Want to treat your kiddos to a once in a lifetime experience before school? Bring them to the Scott Spencer Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic on Wednesday, August 31!

Wednesday isn't just the first day of the 31st balloon classic, it's also CapEd Credit Union Kids’ Day! It's the one morning of the balloon classic where the pilots don't plan to leave the park and that's because they want to give Treasure Valley kids a real taste of what ballooning is all about! On Kid's Day, your little ones are invited to jump into the basket of one of their favorite balloons to experience what a ride in a hot air balloon feels like!

Don’t worry parents, these rides are what the balloon pilots call a “tethered ride.” Your kids won’t be floating off into the blue skies over Boise. The balloons are tied to the ground with strong ropes to prevent them from floating away.

Michelle Heart, Townsquare Media
Michelle Heart, Townsquare Media

You’ll also be able to take all the photos of your kiddos posing with the balloons that you’d like. Depending on weather, the first inflation takes place around 6:45 a.m. and once the balloons are inflated, pilots will continue to give tethered rides until they run out of fuel.

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Parents are reminded that to participate in Kid's Day your child must be able to sit in the basket on their own without parental assistance and exercise patience as the free tethered rides happen on a first come, first serve basis. This event happens weather permitting.

Once the Spirit of Boise gets underway, launches happen Thursday-Sunday. As long as the weather conditions are right, you'll see the balloons in the sky shortly after sunrise. If you're really lucky, you might get to see one close up when it lands.

Michelle Heart, Townsquare Media
Michelle Heart, Townsquare Media

There's no steering in a hot air balloon, so pilots will literally fly their balloons where the wind takes them. During the Spirit of Boise, it's not unusual to see one landing on a playground or dipping down to "kiss" the Boise River.

When we flew with Laurie Spencer (the event's organizer) she landed our balloon in the bed of the pick-up truck that was following us to take the balloon back to its trailer at the park. It was a cool experience and Laurie is one of the best pilots in the WORLD! If you remember James Franco arriving at his Jimmy Kimmel appearance in the "Oz: The Great and Powerful" hot air balloon, Lori was actually hidden in the basket, helping to navigate it to a safe landing. She and her late husband, Scott, were part of the team that flew the balloon to multiple publicity appearances for the movie.

"Journey To OZ Balloon" Arrives In Central Park For Disney's "Oz The Great And Powerful"
Larry Busacca, Getty Images

Help us end the summer at one of Boise's most beloved FREE family events! Get the complete schedule for Spirit of Boise 2022 HERE. This year’s event will include a special tribute launch in honor of KTVB meteorologist, Larry Gebert, who passed away earlier this year due to complications following a heart attack. Gebert was part of the team that gave weather briefs to the pilots each morning of the Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic for many many years. The week also includes the Night Glow Spectacular on Friday, September 2 and Dawn Patrol launches on Saturday and Sunday.

Not familiar with Dawn Patrol? It just got added back to the event in 2021. This is when the pilots launch at the first sign of sunlight so they're high in the sky by the time the sun comes up!

Never been to the Spirit of Boise before? Check out these pictures we captured in 2021 to see what you have to look forward to!

Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic CapEd Kids Day 2021

The 2021 Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic is underway! On Wednesday morning, pilots inflated their balloons but stayed in Ann Morrison Park to give kids free tethered rides before school!

Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic Great Launch 2021

On Sunday, September 5 the pilots participating at the Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic performed a mass ascension known as "The Great Launch" where all the balloons try to clear the field at the same time. It's a photo-op that few have had the chance to capture before!

30 Dazzling Photos Of What You Missed at the Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic Night Glow 2021

On Friday night, 16 of the pilots flying in this year's Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic inflated their balloons to put on a stunning, uniquely Boise light show! 

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