, you find flora that thrives in a dry summer to a mild, rainy winter.

Here you find popular shows like the Orchid Show and Bulbs in Bloom, highlights of the year.

In the Desert Conservatories, you can learn about the ABQ Biopark Botanic Garden plants that flourish in hot, dry climates. Here you see the palo verde trees and yucca to elephant trees. Also, take a tour offered on Fridays at 1:30 p.m., and you meet up at the conservatory’s entrance.

Other whimsical gardens designed to cater to all are the children’s fantasy garden, butterfly pavilion, exhibits, and miles for you to walk.

Native Flora of New Mexico

Prepare to embark on a botanical adventure through the diverse landscapes. From the arid desert to the snowy peaks, the BioPark Botanic Garden proudly showcases the native plants that have adapted and thrived in this unique region. Discover the resilience of cacti, the beauty of wildflowers, and the captivating stories behind each species.

Transport yourself to a tropical paradise without leaving the high desert. The BioPark Botanic Garden features an array of exotic plants brought together to create a lush and vibrant tapestry of color and texture. Marvel at the towering palms, wander through the aromatic orchid conservatory, and let your imagination run wild amidst the tropical foliage.

Zoo at Albuquerque Biopark

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Another highlight is the Biopark Zoo, where kids to adults can explore interesting animals. The facility you find next to the Rio Grande. Here you find some exotic to native animals.

The zoo hosts special field trips for schools where kids can learn about the animals. So, ensure to be there at feeding times or check out the daily activities.

Aquarium at Albuquerque Biopark

Take a journey from the Rio Grande to the Gulf of Mexico to see aquatic animals on your way. Just imagine seeing all the aquarium animals in one place in this city. You can see coral, fish, the Crownose Ray, a giant clam, jellies, and more.

Highlights of the Botanic Garden

When you embark on the journey through the formal and whimsical gardens, you can expect the most beautiful landscape created in the ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden.

Prepare to have your senses overwhelmed as you step into the enchanting world of the High Desert Rose Garden. With a kaleidoscope of colors and perfumes that range from delicate to intoxicating, this fragrant rose garden is a feast for the eyes and nose. Stroll through the winding paths and let the allure of the roses whisk you away to a place of pure bliss.

Sasebo Japanese Garden: Tranquility and Zen

Find your inner Zen in the Japanese Garden, a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Immerse yourself in the tranquil beauty of carefully manicured landscapes, peaceful ponds, and graceful bridges. Take a contemplative walk, breathe in the fresh air, and let the soothing ambiance wash away your worries.

Children’s Fantasy Garden: A World of Imagination

Step into a whimsical wonderland where imagination knows no bounds. The Children’s Fantasy Garden is where young minds can explore, dream, and play among giant mushrooms, fairytale characters, and magical creatures.

Watch your little ones’ faces light up with joy and wonder as they let their creativity run wild in this enchanting corner of the Botanic Garden. They can even explore the Butterfly Pavillion, the whimsical gardens designed to entice their senses, and much more.

Shopping and Eating at the Botanic Garden

While merely strolling through the Japanese Garden or the Children’s Fantasy Garden, take a break at the Wildflower Cafe. The cafe is open during the summer months to enjoy snack food, ice cream, to drinks. Or pop in the garden gift shop for some exciting trinkets to buy.

You can also find single to double strollers available at the Main Plaza for $12 or $14, and the wheelchairs to rent you find at the zoo or aquarium. You will find bicycle racks near the entrance, as no cycling is allowed inside the grounds.

Only service animals are permitted.

Dining and Shopping Options at the Botanic Garden

When hunger strikes, or you’re looking for a special memento of your visit, the Botanic Gardens has you covered with a restaurant.

Garden Cafe: Relaxing with Nature-Inspired Cuisine

Take a break from exploring and enjoy a delightful meal at the Garden Cafe. Feast on a selection of nature-inspired dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. Savor the flavors while surrounded by the beauty of the garden.

Gift Shop: Souvenirs and Plant-related Merchandise

Don’t forget to stop by the gift shop before you leave. Browse through various souvenirs, plant-related merchandise, and unique botanical gifts. Take home a piece of the garden and keep the memories alive. Oh yes, and do not forget the Cottonwood Gallery.

Event Bookings at The ABQ BioPark

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You can rent the botanic garden, zoo, or aquarium to host special events. Whether it is a wedding or to do-it-yourself birthday, anything is possible in this magical place. Another thing all can look forward to is the ABQ Biopark Events


Throughout the year, you have concerts at the facilities in the Biopark. These live music concerts occur at the ABQ Biopark Botanic Garden and Zoo.

Harvest Festival

Later in the year, you can fall in love with autumn, which lasts for two days filled with fun throughout the garden landscape.

Mother’s Day

Celebrate your mother this year at the zoo, learning how wild animals care for their young. There will be music around every corner and yummy snacks available.

Family Picnic Night

Celebrate the start of summer with the Biopark at the Family Picnic Night, enjoying food and live music. You can bring along your picnic or order ahead of time from the Shark Reef Cafe.

River of Lights

Enjoy magical lights at night to get you into the holiday spirit. It is a New Mexico walk-through attraction for young and old.

Workshops on Gardening and Horticulture

These workshops are perfect if you’ve always wanted to improve your gardening skills. Learn from the experts about everything from basic gardening techniques to advanced horticulture practices. Get hands-on experience and gain valuable tips and tricks to make your garden flourish.

Plant Conservation Talks and Lectures

Become an advocate for plant conservation with these fascinating talks and lectures. Discover the importance of preserving plant biodiversity and learn about the efforts to protect endangered species. Expand your knowledge and appreciation for the natural world around us.

Engaging Activities for Tourists

Furthermore, you can enjoy other engaging activities when visiting the Sasebo Japanese garden, Mediterranean and desert conservatories, heritage farm, butterfly pavilion, and more.

Guided Tours and Audio Guides

Do you want to dive deeper into the botanical wonders that the Albuquerque Botanic Garden offers? Join a knowledgeable guide on a fascinating tour that unveils the secrets of the plants and the stories behind them, like on the heritage farm.

If you prefer to wander at your own pace, fear not! Grab an audio guide and embark on a self-guided adventure where you can learn and explore at your leisure.

Botanical Art and Photography Exhibitions

They are calling all art enthusiasts and photography buffs! The Botanic Gardens regularly hosts exhibitions that celebrate the beauty of nature through the lens of talented artists and photographers.

Marvel at stunning botanical artwork or be inspired by breathtaking photographs that capture the essence of the plants and garden. Immerse yourself in the intersection of art and nature for a truly enriching experience.

Supporting Conservation Efforts at ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden

If you want to go beyond visiting the garden and actively contribute to conservation efforts, here’s how to get involved.

Volunteering Opportunities

Become a part of the gardening community by volunteering at the garden. Help maintain the beautiful landscapes, assist with educational programs, or contribute your skills in various ways. Volunteering supports the gardens’ mission and allows you to connect with fellow plant enthusiasts.

Donations and Membership Program

Consider donating to support the ongoing conservation efforts at ABQ BioPark. Your contribution helps preserve plant species, create educational resources, and maintain the overall beauty of the gardens of the Mediterranean and Desert Conservatories.

Alternatively, you can join and enjoy exclusive benefits while actively supporting the gardens’ mission to keep the heritage farm alive.

ABQ BioPark Botanic Gardens: Everything You Need to Know | Plantly (2024)


How many animals are in the ABQ BioPark? ›

ABQ BioPark Zoo

Established in 1927, the Zoo is home to more than 900 animals from around the world. Many of these animals have been part of successful conservation plans and captive breeding programs.

Can you bring food into the ABQ zoo? ›

Food & Drink

Lunches and other food items may be brought into the BioPark. Glass items are prohibited. Zoo: Food can be eaten on Cottonwood Park, in front of the band shell. Aquarium & Botanic Garden: Food can be eaten on the Plaza or on the Festival Green in the Botanic Garden.

How much does it cost to go to ABQ BioPark? ›

The ABQ BioPark is four facilities: Zoo, Aquarium, Botanic Garden and fishing lakes at Tingley Beach. Adults $14.50; seniors (65+) $7.50 and children (3 - 12) $6. Children 2 and under free.

How long is ABQ BioPark? ›

Allow about 4-5 hours to see all exhibits at the zoo – total walking distance is 2 ¼ miles. It also takes about 2-3 hours to walk through the 1.5 miles of the Aquarium and Botanic Garden. Are there specific rules that I should know about when I visit?

Is Albuquerque Zoo worth it? ›

We were impressed with the sheer variety of different animals they had at this zoo. Definitely a must-see if you have children and are visiting ABQ!

Is the Albuquerque Zoo big? ›

Located next to the Rio Grande in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the 64-acre Zoo has been offering guests close encounters with exotic and native animals since 1927. Download a zoo map (updated October 2023).

How long do people spend at the Zoo? ›

No it does not take a whole day. We saw most every exhibit/animals in 2-3 hours. As I said in my review we got there when it opened at 10am and all of the animals were out and active. So I would definitely recommend going morning into the afternoon.

Is the ABQ Zoo free? ›

Zoo - ABQ BioPark. Exotic and native species from six continents in lush, naturalistic habitats on 64 acres. Adults $14.50-$22; Seniors (65+) $7.50-$12 and children (3 - 12) $6-$8; children 2 and under, free. Hours of Operation: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

What elephants are at the ABQ BioPark? ›

At 57 years in age, Irene is one of the oldest Asian elephants in North America. At 57 years in age, Irene is one of the oldest Asian elephants in North America. The ABQ BioPark is home to four Asian elephants, and the city recently announced a fifth elephant is on its way as Rozie is due in December.

How big is the ABQ Botanical Garden? ›

The ABQ Biopark Botanic Garden is a 36-acre (15 ha) botanical garden located at 2601 Central Avenue NW in Albuquerque, New Mexico, beside the Rio Grande. The garden showcases plants of the Southwest and other arid climates, and includes a 10,000-square-foot (930 m2) conservatory.

What is the name of the hippo at ABQ BioPark? ›

The ABQ BioPark is home to two Nile hippopotamuses: Moe, a large male, and Karen, the resident female.

How many acres is the Albuquerque BioPark? ›

63-acre park with 2.25 mile walking trail. Over 300 exotic and native animals species.

How big is the Albuquerque Aquarium? ›

The park contains four separate facilities: ABQ BioPark Aquarium - An aquarium with a 285,000-US-gallon (1,080,000 L) ocean tank containing Gulf of Mexico saltwater species from estuaries, surf zone, shallow waters, coral reefs, and ocean, as well as many other exhibits.

What are the names of the elephants at ABQ BioPark? ›

The herd at the ABQ BioPark consists of four elephants. Grandmother Alice; “Auntie Irene,” who is also the matriarch or leader of the group; and Rozie, who was both Thorn and Jazmine's mother.

How many animals are there in the Emperor Valley zoo? ›

The zoo now has a collection of over 2,300 animals from over 200 species. The zoo was named after the large blue emperor (or morpho) butterfly, which once frequented the valley where the zoo is located in larger numbers.

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