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

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 (and I love it a lot), I dislike crowds, taking my kids places that are crowded, and waking my kids up early to go to crowded places.

A Moms Guide to Navigating Balloon FiestaBut, our beautiful balloon fiesta is worth the struggle!  Since this literally is not my first Glowdeo, here are some tips that I have learned over the years. I hope they help you enjoy your visit to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta!

A Mom’s Guide to Navigating the Balloon Fiesta

Buy your tickets ahead of time

Save yourself the hassle of standing in line when you get to the balloon park and buy tickets early.  Also, the park and ride tickets are a few dollars cheaper if purchased in advance.

Bring Cash and Card

There are ATMs at the park but navigating the crowds can be difficult.  Be sure you have both options just in case.

Pack Snacks –

Yes!  Snacks are allowed at the balloon park although bags are subject to search.

Leave early

Whether you are driving or taking advantage of the park and ride, plan to get there early in order to beat the traffic.  Aim for 5:30am (or earlier!) if you want to be there in time for the dawn patrol and trust me, you do!

Bring the stroller

Yes, you will get dirty looks.  Yes, it will get in the way.  But it will also contain your children and hold all the jackets you will shed as the morning warms up.

Pack a Bottle

If you are nursing and your baby will take a bottle then you will want to bring one.  Mornings are chilly and seating is limited so nursing a baby is extremely difficult at the balloon park.


Wear plenty of layers for the cold morning.  And don’t worry about where to put it all when the sun comes up because you brought the stroller!  Boom!  Problem solved.

Set Everyone’s Expectations

Talk to your kids ahead of time about what to expect.  If everyone has realistic expectations, there is a good chance the outing will be a success.

Pick a Spot

Pick a spot on the field and settle in instead of walking around from place to place.  Lawn chairs are allowed at the park as are blankets.  If you have little kids it might be easiest to settle into a spot and take it all in from there.

*Hint*-the far NORTH end of the field is usually much less crowded than the south end and is a great place to sit and take it all in.

Listen to the Zebras

Be respectful of the people in the striped shirts as they are the launch directors. They work hard to keep our balloon fiesta safe for everyone while still allowing people to experience the balloons up close.

A Moms Guide to Navigating Balloon Fiesta
If you don’t feel like fighting crowds at the balloon park, head over to Vista Del Norte Park between 7:00am and 8:00am.  The balloons fly over and land in the park almost every morning of the fiesta.

I hope that you have a happy visit to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta!

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