Although understandably devoted largely to dinosaurs, this museum has lots to offer beyond the fossils of the pad-footed creatures of the past. It traces how and why life emerged on Earth through the Age of the Giants. The state’s role in natural-history discoveries—numerous fossils have been discovered in the San Juan Basin of northwestern New Mexico—is at the fore of many of the exhibits. In FossilWorks, you can watch paleontologists at work on extracting and preserving these artifacts in real time.
Plan time to see whatever’s showing at DynaTheater, not a true IMAX experience, but the closest thing in the state. Recent documentaries screened there touched on African wildlife, robots and shipwreck explorations. Don’t miss “Startup: Albuquerque and the Personal Computer Revolution,” which traces the city’s unexpected though doubtlessly influential role in the world-changing technology.