Tag Archives: hot air balloons

New Mexico Bucket List – I ~ Blogging Through The Alphabet

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This week we are heading to the northern parts of the state to check out the fun found there. Ice caves, volcanoes, and hot air balloons will take us on a fun few days of activity.

Ice Cave and Bandera Volcano

Found in the far NW corner of the state near Grants, the Ice Cave and Bandera Volcano are open year round. There are two distinctive opportunities here – fire and ice. The ice cave is located in the lava flow from the volcano, which has a flow of 20 miles long. The cave is in part of the collapsed lava flow that created a single cave with the right geologic features to essentially create an ice-box. The cave temperature never rises above 31°F. The annual rain fall and snow melt seeps in, creating additional ice accumulation each year. There are two trails available for walking, one going to the ice cave and the other to the volcano.

International Balloon Fiesta

Each fall, what seems like thousands of balloons congregate in Albuquerque, NM. It is a week and a half or so of daily mass ascensions, glows, and entertainment. It is a glorious sight to see all of the balloons rise into the air and hang there, slow moving around. If you are lucky, “the box” will be working and the balloons will be able to rise, go around and around the valley in a box figure, and the land again on the balloon fields. It is amazing to see the balloons up close and see how big some of them are. There are beautiful ones, shaped ones, figures you’ll know, and figures you won’t. There are sponsored ones and fun ones. Balloons to make you smile and some to surprise you. If you are lucky, you might go up in one. Some of my family has been able to serve on a balloon team, helping get it in the air, chase it after it ascends, and then help it land.

This is a sight to behold if you can. There is nothing like it, especially if “the box” is going strong. A definitely joy.

We were able to visit the International Balloon Fiests in 2015 and I created a hot air balloon unit for my girls to work with before we left so they would understand more about the balloons. We also did a hot air/cold air experiment.

Thanks for joining us this week!

Lori, At Home.

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Hot Air/Cold Air ~ a science experiment

Hot Air vs. Cold Air

We did a quick science experiment to go along with our hot air balloon unit that we are working on. To see the effects of the temperature of air on a balloon, we used this fun activity.

You’ll need:balloon science

  • a bottle
  • a balloon
  • a bowl with very hot water (but don’t let anyone get burned!)
  • a bowl with ice



  1. Put the balloon over the mouth of the bottle.
  2. Place the balloon in the hot water bowl. You’ll need to hold it if you have a plastic bottle because of the buoyancy of plastic. (Another quick lesson we did!)
  3. Watch the balloon expand.
  4. Move the bottle to the ice.
  5. Watch the balloon deflate.

This was fun for the girls to experience and it added a lot to the discussion of hot air balloons. I also asked a few questions based on the things the girls said. We discussed how the material the balloon was made of would affect it. What would happen if your balloon had a hole in it? What if it was a big hole? What if it was a small hole? What if your balloon did not have a cooling vent? What if the rip cord didn’t work? What if the air outside the balloon was pretty hot or pretty cold?

There are lots of options to expand the questions based on where the experiment goes.

Youngest gigglygirlThe youngest giggly girl stayed at the experiment station for a while playing with the temperature of the water and seeing what happened. She eventually began adding ice to the hot water to see what happened. Well, she found out what you probably already knew but it was a learning opportunity for her and she enjoyed it a lot.

Hope you have fun with this quick experiment.

At Home.

Get more ideas from the Homeschool Review Crew in the 2nd edition of the Homeschool Collection.

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