Links and Resources

Regional Museums and other Attractions

Free Museum Passes Available through the Albuquerque Public Library for Valencia Residents

The Museum Discovery Passes
Museum Passes


The Albuquerque Bernalillo County Library is pleased to offer local museum family passes for check-out. This program is designed to engage adults, children and families in art, history, science, technology and literacy learning. The Museum Discovery Passes are made possible through the Library’s materials funding and donation of Passes from some of the Library’s partners in the program.

The Museum Discovery Passes are offered at all ABC Library locations except for the Special Collections branch. (Museum Discovery Pass is also available at the Belen Public Library.) Museum passes may be checked out by adult cardholders with full access accounts, in good standing. Museum Passes check out for 7 days and may not be renewed. Only one Museum Pass at a time may be checked-out by a family. Each Pass generally allows 2 adults and 2 children free entry to the museum of choice, exceptions are noted on the Pass.

Museum choices:

Check at the front of the library to see if they have any passes available or online by searching “Museum Discovery Pass Program.” Usually on a white display with hooks attached. If passes are available a slip of paper will be hanging on the hook. Take the slip of paper along with your library card to check-out the pass. Passes are now only valid with a printout of check-out from the library. Printout is removed by museum upon admission. Each pass is only good for 4 (see below) and only within a week. Since, the library as instituted the printout, patrons are returning passes much quicker allowing for more passes to be available! If you have had trouble in the past finding a pass, try again as they are much easier to find. 


Albuquerque International Balloon Museum – Passes are inactive. Passes are currently unavailable for Balloon Museum due to museum temporary closure.
Albuquerque Museum of Art and History – active
¡Explora! – Passes available – active
Maxwell Museum of Anthropology – Passes available – active. (Free museum, pass not needed)
National Museum of Nuclear Science & History – Passes available – active
New Mexico Family Pass – Visit any of 15 state museums and historic sites throughout NM. Passes are active.

**Updated to reflect current status 7/26/2023, Abq Biopark no longer has passes. Abq Biopark (Zoo, Aquairum, and Botanical Garden now have reduced rates for holder of SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) cards. See the ABQ Biopark website for details $3 Adults and $1 Kids.

Libraries now have several passes each (most libraries have 7 or more each) of the “New Mexico Family Pass” the pass good for up to 6 individuals, 2 adults + 4 kids. Provides free admission to 15 state museums and historic sites throughout New Mexico:

*New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science (Albuquerque, N.M.)
New Mexico Museum of Space History (Alamogordo, N.M.)
National Hispanic Cultural Center (Albuquerque, N.M.)
New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum (Las Cruces N.M.)
Museum of Indian Arts and Culture (Santa Fe N.M.)
Museum of International Folk Art (Santa Fe N.M.)
New Mexico History Museum / Palace of the Governors (Santa Fe N.M.)
New Mexico Museum of Art (Santa Fe N.M.)
Coronado Historic Site.
El Camino Real Historic Trail Site.
Fort Stanton Historic Site.
Fort Selden Historic Site.
Fort Sumner Historic Site / Bosque Redondo Memorial.
Jemez Historic Site.
Lincoln Historic Site.
Make sure to check-out and return the museum pass to the Service Desk at your branch library. You may only return a Pass to the branch library where you checked it out. Please do not put museum passes in the library book drops; this could result in loss of the pass and significant costs to you ($25), so please check the hours of the location to make sure you return the pass while we are open. Use the search engine on the Albuquerque B.C. Public Library Page to search for available passes, there is limited passes for each library in Albuquerque. Search by using the name of the pass you are interested in i.e. , “balloon museum” or “Museum Discovery Pass Program” to see all passes available, check locations by clicking on individual passes.

Albuquerque Bernalillo County Public Library This is a great library system. It is open to Valencia County residents with proof of residence (i.e. bills with your name/driver’s license). ABC Library will allow you to check out up to 50 items at a time/card. You can also make requests thru their website, using the hold button and have them pull items for you at the library of your choice. They also offer many online interactive tutorials. Check out their website at Albuquerque Bernalillo County Public Library

Belen Library, Los Lunas Library, and Albuquerque Library all have library sales. Check with the local library for information. Albuquerque Library sale is conducted through Friends of the Public Library, Second Saturday of Every Month 10am-4pm, Admission $2, Members/Kids are free (Everyone is free after 1pm). The sale is conducted in the basement of the Main Library at 501 Copper NW, Albuquerque. Parking is Free with validation by using the parking garage across the street from the front of the library. Special semi-annual $5-a-bag Sundays 12-4 May 15th and Nov. 13th. Albuquerque Main Library has a book store in the basement. Belen has recently open “Books on Becker” bookstore, check the main page post for more information on Books on Becker. Albuquerque Friends for the Public Library

Explora Museum is an educational museum that focuses on science and provides children with hands-on learning opportunities through interactive exhibits. Explora also provides classes. Visit the website for more information. Explora is located in Albuquerque at 1701 Mountain Rd. close to Old Town. Visit the Explora site

Albuquerque BioPark Zoo The Albuquerque zoo provides year-round educational opportunities for homeschoolers. Family memberships are available. Zoo membership also includes access to the Aquarium and Botanic Garden. Visit the City of Albuquerque site for more information. Visit the Albuquerque Zoo page

National Hispanic Cultural Center The National Hispanic Cultural Center provides exhibits, events, and classes which promote Hispanic culture and the Spanish language. The Instituto Cervantes located at the NHCC offers Mommy and Me Spanish classes for younger children. Classes are available for older children as well, including special summer programs. Visit the NHCC website for more information. Visit their site

SouthWest Model Railroad Club, formerly BMRC – Belen Model Railroad Club The newly relocated SouthWest Model Railroad Club offers a miniature train display featuring a 12 ft. x 20 ft. H-0 scale layout, and is a great learning experience for both younger and older children interested in the railroad industry or model trains. The display is hosted at the Mid Valley Air Park located at 4601-B Elaine Dr. Visit their website for a map and more detailed directions. Always FREE, Currently Moving to Belen open Wed-Sat 12:30-3:30. 

SWMRC is in the process of MOVING TO BELEN at the old Doodlebug park between the Belen Library and the Harvey House. Visit the SWMRC website

Whitfield Wildlife Conservation Area The Whitfield Wildlife Conservation Area is a cooperative conservation project that provides a nature trail and opportunities for observing the diverse wildlife and plant life found along the Rio Grande. Whitfield is located at 2424 Hwy 47, just north of Belen. For directions on how to get there, and for additional information, visit their website. Also, offers free mulch. You must bring your own shovel and bag.  Visit the site


Local Area Pools

Belen Eagles Natatorium This brand new pool will be open this summer starting on June 1st, 2017. It is an indoor pool, but there is also an outdoor pool. The address is 1619 W. Delgado Ave. Belen, NM 87002. Their phone number is 966-1338. For more information visit the Belen High School website and search for pools

Los Padillas Aquatics Center A favorite pool of homeschoolers located in southwest Albuquerque. The address is 2141 Los Padillas Rd. SW Albuquerque, NM (505) 873-1156. Visit their site for more information.


*A Well-Trained Mind: a guide to classical education at home by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise

*Rethinking School: How to Take Charge of Your Child’s Education by Bauer, Susan Wise

*102 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum by Cathy Duffy

For the Children’s Sake: Foundations of Education for Home and School by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay

Educating the Wholehearted Child by Sally and Clay Clarkson

Beyond Survival: A Guide to Abundant Life Homeschooling by Diane Waring

Teaching the Trivium: Christian Homeschooling in a Classical Style by Harvey and Laurie Bluedorn

*Things We Wished We’d Known by Bill and Diane Waring

When You Rise UP by R.C. Sproul Jr.

The Homeschool Journey by Susan and Michael Card

*books available through the Albuquerque Public Library
This list is adapted from Getting Started Handout by Tracy Haroldson, available through CAPE NM’s website.


Well-Trained Mind
The Well-Trained by Susan Wise Bauer offers guides to Classical Education. Many well thought out books are available written by Mrs. Bauer. She teaches History at William and Mary College. She was homeschool educated and homeschools her children. Her History, Grammar, and Language are great resources. You can choose to purchase the Instructors Books and Student Books or the PDF version. Over the past few years she has also added upper level online classes.

Her high school level History books are available through the Albuquerque Public Library: The history of the ancient world : from the earliest accounts to the fall of Rome, Bauer, S. Wise, The history of the medieval world [eBook] : from the conversion of Constantine to the First Crusade Bauer, S. Wise, and The history of the Renaissance world : from the rediscovery of Aristotle to the conquest of Constant, Bauer, S. Wise.


Visit The Site

Online Resources and Educational Websites

Online School of Mathematics
This low cost blog is a Math blog showing how to use Singapore Math.

My Steve Spangler Inspired Science Adventure
This blog is the journey of Melissa Ober aka “Science Girl”, one of our own local homeschool graduates. Documents two thrilling books, 54 experiments, and two and a half years.
Visit the blog My Steve Spangler Inspired Science Adventure

Starfall is an educational site that teaches children how to read through phonics and interactive games. Free access is available for some portions of the site, but a paid membership is required to gain full access to all of the site’s features. The Phonics reading portions are free, and highly recommended by my family!All the phonics “reading” is now available on the site! The site also provides a “Teachers’ Lounge” area that allows educators to create and print worksheets and other activities. The site is geared primarily toward K – 2nd grade and covers all subject matters with a strong focus on reading and phonics. Follows the Classical Approach to education. Visit the site for more information. Also, has free apps for the reading portion, definitely worth the download!Visit the site

Teach Your Monster to Read This site provides an interactive game for young children that makes learning to read fun. It teaches them the letters, the letter sounds, and how the letters are combined to form a word. It allows them to create their own special monster who they help teach to read. It is a free site created by The Usborne Foundation. There is a minimal charge if you want to use the site’s app for mobile devices. Thanks to Melissa E. for recommending this wonderful site. Visit the site for more information. Visit the site

ChessKid Free online Chess for kids. Kids play and learn chess in a safe environment. My family purchased the annual membership (though a HS Buyers Co-op offer) and enjoys playing in the tournaments online. Visit the site for more information. Visit the site

PBS Kids is an interactive educational site featuring many games and educational cartoons. This site is geared toward children from pre-K – grade school. This is a totally free website and all of its features are available free of charge. Visit the site for more information  Please realize that like most things PBS has changed a lot in 5-10 years. Please watch the shows at least once with your child to make sure they represent your values. (Check out common sense media for reviews). Great older shows to watch are WordWorld, Wishbone, Wild Kratts, and Super Why which are available on or by searching youtube. This is another good educational site that provides interactive games covering a host of subjects, especially for middle and high school students. Visit the site This site provides an interactive learning environment that teaches young children and older students alike the principles behind programming. Students will build games and other programs using a simplified visually-oriented interface. A fun way to learn how to code. Everything is free on this site.Visit Scratch is a 100% FREE block-based visual programming language and online community targeted primarily at children. Users of the site can create online projects using a block-like interface. The service is developed by the MIT Media Lab, has been translated into 70+ languages, and is used in most parts of the world. visit Be aware that Scratch has changed more than PBS Kids and now you can be banned for simply not supporting LBGTQ+. Swearing in a language different than English is allowed. It has been reported that they  love to give bans and mutes for simply saying “Hi” thinking that it is spam. It has also been reported that if you do not know every single gender, you will be called Sexist. It has become more of a social media than a programming website. CodeCombat is a startup educational gaming company in San Francisco, California. It makes a browser-based video game that teaches players the skills of computer programming. CodeCombat is free, but for extra heros and puzzles, along with pets, you have to pay. For the best deal to join the paid version check out Homeschool Buyers Co-op for the family version which includes up to 5 family members. Visit The website Clever dragons is an 100% safe educational website. Kids do spelling, math, science, and more to earn coins. Coins can be spent on rewards, like creating an item to sell in the shop, buying an item to use to decorate your castle, or buying clothes for your mini-me! Unfortunately, Clever-Dragons is not free. Visit it now! Code monkey is an educational coding website. Use block coding or real world coding to collect bananas. There are a few free courses, but you may want to buy the premium membership as it allows you to do many more than just the few free trial courses. visit it now at: This site also provides an interactive learning environment for younger and older children teaching them coding. Some of the games are for purchases, but there are plenty for free. Kids can make and save their own games for others to play. Visit This site is great for older kids and adults to learn the many different concepts of coding. This is a free site. Visit

Educational blogs mainly preschool, kindergarten and 1st grade;

The Stem Laboratory Visit the site

Play Dough to Plato Visit the site,

Educational Games

Clumsy Thief Type: Math. Grade: K – 5th. Description: A fast paced money game, match pairs to make equal an hundred dollars ($80 +$20=$100), steal cards with your thief cards, but then your opponent puts him in jail!

Number Ninjas Type: Math. Grade: 1st – 4th. Description: A race to get the gold dragon, collect the weapons by solving puzzles, choose easy (moves slower, but easier questions), or hard (moves faster but harder questions)! Collect the gold dragon, while looking out for traps and setting a few too!

Snap it Up! Multiplication Type: Math. Grade: K – 3rd. Description: A fun learning multiplication game. Solve the question with your cards, first to 3 matches wins!

Head Full of Numbers Type: Math. Grade: K – 2nd. Description: A math game, roll the dice and put the numbers on the board, make equations using the numbers, and get points for each one!

Sum Swamp Type: Math. Grade: K – 3rd. Description: 4 creatures in a swamp have been challenged to a race, in order to win the must roll the number dice, and the equation die. match them together to find out how far you move.

Scrabble Jr. Type: Spelling. Grade: 1st – 5th. Description: Have fun with this game! it will teach you the basics of spelling. Match the letters to finish the words, or go wild in a free for all word making craze!

Boggle Jr. Type: Spelling. Grade: k – 1st. Description: Your kids will have fun with this one. Place the cards, and then flip the dice around to find the right letters, flip the cards for a harder challenge, or turn on blind mode!

Word Thief. Type: Spelling. Grade: 1st – 5th. Description: Steal cards around, make words, and use jokers to your advantage. Try to get the most points!

Homeschool Publications

The Old Schoolhouse Family This is a homeschool magazine dedicated to providing information to homeschool families nationwide. The magazine is available in print and in an online format for computers and mobile devices. Requires a paid subscription. Visit their site

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