Hot air ballooning was man's
earliest form of flight. Ballooning has been in existence
for more than two hundred years, starting in 1783.
Our company, Z-Balloon
Adventures, has been providing safe, enjoyable hot air
balloon rides for more than 19 years. Our Chief
Commercial Pilot, Dan Campbell has been involved in ballooning
Following the traditions
of the early aeronauts, we will embark on a journey filled with
moments of excitement and serenity alike. As our guests of honor,
your flight is guaranteed to be memorable and breathtaking!
is the largest and most experienced balloon company in Iowa,
centrally located in Des Moines Iowa and flying both Polk and
Warren County (Home of the National
Balloon Classic). We provide champagne hot air
balloon rides, corporate hot air
balloon advertising, New
LTD. hot air balloon sales, hot
air balloon flight instruction , Cold
Air Rooftop Advertising Balloons , Aerial
Advertising Blimps. Plus we have the ability
to take a loved ones cremains or ashes
aloft over their favorite place to be scattered by the family
members or by us. We can also provide weddings and balloon
a Splash and Dash with the RE/MAX Balloon just south of
Des Moines Iowa. We are being followed by David
Barker from France.
do we fly?
We have different flight
areas, depending on which way the
wind blows. We have to setup our flight path so that we have
available landing sights since our steering is limited to flowing
with the winds. We schedule and fly hot air balloon rides
year-round in each area.
In Des Moines, we
fly over the city with our commercial advertising balloons.
For the most part, our ride balloons are primarily done on the
south side of Des Moines and the Indianola Iowa area.
This is to allow us ample places to land. Landowners tend
to get a little upset if you land in their crops! Can you blame
them? (NO, we don't land in crops!)
Our flights often take us
over the beautiful Polk and Warren county countryside.
Close enough to see the city, yet out in the country!
We will be floating along gently, with just us and nature and
your friends! Beautiful!
In Indianola, we launch
our hot air balloons primarily just a few minutes south of town
to just north of Indianola.
Call us the day of your flight
between 12:15PM and 1PM for driving directions to our launch
site of the day. To schedule a flight in any of our areas, call
us at 515-265-2402.
Events & Group Flights
For occasions such as company
picnics, workshops and other functions, we can
can easily handle parties of people using a tethered
hot air balloon. Or we can do multiple balloons and do
larger parties. Large groups will be divided into groups of
2 to 6 passengers per balloon. Group rates apply for ten or
more passengers booked at one time. Call for pricing.
Amazing, unique and extraordinary
Dawn Patrol Packages are available for a premium. Check
out our one-of-a-kind ballooning expeditions close to home.
We are the only hot air balloon company in the Midwest that
offers balloon flights in the dark!
Foliage Sunset Flight over Muscatine, Iowa
can we fly?
We fly hot air balloons
year-round, seven days a week. Weekends always tend to fill
up first, so if you plan on a weekend flight, be sure to schedule
in advance to guarantee best date availability. However, we
can often schedule your flight with a day's notice (sometimes
In the autumn, the leaves'
spectacular color changes are a show not to be missed! The fall
is one of our busiest times of the year for just that reason
(especially fall weekends). Book early in the season to ensure
your date is available.
As a rule of thumb, we recommend
booking your preferred balloon flight date in advance to be
certain it will be available. However, last-minute bookings
are always possible - just give us a call to find out if we
have immediate availability.
As always, all hot air balloon
flights are weather permitting and at the discretion of the
pilot-in-command. We have a 100% Safety Record and we work hard
to maintain our record!
do our balloon flights depart?
We only launch twice a day
- at sunrise and 2 hours before sunset. These times are when
the winds are the calmest to allow for a most enjoyable flight.
During the middle of the day, it's usually too unstable to fly
due to thermal activity and wind gusts. As an added bonus, sunrise
& sunset are the most breathtaking times of day for balloon
photography. The vivid light and rich color of the low sun on
the horizon allows for many fantastic photo opportunities.
For morning flights, we will
meet at the launch site approximately 30 minutes before sunrise.
In the afternoons, we generally meet 2 1/2 hours before sunset.
Be sure to call at the designated time that is included
in your Confirmation Letter and we will inform you
of the meeting time and launch site when you call.
|Passengers enjoying their flight over Downtown
Des Moines Iowa!
High/Fast/Far will we fly?
Since balloons only travel
as fast as the wind is blowing, we won't go much faster than
8 miles per hour near the ground. If the winds low to the ground
are any quicker than that, takeoffs and landings become a bit
tricky. In those cases, we simply don't fly. There's an old
and wise saying we use in the ballooning circle - "It's
better to be on the ground wishing we were up there, than to
be in the air wishing we were down here!"
Most of our hot air balloon
flights last over an hour, so we will cover anywhere from 1
to 10 miles in that time. You'll traverse lots of countryside
and witness diverse changes in scenery on a typical balloon
ride in Iowa. We have never had any two rides alike!
Something we are quite proud of!
As to how high we'll be soaring,
we can fly anywhere from treetop level to many thousands of
feet up! Down low among the trees is arguably the most enjoyable
part of any flight. You'll be able to pick leaves from the tops
of trees and converse with earthbound folks as we gently float
We also like to climb up
high to give passengers an expansive view of Central Iowa from
a thousand feet up. On a clear day as seen from a hot air balloon,
we can usually see about 30 miles!
the Des Moines River on a recent morning flight.
afraid of heights! What should I expect?
Acrophobia: The fear
of heights. I'll venture to guess perhaps 80% or more of all
our passengers have some degree of apprehension about leaving
For those passengers who
are adventurous enough to conquer their own fears and take to
the air, 99.9% of them get back on the ground and vow to come
back and do it again with us!
There's a simple explanation
for this seemingly remarkable phenomenon:
When looking straight
down the side of a tall building, parking garage or similar
high place, you are able to visualize your physical connection
to the ground. This actual perceived height is what makes
you step back from the edge, grasp that railing a little tighter,
or in extreme cases, get a little sick to your stomach. Not
However, in a
hot air balloon basket, there is no visible connection to
the ground. This detachment from the earth essentially removes
any uneasy sensations of height. Furthermore, there is no
relative altitude in a balloon - whether two feet above the
treetops or two thousand feet up, it all feels the the same.
But the view is much better from up high!
We're sure you'll have no
worries once you're up there. If you can get past your initial
concern about leaving the ground, you'll be just fine!
about motion sickness?
Turbulence is unheard of,
as we are not fighting the wind like an airplane has to. Since
the hot air balloon floats along with the wind, there's no movement
to worry about.
While airborne, the basket
is perfectly balanced underneath the balloon and there is no
rocking sensation. The entire flight is very smooth, and changes
in altitude are gradual and hardly noticeable. Passengers who
suffer from even the most severe cases of motion sickness will
not feel any effects from a balloon ride.
beautiful shot of the Des Moines River for a fly out with
the RE/MAX Balloon for "Race For The Cure".
Everybody is welcome to fly
with us! We've flown passengers from age 6 months to 96 years
old. However, there are a few requirements we need to stand
by to make the ride pleasant and enjoyable for all.
You should be in good physical
shape with no recent surgeries, broken bones or other medical
issues which may affect your ability to take part in a physical
activity. You'll also need to be able to stand for the duration
of the balloon flight (at least one hour). It is important that
we be informed of all potential medical/physical problems at
the time of flight reservation. In most cases there is no reason
for us not to fly a passenger, but we do need to be aware. The
safety of our friends and passengers is paramount.
weather is the most influential factor on any hot air balloon
flight, and the winds will determine our landing conditions.
Despite all the advances in modern forecasting technology and
up-to-the-minute aviation weather resources we have at our command,
weather is still ultimately unpredictable in flight. Keeping
that in mind, there is always the possibility of an occasional
windy, bumpy landing. In this case, the basket may make a firm
touchdown, tip over in the direction of travel, and drag along
the ground until the balloon deflates and we come to a final
For many people, this is
an exciting addition to an already adventurous flight! However,
for others, a hard landing may not be quite what they expected
at the end of a graceful balloon ride. We like to educate and
prepare all our passengers that every flight has the potential
to end this way. Although we will never launch when conditions
are expected to result in such an exciting landing, there's
always the possibility we might have a little more fun than
we anticipated. Our professional pilot is skilled and prepared
to handle any possible situation in the air.
Ballooning is one of the
safest forms of aviation, but it still has inherent dangers
like all other outdoor recreational activities. Please be aware
of your physical limitations when scheduling a balloon ride,
as it is important to understand all the possible risks involved.
Children are always welcomed,
however they should be at least 42 inches tall to be able to
see over the basket edge. We don't often recommend children
under six years of age, mainly because they'll have to stand
still for an hour. Most kids that young will get fidgety and
restless after a few minutes of standing in the same place.
As well, many youngsters are afraid of the loud noise the burner
makes. However, if you're sure your young child will be willing
and able to behave well, we'll be glad to have them join us
on the balloon flight.
We regret that we cannot
take up those who are far along in pregnancy. If you wait a
few years and take your child up when they're old enough to
appreciate it, it'll be a much more enjoyable experience for
the both of you.
Per FAA regulations, intoxicated
passengers cannot be flown.
should I wear and bring?
There's no noticeable temperature
difference at the altitudes we normally fly, so you should dress
for an outdoor activity according to the season and temperature
of that day. It's probably best to wear clothes that you aren't
afraid to get wet or dirty, although we certainly won't aim
to do such things! The temperature above is usually the
same as on the ground. So no need for a parka in the summer.
Waterproof shoes or boots
are a good idea in the mornings, as it's not uncommon for the
ground to be very wet with dew. Shorts and skirts may not be
suitable for some of our landing spots, so they are discouraged
for safety reasons. Hiking boots, sneakers, or a comfortable
flat shoe are the preferred footwear. Heeled shoes should be
avoided at all costs.
Feel free to bring along
your camera. Bring twice as much film as you think you'll need,
and then some! We recommend disposable cameras, in case you
forget yours, we usually carry a few in the chase vehicle. You'll
be able to capture beautiful pictures aloft to remember your
flight by and to show friends your exciting adventure. We cannot
be responsible for personal property.
breathtaking sunrise hot air balloon flight. Hot air balloon
rides are offered at sunrise or two hours before sunset.
Please call us
at (515) 265-2402 for balloon rides in Des
Moines or Indianola, Iowa.
We'll be happy to arrange
your reservations and answer any questions you might have. Alternatively,
continue to the reservations page below to submit your information.
We will try to take care of you as soon as possible.
Please be aware that due
to the high volume of online reservation requests we receive
daily, your best bet is to call us directly
at (515) 265-2402 to reserve your desired flight date, especially
on short notice.
Hot air balloon ride Gift
Certificates are always available and make wonderful
gifts for friends, family and loved ones. Put someone on cloud
nine by giving the gift of flight! Give us a call for gift certificate
Continue to this
page for our premium Adventure
Flight hot air balloon expeditions.
for an immediate response!
forward to sharing a truly wonderful adventure with you.
Call us: (515)
Anywhere in Iowa
such thing as a free balloon ride?
up right now or
call if you'd like to help us out in exchange for balloon rides.
We'd be delighted to have you come out and crew for us the next
time we go out for a flight. The more you help out, the more
you'll get to fly.
get involved today, click here
All Photos are the exclusive property of Z-Balloon
Adventures unless stated otherwise.
No pictures may be used without our express written
permission. Copyright 2008