2022 National Balloon Classic Guide

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2022 National Balloon Classic Guide for Families

It’s that time of year and you will see lots of hot air balloons being released into the open sky. Every year The National Balloon Classic fills the Iowa sky with brilliant colors and beauty in Indianola, Iowa. For many, this is a favorite summer event for most families. This year’s balloon festival begins Friday, July 29, and goes on every day until Saturday, August 6.

This special event is not only filled with balloons but there is live music and entertainment, kids’ activities, fabulous food vendors, fireworks, and more! An entire nine-day event filled with great family fun. Below you will find an outline of what you can expect each day. 

Ticket Prices

There are two ways to purchase tickets for this annual event. No tickets are sold at the gate.

  • Online – $10 plus ticketing fees (parking fee is included) for people 6 years and older. Ages 5 years and under are free.
  • Retail – $12 (purchase tickets at various locations and parking fee is included) for people 6 years and older. Ages 5 years and under are free.


Like most hot air balloon festivals, the National Balloon Classic offers a full schedule of family-friendly events including fantastic fireworks, live entertainment, hot air balloons, and much more. Below is the 2022 schedule. Download the entire guide and schedule. Please remember all events and schedules are weather permitting. There are no refunds, but you can use the ticket for another date of the 2022 National Balloon Classic.

The schedule is from National Balloon Classic Visitors Guide.

What is Nite Glow Extravaganza? 

This is when inflated balloons light up the dark skies! The pilots fire their burners and the balloons create a mystical glow. This is such a fun sight to see for the night owls.

What is Dawn Patrol?

Early birds can enjoy this one-of-a-kind view. Enjoy the balloon glow during a morning flight.

What is the Balloon Flight Over Des Moines?

On Monday, July 25 you will see tons of hot air balloons fly over Des Moines. The launch location has not been released yet. The scheduled rain/wind date is Tuesday, July 26.

What is Mass Ascension?

Mass Ascension is when all 100+ balloons launch from the Memorial Balloon Field during the same time frame. 

What is Shape Inflate?

Shape Inflate features unique special shapes of hot air balloons that fill the sky with a distinct charm.

Some tips

  • No outside food and drink are allowed. Food concessions and beverage options are available for purchase.
  • Make sure you bring cash. Cash is only accepted. There are ATMs on the grounds.
  • No pets.
  • Keep an eye on social media each day if you suspect weather may cancel the flight for the day. All evening flights are launched at 6:30 p.m.
  • Get there early! Traffic can be chaotic so plan ahead. Gates open at 4 p.m.
  • Bring blankets and/or chairs.

All dates, times, and events have been added to our event calendar. Download our FREE app to have easy access to what is going on.


Erin Huiatt

Erin is a reliable resource and stepping stone for women and families to find support and make connections within our community. She wants families to feel confident to reach out and ask for help and advice to get pointed in the right direction. She enjoys traveling and exploring with her two children in tow!

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