12 Most Fun Things To Do In Grants, New Mexico

Hidden in the high desert of New Mexico, Grants boasts a captivating history that draws tourists year-round, since its establishment in 1881 as a railroad camp. 

It was nourished by the discovery of uranium in the 1950s, earning the title “Uranium Capital of the World” that boomed a unique legacy, visible in the Uranium Mining Museum, attracting history enthusiasts.

Grants’ allure extends beyond its mining past. The city is a gateway to the expansive Cibola National Forest, offering outdoor enthusiasts a haven for hiking, camping, and wildlife exploration. The ancient lava flows of El Malpais National Monument, punctuated by dramatic sandstone cliffs, add a geological marvel to the region’s appeal.

For those seeking cultural immersion, Grants hosts the annual ‘Northwest New Mexico Arts & Crafts Fair,’ showcasing local talent and traditional crafts. The city’s Route 66 history is celebrated with vibrant murals and iconic roadside attractions, evoking a sense of nostalgia for travelers along the historic highway.

The best months to visit Grants are during the mild seasons of spring (April to June) and fall (September to October), when the weather is pleasant for outdoor activities. These months allow tourists to explore the natural wonders, delve into the city’s history, and experience the vibrant local culture without extreme temperatures.

Whether drawn by history, outdoor adventure, or cultural festivities, Grants, with its rich tapestry of experiences, stands as a gem in the New Mexico landscape, inviting visitors to uncover its diverse attractions throughout the year.

1) El Malpais National Monument Visitors Center 

The El Malpais National Monument Visitors Center was established in 1987. It serves as a gateway to the vast and unique landscape of El Malpais, known for its extensive lava flows and diverse geological features. The center provides visitors with insights into the area’s volcanic history, Native American cultures, and early Spanish exploration. 

El Malpais National Monument Visitors Center 

Through interpretive displays, the center educates about the significance of conservation efforts in preserving this distinctive terrain. The Visitors Center serves as an information hub, providing educational exhibits, maps, and knowledgeable staff to guide explorations. 

Picnic areas are also scattered throughout the monument, offering visitors a chance to enjoy meals amidst the unique landscape. Numerous hiking trails, stunning lava formations, ancient cinder cones, expansive vistas, and birdwatching are the top attractions of El Malpais. 

Overnight camping with stargazing also attracts a huge number of visitors. Moreover, this place is also famous for photography due to its beautiful surroundings. The monument also hosts ranger-led programs, including guided hikes and educational talks, enhancing visitors’ understanding of the area’s geological and cultural significance.

Overall, El Malpais National Monument provides a multifaceted experience, blending outdoor activities, natural wonders, and educational opportunities for those seeking to explore this unique corner of the American Southwest.


1900 East Santa Fe Avenue, Grants, NM 87020, United States

2) RiverWalk Park

RiverWalk Park, established in the early 20th century, was an industrial area that underwent revitalization efforts in the 1980s, transforming into a picturesque green space. Its name stems from the winding riverwalk trail that meanders alongside the water, offering scenic views and a tranquil escape from city life. 

RiverWalk Park

Its vibrant past, from industrial roots to a thriving recreational space, mirrors the city’s evolution and commitment to preserving natural landscapes within the urban environment.

The well-maintained trails provide an ideal setting for walking, jogging, or cycling, surrounded by lush greenery and scenic river views. Picnic areas available here are also equipped with benches and tables that invite families and friends to gather for outdoor meals, fostering a sense of community.

For sports enthusiasts, the park offers recreational spaces for activities like frisbee, soccer, and basketball. A playground with modern equipment ensures a fun and safe environment for children to play while fishing enthusiasts can try their luck at designated spots along the riverbank.

Additionally, outdoor concerts, art exhibitions, and food festivals contribute to the park’s vibrant social scene, providing a diverse range of fun things to do in Grants, NM, making it a beloved destination for individuals and families and promoting an active and healthy lifestyle.


504 East Santa Fe Avenue, Grants, NM 87020, United States

3) Route 66 Neon Drive-Thru Sign

The Route 66 Neon Drive-Thru Sign, an iconic symbol of the historic U.S. Route 66, originated in the mid-20th century. Erected during the heyday of neon signage in the 1950s, these vibrant displays served as beacons for motorists along the “Main Street of America.” 

Route 66 Neon Drive-Thru Sign

The signs typically featured bold, eye-catching designs, often promoting motels, diners, and gas stations. As Route 66 gained popularity as a cross-country highway, these neon signs became synonymous with the American road trip experience. 

However, efforts to preserve and restore these nostalgic landmarks have emerged, aiming to celebrate the cultural heritage of the historic route and its vibrant neon legacy.

As you drive through, marvel at the vibrant signs that once guided travelers, providing ample parking and designated areas for photo opportunities.

The site also offers clean restrooms and a gift shop where you can purchase memorabilia to commemorate your visit. Additionally, there are picnic areas for those looking to relax and enjoy a meal amidst the vintage atmosphere.

For added fun things to do in Grants NM, consider planning your visit during special events or festivals that celebrate the Route 66 heritage. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply seeking a unique roadside experience, the Route 66 Neon Drive-Thru Sign provides a captivating blend of nostalgia, amenities, and entertainment for visitors of all ages.


600 West Santa Fe Avenue, Grants, NM 87020, United States

4) El Calderon Trailhead

El Calderon Trailhead, established in the early 17th century, was a vital route for trade and exploration that connected settlements in the American Southwest. 

El Calderon Trailhead

Named after a prominent volcanic caldera in the region, the trailhead played a pivotal role in facilitating cultural exchange and commerce between indigenous peoples and Spanish settlers. 

As centuries passed, the trailhead evolved, adapting to changing geopolitical landscapes, preserving the echoes of a bygone era, and serving as a testament to the intertwined history of diverse cultures in the Southwestern United States.

Here, you can find many fun things to do in Grants, NM, with well-maintained parking facilities ensuring convenient access. At the same time, informational kiosks provide historical insights and trail maps for exploration. 

Rest areas equipped with benches and shade structures offer moments of relaxation amid the scenic surroundings. The trail system itself caters to hikers of varying skill levels, providing an opportunity for both leisurely walks and more challenging hikes.

Nature enthusiasts can revel in the diverse flora and fauna, with birdwatching opportunities and photography spots along the way. For those seeking a deeper connection with the environment, interpretive programs and guided tours are available, shedding light on the region’s ecological significance.

Adventure-seekers can engage in activities such as geocaching, adding an element of excitement to their visit. Additionally, designated camping areas allow for overnight stays, letting visitors immerse themselves in the tranquility of the landscape under the starlit sky. 

Whether one seeks a peaceful nature retreat, an educational experience, or an active outdoor adventure, El Calderon Trailhead caters to a diverse range of interests, promising a memorable and fulfilling visit for all.


Unnamed Road, Grants, NM 87020, United States

5) New Mexico Mining Museum

The New Mexico Mining Museum, located in Grants, traces its roots to the uranium mining boom of the 1950s. Established in 1983, the museum preserves the region’s mining heritage, showcasing the evolution of mining technology, equipment, and the impact of the industry on local communities. 

New Mexico Mining Museum

The exhibits vividly depict the challenges faced by miners and the economic significance of mining in the state. Visitors can explore the underground simulation of a uranium mine, gaining insight into the harsh working conditions. 

The museum features well-curated exhibits, providing a fascinating insight into the history of mining in the region and offering a deeper understanding of mining techniques and their impact on local communities.

For added enjoyment and fun things to do in Grants, NM, the museum boasts an interactive underground mine simulation, allowing visitors to experience the challenges faced by miners firsthand. 

Outdoor spaces provide a pleasant environment for relaxation and picnics, surrounded by the picturesque landscape of Grants, New Mexico.

Additionally, the museum frequently hosts special events, workshops, and lectures, ensuring there’s always something new for returning visitors.

Therefore, if you’re a history enthusiast, a family looking for an educational outing, or a traveler seeking a unique experience, the New Mexico Mining Museum offers a blend of history, education, and entertainment in a welcoming setting.


100 Iron Avenue, Grants, NM 87020, United States

6) Surf Shack Pizza

Surf Shack Pizza, founded in 1985, offers a unique blend of coastal lifestyle and pizza culture that quickly became a local icon in the vibrant city of Grant. Known for using fresh, locally sourced ingredients, Surf Shack Pizza garnered a reputation for its signature crust and innovative topping combinations. 

Surf Shack Pizza

Despite facing challenges, its commitment to quality and community engagement allowed Surf Shack Pizza to endure and thrive, remaining a cherished slice of Californian coastal culinary history.

The beach-themed restaurant features cozy indoor seating adorned with surfboards and beach memorabilia, creating a laid-back atmosphere. The menu showcases a variety of pizzas, including signature creations like the “Big Wave Supreme” and customizable options.

In addition to pizza and fun things to do in Grants, NM, the establishment provides a selection of refreshing beverages, from tropical fruit smoothies to craft sodas. 

To enhance the experience, Surf Shack Pizza hosts regular live music nights and themed events, contributing to a lively and entertaining atmosphere. 

With its combination of delicious food, beachy ambiance, live entertainment, and interactive activities, Surf Shack Pizza offers a multifaceted destination where guests can savor good times and coastal vibes.


320 East Stephens Avenue, Grants, NM 87020, United States

7) Indian Trail Trading Post

The Indian Trail Trading Post, established in the early 18th century, played a pivotal role in the fur trade between Native American tribes and European settlers in the southeastern United States. Located along ancient trade routes, it facilitated the exchange of goods such as furs, textiles, and metal tools. 

Indian Trail Trading Post

Despite facing challenges like conflicts and shifts in trade patterns, the Indian Trail Trading Post endured, leaving a historical legacy as a key hub in the early American frontier.

Here, you can immerse yourself in the rich history by exploring the well-maintained historical exhibits and artifacts, providing insights into the area’s vibrant past.

For outdoor enthusiasts, enjoy the scenic trails surrounding the trading post, perfect for hiking and nature walks. To satisfy your curiosity, there’s a research library with an extensive collection of historical documents and resources. 

For those seeking relaxation and fun things to do in Grants, NM, the trading post provides serene spaces for quiet contemplation. 

Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover, or simply looking for a peaceful retreat, the Indian Trail Trading Post seamlessly blends educational opportunities with recreational activities, making it an enriching destination for diverse interests.


1871 West Santa Fe Avenue, Grants, NM 87020, United States

8) La Ventana Natural Arch

La Ventana Natural Arch, located in New Mexico, was formed through erosion by wind and water; this natural sandstone arch stands as a testament to the gradual sculpting of the landscape. Over time, the arch has become a symbol of enduring natural processes and human interaction with the land of Spanish settlers. 

La Ventana Natural Arch

The site provides basic facilities such as parking and informational signage, enhancing the overall visitor experience. Nature enthusiasts can explore surrounding trails, immersing themselves in the diverse flora and fauna of the high desert landscape. 

For adventure seekers, rock climbing is a popular activity, providing an exhilarating challenge against the backdrop of the arch. Educational programs and guided tours occasionally provide insights into the geological and cultural history of the region. 

Nearby camping facilities enable overnight stays, allowing visitors to fully immerse themselves in the natural ambiance with bird-watching and stargazing facilities. 

Whether one seeks a tranquil retreat, an outdoor adventure, or a chance to learn about the area’s rich history, La Ventana Natural Arch caters to a range of interests, making it a versatile destination for those looking to connect with nature and unwind in a breathtaking setting.


El Malpais Ranger Station (BLM), New Mexico 117, Grants, NM 87020, United States

9) Thunderbird Lanes

Thunderbird Lanes in Grants, New Mexico, was established in the 1950s and quickly became a local hub for bowling enthusiasts and social gatherings. The bowling alley witnessed the cultural shifts of the ’60s and ’70s, maintaining its status as a recreational landmark since today. 

Thunderbird Lanes

Today, Thunderbird Lanes stands as a nostalgic testament to the enduring spirit of bowling culture in Grants, linking generations through shared experiences on its lanes.

The well-maintained bowling alleys provide an engaging environment for both casual and competitive bowlers. Beyond bowling, Thunderbird Lanes often feature an arcade area with classic and contemporary games, adding an extra layer of entertainment. 

The venue also boasts a snack bar or restaurant, providing refreshments and a place to unwind between games.

Additionally, Thunderbird Lanes hosts events like league competitions, tournaments, and themed nights, fostering a sense of community among patrons. 

Moreover, the facility prioritizes accessibility, with ramps and adaptive equipment for diverse audiences. Friendly staff and a welcoming atmosphere contribute to the overall enjoyment, making Thunderbird Lanes not just a bowling alley but a social hub for families, friends, and bowling enthusiasts.


300 Jefferson Avenue, Grants, NM 87020, United States

10) New Life Assembly of God

The New Life Assembly of God in Grant, NM, traces its roots to the mid-20th century when a group of believers established the church to foster spiritual growth and community. Over the years, the congregation has played a vital role in Grant’s religious landscape, offering worship services, outreach programs, and support for the local community. 

New Life Assembly of God

From its inception, the New Life Assembly of God has aimed to provide a place for worship, fellowship, and service, leaving an indelible mark on the spiritual tapestry of Grant, NM.

The church boasts a well-equipped sanctuary for worship services, providing a serene space for congregational gatherings and events. Additionally, there are fellowship halls and meeting rooms that foster community engagement, hosting various activities like Bible studies, workshops, and social events.

Modern audio-visual equipment enhances worship experiences, ensuring effective communication of messages.

For fun things to do in Grants, NM, and community-building, New Life Assembly of God organizes recreational events, picnics, or outings. The church also participates in local outreach initiatives, providing opportunities for members to contribute to the well-being of the broader community to reflect the church’s commitment to spiritual growth, fellowship, and outreach.


218 Washington Avenue, Grants, NM 87020, United States

11) Cibola Senior Citizens Center

The Cibola Senior Citizens Center was established as a response to the evolving needs of seniors, later becoming a hub for social activities, health programs, and educational initiatives. Over the years, it has become a symbol of support, enhancing the well-being of elderly individuals in the Cibola community. 

Cibola Senior Citizens Center

As it continues to adapt to changing demographics and societal dynamics, the Cibola Senior Citizens Center remains dedicated to enriching the lives of seniors and contributing to the broader community.

The well-equipped center features a spacious communal area for socializing, various activity rooms for classes and workshops, and a dedicated health and wellness section. The center also hosts regular health screenings and educational seminars to support overall well-being.

Numerous recreational opportunities are available, including card games, arts and crafts, and group outings. A library corner provides a quiet space for reading and learning. Members can enjoy nutritious meals together in a communal dining area, fostering a sense of community.

The center organizes engaging events like themed parties, guest lectures, and cultural celebrations, ensuring a vibrant social calendar with many fun things to do in Grants, NM. 

Overall, the Cibola Senior Citizens Center is more than a facility; it’s a dynamic community hub where seniors can connect, learn, stay active, and share enriching experiences in a supportive and inclusive environment.


550 Jurassic Court, Grants, NM 87020, United States

12) Cibola Arts Council

The Cibola Arts Council, established in the late 20th century, was founded by local artists and enthusiasts and has organized numerous cultural events, art exhibitions, and educational programs. 

Cibola Arts Council

By providing a platform for artistic expression, the Cibola Arts Council continues to contribute significantly to the cultural vibrancy and creative fabric of the region, leaving a lasting impact on the artistic landscape.

Boasting spacious galleries, the venue regularly hosts diverse art exhibitions showcasing local and regional talent. Amenities at the council include state-of-the-art studios for artists-in-residence, fostering a collaborative environment. 

The resourceful library provides a wealth of artistic references, while the dedicated workspaces equip creators with tools for innovation. Visitors can enjoy a cozy café, promoting social interactions and providing a relaxing atmosphere.

Beyond visual arts, the council organizes regular music concerts, theatrical performances, and literary events, encouraging skill development in various artistic disciplines. Additionally, the outdoor areas often host community gatherings, adding a dynamic dimension to the space.

Whether attending an art show, participating in a workshop, or enjoying live performances, the Cibola Arts Council is a cultural hub that continuously enriches the community’s artistic experience, making it an engaging destination for residents and visitors with many fun things to do in Grants NM. 


1001 West Santa Fe Avenue, Grants, NM 87020, United States

Best Hotels To Stay In Grants, NM

  • Comfort Inn & Suites Grants
  • Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Grants-Milan
  • Quality Inn & Suites Grants
  • Days Inn by Wyndham Grants
  • Super 8 by Wyndham Grants
  • Travelodge by Wyndham Grants