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National Balloon Museum

Indoor $
Aeronautics Museum, Transportation Museums, School Trip, Educational, Touristy
1601 North Jefferson Way, Indianola, IA
URL: National Balloon Museum  Phone: 515-961-3714

Activity Overview

The National Balloon Museum and U.S. Ballooning Hall of Fame is a museum dedicated to ballooning and its history. It is located in Indianola, a small city south of Des Moines, which is known for its annual hot air balloon event, the National Balloon Classic, which draws in visitors from all over the country.

This one-of-a-kind museum is filled with dozens of fascinating ballooning exhibits and artifacts that will teach your family all about this awe-inspiring form of transport.

Things to Do

  • Visit the museum's Children's Learning Center, which allows kids to play and learn about ballooning at the same time. Features include the "Book Basket" where they can read books about ballooning and the "Hot Air Pilot" video game, which gives visitors of all ages the opportunity to try to fly a virtual hot air balloon.
  • Pretend you're flying high above the ground and have your photo taken in the giant balloon basket in the Children's Learning Center!
  • Check out the Iowa Balloon in the museum's collection. This massive hot air balloon featuring an Iowa State Flag design hangs on one of its walls.

National Balloon Museum Insider Tips

  • Don't miss the exhibit on Tracy Barnes' altitude record setting flight! It showcases the styrofoam basket he built in 1964, which he then flew up to 38,650 feet, earning him 11 world altitude records!
  • Make sure to visit the Ballooning History exhibit so that the whole family can learn about the evolution of hot air balloons.
  • If you're visiting in the summer, check to see if your trip will coincide with the National Balloon Classic. Attendees are able to schedule balloon rides, which makes for an unforgettable family experience. Find more information about this annual hot air balloon event on their website.

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