Annual Festivals

Each year the Friends of the Rio Grande Nature Center hosts multiple events and festivals. Our events are fun and family-friendly. Beyond the regular day-use fee, there is no cost for the festival.  

Roadrunner sitting on a rail showing its butt.

Nature in Winter – January

Nature in Winter, which takes place each January, is one of three festivals held at the Rio Grande Nature Center State Park each year. (The other two are Herbfest in May and Summer Wings in August.) The first part of the year is a great time to pause and appreciate the changes that have occurred in late fall as our plants, trees, and animals prepare for the winter months and the renewal of spring. Festival activities take place both inside and out. Nature Center volunteers lead bird walks and nature walks. In the Visitor Center, Wildlife Rescue volunteers display rescued birds (typically raptors and owls). In the Observation Room, Audubon Society bird experts help with bird identification, and they set up scopes for close-up looks at birds on or near the pond. In the Discovery Room, Nature Center volunteers conduct kids’ activities. And in the Education Building guest experts give talks/presentations on a variety of stimulating nature-related topics. Please join us for some winter fun while learning more about nature during our colder months.

Herb sales at Herbfest.

Herbfest – May

Herbfest is a two-day celebration of nature in Spring that takes place on Saturday and Sunday of Mother’s Day weekend (usually the second weekend of May). Herbfest offers herbs, vegetables, wildflowers, and native plants for sale along with arts and crafts. Visitors are entertained each day by local bands that volunteer their talents for this event. In addition, Herbfest hosts educational speakers who address a variety of issues pertaining to local plants and wildlife. Each day of the festival also includes guided bird walks, guided nature walks, crafts for kids, nonprofit booths, bird identification with the Central New Mexico Audubon Society, live birds from Wildlife Rescue, a biofacts table, and refreshments. 

Black-chinned hummingbird sipping nector.

Summer Wings – August

Summer Wings is an annual festival that highlights the birds, bats, dragonflies, damselflies and other winged creatures found at the Rio Grande Nature Center. The festival also showcases Citizen Science activities by hosting the BioBlitz event in which participants look for and list as many species as possible of birds, mammals, insects, and plants. Held in early August each year, the festival sponsors a variety of speakers, guided bird walks and guided nature walks that are open to visitors of all ages.