The St Croix Valley's Ultimate Adventure, Most Romantic Excursion, and Fondest Dream -
an Awe Inspiring Gift!
The St Croix Valley's Ultimate Adventure, Most Romantic Excursion, and Fondest Dream -
an Awe Inspiring Gift!
A two to three hour adventure with one hour of actual flight time over the beautiful St. Croix River Valley.
The flight offers a Champagne celebration upon landing where each passenger receives an engraved, keepsake Champagne flute.
The Heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out to the ends of the world... Psalms 19: 1-4
Whether you are seeking an intimate and romantic excursion, a joy-filled, visually spectacular, once in a life time event, or a gorgeous, gravity defying adventure, each flight will embrace your dreams and satisfy your desires. Become a part of an adventure that you will never forget. Established in 1976, we have an impeccable safety record and have offered more flights than anyone in the Midwest. We launch only blocks from the St Croix River - every flight offering spectacular water views and a Champagne toast on landing - with an engraved keepsake Champagne flute. Let the beauty overwhelm you... Come fly with us.
Help someone you love cross off another item on their bucket list!
Give the gift of Hot Air Balloon Flight!
Ballooning isn't our only passion;
life should be filled with joy and excitement... that is why we adopted ten children through Minnesota's waiting child program (and count unofficial numbers 11, 12 and 13- it's important to be accepting).
We also have six biological children... and, we may just be adopting one more...yes, that is 20... They are funny and sweet and pesky and beautiful - they bless us beyond our wildest expectations and teach us things we never knew we wanted to know.
Minnesota Waiting Children:
This is the place to go to offer hope right here in Minnesota to children living without families.
A fabulous agency devoted to finding foster homes for Minnesota kids.
Hope in the Light Ministry:
"Doing God's work in Haiti"
This is an organization with whom we have become closely affiliated - who offer a school in the mountains of Haiti that serves 220 children on a minuscule budget and with an abundance of love and devotion.
At Stillwater Balloon, we understand how special this moment is to you. Whether you choose a private, standard, or custom flight, each will offer intimacy, excitement, beauty, and joy as you float along at treetop level, soaring aloft, touching the clouds, and watching the earth below from a different point of view. This is a once in a lifetime moment... tell us how we can make it perfect... for you. Celebrating over 40 years of Ballooning!
We operate one of the largest fleets of new, spacious, Cameron Balloons in Minnesota. Cameron Balloons are known for both their safety and innovation as the proud builder of the first non-stop, round the world balloon.
Are you interested in learning to fly?
Stillwater Balloons offers flight instruction.
After completing an online ground school, we work with you to not only obtain your solo flight certificate but build hours increasing your confidence and safety, building skill and enjoyment. Your flight instruction package will be custom built for your needs and your future plans.
Call today for more information.
We believe that operating a business is about more than profit. It is about service, skill, integrity, knowledge, commitment, compassion, and joy. We have been family owned since 1976 and are not only passionate about the wonder and excitement ballooning offers, but we care deeply about our customers and our community. Come fly with us!
$295 per person
Locally, this is the lowest non-sale price available. If you hear about a lower local price, give us a call. We would be happy to match this offer. We also offer various promotional discounts through the year. Call today to inquire!
Remember... All of our certificates are unique - the amount paid never expires and is never subject to penalties, we launch only blocks from the beautiful Saint Croix River so every flight offers spectacular water views, and we have been offering flights commercially since 1976.
Each excursion takes approximately two and one half hours (one hour of which is flight time) and includes the traditional Champagne toast with an engraved keepsake flute.
Private Flights -
$885 per couple
This price includes flight certificates for two, and as above, launch from our beautiful Lakeland balloon port, one hour of flight, and the traditional champagne toast with the keepsake flutes.
Since ballooning is our passion, we decided to have a bit of fun with it... Do you want to drag her out of bed to show her the balloon standing in your back yard waiting for your acescent? Do you want to waltz out of your wedding and into the sky? Do you want to get on your knees and still be 2000 feet over the ground? Do you want to show up at the park in which you proposed 25 years ago only to find us waiting and her speechless? Do you want us at your parent's 60th wedding anniversary? Do you want a picnic laid out, a party with tether rides, roses, pastries... tell us your dreams and we will tell you if we can make them a reality.
Whether you are interested in a one shot promotional event or the ultimate in advertising - balloon sponsorship (partnering to create a work of art that flies over one of the wealthiest counties in America and is available for all your advertising needs) - we can assist. Over the years we have been sponsored by KS95, KTIS, Havoline, and have offered promotional assistance for countless events, from small local fairs to corporate parties for the Minnesota Vikings. Big or small, hot air balloons create excitement, joy, and lasting memories. Let us help your company soar to new heights. For further information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The Fine Print
The amount paid never expires. Additionally, you are protected for a full year against any price increases and against the expiration of promotional pricing and coupons. We value your trust and patronage - making sure that you never lose money is just another way of making sure that your experience with Stillwater Balloon is completely enjoyable.
All flight certificates are nonrefundable, cannot be combined, and are fully transferable (so hold on tight... whoever holds the certificate can use it... treat it as you would cash).
"A big THANK YOU for a wonderful flight experience on Saturday evening, June 19th. I have always wanted to go ballooning and it exceeded my expectations. It was an extraordinary way to celebrate my birthday. You and your crew (family) really do a wonderful job of making the whole experience wonderful. I have shared my awesome pictures with several family members and friends... Roger was very apprehensive about going up as he is afraid of heights, but he thoroughly enjoyed himself and he says he would like to go again sometime.
Again, THANK YOU for the wonderful experience and memories."
"Brian and I would like to thank you for our evening flight with you Saturday Sept 5th. It was our 6th attempt and we never thought we'd get up; we started to feel like a bear rescheduling all the time. But Saturday you and the weather made it happen. It was absolutely gorgeous and worth it! The pilot made the trip - he must be a comedian on the side!! We really enjoyed the view and will do it again with you. In fact we have people interested in maybe doing the fall ride if it works out for them and if the weather will allow them too! The champagne and souvenir glasses were also a very nice touch and keepsake.(I ALWAYS LOVE THAT) Thank you again and happy riding! Thank you!"
Brian H. & Andrea M.
"I don't need to tell you what a beautiful and special place we live in. It truly was spectacular to watch that sun come up over the river valley and light up the morning sky and add brilliance and hue to the multi-colored trees! Having the eagle flying along with us for a bit, was added confirmation, this really was a magical moment in time. Having the photographer aboard added another fun dimension and of course the champagne at the end kept me cheerful for a while... Again, many thanks to you and to your very efficient crew members."
Bob and Mary M.
Q: Why should I choose Stillwater Balloons?
A: Because we're pretty, and people like us... okay, there are other reasons too (if you really need them). Take, for instance, that we launch only blocks from the beautiful St Croix River, every flight offering spectacular water views, or that we are a trusted business, offering commercial flights since 1976 and providing more rides than anyone else in the Midwest. You could be excited about the fact that you will receive an engraved keepsake Champagne flute. You will definitely like that we have the lowest full price in the area, run great specials, and promise to match our local competitors' pricing (should we neglect to catch a great deal). Additionally, we offer certificates that never expire - the money you spend is waiting for you whenever you desire to use it. Finally, we are committed to making the world a happier place - we will start by striving to exceed your desires in customer service and flight, but we won't stop there.
Let the beauty overwhelm you.
Come fly with us.
Q:Why does everyone keep warning me about rescheduling? Does the weather really have to be that perfect?
A: Hot air balloon flights are completely dependent upon weather conditions. Ground winds in excess of 10 miles an hour, excessive winds aloft, precipitation, fog, wet landing conditions, and low cloud cover are just a few of the obstacles balloonists face. Each of these conditions can cause our pilots to cancel scheduled flights and ask our passengers to reschedule. We cancel in excess of 75% of our flights due to unfavorable weather conditions, and although some customers are able to fly on their first scheduled date, the average number of reschedules is five. We are perpetually turning our customers attention to this fact as foreknowledge reduces frustration. We want you to be aware of it such that is less likely to surprise and irritate. Indeed, this reality is part of what makes ballooning so spectacular and so completely enjoyable. You are sure to take flight on a gorgeous day and can soar freely knowing that your safely has been our primary focus in our careful attention to these details.
Q: I have been warned about rough landings... tell me what to expect.
A: In addition to firmly adhering to FAA regulations regarding balloon and pilot safety, we constantly monitor wind and weather conditions to ensure that each flight is as calm and gentle as possible. That said, part of what makes ballooning fun is it's unpredictability. Every flight is completely unique offering a slightly different flight direction, speed, altitude, attitude, and landing - type and location. And because the balloon is at the mercy of the winds, the pilot makes his best determination on flight status based on forecasts... the forecaster makes his best determination on weather models... some days everyone is wrong and the weather wins. On those days, the landing is less than gentle. It is not altogether uncommon for the balloon to hit the ground with a significant force (like jumping off the third rung of a ladder). In some instances the basket may even tip over and drag for a few feet or even a few yards (a decade or so ago, before the newest quick release tops became commonplace, every flight landed with many yards of dragging!). However, if you are looking for a wild ride... I fear we will disappoint... most of our flights now touch down with a gentle bump. Often someone will ask if we have yet landed. The Cameron Balloons Easy Vent System is a thing of beauty! If you have any questions or concerns about your ability to participate in the sport of ballooning, please speak to your doctor.
Q: I am pregnant, can I still take a hot air balloon flight?
A: No. Although ballooning is most commonly gentle and safe, there are instances, as described above, where the landing is a bit more jarring. This type of landing, in its most significant form, could damage the placenta and thus be dangerous for mom and baby. We believe that pregnancy is an incredible miracle and would like to help you protect your baby against even the most unlikely of circumstances. We would be happy to take you flying after your baby is born - bring pictures!
Q: Do I really want to take a ride in a larger balloon? Wouldn't a Private flight be better? (i.e.: What's the difference between a Private, Semi-Private and Standard Flight?)
A: Yes, you do want to take flight in a larger balloon! (I think...) Hot air balloon flight in larger balloons (with 8-16 passengers) is set forth as an incredible and beautiful adventure - quite comparable to a Private flight. Normally, those who tell you that smaller balloons are better, only have smaller balloons and/or are trying up-sell. We have balloons of many sizes - my advice is to purchase the least expensive certificates that we offer - they are, for all intense purposes the same. That said, nobody ever pays any attention to my advice anyway... we would be happy to provide a Private flight at your convenience. And... we also offer something rather unique: Custom flights. These flights, rather than being a carbon copy of the Standard flight (minus some company), offer you the ability to customize the launch location and add on details that will truly make this a once in a lifetime adventure.
Details, details... The only difference between a Private flight and a Standard flight is the number of individuals in the balloon. Our Standard flight balloons convey between 8 and 16 passengers depending on the weights of those flying, the weather conditions, and the balloon chosen. These flights are termed Semi-Private by many in the industry. Our baskets accommodate these passengers with the same amount of room, same level of comfort, and same spectacular views which are offered by Private flights. Additionally, the cost of a two person excursion is often cost prohibitive. As such, we encourage all who ask about Private flights to consider the savings and enjoyment offered by our Standard flights.
Now, the difference between Semi-Private and Standard flights... this one is even harder... Balloon baskets are partitioned to give them added structure. There is no added room or comfort in a basket that is being used in a Semi-Private manner. What is happening is that a balloon and basket have been chosen of a size that allows the pilot to place passengers with only "their" group rather than asking them to stand in a compartment with someone of another group. In a Semi-Private flight you may be placed in a small basket with many partitions. In a Standard flight basket, there may be fewer partitions that allow larger spaces. Everyone remains, however, standing right next to each other in a basket that is of a correct size for the number of passengers... Some companies will try to charge you extra for a "Semi-Private" flight, it doesn't actually cost the company anything extra... and we don't believe in charging you for something silly that offers you no additional value... even if we could convince you otherwise. So, we don't differentiate, at all, ever, between a Standard and Semi-Private balloon flight. Our passengers often find themselves in a "Semi-Private" situation (alone in a compartment with only their group), that said, they likely wouldn't notice it one way or another - the flight will be spectacular and the moment will be filled with awe and joy whether or not there is a 1/2 in wicker partition between them and the next person.
Q: How do I change or cancel my reservations? What if I do not show up for my flight?
A: Twenty four hour notice is required for weekdays and forty-eight hour notice for weekend and holiday flights. Any cancellation not abiding by these policies will result in a fee of $50 per certificate prior to rescheduling. If you do not show up for your scheduled flight, there will be a $100 charge per certificate at the time of scheduling your next date. (Note, Groupon certificates have different guidelines, please refer to your certificates for more information.)
Q: I purchased certificates but was then mauled by a bear who whispered in my ear... "Don't take the flight..." Now I feel nervous. Can I get a refund?
A: Wow, we feel your pain (kind of). But, no matter how sad the story, no refunds... ever. We also cannot combine certificates; each flight certificate stands on it's own (unlike wolves, which travel in packs, I would watch out for them too). Finally (as long as I am throwing out cautions), since our certificates are fully transferable, you need to treat them like cash. Whoever holds the certificates can take flight, and if nobody is holding the certificates (big sigh) nobody takes flight. So, what I am saying is, the bear was only trying to intimidate you to get you to loosen your grip on the certificates (stinkin' tricky bears). Way to go! You win! Now... come fly with us.
Q:How do I know if my flight will go as scheduled?
A: We continually monitor weather conditions, and the decision on viability is made two hours prior to the scheduled flight. (Indeed, check out the second FAQ under Why? and Safety to see more details on our flight restrictions). Two hours before flight time, you can call our flight information line to hear about the flight status. However, even with the most advanced meteorological equipment, forecasts can be inaccurate. Rarely, a flight is delayed or canceled in the field, and all flight times and flight lengths can be affected by changing wind or weather conditions. Our pilots are highly experienced, and we will work diligently to ensure the most enjoyable flight possible. Again, any change after the status is issued on the flight information line is quite unusual. Once you hear that the flight is going as scheduled, you can fully expect a sensational experience to be awaiting your arrival.
Q: How far out do I need to schedule?
A: This is a tricky question... As I write this, I have availability today. That said, we normally tell our customers to expect two weeks. Some days and times are available much, much earlier, and you can often find availability within a day or two. On occasion, you will need a bit more lead time (esp. during fall colors or if you are only available Saturday evenings). Last year we took up over 900 passengers, and if your schedule was flexible, there was never a time when we were fully booked for more than two weeks. If you are anxious to schedule and would like to fly as soon as possible, take a peek at your weekdays, especially mornings - we often can get you on the schedule quite quickly. This is often not the case with smaller companies who cut their prices drastically, sell a ton of rides, and then do not have the balloons or pilots to support all of their customers. It is common for some of these smaller companies to schedule out a month during their slower times and multiple months for weekends. This becomes a great problem when you are in need of rescheduling or are fearful of your certificate expiring. Please hear me clearly, not all small companies operate in this fashion - enough do, however, to give balloon businesses a bad name. We are careful to never treat our customers in this manner.
Q: You just said Fall colors... I LOVE Fall colors. Can I go?
A: No. Okay, YES; you can go. But, no matter how beautiful and how enchanting, Fall is extremely difficult. Not only does the whole world want to fly, and not only are we under our normal flight restrictions, but Fall in Minnesota normally sees an increase in wind speeds and precipitation. We love flying in the Fall, and we would love to help you schedule a flight. If the weather is good, the views will be fabulous. But, if the weather is bad and your flight is grounded, remember: every season offers its own incredible beauty. Try a winter flight, or wait on lush summer views.
Q: I have a fetish for snow globes... what do you think?
A: Cool. We kind of have a thing for them too - only, we like to think big... really big. Imagine soaring over crystalline landscaping, the ground and roadways blanketed in white, every tree and chimney sparkling under the sun's early rays. If you're perpetually blessed, snow may still be silently falling about the balloon. Leaves are no more, so you will be able to see the wildlife darting through the sparse forest. Snuggling will be on the increase, and, with the snow absorbing ambient noise, peace reigns. Winter flights are amazing... really amazing. We think, "Yes!"
Q: Tipping, I never know what to do about tipping... tell me.
A: Wow, awkward. Tipping is present in most tourism and service industries. Offering balloon flights fits in here, so offering a gratuity would be acceptable. Additionally, tipping is nice. If you think that your pilot and crew were nice... go for it. That said, there is no sense of expectation or obligation... the situation is unique and we are easy! If you do decide to consider a tip, we are firm believers in earning not only your patronage, trust, and respect, but also any gratuities that you may offer. If you do not feel that our crew members surpassed your expectations... don't tip.
135 Saint Croix Trl N, Lakeland Shrs, Minnesota 55043, United States