Balloon pilots are the cowboys of the air, roaming the wide-open skies and herding children's runaway kites. Giddy up, up, and away with this Groupon.
$329 for a Hot-Air-Balloon Ride for Two in a Shared Basket ($450 Value)
After witnessing or participating in the inflation of a vibrantly colored hot-air balloon, riders stand in its basket as they soar over homes, buildings, and fields on flights lasting 45–60 minutes. The adventure includes a traditional champagne toast as well as the opportunity to help pack up the balloon. Flights are scheduled around sunrise and sunset to take advantage of the best weather conditions.
Wayne Standefer, the head pilot at Balloon Adventures, is well versed in Dallas-area scenery and topography, knowledge that helps him regale passengers with information during flights. The adventure begins as the aircraft is brought to life before your eyes. Once his balloon reaches its full height—more than 10 stories—Standefer invites you inside the tightly woven wicker basket to soar above rooftops and trees and dip low over fields and rivers. Total flight time is usually around an hour, though the whole experience can take three times as long from start to finish.
Balloon Adventures also charters its services for weddings, arranges surprise flights for special occasions, and offers instruction in specific tasks such as rigging the balloon, navigating in-flight, and shooing away flocks of paper airplanes. In addition, the company participates in hot-air-balloon festivals, where clouds of bright purple, orange, and yellow balloons fill the daytime sky or illuminate the festival grounds at night.