Guide to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

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Balloon Fiesta is a not-to-missed event for all Albuquerque families (and visitors, of course). But bringing kids to Balloon Fiesta can be a big undertaking. No worries though! There are certainly some things we can do to make it easier on ourselves.

balloon fiesta with kids, AlbuquerqueFirst things first, below are all the details for The 2021 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. 

  • It’s October 2-10.
  • Tickets are $15 per session. Kids under 12 are free.
  • This year, Balloon Fiesta will require masks for all guests in all indoor areas and in crowded outdoor settings.
  • For a more socially distanced balloon viewing experience, consider purchasing passes to view from the Balloon Museum. 

We’d like to thank Manzano Day School for sponsoring this Guide to Balloon Fiesta.

Manzano Day School is dedicated to innovative child-centered education, excellence in teaching, and Joy in Learning® to prepare children for a life of discovery and community involvement in our diverse world.

Founded in 1938, Manzano Day School is an independent, nonprofit elementary school for children in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. The school’s historic six-acre campus borders Old Town and downtown Albuquerque.

Get a jump-start on the 2022-2023 academic year by attending Manzano Day School’s first Open House of the season. Back by popular demand, this event will be virtual on Wednesday, September 29 at 9 a.m. Prospective parents will learn about Manzano Day School’s core values, how outstanding faculty inspire Joy in Learning® through our curriculum, the one-of-a-kind Fenton Ranch environmental education, and service learning projects, as well as the admission process and financial aid.

Check out these posts for tips from our contributors on going to Balloon Fiesta with your little ones.

A Moms Guide to Navigating the Balloon Fiesta

Balloon Fiesta:: A Mom’s Guide to Navigating the Balloon Fiesta

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Balloon Fiesta is almost here and I can hardly contain my excitement!  Fall is such a magical time in Albuquerque, but Balloon Fiesta is the cherry on top. As much as I love balloon fiesta...
albuquerque moms blog lifestyle photos albuquerque balloon fiesta

Visit the Balloon Fiesta Without Losing Your Children or Your Mind

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I love Balloon Fiesta. I've lived in New Mexico for 11 years, and the only year I did not attend the fiesta was the year I was eight months pregnant with my oldest daughter....

Bonus Tips ::

1. Balloon Glows

Consider going to a Balloon Glow in the evening. The morning launches are spectacular, but if you can’t bring yourself to get up that early with your littles, try a glow. The Special Shapes Glowdeo is always a hit!

2. Avoid the Crowds

If your kids aren’t in school yet or you have some flexibility with their schooling, attend Balloon Fiesta early in the week (Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday). APS’s fall break is on the Thursday and Friday of Balloon Fiesta, so you can expect those mornings to be a little more crowded.

3. Safety First When Bringing Kids to Balloon Fiesta

The New Mexico State Police will be at Balloon Fiesta during each session with their TAG YOUR TOTS program. Adults can register their children with the State Police and have a wristband placed on each of their children. If a child who has been separated from his or her parents is found, officials will immediately be able to contact the parents based upon the information on the child’s wristband. The TAG YOUR TOTS location is just south of the Main Stage.

4. First Aid

First Aid is located in the Public Safety Building southeast of the Main Stage. If you need assistance, contact any public safety officer.

5. Balloon Trading Cards

Older children might enjoy collecting balloon trading cards. The balloon pilots and crew create trading cards for their balloons that kids can collect. If you’re really into these, go at the beginning of the week because the balloon crews usually run out toward the end of the Fiesta.

6. Ride Your Bike

Have you ever ridden your bike to Balloon Fiesta? Strap the babes on the back of your bike and avoid the traffic. Balloon Fiesta even has a bike valet to keep your ride safe while you enjoy the festivities. The bike trail runs along the AMAFCA North Diversion Channel,  crosses underneath Paseo del Norte and Alameda Blvd. continuing north where it crosses from the west side to the east, ending just north of the Balloon Museum.

Most important tip of all . . . have fun and make great memories!

Are you visiting from out of town? Check out our guide to travel in New Mexico.  


Have you ever wanted to know what it’s like to be on a balloon crew? One of our writers tells all about it below.

Chase Crew :: Behind the Scenes at Balloon Fiesta

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It's 2:30 am and my alarm goes off. I jump out of bed. Yes, that's right, I said jump. Why? Because IT'S BALLOON FIESTA!!!! The most wonderful time of the year! As Crew Chief...
This post is sponsored by Manzano Day School. Albuquerque Mom strives to partner with businesses we feel bring value to our readers.
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Vanessa loves her people and loves Albuquerque and has lots to say about both. She’s married to her high school sweetheart, Nate, and they have three kids (Micah, Corban, & Evangeline). Originally from Florida, she’s lived in Albuquerque since 2009 when she and her family relocated to start a new church. Even though she misses wearing flip-flops year-round, New Mexico has truly enchanted her, and the desert feels like home. When she is not chauffeuring children about town, Vanessa works as the Director of Strategy and part-owner of Truly Social Digital Marketing Agency, enjoys volunteering at church, loves watching college football, and drinks a little too much coffee. She is passionate about connecting women with each other, loving her people, and finding the good in her place. Follow her on Instagram @vanessamaebush.

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