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Family Vacations in New Mexico

Family Vacations in New Mexico: Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

During the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, the daytime sky is dotted with a rainbow of colors, and at night, fireworks light up the sky.

Hot air balloons of all shapes, sizes, and colors fill the fall sky during Albuquerque's balloon festival, the largest of its kind in the world. You'll see a string of chili peppers, a reclining chair, Chinese pagodas, and Russian dolls as they ascend into the sky.

For the best viewing, choose early morning when the majestic balloons are beginning their ascents. The sonorous hiss of hot air filling the balloons as they are prepared for their skyward journey adds to the excitement. Certain mornings have mass ascensions -- a simultaneous launch of all the festival balloons. Later in the day, book your own balloon flight and take your family up into the clear New Mexico sky.


Come back in the evening for the Balloon Glow, when more than 100 balloons are lit in unison and the night sky blazes in a panorama of luminous colored globes. For two nights only, shaped balloons are featured in an event called the Glowdeo.

The beauty of the balloon festival -- particularly the Glowdeo -- can't be matched, but visit the New Mexico Missions and you'll see a different kind of beauty. Continue to the next page to learn more.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Information

Address: Balloon Fiesta Park

Balloon Museum Dr. NE, one mile W. of I-25

Albuquerque, NM

Telephone: 505/821-1000, 888/422-7277

Hours of Operation: First week in Oct.

Admission: $6 adult; kids free

To learn more about family vacation destinations, see:

  • Family Vacations: Learn about hundreds of family vacations in destinations all over North America.
  • New Mexico State Guide: Learn about Mobil Travel Guide-rated hotels and restaurants in New Mexico, as well as other recreational activities.
  • Scenic Drives: For those who think that getting there is half the fun, we have compiled more than 100 of the most scenic drives throughout the country.