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 Free Balloon Rally

February 5, 2013 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 weekend in anticipation of Valentine’s Day, with the Free Friends and Lovers Balloon Rally on the mornings of February 9 and 10, 2013. Well over 100 balloons 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 around sunrise – 7 am. The balloon rally by local pilots is a Valentine’s tradition, organized by the Albuquerque Aerostat Ascension Association.

This weekend also sees the opening of a new exhibit at the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum, to celebrate Albuquerque’s special relationship with hot air balloons and the history of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

‘We Fill The Sky With Dreams’ opens on February 9 and runs until March 30. If you’re going to the balloon rally on Sunday morning, you’d be smart to head over afterward to see this new exhibit, as Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum admission is free on Sunday from 9 am to 1 pm.

–Tania

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ABQ Balloon Flight 50% Off with Champagne, Breakfast

November 2, 2012 by  
Filed under Half Off Deals, Sport & Leisure

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Take an Albuquerque balloon flight with champagne and breakfast for $95. The half-price deal is available for a limited time, and once you’ve purchased the certificate you can choose when to fly through May 6, 2013.

This Rainbow Ryders deal might be just the ticket if you want to take a balloon adventure at a price that doesn’t require a bank loan. For $95 you get a balloon ride with a champagne toast and continental breakfast, discounted by more than half from the usual price of $195. They throw in a commemorative pin and a flight certificate too.

The Rainbow Ryders Hot Air Balloon discount offer is available for a limited time from Living Social, but then you can redeem your certificate for a flight through May 6, 2013.  Could be a nice idea if you have family or friends visiting this winter or in the spring, or to give as a holiday gift.  Each person can buy up to four tickets to ride, plus more to give as gifts.

Rainbow Ryders is of course the official balloon ride operator for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, and has taken people on balloon rides since 1982.

The flight is with fully licensed pilots, and if you want to take kids for an on-the-cheap balloon ride, the minimum age for flyers is five years.

–Tania. FYI:  I’ve given my Living Social affiliate links. To help support ABQ on the Cheap (it doesn’t cost you anything), please use the links. Thanks!

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ABQ Balloon Fiesta Free Bike Valet Service

October 1, 2012 by  
Filed under Balloon Fiesta

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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  
Filed under Attractions, Balloon Fiesta, Kids

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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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ABQ Balloon Flight 50% Off with Champagne, Breakfast: $97

April 27, 2012 by  
Filed under Half Off Deals, Sport & Leisure

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Take an Albuquerque balloon flight with champagne and breakfast for $97. It’s the last day of this half-price deal, and once purchased you can choose when to fly through September 16, 2012.

This Rainbow Ryders deal might be just the ticket if you want to take a balloon adventure at a price that doesn’t require a bank loan. For $97 you get a balloon flight with a champagne toast and continental breakfast, discounted by half, from the usual price of $195. The price for a couple (or any other twosome) is $190 for two, which makes it an even better price break per person.

The Rainbow Ryders Hot Air Balloon discount offer is on its final day (through Saturday April 28) but then you can redeem the certificate for a flight through September 16, 2012.  Could be a nice idea if you have family or friends visiting this summer.  Each person can buy one deal (whether the one person or two person option) and can also give three as gifts.

Rainbow Ryders is of course the official balloon ride operator for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, and has taken people on balloon rides since 1982.

Flight time is an hour to 90 minutes with fully licensed pilots, and if you want to take kids for an on-the-cheap balloon ride, the minimum age for flyers is five years.

–Tania. FYI:  I’ve given my Groupon affiliate links. To help support ABQ on the Cheap (it doesn’t cost you anything), please use the links. Thanks!

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ABQ Balloon Flight, Champagne, Breakfast: $97

April 13, 2012 by  
Filed under Half Off Deals, Sport & Leisure

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Take an Albuquerque balloon flight with champagne and breakfast for $97, in a time-limited deal that lets you fly through September 16, 2012.

If you want to take a balloon adventure at a price that doesn’t require a bank loan, this Rainbow Ryders deal might be just the ticket. For $97 you get a balloon flight with a champagne toast and continental breakfast, discounted by half, from the usual price of $195. The price for a couple (or any other twosome) is $190 for two, which makes it an even better price break.

The Rainbow Ryders Hot Air Balloon discount offer is available today in a limited time deal, but then you can redeem the certificate for a flight through September 16, 2012.  Could be a nice idea if you have family or friends visiting this summer.  Each person can buy one deal (whether the one person or two person option) and can also give three as gifts.

Rainbow Ryders is of course the official balloon ride operator for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. The company has taken people on balloon rides since 1982 – back when those of us ancient enough wore silly hairstyles, and when Aaron Paul was only three years old and had no idea that one day he’d be a) famous for his role in Breaking Bad and b) griped at for expressing his dismay at being burgled in what sounded to me like a perfectly reasonable response to a distressing experience.  But I digress.

Flight time is an hour to 90 minutes with fully licensed pilots, and if you want to take kids for an on-the-cheap balloon ride, the minimum age for flyers is five years.

–Tania. FYI:  I’ve given my Groupon affiliate links. To help support ABQ on the Cheap (it doesn’t cost you anything), please use the links. Thanks!

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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  
Filed under Attractions, Events, Kids

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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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