Airigami: Storytelling with Air at Balloon Manor in Rochester, NY

A beanstalk has sprouted in Rochester, NY.  Everyone’s familiar with the fairy tale of Jack and the Beanstalk, but I doubt you have ever experienced it quite like this before.  This beanstalk has sprouted, not from magic beans, but from balloons – and it is equally magical.  Rochester-area artists Larry Moss and Kelly Cheatle of Airigami (the fine art of folding air) create dramatic balloon installations around the world, and previously built the incredibly POPular Halloween-themed Balloon Manor in Rochester for four years.  This year’s 5-story Balloon Manor tells “The VERY Tall Tale of Jack and his Beanstalk” in the atrium of a downtown building, where visitors can climb the balloon beanstalk themselves via the escalator.  Continue reading for photos of the rich detail of this ephemeral public work of art.

Balloon Manor - Rochester, NY

It took a crew of 75 people, over 50,000 balloons, and four days to build 2014’s Balloon Manor, but the attention to detail and story are incredible.  Jack’s balloon journey begins in the store window where he trades the family cow for a handful of magic beans.  Pedestrians passing by are drawn inside the building by the elaborate display.  Once inside, the rest of “Jack and the Beanstalk” is told, via balloons.

Balloon Manor - Rochester, NY

Jack’s mother is obviously not happy with he beans he received for the family cow.

Balloon Manor - Rochester, NY

Jack’s farm contains an apple orchard.

Balloon Manor - Rochester, NY

Close inspection reveals some of the apples were devoured by pests and worms.

Balloon Manor - Rochester, NY

Jack’s garden is fertile, but also home to giant bugs.

Balloon Manor - Rochester, NY

A view of Jack’s garden from above.

Balloon Manor - Rochester, NY

It looks like a giant beanstalk has sprouted behind the well.

Balloon Manor - Rochester, NY

Jack climbs the beanstalk up, up, up into the clouds.

Balloon Manor - Rochester, NY

Jack finds a nasty giant in a non-welcoming castle – “fee, fi, fo, fum!”

Balloon Manor - Rochester, NY

But a resourceful Jack makes off with the prized goose that lays the golden egg

 

Today, February 9, 2014 is the last day to visit Balloon Manor in downtown Rochester.  If you are in the area, I highly recommend taking the time to stop for a look.  Balloon Manor is open from 10am – 7pm, and is entirely FREE and open to the public.  And what’s to become of Balloon Manor after its run?  Well, Jack chopped down the beanstalk to prevent the giant from following him, right?  Just like the fairy tale, Balloon Manor will be “chopped” with a Popping Party on Monday, February 10th from 5-7pm.  Tickets for the popping party are $10 each.

Thanks to the sponsors of Balloon Manor for bringing this whimsical balloon interpretation of “Jack and the Beanstalk” to Rochester.  For more family travel news, reviews, and trip reports, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on twitter and “like” our facebook page too.

About Dave Parfitt

Married, father of two girls, and living in the heart of the Finger Lakes. I'm a runner with a PhD in neuroscience and a passion for travel.