Get out and go: Events around the world (October 8-11)

It’s time to look at the festivals and events happening around the world, and this week has a particularly international selection of happenings. If you’re close and have time, then you have no excuse to get out and go!

  • AlbuquerqueThe 38th Annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta kicked off earlier this week and runs through October 11. It is the most photographed event on earth, as more than 700 colorful balloons from all over the world fly high in New Mexico’s sky.
  • AmsterdamVan Gogh’s letters’ exhibition opens on October 9 at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. The exhibition Van Gogh’s letters offers a fascinating view of Van Gogh as letter-writer and artist.
  • MelbourneMelbourne International Arts Festival begins October 9. The festival is a series of cultural events by Australian and International artists and will continue through October 25.
  • Washington D.C.At the Green Festivals this weekend, enjoy more green business lectures, how-to workshops, green films, yoga classes, organic beer, organic cuisine and live music .

If you make it to one of these events, let us know how it was, or if you know of an even that’s coming up, please let us here at Gadling know and we’ll be sure to include it in the next “Get out and go” round-up.

‘Til next week, have a great weekend!

Rise 35 stories above the city on Chicago’s new balloon attraction

Navy Pier, Chicago‘s biggest tourist trap, is offering visitors a new way to see the city. If riding the elevator to the top of the Sears Willis Tower or relaxing as a giant Ferris wheel slowly inches you skyward doesn’t satisfy your thirst for getting airborne, maybe this one will. A 120,000 cubic-foot helium balloon, called the AeroBalloon, promises to float you 350 feet above the ground.

The balloon’s gondola, which has a hole in the center through which passengers view the ground, can carry up to 18 people, which it will hold aloft for a ride of 8-10 minutes before returning to Earth. Kids must be at least 5 years old to ride and those under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. The rides are offered from 8am to 10pm Monday through Thursday and from 8am to midnight Friday to Sunday. The attraction will shut down for the season on October 31.

Tickets cost a hefty $25 for adults ($15 for kids 12 and under). $25 for 10 minutes? No thanks. I’ll take my view with a side of cocktail – at the Signature Lounge on the 96th floor of the John Hancock Center – where I can pay around $15 and linger as long as I want.

Budget adventures near New York

In these difficult economic conditions we’re all looking for ways to save some money while still putting a little adventure into our lives. Now more than ever we need a distraction from the daily grind that won’t empty our pocket books. Fortunately, the New York Daily News is here to help, with some great suggestions for cheap adventures close to NYC.

The inexpensive escapse come in a variety of flavors, ranging from an epic mountain bike ride in the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania to taking in the beauty of upstate New York via hot air balloon. Each of the suggestions includes a nice description of what to expect on the day long adventure, as well as some tips for stretching your dollars, such as the use of budget hotels, complimentary continental breakfasts, and unadvertised specials.

An example of one of the unexpected outdoor adventures includes a trip to New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest, which offers a tree-top canopy tour that put visitors at elevations between 1600 and 3000 feet as they fly through the scenic forest on ten zip lines and two suspension bridges. The travel package costs $115 but in addition to the canopy tour, travelers get a night’s stay at the historic Mount Washington Resort, a round of golf, and a visit to the hotel’s spa.

Each of the other budget adventures offer similar amenities on the cheap and with plenty of summer still ahead, it’s never too late to put a little adventure into your life. And at these prices, how can you resist?

Go back to a simpler day at Beaver Creek Resort Summer Camp

Once upon a time, you’d take off in the summer with a sleeping bag, a fishing pole and a pocket knife. Summer camp offered all the soft challenges you could imagine (such as stomaching awful food), but you always had a blast. No responsibilities weighed you down. Today, though, those days are gone. You worry about paying the mortgage, getting to work on time and keeping your kids entertained.

If only you could go back … if only for a little while.

Vail Beaver Creek Resort Properties has the answer: “Camp Not Exactly Roughing It.” Blend the excitement and freedom of summer camp from your childhood with cocktails and cuisine that is far from revolting, and you have the perfect adult getaway (especially if you get some mile-high action en route).

Oh, and you’ll stay in one of Beaver Creek’s resorts or condos instead of a dumpy cabin or (blech) tent.

This program runs from June 13 to September 7, 2009. So, be ready to do all the hiking your legs will handle. Play a little frisbee golf or learn to fly fish. You’ll also get two lift tickets up Beaver Creek mountain (enjoy the view) and breakfast for two ever day. Horseback riding, ziplining, bungee trampoline, mountain bike rentals and hot air balloon trips are also available. You can get in on this action for $262 a night, for a minimum of three nights.

16 Tourists injured in Luxor hot air balloon accident

Yesterday, a hot air balloon crashed in Luxor, the city of the pharaohs, in Egypt. Sixteen people were injured in the incident. For those of you with an axe to grind about cell phone towers, you just got some ammo. The hot air balloon hit a cell phone tower on the west bank of the Nile River, near Gourna village.

Identities of the injured haven’t been released yet, but we do know that they come from Canada, Denmark, England, France, South Korea and the United States. All were taken to a hospital in Luxor for treatment.

This event is not without precedent. A year ago, a similar situation led to the injury of seven tourists.