How to Get Your Child a FREE Balloon Ride at the Spirit Of Boise Balloon Classic
Sure, being able to show off a cool toy, rock from the backyard or seashells from the family trip to the coast during “Show and Tell” at school is cool. But an experience like this? It will give your kids a memory that they’ll carry with them for a lifetime!
The Scott Spencer Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic kicks off on Wednesday, August 30. It’s not just the first day of one of the most colorful summer events in Idaho, it’s also CapEd Credit Union Kids’s Day! On Kids’ Day, the pilots will pull out and inflate their balloons but will not leave Ann Morrison Park. Instead, the pilots want to give kids a taste of what the Treasure Valley’s ballooning community is really like. Kids will be 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 freak out, mom and dad! You kids won’t be floating off into the blue skies over Boise. These are what they call a “tethered ride.” The balloons are held down to the ground by strong ropes to prevent them from floating away. If your kids are afraid of heights, there is usually one pilot who will stay completely on the ground but will pull their burners to show kids that part of the balloon.
You’ll be able to take all the photos of your kiddos posing with the balloons that you’d like. Depending on the weather, the first inflation takes place around 6:45 a.m. with the pilots ready to start giving tethered rides around 7:25. Pilots will continue to give tethered rides until they run out of fuel.
Parents are reminded that to participate in Kids’ Day, their 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, like all events at the Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic, will happen 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.
There's no steering wheel 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" Quinn’s Pond.
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.
Help us end the summer at one of Boise's most beloved FREE family events! Get the complete schedule for Spirit of Boise 2023 HERE. The week also includes the Night Glow Spectacular on Friday, September 1 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 2022 to see what you have to look forward to!