I am subscribed to a website called lafreebee.com that sends out emails with free events all over Los Angeles. Most often they are events that don't really suit me, but occasionally an event will pique my interest.
The Great Park Balloon immediately caught my eye. The Great Park in Irvine is a recycled air field whose 1,347 acre span will inform guests about sustainability. In the summer they have concerts and in the winter they have an ice skating rink in the hangar located across from the balloon. When we were there they were working on a kids park next the balloon that should be done early this year.
The Great Park Balloon is one of the largest helium balloons in the world and the first of it's kind in the United States. It rises 500 feet in the air holding 25-30 passengers. It is appropriate for any age and even allows pets aboard. It was definitely a nerve wracking experience for me, as heights make me more than a little nervous. Yet, I couldn't pass up the opportunity. It was well worth it! The view is amazing and I would love to try it out again in the evening during which I heard the sunset views are incredible.
We drove out there at about 9 am and if you have far to travel might I recommend combining this venture with a trip to the Discovery Science Museum (more on that later) right off the 5 freeway. You can't miss the large cube visible from the freeway. The balloon itself only takes a few minutes depending on if there is a wait or not. We went first to the balloon and than to the science museum for lunch and some play time.
I would highly recommend both for any age child and is a lot of fun for the parents as well.