15 OF THE BEST KIRTLAND AFB THINGS TO DO
By Kevin Lankes
IntroductionKirtland Air Force Base is located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, next to the city’s airport, the Albuquerque International Sunport. The base is fairly large, ballooning from its original training facility formed during WWII to a major research compound that now sits on over 51,000 acres. Over 23,000 people live and work here. Located in a major metropolitan area, anyone PCSing here will be met with a staggering number of options for things to do on and near Kirtland AFB. Know what you are looking for? Click the number(s) to go right to what you go: (1-2) Gyms (3) Movies (4) Bowling (5-7) Museums (8-10) Golfing (11-14) Outdoor Recreation (15) Events
Suggested Read:Kirtland Air Force Base: In-Depth Welcome
Kirtland AFB Things to Do
Kirtland AFB Gym
1. KAFB East Fitness CenterTexas St. SE Kirtland AFB, NM 87117
Phone:1 (505) 846-1102 KAFB East is one of two fitness centers on base at Kirtland. The East Fitness Center is a large facility with a ton of equipment for getting the best workout you can muster. Here you’ll find five separate weight rooms, two cardio rooms, a playroom for parents and kids, six courts for handball or racquetball, two courts for basketball or volleyball, three tennis courts, an outdoor track, an aerobic room, and more.
2. KAFB West Fitness Center4500 Aberdeen Dr. SE Albuquerque, NM 87116
Phone:1 (505) 846-1068 The West Fitness Center is a Kirtland AFB gym that isn’t quite as extensive as its eastern counterpart. However, there’s still a lot to love about the availability of equipment here. There are three weight rooms here, two cardio rooms, a softball field, a basketball or volleyball court, and an outdoor track. There are also locker rooms so you can change and shower.
Kirtland AFB Movie Theater
3. Kirtland Base Theater8202 G Ave. SE Kirtland AFB, NM 87117
Phone:1 (505) 846-7428 The movie theater on base offers free showings for airmen, DoD contractors, their families and guests. They also run other events, too, from time to time, so stay up to date on the schedule. You can catch a new free movie every Friday, and if you miss that then catch the two Saturday matinees.
Kirtland AFB Bowling Alley
4. Kirkland Lanes Bowling Center1400 Texas St. SE Albuquerque, NM 87116
Phone:1 (505) 846-1156 The Kirtland Lanes Bowling Center is the best and most convenient place to get on the lanes and mark down those strikes. It’s right on base next to the fitness center. Come by for a game or two with family or friends, or join an intramural league. They also have programs for kids, so sign them up for some social time. The Sparetime Grill is on site for your snacking pleasure.
Kirtland AFB Museum
5. Atomic Museum601 Eubank Blvd. SE Albuquerque, NM 87123
Phone:1 (505) 245-2137 The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History in Albuquerque, NM is in the very northeast corner of Kirtland. The museum is chartered by Congress and provides a comprehensive overview of the history of nuclear technology from its earliest days. There are multiple exhibits, events, programs, and more throughout the course of an average year. The outdoor Heritage Park exhibit includes planes, rockets, missiles, and other devices in a nine-acre setting. Come by for a fascinating look at the museum’s offerings, or enroll your kids in one of several camps.
6. Albuquerque Museum2000 Mountain Rd. NW Albuquerque, NM 87104
Phone:1 (505) 243-7255 The Albuquerque Museum is a popular tourist spot that dives deep into the history of the region. You’ll find painting and art from the Southwest along with tons of interesting perspectives on Albuquerque and the state of New Mexico. The museum is part of the City of Albuquerque’s Department of Arts & Culture.
7. Anderson Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum9201 Balloon Museum Dr. NE Albuquerque, NM 87113
Phone:1 (505) 768-6020 The International Balloon Museum provides exhibits, classes, and programs that showcase the science and art of ballooning and balloonists. There’s a movie theater and a balloon flight simulator on the premises. The museum itself is located next to the grounds where the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta occurs each year. There are tons of things to see here in this 59,000 square foot facility filled with history and enthralling facts about the early lighter-than-air fliers.
Kirtland AFB Golf Course
8. Tijera Arroyo Golf CourseKirtland AFB Albuquerque, NM 87123
Phone:1 (505) 846-1169 The Tijera Arroyo golf course on base at Kirtland is an 18-hole course with a pro shop, gas golf carts, lockers, equipment for rent, and more. Stop by to practice your swing or get advice and gear from the pro shop. The Bogey Bar & Grill offers great food options when you’re all tuckered out for the day.
9. Lunar Golf10000 Coors Bypass NW g19 Albuquerque, NM 87114
Phone: 1 (505) 899-0503 For those interested in a more fun kind of golf, Lunar Golf in the Cottonwood Mall is a great mini golf course that offers affordable rates. It’s a glow golf course where the balls and the decor glow beneath the lights, and you can even buy glow necklaces to complete the look. They offer party packages for families and groups as well. The course is temporarily closed due to Covid, so keep in the loop to stay informed about the location’s reopening.
10. Hinkle Family Fun Center12931 Indian School Rd. NE Albuquerque, NM 87112
Phone:1 (505) 299-3100 The Hinkle Family Fun Center is a great place to take the whole gang. But more than just another mini golf course, the center features go-kart racing, interactive rides, game rooms with arcade games, rock climbing, and much more. There’s something here for the whole family to experience together. They also take reservations for birthdays and other events. The center is currently closed for Covid but in the early stages of reopening.
Kirtland AFB Outdoor Rec
11. Kirtland Outdoor Recreation8001 Gibson Boulevard Southeast Bldg. 20170 Kirtland AFB, NM 87117
Phone:1 (505) 846-1499 Kirtland Outdoor Recreation helps airmen and their families get involved in a host of options for outdoor recreation, so nature lovers should rejoice. Call or stop by to get the rundown on everything you can get involved in on and off base. From the disc golf clinics, to kayak lessons, to bouldering, there’s enough to keep the whole family busy.
12. Kirtland AFB FamCampBldg. 24250 F Ave SE Kirtland AFB, NM 87117
Phone:1 (505) 846-0337 Enjoy some camping fun without going too far off the beaten path at Kirtland’s FamCamp! All active duty, Reserve, retired military, Department of Defense, NAF civilians and their guests are welcome to the amenities at this campground on base. The site features bathrooms, showers, washers and dryers, and propane service. Visit the FamCamp web page for more info, including rates, reservation policies, campground rules and more.
More like this:10 of the Best Military Campgrounds & RV Parks in the United States
13. Kirtland Air Force Base Olympic PoolBldg. 20229 Albuquerque, NM 87116
Phone:1 (505) 846-5485 Dive into well-rounded fitness at this heated indoor pool, which was remodeled in 2016. The pool features eight 50-meter lanes, perfect for lap swimming. Check the Kirtland Force Support Squadron web page or call the pool for info about admission prices, swim lessons, water aerobics, locker rentals and more.
14. Cibola National ForestAlbuquerque, NM 87113 The Cibola National Forest is a staggering 1.6 million acres of land. Here you’ll find meadows, forests, mountains, and the stunning landscape of the American Southwest. Come for the multiple campgrounds, the hiking trails, climbing areas, and so much more.
Kirtland AFB Events
15. Events at KirtlandNormally, you’ll find a ton of different things to do on base. From karaoke nights at the bowling alley, to parades, to classes for parents on education options for kids, and so much more. During Covid, though, most everything is shut down as the base is taking social distancing very seriously. To stay up to date on schedules and future activities, make sure to join up with the base’s Facebook page and see their events calendar for information on when things start opening up again.
ConclusionKirtland AFB is a great place to find yourself at all times of the year. Right in Albuquerque, New Mexico, airmen and their families have so much to look forward to in terms of entertainment and activities. On base, you’ll find a ton of convenient things to do as well as resources for off-base events and engagement. The natural landscape offers a host of great opportunities for the outdoor adventurer to stake their claim on the land as well. The spectacular variety of things to do at Kirtland AFB will keep you occupied for your entire stay.
The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.
JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER
Get the latest news and military discounts