Autumn Hot Air Ballooning in Bloomington

Several companies in and around Bloomington, Indiana, offer hot air balloon excursions that ride high above the changing leaves. 

Man takes photo of hot air balloon in Bloomington, Indiana (photo courtesy of SkyVista Ballooning)

Showing off a richly burnished color palette of red, orange, brown and gold, southern Indiana’s fall foliage is unparalleled, rolling out a vibrant natural landscape that makes for memorable autumn drives and road trips. In Bloomington, travelers can get a whole new 360-degree perspective on this spectacular seasonal scenery — from the air.

Several Bloomington-area companies offer hot air balloon excursions that ride high above the changing leaves, all boasting the advantage of avoiding the busy car traffic on the region’s roadways this time of year. 

Owned and operated by Travis Vencel, TJV Balloons conducts private flights for up to four passengers. Sydney Feagans offers group rides and private flights for SkyVista Ballooning, while Balloons Over Bloomington allows city police chief Mike Diekhoff to pursue his passion for hot air ballooning. 

Although the flights themselves usually last about an hour, the overall experience from preflight preparations to postflight celebrations can take up to two or three hours. Flight paths vary depending on conditions, but may pass over the Indiana University campus, downtown Bloomington or Monroe Lake. Passengers might also have the option to arrange flight times at sunrise or sunset. 

Flights are weather-dependent to assure the safest conditions. Plan to book early as fall flight reservations tend to fill up in advance. Expect rates to start from around $250 per person, with options to customize your trip for an additional cost. Bloomington, Indiana 47404; TJV Balloons: 812/320-0966,; SkyVista Ballooning: 812/369-5732,; Balloons Over Bloomington: 812/345-9598,

Story: Amy Lynch
Issue: Fall/Winter 2022