For a sum of money (usually ranging from $100 to $200 as far as I know, you can buy a hot-air balloon flight in most areas of the United States.

It's quite an experience. Since the wind is usally calmer in the wee hours of the morn, most balloonists fly at the butt crack of dawn. You get to watch them set up the balloon, and then (preferably when it's fully inflated and the basket is perpendicular to the ground) you climb in and take off, rising gently into the heavens. On most flights, the pilot will maintain a height of about 600 to 1000 feet, just enough to make everything on the ground look like an extremely detailed miniature model. (Or, to scare the pants off of you, depending on your tolerance of heights.)

The appeal of hot-air balloon flights is mostly in the fact that, unlike on a plane, you're usually moving quite slowly and the flight is silent. (Except when the pilot makes a burn, which only makes the following silence that much more palpatable.)

During the flight, a vehicle, usually a van, pickup-truck, or small, converted RV will drive around on the ground, following the balloon. When the balloon is ready to land the people in the vehicle will, ideally, be able to tell and run out to assist by climbing on the basket to keep the balloon from sliding on the ground or rising up in the air again.

A ceremony usually follows the flight to celebrate the aeronautical deflowering of the passengers, sometimes with certificates, champagne (representing the use of champagne in the celebration of the Montgolfier brothers after the first successful hot-air balloon flight ever), and a picnic. During this, the captain will sometimes make a speech and or coerce the passengers to partake in humorous, bizarre rituals, such as bowing to Mother Earth and thanking her for allowing you to return to the ground safely.

All in all, it's a lot of fun, even for the balloon crew.