Where to get about 40 helium balloons in Cambridge, MA?
April 24, 2016 6:23 AM   Subscribe

I'm running an event on the MIT campus in Cambridge, MA, and I need about 40 inflated helium balloons in bunches. I'm looking to buy them as close to campus as possible, because balloons are not the easiest thing to transport. The nearest party stores I see are in Boston, but I'm hoping there's somewhere closer. Alternatively, I'd be willing to buy the balloons somewhere else and bring them somewhere near campus to be inflated and stringed, if there's anywhere that offers that service. Thank you for any pointers you can give me!
posted by mekily to Shopping (9 answers total)
Most grocery stores sell helium balloons in the floral department.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:24 AM on April 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

Dollar Tree sells balloon, but I've only bought mylar there not regular latex. Mylars are $1 each, I suspect latex are 2/$1 or something, you could call. There's a Dollar Tree north of Kendall Square.
posted by aimedwander at 6:28 AM on April 24, 2016

The Shaw's in Porter Square definitely has them in the floral department. (The Michaels also in Porter Square might too, I don't know.) If you want closer, I'd check the Shaw's by Central - it's down towards Kendall so it's probably walkable from MIT.
posted by posadnitsa at 6:29 AM on April 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

Oh, alternately, stores like Party City sell mini tanks of helium, so you could buy your supplies and fill them yourself.

Or since you're on MIT campus, find a friend who uses helium in their lab setup and just fill them there
posted by aimedwander at 6:31 AM on April 24, 2016 [7 favorites]

If there is a Dollar Tree (or other dollar store) nearby, many of them carry balloons for ...a dollar. They are surprisingly high quality!
posted by heathrowga at 7:05 AM on April 24, 2016

Hospital gift shops have helium balloons, but usually the expensive Mylar ones with designs on them.
posted by Maarika at 7:24 AM on April 24, 2016

I don't know about the Boston/Cambridge area, but when we've ordered balloons for an event, the party store generally delivers them. 30 balloons may not be enough to get them to deliver for a reasonable price.
posted by sciencegeek at 7:27 AM on April 24, 2016

If you want to use mylar balloons for an event, you may need to hire an MITPD detail. I'd check with ehs.mit.edu.

And, as taff mentioned, helium should not be used for party balloons.
posted by mattbcoset at 10:07 AM on April 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

aimedwander: "Or since you're on MIT campus, find a friend who uses helium in their lab setup and just fill them there"

I like the way you think.

I'd like to avoid filling them myself if possible, since we have lots of other event prep to do, but if that looks like the easiest option, I'll consider it.

I talked to the Shaw's in Central and they do balloons! They don't have the colors I want, but they said I can buy balloons elsewhere and they'll fill them for 25¢ each. I'm gonna call this almost solved... just need to find somewhere to buy empty balloons. Thanks all.

Also, I do agree that helium balloons are somewhat wasteful. However, in this case I'm not in charge of the event and it's not under my control.
posted by mekily at 10:18 AM on April 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

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