5+ Pennsylvania Hot Air Balloon Festivals (Full Details)

If you’ve been wanting to go on a hot air balloon ride or just enjoy the fun of these Pennslyvania hot air balloon festivals, you’re in the right place to find all the options you have.

Each of these hot air balloon festivals is a family-friendly event with live entertainment, kids’ activities, food vendors with good food and spectacular events.

Source: Western Pennsylvania Balloon Quest

There are some talented balloon pilots who have even worked at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

#1 Lancaster Hot Air Balloon Festival & Country Fair

September 14 – 17, 2023 | Bird-in-Hand, PA | Website

The Lancaster Balloon Festival is PA’s longest-running hot air balloon festival and there is so much to enjoy at this large festival. This event has been a part of Lancaster for so many years.

If you don’t plan on riding, general admission includes:

  • Bounce houses
  • Corn maze
  • Tractor hayride
  • Oversized lawn games
  • Walk around the beautiful balloons
  • Live entertainment (including shows and music)
  • Fireworks (on Saturday evenings)
  • Tethered balloon rides (extra cost) allows you to fly up a short distance in an anchored balloon
  • Rock wall climbing (extra cost)
Source: Lancaster Hot Air Balloon Festival

Hot Air Balloon Watching

Of course, at the festival you can expect to see a lot of hot air balloon launches happening. You’ll be able to see them inflate, the balloon pilot step in and take off.

Many of the balloons will take off at the same time which is so cool to see.

Hot Air Balloon Glow

One of the highlights is the balloon glow event, where the balloons are inflated and lit up at night, creating a beautiful and unique spectacle. The balloon glows happen on Friday & Saturday.

Source: Lancaster Hot Air Balloon Festival

Family Entertainment

There are many great events throughout the festival including magic shows, reptile shows, live music and more.

NEARBY: 3 Hot Air Balloon Festivals in Virginia: Music, Kid Activities & Food

Seeing the magic of dozens of technicolored hot air balloons soar over the Lancaster County horizon is truly an experience. 

Note: if you book early, you can take advantage of discounts on general admission ticket and hot air balloon rides.

Source: Philly Balloon & Music Festival

#2 Philly Balloon & Music Festival

July 2-3, 2023 | Glenmoore, PA | Website

The Philly Balloon & Music Festival is a great event that offers something for everyone in the family. You’ll have the opportunity to see dozens of balloons floating above along Chester County and you may even get a glimpse of the Philadelphia Skyline in the background. 

The festival has live music performances with a number of local artists and bands, covering a range of genres including as rock, country, and pop.

The festival features:

  • Beautiful hot air balloons
  • Balloon glow each evening
  • Fireworks
  • Bounce houses
  • Hayrides
  • Other family-friendly entertainment
  • Tethered balloon rides
  • Food trucks with local food, beer and wine

This is a great way to celebrate the July 4th weekend!

#3 Thurston Classic

June 15 – 18 | Meadville, PA | Website

This hot air balloon festival completely free to attend which is nice (although donations are appreciated)! It’s important to know that there are no hot air balloon rides offered though. Despite that, there are other special events throughout the festival.

Some of the events you can watch include:

  • Night Glow: where tethered balloons are illuminated and take flight into the night sky
  • Races where balloon pilots have to toss a bean bag from their balloon to a target on the ground
  • Other balloon races

There are typically around 30 balloons involved and the pilots come from Pennsylvania and other surrounding states like Ohio, West Virginia and Michigan.

Note: parking is free. Get there early and bring a lawn chair or blanket.

#4 Chester County Balloon Festival

Jun 16-18 | Toughkenamon, PA | Website

Held at Willowdale, the Chester County Balloon Festival is so much fun for the entire family.

People come from nearby Philadelphia, New York, Washington, DC and New Jersey for this event, whether for the day or even for the whole weekend.

MORE FUN: 9 Virginia Amusement Parks: Family Fun Amusement Parks in VA

Over this 3-day event, there are a number of fun activities including:

  • Watching hot air balloon flights taking off (twice per day)
  • Balloon glow featuring a special shapes balloon rodeo
  • Hot air balloon rides (tethered and untethered
  • A walk-thru balloon
  • Beer garden
  • Live music by local bands
  • Food
  • Crafts
  • Kid zone
Source: Spooktacular Hot Air Balloon Festival Pennsylvania

#5 Spooktacular Hot Air Balloon Festival

September 29 – October 1, 2023 | Lehigh Valley, PA | Website

The Spooktacular Hot Air Balloon Festival is run by a local family who wanted to bring something fun to their community. This is a fun event to kickoff the Halloween season.

NEARBY: DelGrosso’s Amusement Park (What to Expect)

Located at the Slatington Airport, the event has a lot of fun activities including:

  • Hot air balloon rides (of course!) both tethered and untethered (extra $)
  • Hot air balloon glow nights
  • Laser light balloon glow
  • Food trucks and vendor craft fair
  • Live music & entertainment
  • Bounce houses, carnival rides and games (all included in admission)
  • Helicopter rides (extra $)

Note: the festival does host a free night for special needs families. Check their website for more details.

Source: Western Pennsylvania Balloon Quest

#6 Western Pennsylvania Balloon Quest

August 2023 | Scotlands Meadow Park, PA | Website

The Western Pennsylvania Balloon Quest is run by the local volunteer fire department and has been an annual event for over 15 years. The main attraction of course are the hot air balloons themselves!

This is a great experience for the whole family and a perfect way to spend a summer day. The festival’s activities include:

  • 20-25 colorful hot air balloons
  • Amusement rides
  • Food
  • Crafts
  • Demonstrations
  • Fireworks
  • Night glow
Source: Western Pennsylvania Balloon Quest

The weather hasn’t cooperating with them for a few years, resulting in having to cancel a number of flights and even deflating the grounded balloons.

The community appreciates them putting the safety of the pilots and crew as their top priority to avoid any unnecessary tragic events.

Tips for Attending the PA Hot Air Balloon Festivals

Arrive Early: if you are trying to arrive for a particular show or to see the ascension, you want to give yourself more time than you think you need. There tends to be an influx of visitors as you get closer to ascension times. Other people want to come for the same events so traffic tends to be heavier.

Plan Ahead: if you know you will be attending a festival, try to purchase your tickets ahead of time as you may be able to grab a discount. You can also check sites like Groupon to see if any discount tickets are available.

Check for Pet Policies: for the most part, you’ll need to leave your furry family members at home. Make sure to check each festivals pet policy if you are considering bringing your dog. Service dogs, however, are of course welcome.

Check the Weather: Hot air balloons cannot be flown with rain or especially thunderstorms so make sure to check the weather before you go. If there are high winds, they will likely not be able to fly either.

Photo of author

Emma Williams

Emma was born and raised in Pennsylvania and loves exploring the state with her 3 kids, husband and Labrador. She loves nature and finding new, fun places to go.