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Lifting spirits: Rise and Try Week offers family-friendly events at balloon museum

“Rise and Try Week” features a wealth of family-friendly events this spring break at the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum.

The event opens with Ballooning for All on Saturday, March 24. The event is open to people of all abilities and special needs. It will feature more than 15 hot air balloons. There will be inflations, crewing and tethered rides from 7 to 9 a.m. Saturday. Wheelchair-accessible gondolas will be on hand to give everyone a chance to experience ballooning.

“It kind of comes close to World Down Syndrome Day, which is March 21,” said balloon museum manager Paul Garver. “That’s kind of the inspiration behind Ballooning for All is that we make it a balloon rally for people with disabilities.”

Later, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., attendees can enjoy a breakfast tailgate with the pilots and other eventgoers. They can also participate in fun activities, visit community resource booths and enjoy performances by Special Orchestra and Keshet Inclusion Dance.

Another big event, Celebrate the Sky! Spring Break Family Day, happens from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, March 28. Fly your kite or have fun with balloons, golf discs, bubbles and gliders and take part in arts and crafts, entertainment and exhibitions for all ages.

“It is really popular,” Garver said. “It’s something special that local families look forward to. It’s a fun thing to do and enjoy the museum.”

Other events include Drone Race Day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 25, as well as walk-up workshops from 3 to 5 p.m. Monday, March 26 through March 30. Workshops include “Creativity Toolbox,” cookie decorating with Food Network winner Kristin Dowling of Rude Boy Cookies, Iris folding balloon greeting cards, adult coloring balloon trading cards and professional photography tips for your phone. Guided tours of the museum’s main exhibition and its special exhibition “Artic Air: The Bold Flight of S.A. AndrĂ©e” will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday through March 30.

The Tim Anderson 4-D Theater will be showing “My Balloon Ride,” a five-minute, 4-D video that was filmed aboard balloons from Rainbow Ryders, one of Albuquerque’s largest balloon ride operators. Showings will be every 15 minutes from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. throughout Rise and Try Week.