The Anderson-Abruzzo International Balloon Museum in Albuquerque soars with fun, and is perfectly located in the city that is considered the capital of ballooning. Walk in the door to see balloons and zepplins hanging from an oversized ceiling that seems to reach to the sky. Make a balloon rise at the touch of a button, get in a gondola and try to make your virtual hot air balloon lift. Learn to tie a knot so you can keep your balloon afloat. The Balloon Museum has fun, history, and lots of exhibits, all packed together in one soaring, open space that measures 25,000 square feet.
Visitors can learn about the history of ballooning, from its birth in 1783 to the present day. Hot air and gas balloons are used for exploring space, for use in science, and for adventure. They're part of the history of warfare and espionage. And of course, they're used heavily for fun. The museum overviews each of these areas of use in its exhibits.
Find out about instruments such as altimeters and aeronautic radios. Discover why weather conditions, topography, atmosphere and altitude are important for getting balloons off the ground.
Learn about aerial photography, stratospheric flight and record breaking parachute jumps. Discover how balloons were used in the Civil War, World War I and how the Japanese had balloon bombs in World War II.
But one of the best parts of the museum is the balloons themselves. See them hanging from the museum ceiling. Get in a gondola or two. Make one rise and interact with a virtual balloon to discover the joys of flight. The museum's exhibits are hands-on and interactive.
In addition to the museum's regular exhibits, it has several ongoing programs, such as Stories in the Sky. On Wednesdays from 9:30 a.m. to 10:15 a.m., children from six months to six and their adult companions can hear a story and engage in fun activities. Admission is free with this program, and families can discover the museum either before or after.
The museum also offers special exhibitions. Current and past exhibits include Fun and Games in Ballooning, Art of the Airship and Children of War, about the Fugo balloon bombs launched by the Japanese in World War II, and the Children's Peace Statue.
The museum also offers a view at unique collections, such as the balloon pins sold every year at the Balloon Fiesta. There is a gift shop and there are many engaging and informative docents on hand to answer questions.
9201 Balloon Museum Drive NE
Albuquerque, NM 87113
I-25 (exit 233), west on Alameda