The Balloon Museum at Pullman Yards will blow you away. What to know before you go.

The immersive experience runs now through April 14


Courtesy of the Balloon Museum

Balloons are symbols of joy, reminiscent of birthdays, parties, and trips to the amusement park. At the new Balloon Museum at Pullman Yards, balloons are used as art. The “Let’s Fly” exhibition opened February 17 with inflatable installations from 17 international artists, exploring gravity and contrasting light and darkness. The primarily indoor experience comes to Atlanta from New York, with limited-time showings also planned for Rome, Paris, Milan, Madrid, Naples, and London.

Designed to be immersive, the family-friendly museum takes about an hour and a half to fully experience. Each exhibit is different, with art ranging from black-lit, anime-style punching bags to bubbles that emit smoke when they pop to humongous suspended inner tubes that change height. It’s a series of captivating displays that use sound and movement, as well as texture and color, to garner attention.

Tickets cost $39 for adults and $29 for children and are available online, as well as at the door. The experience will stay in Atlanta through April 14. [Editor’s note: The exhibition has been extended through June 9.] Here’s what else you need to know:

Courtesy of the Balloon Museum

Arrival early. Onsite parking costs $20 and you may have to circle the lot a few times. Use the restroom before getting in line, as once you begin exploring the museum, you won’t be able to break out easily. Entry lines are color-coded based on your ticketed time. Matching umbrellas are available in case of rain.

Leave the heels at home. Upon entry, guests are asked to don provided shoe covers to protect the art. You’ll be on your feet the whole time, so sneakers are highly recommended. Part of the Museum can get hot, so dress appropriately and leave your jacket in the car—you’ll want your hands free to fully immersive yourself in the experience.

Hold tight to your loved ones. Many of the installations prey on your senses, using mirrors, lights, and moving images to throw of your sense of balance. It’s a fun trip—just be careful not to walk into anything.

Embrace your inner child. One of the highlights is a swimming pool-sized ball pit. Guests can “fall” into the pool, wading or “swimming” their way across. Though the balls only reached my thigh, my 5-year-old struggled to keep her head afloat, but loved it nonetheless. Getting out is a real test of your upper arm strength, too.

Be prepared to get dirty. The “ADA” exhibit features a massive, inflated ball with charcoal crayons sticking out of it. Guests can run under it and push it around the room. As it moves, it draws on the walls, ceiling, and floor. As you might imagine, this can get messy. My children—who could’ve stayed and played with that ball all day—had gray hands and faces afterward. Luckily, there’s a cleaning station. Tip: If you don’t need the sink, feel free to go around the line and on to the next exhibit.

Courtesy of the Balloon Museum

Bring your patience. Between the bigger exhibits, guests can find themselves in line for whatever’s next. Look up and around to take in the scenery. At one point, my 7-year-old created his own fun, sliding down a slightly slippery hallway in his shoe covers.

Get your camera ready. One of the final rooms features multiple Instagrammable, life-sized boxes with balloon art. There’s an open mouth you can sit in, a giant Gummy Bear, a cloud, and more. Need some of your own? A “Flower Bar” sells floral-shaped balloons at the exit.