Where to watch balloons in Albuquerque outside Balloon Fiesta Park

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Everyone wants to get a glimpse of Balloon Fiesta, but a lot of people don’t want to deal with the early wake-up times and the traffic.

So, if you’re not one to set your alarm for 3 a.m. to beat the crowd, there are still plenty of options to enjoy the balloons outside of the park. 

“It’s such a huge event for our city right, so it’s great to be able to cultivate the community that is here, and they get a taste of the New Mexico experience,” said Evan Wrons, director of market at Santa Fe Brewing. “We start serving drinks at 6:30, you know bacon micheladas with our own NMX Standard. A bunch of different drinks, a bunch of breakfast drinks, so you can hang out, beat the traffic, you know, get some food hangout and see the balloons.”

Tin Can Alley has been hosting their watch party for three years. Aside from welcoming locals and international travelers, it gives them the opportunity to partner with local vendors and bring a new experience to people.

“It’s happening this weekend and next weekend. We are also doing Friday of next weekend of 7, 8, 13, 14 and 15,” Wrons said. 

Balloons and brews at Steel Bender is another spot to take in the views as balloons go up. 

“We are open every day of Balloon Fiesta this year that is the 7-14. So we open bright and early at 7 in the morning. We are open for you know breakfast beers, minosas, beermosas and we make in our kitchen homemade breakfast burritos, and we have some pastries,” said Shelby Chant, co-owner of Steel Bender Brewyard. 

Chant says it’s a unique experience for first time visitors or locals who want to switch things up.

“Especially those of us who have grown up going to Balloon Fiesta and watching balloons go up all these years. It’s just a different experience whether you’re bringing in visiting family to experience Balloon Fiesta, or you are a local who wants to do something a little bit different,” said Chant. 

Tula’s Kitchen is welcoming balloon enthusiasts from near and far who want to take in the sunset and watch balloons and fireworks in the evening. 

“We’re really excited to host all of the visitors in town and residents here on Tula’s patio. We have really great seating out here and one of the only fire pits in town for folks,” said Deen Crawley, chief of state of Tula’s Kitchen and Dion’s.