ABQ Free Valentines Weekend Balloon Rally

February 8, 2015 by  
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We don’t have to wait till Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta to see the skies dotted with a fleet of balloons!

Love is in the air this Valentine’s Day weekend, with the Free Friends and Lovers Balloon Rally on the mornings of February 14 and 15, 2015. More than 135+ balloons including special shapes will launch from Balloon Fiesta Park, and it’s free to roll up and watch, so take your sweetie or family to cuddle up to in the cool morning. Balloons launch at sunrise – just a couple of minutes before 7 am.

The balloon rally by local pilots is a Valentine’s tradition, organized by the Albuquerque Aerostat Ascension Association.

–Tania


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Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Free Bike Valet Service

October 3, 2013 by  
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Park free at Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta when you get on your bike and beat the traffic.

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta bike valet service lets cyclists park free again this year, throughout the 2013 Fiesta from October 5-13. That saves the $10 per car parking fee, and probably some sitting-in-traffic stress!

The service has been likened to a “coat check for bicycles” and bikes are stored securely while the rider is at the Balloon Fiesta sessions during these hours:

  • Morning Sessions: 5:30 – 10:30 am
  • Evening Sessions: 5 – to 9 pm

Take the bike trail running along the AMAFCA North Diversion Channel, underneath Paseo del Norte and Alameda, ending at the north of the Balloon Museum in the bike valet parking station.

I always see loads of cyclists whizzing past my (slower) car on the way to the morning ballon ascensions and they always look very smug about it. They are smugger still for free parking!  Balloon Fiesta officials remind cyclists that you’ll be arriving in the dark in morning sessions (well, you know that already). But easier to forget: although you’ll arrive in daylight for evening sessions, it’ll be dark when leaving after the evening events and fireworks, so bike lights and proper gear are essential.

If you do decide to drive instead of taking advantage of the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta free bike valet, it’s cheaper to buy a $50 parking pass if you are going for more than five separate sessions. You can also use the Park & Ride options.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta takes place from October 5 – 13, 2013.

–Tania

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ABQ Balloon Fiesta Free Bike Valet Service

October 1, 2012 by  
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Park free at Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta when you get on your bike and beat the traffic.

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta free bicycle valet service lets cyclists park free again this year, throughout the 2012 Fiesta from October 6-14. That saves the $10 per car parking fee, and probably some sitting-in-traffic stress!

The service has been likened to a “coat check for bicycles” and bikes are stored securely while the rider is at the Balloon Fiesta sessions during these hours:

  • Morning Sessions: 5:30 – 10:30 am
  • Evening Sessions: 5 – to 9 pm

Take the bike trail running along the AMAFCA North Diversion Channel, underneath Paseo del Norte and Alameda, ending at the north of the Balloon Museum in the bike valet parking station.

I always see loads of cyclists whizzing past my (slower) car on the way to the morning ballon ascensions and they always look very smug about it. Smugger still for free parking!  Balloon Fiesta officials remind cyclists that you’ll be arriving in the dark in morning sessions (well, you know that already). But easier to forget: although you’ll arrive in daylight for evening sessions, it’ll be dark when leaving after the evening events and fireworks, so bike lights and proper gear are essential.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta takes place from October 6 – 14, 2012.

–Tania

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ABQ Trolley Glow Tours

August 1, 2012 by  
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Plan in advance for the ABQ Trolley Co. Glow Tours during Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Tickets are likely to sell out fast…

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta runs from October 6 – 14, 2012, and tickets go on sale today, August 1, for the 2012 ABQ Trolley Glow Tours.  ABQ Trolley Co. run the tours on every evening there’s a Balloon Fiesta event, on October 6, 7, 11, 12, and 13, and tickets cost $55 including tax.

Although the tickets cost $5 more than last year, I reckon this is still a very good deal – and a unique night out –  as the package includes:

  • The round-trip ride on the trolley (avoiding the traffic! Need I say more?)
  • Admission to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
  • Admission to the Chasers’ Club hospitality tent, including a hot dish, some beverages, and pastries
  • Admission to the private Chaser’s Lounge, with its bar and live music
  • Time to watch the Balloon Glow events and fireworks before you leave on the return trolley
  • A guide on the trolley and Albuquerque trivia while you ride, including local business giveaways

There are only 34 seats on the trolley, and last year those seats filled fast!  Evening events are on October 6, 7, 11, 12, and 13. My own favorite is the Special Shape Glowdeo. You kind of wonder how those balloons can ever fly, with shapes from Darth Vadar to giant houses.

Note that there are no refunds on these Albuquerque Trolley Co. tickets. Even if a Balloon Glow is cancelled due to wind or weather, the trolley still rolls, and there are still activities at Balloon Fiesta Park.

ABQ Trolley Co.  Trolley Glow tours depart at 5 pm from the Albuquerque Convention Center.

You need to book trolley tickets directly online with the ABQ Trolley Co., but here’s the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta schedule for 2012 to help plan your visit.

–Tania

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Balloon Museum Spring Break Family Day: March 14

March 13, 2012 by  
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The Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum Spring Break Family Day might be just the answer if you’re looking for something different (and cheap or even free) to do with the kids while they’re off school.

We mentioned this event a while ago, but in case you’ve gone spring break crazy and forgotten about it, here’s a reminder.

The Albuquerque Balloon Museum Spring Break Family Day is on Wednesday March 14, 2012.  Take a picnic to enjoy on the lawn, kids have plenty of space to run around there 😉 and join family day activities.

If you go for the free Stories in the Sky program from 9:30 to 10:15 am  you can stay on for the rest of the day’s activities for free too! After that, you pay regular museum admission.

The Stories in the Sky program is for kids aged 6 months to 6 years and is free for children and accompanying adults. For the Spring Break Family Day, the line-up includines music by Peri & the FAQs and stories by Laurie Magovern.

The rest of the Spring Break Family day activities run from 10:15 am – 3 pm and include:

  • Make a kite or windsock to fly outside, or take your own kite, plus kite-flying demonstrations.
  • Demonstrations of remote controlled hot-air balloons (they fly up to 20 feet high).
  • Games with bubbles and parachutes.
  • Balloon Explorium Inc. gives “hands-on balloon education.” That could be interesting… I know they often make and launch tissue paper balloons.
  • 11:30 am – 1 pm Live music by Mufari Marimba.
  • 12:45 – 2:45 pm – Balloon sculpture artist Tall Paul Magic.
  • Food vendor JP Custard will be on site, or take a picnic!

And of course you can check out the Balloon Museum exhibits while you’re there. I hope they’ll have the hot air balloon simulator in action. I love that gizmo – but always ‘land’ in the river.

Balloon Museum Spring Break Family Day events come with regular museum admission:

  • Adults:  $4, or $3 for New Mexico residents. Take NM resident ID to get the $1 off admission!
  • Seniors aged 65+:  $2
  • Children 4 – 12:  $1
  • Kids aged 3 and under get in free!

Some activities depend on weather, so let’s hope it’s a warm and calm day. If you miss the Spring Break Family Day, then maybe take the family to the Balloon Museum on Sunday morning – it’s free admission for all every Sunday from 9 am to 1 pm, barring Balloon Fiesta weeks.

Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum is at 9201 Balloon Museum Dr NE.

–Tania

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Balloon Museum Spring Break Family Day

March 6, 2012 by  
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The Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum Spring Break Family Day might be just the answer if you’re looking for something different (and cheap or even free) to do with the kids while they’re off school.

The Albuquerque Balloon Museum Spring Break Family Day is on Wednesday March 14, 2012.  Take a picnic to enjoy on the lawn, kids have plenty of space to run around there 😉 and join family day activities.

If you go for the free Stories in the Sky program from 9:30 to 10:15 am  you can stay on for the rest of the day’s activities for free too! After that, you pay regular museum admission.

We mentioned Stories in the Sky in an ABQ on the Cheap post a few weeks ago.  The program is for kids aged 6 months to 6 years and is free for children and accompanying adults. For the Spring Break Family Day, the line-up includines music by Peri & the FAQs and stories by Laurie Magovern.

The rest of the Spring Break Family day activities run from 10:15 am – 3 pm and include:

  • Make a kite or windsock to fly outside, or take your own kite, plus kite-flying demonstrations.
  • Demonstrations of remote controlled hot-air balloons (they fly up to 20 feet high).
  • Games with bubbles and parachutes.
  • Balloon Explorium Inc. gives “hands-on balloon education.” That could be interesting… I know they often make and launch tissue paper balloons.
  • 11:30 am – 1 pm Live music by Mufari Marimba.
  • 12:45 – 2:45 pm – Balloon sculpture artist Tall Paul Magic.
  • Food vendor JP Custard will be on site, or take a picnic!

And of course you can check out the Balloon Museum exhibits while you’re there. I hope they’ll have the hot air balloon simulator in action. I love that gizmo – but always ‘land’ in the river.

Balloon Museum Spring Break Family Day events come with regular museum admission:

  • Adults:  $4, or $3 for New Mexico residents. Take NM resident ID to get the $1 off admission!
  • Seniors aged 65+:  $2
  • Children 4 – 12:  $1
  • Kids aged 3 and under get in free!

Some activities depend on weather, so let’s hope it’s a warm and calm day. If you miss the Spring Break Family Day, then maybe take the family to the Balloon Museum on Sunday morning – it’s free admission for all every Sunday from 9 am to 1 pm, barring Balloon Fiesta weeks.

Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum is at 9201 Balloon Museum Dr NE.

–Tania

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Balloon Fiesta Tickets & Free ABQ Aloft Ascension

September 27, 2011 by  
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Save $1 on Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta tickets and watch a free fiesta preview on September 30 with Albuquerque Aloft balloons launching from Albuquerque and Rio Rancho schools!

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta 2011 tickets cost $8 per session for adults – which means anyone over the age of 12. This is $2 per adult more than last year, whether you buy in advance or on the gate, but advance tickets also include admission to the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum.  Children aged 12 and under get free Balloon Fiesta admission, but they must pay their way into the Balloon Museum ($1 for ages 4 – 12).

However, if you buy a pack of 5 tickets, you pay $35 – saving $1 a ticket or $5 in all. That offer is good both for advance purchases and on the gate, and gets you into five different sessions during Balloon Fiesta.   

Go to the Balloon Fiesta ticket office (4401 Alameda Blvd. NE) or purchase Balloon Fiesta tickets online, although note that there is a 60 cent per ticket fee for online sales. Or call 1-888-422-7277 for ticket information.

On Friday September 30, everyone can watch a free Balloon Fiesta preview with the Albuquerque Aloft community flights taking off from a reported 61 Albuquerque and Rio Rancho schools.

Pilots from Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta take to the skies from all points around town in a simultaneous launch coordinated by our friends over at KKOB 770 AM Radio. THAT sounds like a fun job! “OK guys, all together now, we have LIFT OFF!”

This is the only time that Fiesta balloonists launch outside Balloon Fiesta Park, so if you’re near a participating Albuquerque Aloft school, watch the skies overhead for up-close-and-personal views of the preview flights, before the 40th annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta officially starts on Saturday October 1.

Our understanding is that schools are not open for outsiders to come on to school grounds, but some schools may invite parents to attend the launch. Everyone else has to take a perch nearby to watch the balloons.

  • Where: See the list of Albuquerque Aloft schools
  • When: Friday September 30, 2011
  • Time: The launch is due to take place at 7:25 am

All scheduled balloon flights do of course depend on weather and safety concerns. Pilots may choose to stay on the ground if conditions are unsuitable to fly.

Find full information and schedules for the 2011 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

–Tania

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Balloon Fiesta Free Bike Valet Service

September 25, 2011 by  
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Park free at Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta when you get on your bike and beat the traffic.

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta free bicycle valet service lets cyclists park free again this year, throughout the 2011 Fiesta from October 1 – 9. That saves the $10 per car parking fee, and probably some sitting-in-traffic stress!

The service has been likened to a “coat check for bicycles” and bikes are stored securely while the rider is at the Balloon Fiesta sessions during these hours:

  • Morning Sessions: 5:30 – 10:30 am
  • Evening Sessions: 5 – to 9 pm

Take the bike trail running along the AMAFCA North Diversion Channel, underneath Paseo del Norte and Alameda, ending at the north of the Balloon Museum in the bike valet parking station.

Last year I saw loads of cyclists whizzing past my (slower) car on the way to the morning ballon ascensions and they looked very smug about it. Smugger still for free parking!  Balloon Fiesta officials remind cyclists that you’ll be arriving in the dark in morning sessions (well, you know that already). But easier to forget: although you’ll arrive in daylight for evening sessions, it’ll be dark when leaving after the evening events and fireworks, so bike lights and proper gear are essential.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta takes place from October 1 – 9, 2011.

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ABQ Trolley Glow Tours

August 1, 2011 by  
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Plan in advance for the ABQ Trolley Co. Glow Tours during Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Tickets are likely to sell out fast…

The 40th Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta runs from October 1 – 9, 2011, and tickets have just become available for the 2011 ABQ Trolley Glow Tours.  ABQ Trolley Co. run the tours on every evening there’s a Balloon Fiesta event, and tickets cost $50 including tax.

I reckon this is a very good deal – and a unique night out –  as the package includes:

  • The round-trip ride on the trolley (avoiding the traffic! Need I say more?)
  • Admission to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
  • Admission to the Chasers’ Club hospitality tent, including a hot dish, some beverages, and pastries
  • Admission to the private Chaser’s Lounge, with its bar and live music
  • Time to watch the Balloon Glow events and fireworks before you leave on the return trolley
  • A guide on the trolley and Albuquerque trivia while you ride, including local business giveaways

There are only 34 seats on the trolley, and last year those seats filled fast!  At time of writing, tickets are available for all the evening events, on October 1, 2, 6, 7, and 8.  My own favorite is the Special Shape Glowdeo. You kind of wonder how those balloons can ever fly, with shapes from Darth Vadar to giant houses.

Note that there are no refunds on these Albuquerque Trolley Co. tickets. Even if a Balloon Glow is cancelled due to wind or weather, the trolley still rolls, and there are still activities at Balloon Fiesta Park.

ABQ Trolley Co.  Trolley Glow tours depart at 5 pm from the Albuquerque Convention Center.

Here’s the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta schedule for 2011 to help plan your visit, although you need to book trolley tickets directly online with the ABQ Trolley Co.

–Tania

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$1 Off Balloon Museum with Rio Movie Ticket Stub

April 19, 2011 by  
Filed under Attractions, Kids, Movies

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Rio The Movie opened this weekend, and if you went to see it or if you plan to…. hold on to your ticket stub!

Until April 30, 2011, take your ticket stub for the family-friendly Rio The Movie to the Balloon Museum and they’ll knock $1 off admission.  Regular admission for kids aged 4 – 12 is only $1 – so with the movie ticket discount they get in free!

Rio The Movie features the voices of Anne Hathaway and Jesse Eisenberg, and it’s currently playing at cinemas including: Century 14 Downtown, Century Rio 24 and XD, UA Cottonwood Mall Stadium 16, UA Four Hills 10, and the Los Lunas Trans-Lux Starlight Cinema.

Balloon Museum admission prices before the Rio movie discount are:

  • Adults:  $4, or $3 for New Mexico residents with ID.
  • Seniors aged 65+:  $2
  • Children 4 – 12:  $1
  • Kids aged 3 and under always get free admission

The $1 off promo is through April 30 only, but there are other ways to enjoy Albuquerque’s Balloon Museum without paying a cent:

  • Free admission for all every Sunday from 9 am to 1 pm
  • Free admission on the first Friday of the month

These free ticket days both run year-round except during Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum is at 9201 Balloon Museum Dr NE.

–Tania

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