National Balloon Museum

Who invented the first hot air balloon? How high and how far have they flown? Visit Indianola’s National Balloon Museum for informative exhibits, displays and real-life replicas of the earliest balloons.

Explore the History of Flight at This Nationally Recognized Museum

Don’t miss this town treasure. Inside, find colorful, informative exhibits that detail the history of hot air ballooning, all the way back to 1783. Did you know French brothers Joseph-Michel Montgolfier and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier were the inventors of the first practical hot air balloon? The museum has an actual replica of the brothers’ balloon!

Don’t miss Union Jack, a balloon manufactured in England in 1976 in honor of the 25th anniversary of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. And see the Styrofoam basket and balloon pilot Tracy Barnes filled with hydrogen to soar to nearly 39,000 feet in 1964.

You can watch informative videos and check out all kinds of ballooning memorabilia. There’s a children’s learning center and research library too. Don’t leave without a souvenir from the gift shop!

The museum is staffed by volunteers. Call first for a tour.
1601 North Jefferson Way
(515) 961-3714

National Hot Air Balloon Museum
inside National Hot Air Balloon Museum
National Balloon Musem display piece
inside National Hot Air Balloon Museum