A Colorful, Immersive Balloon Art Exhibit All Summer Long

balloon story safari

This summer at the Park Avenue Armory, you and your kids can go on a jungle safari, swim in the ocean with sea creatures, and fly through outer space with astronauts.


You can travel in London, Paris, Cairo, and back to New York City without even leaving one room. You can ride in a hot air balloon, a yellow cab, a swing in a cherry blossom garden in Japan, an airplane, or a spaceship.

balloon story hot air balloon

Whatever season you want to experience, place you want to be, animal you want to meet, or food you want to eat, you’re sure to find it from now through August 24 at Balloon Story—described as “a whimsical journey through a balloon wonderland”—at the Park Avenue Armory at 643 Park Avenue (between 66th and 67th streets).

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Over 600,000 eco-friendly balloons comprise Balloon Story’s intricate and immersive exhibition. Upon walking into the armory, you’ll be greeted by a giant American eagle whose wings resemble the American flag.

american eagle balloon story


Next up, you meet a metallic silver dog surrounded by a variety of interactive pieces, such as angel wings, a graffiti-painted New York City brick wall, and a painted living room.

living room balloon story

In the next room over, you’ll be introduced to a friendly lion, elephant, giraffe, rhino, and more in the jungle exhibit. If you can escape the jungle without being eaten by the animals, you’ll enter into a space with arcade games, a balloon pit, and two cotton candy machines that make 32 different kinds of cotton candy for $10.

giraffe and elephant balloon story

After an activity and snack break comes the deep blue ocean, where you’ll meet a sea horse, a sea turtle, a shark, an octopus, some jellyfish, and even a scuba diver! Things start to cool down in the North Pole, where the penguins, polar bears, and reindeer play in the snow. Then it’s time to blast off into space to explore unchartered stars, planets, and galaxies. Listen to the jazz musicians play before making your final stops at the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower, the Egyptian Pyramids, and the Tower Bridge.

sea creatures balloon story

egypt balloon story

The magical and playful experience at Balloon Story is one that anyone of any age can enjoy. It’s a chance to engage the imagination, connect with our senses, and reignite our childlike wonder and curiosity. Most importantly, it’s a reminder to never stop having fun!


One thing to be aware of is that the lines for the cotton candy machines are lengthy, and one of the machines only takes cash and had to be repaired regularly when we were there. Though sizeable, the cotton candy was overly sweet as cotton candy tends to be. The lines for the cotton candy machines might not be worth the wait, and your money might be better spent at the gift shop or getting a customized balloon piece by one of the talented and friendly balloon artists before you leave. We got ourselves a flower with a pink butterfly, but you can choose among a variety of designs, including guitars, swords, and teddy bears on hearts.

You can buy tickets for Balloon Story from Fever. Prices range from $25 to $60 depending on age, availability, time of day, and whether you buy general admission or a VIP experience. It takes approximately 70 minutes to get through the entire exhibition, and hours are Monday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Friday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

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  1. t-bo July 8, 2024
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