We have to hand it to our friends at Visit Albuquerque.  They sure have great ideas for keeping our community engaged with all the magnificent things there are to experience in Albuquerque, even during a pandemic, when we are restless for adventures beyond the daily trip to the mailbox.  Their latest promotion, the True ABQ-Challenge, is no exception.  Not only does the challenge inspire us to get out and have a great time, but it is also an effort to encourage folks to patronize small businesses and buy local, in order to be entered for the chance to win a balloon ride for two provided by Rainbow Ryders Hot Air Balloon Co.

The challenge is active now through February 28, 2021, and includes a checklist for participants to tick off as they are encouraged to seek out great local cuisine, hotel accommodations, shopping opportunities, arts and culture, as well as outdoor activities and adventures.  You don’t have to do all of the activities to qualify to be entered into a drawing for the fabulous prize, but from our perspective at Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, we embrace the endless ways one can enjoy fun and fulfilling local outings as well as online experiences.

At IPCC, we like to recognize that “It All Starts Here.”  It is a reference to both the origins of the Pueblo people as well as the opportunity to witness and learn about the unique traditions, history and culture of the 19 Indian Pueblos in one place, right in the heart of Albuquerque. Though most of our engagement is currently virtual, the museum and gallery space, collection of murals and other Native arts and artifacts, library, archives, education department, teaching kitchen/restaurant, and cultural programming and events, each celebrate the Pueblo culture of New Mexico.  From the flavorful indigenous cuisine to the authentic native designed jewelry, to our unique online exhibits, visitors and locals alike can start their cultural journey at our doorstep — whether in its physical form or via our virtual entryway, we welcome you.  We are pleased that Visit ABQ included cultural immersion opportunities into their challenge, and it is no surprise that a visit to the IPCC will check most of the boxes.  We won’t list them all, but here are some of our personal favorites:

Local Beer Growlers at Four Winds Convenience Center

1. FOODIE ALERT: Pick up a growler of a local craft beer or a bottle of wine

In order to participate in the challenge’s Foodie Alert category, Visit ABQ invites you to pick up a growler of local craft beer. We can help! Four Winds Travel Center on the campus of IPCC offers a growler station with 8 taps representing craft beer from award-winning Albuquerque breweries like Marble, La Cumbre and Bosque Brewing! (map)

2. FOODIE ALERT: Enjoy a meal from your favorite local restaurant

Also in the foodie category, order meals from our Pante Project, available once a month for which participants can enjoy an indigenous dinner, created and pre-prepared by our Chef Ray Naranjo (Santa Clara, Odawa), in order to check the box for purchasing a meal from your favorite local restaurant. We offer contact free, curbside pickup. Find more details here.

3. FOODIE ALERT: Make a traditional New Mexican recipe at home

If takeout isn’t for you, you can meet the foodie requirements by making a traditional New Mexican recipe at home. What better way to do so than by purchasing one of our many Pueblo recipe books from the online store. Visit the Indian Pueblo Store to find some great options!

4. FOODIE ALERT: Purchase a local restaurant gift card

If you are looking for a quick and convenient way to fulfill the foodie challenge requirement, purchasing a local restaurant gift card is an option, and we have several to choose from!

Starbucks @ Avanyu Plaza | Sixty Six Acres | Laguna Burger | Dominos

Gift card to the Indian Pueblo Store

5. RETAIL THERAPY: Purchase a gift card to a local retail shop

Don’t forget about Retail Therapy, another category Visit ABQ is encouraging locals to partake in.  Purchasing a gift card to a local retail shop, one of the Visit ABQ-Challenge items, is easy to do via the Indian Pueblo Store website.  And what better way to share the gift of authentic Pueblo arts, jewelry, specialty food products and other unique items.

6. RETAIL THERAPY: Share the website or business page of your favorite
retailer to your social networks

Checking the Retail Therapy box is also as easy as sharing your favorite website or business page to your social networks.  Consider sharing ours including:

Indian Pueblo Cultural Center: https://indianpueblo.org
Indian Pueblo Store: https://indanpueblostore.com

Bath and Body Healing at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

7. RETAIL THERAPY: Pamper yourself with a locally made bath or beauty product

Visit ABQ (wisely) suggests we should be pampering ourselves during these extraordinary times, with the purchase of a locally made bath or beauty product. You can do just that when you purchase any number of self-care products from our online shop, including salves and ointments, as well as books and literature by Pueblo authors about herbs, remedies and healing practices, just to name a few. These items are the perfect formula for achieving wellness, calm and relaxation.

8. RETAIL THERAPY: Buy a new or used book from a local bookstore

If you buy a book on healing, you also fulfill another item on the checklist: to buy a new or used book from a local shop. If wellness isn’t your preferred topic, we offer dozens of other Native authored books to choose from representing many subjects of interest and importance to our Pueblo people and our state’s history.

Marriot and Holiday in by IPCC in Albuquerque

9. IT’S A BLAST: Treat yourself to an overnight staycation at a local hotel or B&B

Visit ABQ wants us to have a blast and they’ve dedicated a category to doing so. You can check in to one of our two wonderful onsite hotel properties, and check the box for “Treat yourself to an overnight staycation at a local hotel.

The Holiday Inn Express & Suites Albuquerque Historic Old Town
TownePlace Suites by Marriott Albuquerque

Virtual tours, programs, and exhibits at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

10. GET INSPIRED: Discover art, culture and history by exploring an online exhibit

Get Inspired is another category of the challenge and we have plenty of opportunities to facilitate your efforts.  For example, if you want to check the box for discovering art, culture and history via an online exhibit, we offer many on our IPCC website.  Take a tour of our museum, learn about our art collections, and explore our Pueblo history when you log onto our Virtual Programs page

11. GET INSPIRED: Purchase an item from a local artist

We think there is no better place to go to fulfill the next requirement:  Purchase an item from a local artist.  Our online shop offers original works such as authentic native jewelry, paintings, pottery and sculptures, just to name a few.

Pueblo Relief Fund

12. SHOW THE LOVE: Contribute to a local COVID-19 relief fund

We are especially pleased to offer you an opportunity to Show the Love (as Visit ABQ refers to their philanthropic category, requesting folks to make a donation to New Mexicans impacted by COVID-19), by contributing to our Pueblo Relief Fund, benefiting Pueblo people affected by the pandemic.  Pueblos and Native communities have experienced significant hardships and losses, and to help provide relief through monetary donations, please go to https://pueblorelieffund.org/

Support the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

13. SHOW THE LOVE: Make a donation to a local charity or volunteer your time

Last but not least, Visit ABQ encourages us to give generously to a local charity.  The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that accepts monetary contributions.  Your donation supports educational endeavors, arts scholarships and our library and archives program, to name a few.  You can learn more here

Now that you have a greater understanding what we mean when we say “It All Starts Here,” we hope you will take advantage of the opportunity to experience the food and shopping, as well as the fun and inspired events at the IPCC.   When it comes to experiencing the myriad cultural, cuisine and retail opportunities that Albuquerque has to offer, it all starts here.

You can learn more about the True ABQ-Challenge, including a checklist of all the categories, here:  #TrueABQ Challenge | Win a free hot air balloon ride! (visitalbuquerque.org)

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