FAQ and Guide for Newcomers

What is a balloon jam?
A Balloon Jam is an informal gathering of balloon twisters, from beginners through advanced, who get together and share ideas, news, balloons, and camaraderie.
Do I need to bring my own balloons?
Yes!  You should bring your balloon set-up so you can twist.  Fantasma Magic sells balloons, so if you don’t have yours handy you can buy a couple of bags.
Are these free balloon classes?
No.  Free balloon classes are available, and once you’ve come to a couple and learned the basics, the balloon jams are a great place to practice and learn more.
What happens at a balloon jam?
People mingle and show off different balloon sculptures that they make.  They ask others for pointers, and make suggestions.  There is always some “show-and-tell” with the latest color, pump, accessory, or photo.  Often someone will stand at a microphone and teach one or more sculptures to the group.  Sometime there is a contest, sometimes there isn’t.  There is always someone to help you with a difficult technique or that one balloon request that you just can’t figure out.
Are beginners welcome?
Absolutely.  Balloon artists of all levels are welcome.  Everyone has something to teach, and something to learn.  However, if you are an absolute beginner (meaning you do not know how to tie and twist balloons at all) then you should not come to a balloon jam yet.  Instead, first work through the myriad of videos, free instruction, and books that are available.  A listing of free NYC-area balloon classes and instruction is available at FreeBalloonClasses.com
Can I bring my kids?
If your kids can twist balloons they should join us.  This is not a free babysitting service, nor a place for kids to come and get free balloons.  It’s an open house for all balloon twisters, and while some are family entertainers, others are not.
Can I bring food?
If the venue serves food please do not bring in outside food.  If it does not, then feel free to bring dinner or a snack. It is important to support the venues that let us meet and fill their space with balloons and little itty bitty pieces of latex . . . . we don’t want to be annoying or bad for business.
Who shows up to these balloon jams?
Generally between 20 and 40 people stop by during the event.  Some travel for hours to hang out with other artists, others just happen to be in the area and pop in for a bit.  Some are full-time professional balloon twisters, some are entertainers who ‘do a little balloons’, some are decorators that add twisted techniques to their work, some are hobbyists that love creating with balloons, some are people who bought a book and want to learn more . . . . . . the list goes on and on.
What does it cost to join?
Balloon jams are generally free, although you are expected to support the venue by buying something.  When we meet at the diner in Baldwin you should buy dinner.  When we meet at Fantasma in Manhattan you must buy at least one bag of balloons.
Can you move the jam to my neighborhood?
Sure.  Do you have or know of a free space we can use that is close to a subway stop?  If so, you may host a balloon jam.  Contact Todd for more info.
I don’t live near New York City.  Is there a balloon jam near me?
Possibly.  We have a partial list of other balloon jams on the main NY Twisters page.  If you don’t find a jam near you, Todd will help you set one up in your area.
Do you have a question that should be added here? Send it to Todd