Parks light up for the holidays

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By Special to the Monitor

Holiday traditions sparkle at New Mexico State Parks as luminarias light up walkways, beaches and riverfronts in parks from Raton to Deming.

Hot cocoa, caroling, holiday bells and luminaria await visitors seeking a festive return to old-fashioned customs or modern-day star gazing.

“State parks are part of so many communities and our holiday events add more celebration and joy at this special time of year,” State Park Director Dave Simon said.

Living Desert Zoo and Botanical Gardens in Carlsbad kicks off the season from 2-3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5 with Holiday Bells in the Visitor Center, featuring holiday music and hand bells. Living Desert also celebrates Holidays with the Animals from 1-3 p.m. Dec. 12, when children make holiday cards and treats for their favorite Living Desert animals. The event is free but regular admission fees apply to enter the zoo, or each visitor may donate a new book, toy, or nonperishable food item to be distributed to local charities. Call 575-887-5516 for details.

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