Balloon Fiesta Season FAQ

Have a Question About Balloon Fiesta Season?

The Balloon Museum Foundation is a neighboring organization to the annual Balloon Fiesta. While we are a separate organization, we are active and excited participants year after year! Because we run many events during Balloon Fiesta season at the museum, we regularly field questions from locals and visitors alike about how to get the most out of the festival experience and what is it like at the Balloon Museum during Balloon Fiesta.

Below are a few of the most common questions we hear. Whether your tickets are booked or if you’re only in the planning stages, we hope the answers below are helpful and that we see you in Albuquerque!


YES! The 49th Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta will be held October 2-10, 2021. For more information visit

The Balloon Museum is directly adjacent and south to the massive Balloon Fiesta Park and overlooks the entire field. It is an approximately 5-10 minute walk from the front of the Balloon Museum to the southern entrance of Balloon Fiesta park. During Balloon Fiesta vehicular traffic between the museum and the park is not permissible.

The address for the Balloon Museum is 9201 Balloon Museum Drive NE, Albuquerque, NM 87107. During Balloon Fiesta flying events (early mornings and some evenings), due to the high volume of traffic expect changes in traffic flow. Large streets around the festival and the museum such as San Mateo, Alameda and Jefferson may be one directional and/or portions closed to the general public for bus use. During Flying events, to access the Balloon Museum traffic must approach and travel from the west, heading east on Alameda to Balloon Museum Drive. Traffic does travel west on Alameda during flying events/glows. If you are coming from the East side of the city, take either Paseo Del Norte or Osuna Blvd west to 2nd Street. Turn north/right on 2nd Street to Alameda. Turn east/right on Alameda. Follow the traffic signs to Balloon Museum Drive. Turn north/left on Balloon Museum Drive.  If you are coming from the west side proceed to Alameda travel east to Balloon Museum drive and turn north/left. You must show a Balloon Museum parking pass or purchase day of parking. The Balloon Museum does not sell parking passes the day of the event, but Balloon Fiesta does sell limited spots in the Balloon Museum lot on the day of. The Balloon Museum parking lot is restricted to those with a designated parking pass during flying events (early am or glow evenings).  If you do not have a Museum Lot parking pass you will purchase and be directed to park in one of the many Balloon Fiesta lots based on availability. 

HOWEVER, if you wish to visit the Balloon Museum in between the flying events (from 10am-3pm) traffic flows regularly and the parking lot at the Balloon Museum is open and free for Museum visitors. 

Museum Lot Parking is on site, differently-abled accessible spaces are available for those with a valid tag, and Museum Lot spaces are just steps away from your Museum experience.  If you do not have a Museum Lot parking pass, follow the parking attendant instructions to park in the Balloon Fiesta lots.  We also highly recommend the Park & Ride, Bike Valet or Ride Shares services as alternative transportation options.  All of which deliver you to the transportation area or near the Balloon Museum.  See also “How do I get to the Balloon Museum?” 

The Balloon Museum Foundation offers three different tier levels of dining and viewing options at the Balloon Museum during Balloon Fiesta. The ATRIUM (VIP) level includes Museum onsite parking. Parking passes are mailed in advance via USPS.  If your order was placed too close to the event you will be instructed to pick up your package at the Balloon Museum Shoppe. Parking passes are limited due to extremely limited supply and are only available with dining packages. Parking passes to the Balloon Museum lot are not available for purchase as a stand alone item. 

Anticipate 30-90 minutes of heavy traffic to the area, especially after 5am.  Doors open to the dining events at Balloon Museum at 5:30am. The Dawn Patrol Ascension begins at 5:45am. Mass Ascension is at 7am. Meal service at dining events at Balloon Museum runs 6am-9:30am. 

It is not uncommon for people to travel very early to avoid some of the heavy traffic and then wait in their cars or outside till doors opens. 

There is heavy traffic because Balloon Fiesta is one of the most popular festivals in the USA! It is worth the travel and traffic. Approach the traffic with a sense of adventure, bring your favorite podcast or music. Be generous of spirit to other travelers, traffic police and volunteers. Also sometimes travelers worry that they will ‘miss’ the event because they were stuck in traffic. The balloons flying/glowing and the dining events are ongoing, if you miss the ‘start’ time, there is still so much happening all morning or evening. Now – if you arrive at 10am, you will have missed the morning balloons. 

OR help reduce the number of cars heading to Balloon Fiesta by trying Park and Ride or Bike Valet. 

The evening balloon glows begin at 7pm, however, we recommend trying to arrive, on site, as early as 4:45pm. Anticipate very heavy traffic after 5:00pm. Doors open at 5pm for the Balloon Museum dining events. Meal service runs from 5:30-8pm. Fireworks presented by Balloon Fiesta begin around 9pm. 

There is heavy traffic because Balloon Fiesta is one of the most popular festivals in the USA! It is worth the travel and traffic. Approach the traffic with a sense of adventure, bring your favorite podcast or music. Be generous of spirit to other travelers, traffic police and volunteers. 

OR help reduce the number of cars heading to Balloon Fiesta by trying Park and Ride or Bike Valet. 

Balloon Fiesta is about outdoor fun and comfort. Be casual and comfortable and if the wind moves you wear your most outrageous balloon hat covered with balloon pins! The mornings can feel like winter and the afternoons/evenings can feel more like summer. The dark pre-sunrise mornings are very cold. People often wear heavy coats, scarves, gloves, warm socks and shoes. The morning sunrise soon turns to full sun, a hat can be very helpful for the bright sun. The morning temperature warms as the sun rises, layers work well for changing temperatures. For the evenings, bring a light jacket/coat and comfortable shoes. 

Once your Elevated Viewing Event ticket has been processed, there are no refunds.

BALLOON FIESTA IS A WEATHER-DEPENDENT EVENT. While early October weather is generally ideal for hot-air ballooning, strong winds or storms may delay or cancel balloon events. 

However, even if the balloons are not able to inflate, the other programming still occurs such as vendors on Balloon Fiesta Park, fireworks in the evening and dining events at the Balloon Museum. 

Elevated Viewing Events at the Balloon Museum are rain or shine. The indoor Atrium or Skybox events are rain and shine, the meals and access to the museum are still available. The outdoor dining events, will still proceed if there is mild wind or rain. If the weather proves unsafe, and the outdoor dining events must be cancelled, a refund may be requested by October 31.  

Between July-September you may purchase Viewing Event passes from this website or in person or by phone (505-880-0500) or in person at the Museum Shoppe. These exclusive passes for this unique event are only available here and in the Balloon Museum Shoppe. You will not be able to purchase tickets anywhere else in the world! We anticipate all passes to be sold out by September. We strongly suggest purchasing your packages today, well in advance of the event.

Yes, we love groups! Group rates are subject to availability and may be limited to select dates. Large groups of 50 or more will be accommodated in a Skybox. Please contact us for rates and availability.  Foundation Office 505-880-0500.

The entire Balloon Museum is fully ADA compliant for your comfort and convenience.  The outdoor dining areas are also ADA compliant. The outdoor dining areas are in grass. 

Foundation members help us support the Balloon Museum and enjoy exclusive access and awesome discounts.

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