Balloons Over The Rainbow offers two distinctly different types of balloon rides. Our standard flight carries up to 8 passengers, and our private flight never carries more than two.
A Standard Flight, also called group flights are sold per person in increments from 1 to 8. Invite as many, or as few, to come with you as you would like. Buy what you need, we take care of filling the rest of the basket. Standard rides are a ton of fun. You will likely make new friends, as they always turn into a very fun social event!
To order a Flight Certificate, please call 314-402-8010
A Private Flight is just what the name implies, it is purchased for two people only (a couple), and that couple is accompanied only by the pilot on their flight. If you want to propose, celebrate an anniversary, or just have a quieter, more intimate flight, this is the right choice. These are just as much fun, just more private.
To order a Flight Certificate, please call 314-402-8010
- Where and when we fly
- Balloons Over The Rainbow balloon rides launch from local parks, schools and other private launch sites within Jefferson and St. Louis counties. Balloons Over The Rainbow meets its passengers at our new store located at 1640 Gravois Road, High Ridge, MO 63049. The meeting times are typically about 1/2 hour before sunrise, launching just after sunrise, and 3 hours before sunset launching about 2 hours before sunset. Plan on being in the air for an hour, and spending about 4 hours on this adventure of a lifetime.
- Is there a ballooning season in St. Louis?
- While we do fly year round, the majority of our flights occur between May and November. Our weekend flights tend to fill up very quickly especially in the fall when the leaves are changing and around holidays, so please plan accordingly when scheduling. We recommend making your reservations early in order to ensure your desired date and time are available.
- St. Louis weather and ballooning
- Anyone who tells you they can guarantee you can fly in a balloon on a
certain day in St. Louis, is pulling a fast one. It's St. Louis weather,
and it changes often and sometimes with little or no notice. Rescheduling
due to weather is not uncommon in St. Louis. Some years are much worse
When you make a reservation, we reserve that flight window for you so that if we fly at that time, you will be with us. Simply put, there are limits on what conditions we can fly in. We won't fly if the winds are forecasted to be over about 7 knots, ceilings are low, the surrounding weather is risky, there are thunderstorms within 100 miles, or ambient temperatures are over 92 degrees.
Don't worry if we don't get to fly on your day due to weather, if weather forces a cancellation, we will reschedule your flight for another time. It is not uncommon to reschedule flights in this area due to weather. All flights are always weather permitting and at the discretion of the Pilot in Command. That is why unlike most of our competitors, our flight certificates do not expire, are fully transferrable, and are refundable prior to your first scheduled flight date. Please see our policy page for complete rules governing flight certificates.
- How to dress and what to bring
- Please dress for the temperature and conditions we have on the ground.
If this is a winter flight, please dress in layers so that if you get warm,
you can remove a layer to stay comfortable. Natural fibers are also better
then man-made as they are less apt to be melted if they get near the burner.
Please note that the burner provides little if any heat to the passengers
and pilot in the winter as it all goes into the balloon, so dress accordingly.
Do not wear open toed shoes or shoes with heals. We also ask that our female
passengers not wear skirts. In summer months, we also strongly recommend
a hat to protect you from the radiant heat, and it will be warmer in the
basket as a result of the burners.
Feel free to bring a camera or video camera. Take TONS of pictures. If you get any really good ones, please forward copies to us, we will post them on our web site for you. Please ensure you bring a padded case though so it doesn't get broken on landing. Be advised that we are NOT responsible for personal effects on the flight. We recommend lots of batteries and memory cards or film for your camera's, you will take way more pictures than you think you will.
- Physical limitations
- We make every attempt to accommodate anyone who wants to fly, but there
are limitations on what we can do. In order to fly should have had no recent
surgeries, not be pregnant, no broken bones, and if you are on medications,
you should consult your physician to ensure they won't affect you at altitude.
This is a somewhat strenuous activity, so we tell people that they should
be able to climb into the basket (similar to climbing a fence), stand for
an hour, and climb back out of the basket (like climbing back over the
fence). Basically you must be able to participate in moderate activity.
If you have any concerns about your ability to participate, just ask. We will be happy to discuss your needs. Safety comes first, so when in doubt, please ask.
- What about kids?
- The rules on kids are fairly simple. While there is no age limit, the child must be 50" or taller. This is so they can see over the side of the basket without standing on their tip toes. This is to prevent younger kids from climbing up the inside of the basket so they can see out. They also must be well behaved and if under the age of 18 they must be accompanied by a parent or responsible adult.
- Passenger check-in before the flight
- Obviously, we want to make sure everyone is prepared for the flight,
so we will call you at about 9pm the evening before to check in for morning
flights and about 1pm for evening flights. At that time we will let you
know the final go/no go decision with regards to weather.
Assuming mother nature is cooperating, we will meet at the our new store located at 1640 Gravois Road, High Ridge, MO 63049 about 1/2 hour before sunrise for morning flights, and about 3 hours before sunset for evening flights. We will give you the final meeting time and location during our check-in call. Please read, and sign the rules for safe flight and waiver prior to arriving. We will have spare forms with us if needed. No one can fly without a signed waiver. Please let us know if you have any questions about it.
- What is it like to fly and land in a balloon? Is it scary?
- We don't think it's scary at all. The balloon itself is very stable in
the air. The only time you feel even a breeze is when the wind changes
direction or speed. The closest description we have for how it feels is
like standing on an exercise mat. It's kind of squishy under foot. When
we land, the balloon typically touches down nice and gentle. It might even
take a bit of a hop or two while it loses momentum. Typically you wouldn't
even know you landed if your eyes were closed.
We should note though that weather forecasting is not an exact science, especially in St. Louis. As a result, "high wind" landings do occur rarely. During a "high wind"landing, the basket either skids along the ground, or may actually tip over in the direction of travel and drag along the ground for short distances as the balloon deflates. Don't worry, you will be briefed about this before it happens. Believe it not, when it does happen, most of our passengers think it is incredibly fun and want to know if they can go again.
- Do I get to help or do I have to sit there like a bump on a log?
- Either on the drive to, or after arriving at our launch site, you will
receive a safety briefing from your pilot on what to expect during inflation,
flight and landing. Don't worry, the pilot will cover each part again as
things progress, so you don't have to memorize it. Once there, you will
get to help your pilot, crew chief, and crew assemble and inflate the balloon
if you wish. This basically involves helping unload the equipment, assemble
and layout the balloon, and helping hold it steady as it is inflated. Don't
worry, we won't work you to hard, after all, your there to have fun (there
are photos in the gallery of inflations
if you would like to see what is involved). Once inflated and on board,
you will be off on the adventure of a lifetime. You will float majestically
over the trees, see the wildlife and foliage below, and if the weather
is just right, maybe even a splash and dash in a lake or river.
After about an hour, you will be briefed again for landing and gently set back into the loving arms of mother earth. The aircraft will then be packed up, with your help if you wish, and we will then transport everyone back to where we met where we will celebrate our experience with a Sparkling Toast, a commemorative Champagne flute, and a first flight certificate suitable for framing.
Ballooning is a very hands on sport. Feel free to help out to the extent that you are comfortable. Helping bring an 80 foot tall gentle giant to life is in itself an experience of a lifetime.
- How balloon flights work
- To fly the balloon, you must start by preparing for flight in general by ensuring that you have a good weather briefing, have crew, have all the radios, fuel, equipment, and time necessary to safely conduct the flight.
After meeting and checking in our passengers, you'll receive a pre-flight safety briefings. After that we'll head to a specific launch site based on weather briefing informatio and pilot observations.
Once there, we will assemble and inflate the gentle giant and begin our balloon ride. Everyone has a different idea about this portion of the flight. Some people want to help inflate the balloon, some just want to watch. Either way is fine with us. It's all about building memories.
After spending about an hour in the air enjoying the tranquility and serenity of lighter than air flight, we will land and pack up the balloon and return to our meeting location.
Sometimes during the flight we will witness Natures splendor in the form of deer and other wildlife. Sometimes the wildlife waits until after we land to appear. Either way, it's awesome.
Once back to our meeting location, a celebration of our event awaits with a sparkling toast, a commemorative champagne flute, a commemorative first flight certificate, and a brief history lesson about the origins of both modern Hot Air Ballooning, and Champagnes involvement with ballooning.
While the flights festivities might end there, we assure you the memories will last a lifetime and you will be telling your friends about your flight for years to come never looking at a calm blue sky quite the same way again.
OK, Now I'm hooked, what else do I need to know?
- Legal mumbo jumbo you should know
- Isn't there always? While ballooning is one of the safest forms of aviation, it still has inherent dangers like all outdoor recreational activities. Be aware of your physical limitations, make us aware of any issues, and read and understand fully the waiver you will be asked to sign before flying so that we know you understand all the risks. No one will fly without a signed waiver. Intoxicated passengers, or those reasonably believed to have consumed alcohol prior to the flight will not be allowed in or around the aircraft. Showing up drunk, and not being allowed to fly as a result is treated the same as a "no show." Please see the policy page for "no show" policies.
I want to buy a ride, what do I do?
We will gladly answer your questions, and help you make your purchase and make your reservations. Please be aware that for all short notice reservations, you should call to schedule to ensure we can meet your needs. If you purchase online, please call to schedule your date.