15 Best Things to Do in Rio Rancho, NM

Rio Rancho, NM
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Rio Rancho is the third largest city in New Mexico.

In 1710, the Spaniards instituted the Alameda Grant, which covered the city of Rio Rancho.

Native Americans also inhabited many areas around the city, gracing the land with dozens of cultural artifacts that tell the rich history of the Americas.

Today, Rio Rancho has become a fast-growing city famed for its bustling business district and historical sites.

With the many things to do in this city, it can be hard to come up with a definitive list.

To help you out, here are the best things to do while in Rio Rancho, NM:

Hang Out at a Park Above

Spend a bright and fantastic day exploring the amenities of A Park Above, New Mexico’s first fully inclusive and accessible playground in Rio Rancho.

This park provides its visitors with playground equipment that anyone can enjoy.

Spanning six acres, A Park Above features many amenities that encourage children to interact and grow.

The park also has famous wheelchair swings; remember that trained staff is required to assist anyone who wants to try the attraction.

Other amenities in the park include a splash pad, basketball court, adaptive swings, outdoor musical instruments, bocce court, a labyrinth walking path, and many more.

Get Some Exercise at Haynes Community Center and Park

Those who love exercising outdoors will have a great time spending a sunny day at the Haynes Community Center and Park.

Run some laps, play a game of tennis, or enjoy the peaceful and quiet scenery as you walk along the paved path of this Rio Rancho attraction.

You can also swing by the pool to cool off during a hot day, or you can work on perfecting your strokes.

Haynes Community Center and Park also feature amenities like horseshoe pits, basketball courts, and a playground.

If you’re looking to host reunions and gatherings in Rio Rancho, this park also makes a great venue because of its gazebos, barbecue areas, and picnic spots.

Shop at Harris Jewelers

Shop for fine jewelry and custom pieces to bring home as a souvenir after your trip to Rio Rancho.

At Harris Jewelers, you’ll find a great selection of earrings, pendants, rings, and bracelets that you can gift for almost any occasion.

Established during the 1940s, Harris Jewelers has given the people of Rio Rancho fine pieces of jewelry and quality gifts.

You’ll find customized designs, trendy pendants and earrings, and timepieces featuring modern styles.

Harris Jewelers also has other services, such as ring sizing and cleaning, pearl restringing, engraving, laser welding, and more.

Let Your Creativity Run Wild at Painted Soul Pottery

Learning a new skill is daunting, but it wouldn’t hurt to try.

So make your way to Painted Soul Pottery, where you’ll have a great time learning the art of pottery painting.

You’re free to paint on cups, plates, and other ceramics, following a pattern.

Otherwise, you can create one on your own to make your piece more unique.

The price you’ll pay for the experience already includes studio time, paints, glazing, and kiln-firing.

You can also book the studio for events, or you can try enrolling your kids in the summer art camp if they’re up for it.

Play Bowling at Tenpins & More

Spend a fun day with your friends or family at Tenpins & More.

Engage in a friendly competition by playing a game of bowling or billiards in this Rio Rancho entertainment center.

Tenpins & More also hosts leagues and tournaments you can enter if you’re looking to take your bowling skills to the next level.

If you’re planning to stop by the area on a Saturday, get ready for a night filled with live music and drinks.

Tenpins & More is an excellent venue for hosting parties and other significant events.

Reach for the Skies at Elevate Trampoline Park

Explore 30,000 square feet of trampolines and obstacle courses when you visit Elevate Trampoline Park along Southern Blvd SE.

Bounce around or take a dive in the foam pit, and have a good time goofing around with your friends.

You can stay for about an hour or two, enjoying the amenities of this Rio Rancho activity center.

Elevate Trampoline Park also accommodates birthday parties, providing packages that include 90-minute jump passes for guests and 45 minutes in the Elevate party room.

Sip Craft Brews at Turtle Mountain Brewing Company

If there’s one place in Rio Rancho where you can enjoy craft brews while chatting the night away with your friends, it’s definitely the Turtle Mountain Brewing Company.

From year-round and seasonal beers to cocktails and guest taps, you’ll find almost every drink at this local bar.

Take a sip of award-winning brews like the Wooden Teeth American Lager, or indulge in the bursting flavors and spices of the Red Eye Redux.

Named after the Tewa name for Sandia Peak, Turtle Mountain has bagged several state awards, making it one of the best bars in town.

While sipping on your drink, enjoy a slice of pizza or a serving of calzones.

Dine at El Agave Family Mexican Restaurant

You can’t possibly leave Rio Rancho and New Mexico altogether without trying out authentic Mexican dishes.

So make your way to El Agave Family Mexican Restaurant and indulge in home-cooked meals that will leave you wanting more.

Have a bite of a burrito plate or huevos rancheros for breakfast.

Otherwise, return to this family-owned restaurant for lunch to have a plate of enchiladas and chipotle shrimp fajitas.

For dessert, order a slice of apple pie with ice cream, biscochito, or tres leches.

El Agave Family Mexican Restaurant also sells beer and wine, which are perfectly compatible with your meals.

Satisfy Your Cravings at Lily and Liam Bistro

Rio Rancho boasts several places that offer great food.

If you make your way to Rio Rancho Blvd, you’ll find one called Lily and Liam Bistro.

Founded in 2019, Lily and Liam Bistro is best known for serving a menu of healthy and made-from-scratch dishes.

Try their all-day breakfast ranging from light and sweet dishes to rich and savory meals.

Enjoy a hearty serving of sandwiches, flatbreads, and salads for lunch.

To top it all off, enjoy a serving of classic desserts like chocolate mousse, cheesecake, cream puffs, and carrot cakes.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Decipher Sacred Symbols at the Petroglyph National Monument

Welcome sign of Petroglyph National Monument
Jeffrey M. Frank / Shutterstock.com

Add a little more zest to your New Mexico trip by visiting a famed site, which Native Americans and Spanish settlers frequented over 500 years ago.

Just a few miles outside Rio Rancho is the Petroglyph National Monument, a historical site that stretches about 17 miles.

You can find it in Albuquerque, New Mexico, 15 minutes from Rio Rancho.

A tour around the national monument will take you to at least three canyons decorated with symbols, designs, and carvings.

These images comprise the cultural expression and spiritual significance of the groups who settled in the area.

Native rock art at Petroglyph National Monument
William Silver / Shutterstock.com

Traverse the Boca Negra Canyon and check out at least 100 petroglyphs.

Otherwise, swing by the Rinconada Canyon to see 300 more.

You can also visit the Piedras Marcadas Canyon if you’re looking to go on an easy hike while setting your sights on 400 petroglyphs.

Boca negra trail at Petroglyph National Monument
BrigitteT / Shutterstock.com

Take a Stroll at the Casa Rondeña Winery

Take your taste buds on a ride with the bursting flavors of award-winning wines at the Casa Rondeña Winery.

You can find it in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, New Mexico, 14 minutes from Rio Rancho.

Established in 1995, the Casa Rondeña Winery is more than your typical vineyard and tasting room.

The winery is also known for its scenic landscapes, making it the perfect gathering place for many events.

Visit the tasting room to sample a flight of fine wine made directly inside the premises using the best ingredients.

If you can’t seem to get enough of the rich and bold flavors, stop by the wine shop to bring home a bit of Casa Rondeña as a souvenir.

Casa Rondeña also hosts special events packed with great music and architecture, which are exclusive for Wine Club members.

Swing by the Coronado Historic Site

New Mexico has many historical sites.

Just a few miles outside Rio Rancho is one that’s full of character even up to this day.

The Coronado Historic Site sits north of Albuquerque, together with the ruins of Kuaua Pueblo.

These places are nearby sites where Vasquez de Coronado entered the Rio Grande Valley.

You can find this attraction in Bernalillo, New Mexico, 18 minutes from Rio Rancho.

In his quest to reach the Seven Cities of Gold, Coronado found a dozen villages instead.

He referred to its farmers as Pueblo Indians.

During your trip, you might catch a glimpse of a square kiva, a remnant of the Kuaua Pueblo, which contains pre-Columbian mural paintings.

This historic site near Rio Rancho will also treat you to stunning views of the Rio Grande and the Sandia Mountains.

Don’t forget to snap a few photos during your stay.

Place Your Bets at the Santa Ana Star

Exterior of Santa Ana Star
Camerafiend at the English-language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Rio Rancho is near dozens of New Mexico tourist attractions.

The Santa Ana Star is one of the many places you’ll find the most entertaining.

This hotel and casino stand as a premier entertainment center for the people of New Mexico, with its slots, table games, bowling alley, and more.

Play your favorites and choose from over 1,600 of the loosest slot machines in New Mexico.

Santa Ana Star also offers a great selection of table games, such as Blackjack and Craps.

The hotel and casino are also home to New Mexico’s first sportsbook, which allows you to place your bets on popular sports leagues like the NFL, NBA, MLB, college basketball, and more.

Have a Glass of Wine at Milagro Vineyards

Rio Rancho sits next to the village of Corrales, which is home to the Milagro Vineyards.

Corrales, New Mexico, is seven minutes away from Rio Rancho.

Drive for a few miles and get your hands on some of the best-tasting wines in New Mexico that you won’t find anywhere else.

Take your pick from a variety of wines, including table wines such as the Rose, Corrales White, and Corrales Red.

You can also try the varietal wines like the Chardonnay, Semillon, and Dry Riesling, among others.

Milagro Vineyards’ wines use homegrown grapes and the Old World style.

Make your way to the taproom and be fascinated with the splendor of its boutique styling.

Hike the Trails at Rio Rancho Bosque Preserve

Scenic view from Rio Rancho Bosque Preserve
Silvio Ligutti / Shutterstock.com

If you’re one of the many people who love going on hikes to admire the natural wonders of the world, then you’re sure to have a great time exploring the Rio Rancho Bosque Preserve.

This nature preserve contains many scenic biking, hiking, and running trails that are perfect for going on family adventures.

Explore three of the preserve’s hiking trails, ranging between 17 and 56 meters in elevation gain.

Those looking to go on a short hike can check out the Willow Creek Bosque North Loop Trail, which covers a distance of 2.9 kilometers.

If you want to go the extra mile, you can traverse the eight-kilometer south trail, which takes an average of an hour and a half to complete.

Final Thoughts

Rio Rancho offers tourists the perfect blend of cultural and historic attractions and commercial districts.

This city is an excellent destination for many.

Alongside these tourist spots are award-winning restaurants and bars that everyone will enjoy.

Don’t miss out on the adventure and book a trip to Rio Rancho today.

Start planning your unforgettable adventure to this unique New Mexico city!