Hot Air Balloons near New Jersey: Hot Air Balloon Festivals and Rides

Watch the skies above for colorful hot air balloons, or drop in to the Warren County Farmers Fair Balloon Fest to take a tethered ride. Photo by Giulia Grotenhuis
Watch the skies above for colorful hot air balloons, or drop in to the Warren County Farmers Fair Balloon Fest to take a tethered ride. Photo by Giulia Grotenhuis

Ever wish you could go up, up, and away in a hot air balloon in New Jersey? Or maybe just watch a hot air balloon float across the horizon with your feet planted firmly on the ground? In some parts of New Jersey, ballooning is part of the local culture, with local hot air balloon festivals and opportunities to soar high above the treetops as you take the trip of your life.

We've rounded up a few vendors offering hot air balloon cruises in New Jersey as well as some popular hot air balloon festivals—including the uber-popular, long-running NJ Lottery Festival of Ballooning—where you can catch a glimpse of a hot air balloon-filled sky. A hot air balloon festival makes a great day trip and a ride—while pricey—is an unforgettable splurge to celebrate your kid's next milestone birthday.

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Note that all of the hot air balloon festivals require admission and the flights only happen in good weather. If you'd like to fly on a hot air balloon in New Jersey, make your reservation early and check the height and age restrictions for passengers with the vendor before booking. Bookings aren't cheap, but they might be just what you're looking for to celebrate a graduation, sweet 16, or another big event.

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hot air balloons in New Jersey NJ Lottery Festival of Ballooning
Balloons rides, music, and more are on tap at the annual NJ Lottery Festival of Ballooning.

Hot Air Balloon Festivals in New Jersey

NJ Lottery Festival of Ballooning – Readington

Probably the biggest and best-known hot air balloon festival in New Jersey is the New Jersey Lottery Festival of Ballooning, held annually at the end of July at the Solberg Airport. The balloons ascend in a massive group five times over the festival weekend at sunrise and sunset (Friday night, Saturday morning and night, and Sunday morning and night). Treat your eyes to the sight of nearly 100 balloons filling the sky, including lots of uniquely shaped balloons. Not only can you buy a ticket to take a balloon ride during mass ascensions, but tethered rides are also available. Beyond the hot air balloons, the New Jersey Lottery Festival of Ballooning offers food and merchandise vendors, plus fireworks and concerts (tickets are required to enter the grounds).

84th Annual Warren County Farmers’ Fair and Hot Air Balloon Festival – Phillipsburg

Watch in awe as 20 colorful hot air balloons fill the sky nightly or take a tethered hot air balloon ride in New Jersey at this annual event. The fair has 4-H exhibits, rides, food, music, and more. Save time and money by buying tickets online in advance.

Warren County Hot Air Balloons, Fun and Games Festival – Washington

Get ready for some good old-fashioned fun! Held at Warren Community College, expect this annual hot air balloon festival in New Jersey to have arts and crafts, vendors, food trucks, music, and more. On the flying front, take a drone flying lesson, buy tickets for a tethered hot air balloon ride, or see the hot air balloons take to the skies each evening.

Hot Air Balloon Festivals near New Jersey

Hudson Valley Hot Air Balloon Festival – Union Vale, New York

Sit back and watch nearly 100 hot air balloons soar high in the sky at dawn and dusk. Also on the schedule are tethered rides, nightly fireworks, live music, vendors, picnic space, and even helicopter rides. Make a reservation to attend balloon launches in advance of your visit.

New York State Festival of Balloons – Dansville, New York

This event is big and breathtaking. The festival boasts rides and games for kids, tethered balloon rides, and entertainment all day long. On the ballooning front, there are six scheduled mass launches from Friday night through Monday morning.

2022 Lancaster Hot Air Balloon Festival – Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania

The Lancaster Hot Air Balloon Festival features the mass launch of dozens of beautiful hot air balloons five times during the event. Plus, there's family entertainment, fireworks, food, Amish goods, and even buggy rides! Buy tickets to fly during one of the mass balloon ascensions or enjoy the sight from the ground. Don't miss the balloon glow event, where the balloonists use burners and fire to make the balloons glow in the dark.

Spooktacular Hot Air Balloon Festival – Slatington, Pennsylvania

Head to Lehigh Valley for a Halloween event like no other. Dozens of hot air balloons light up the night sky with a laser light balloon glow that fills the sky with a rainbow of colors. Plus, enjoy spooktacular tethered hot air balloon rides, monster truck rides, carnival fun, fair foods, and games. Visit the many craft vendors and see live fireworks, music, and entertainment nightly. You can also walk around the hot air balloon trail twice daily. Special programming (like FREE tethered rides and snacks) is offered for special needs children on the first night of the festival. Register in advance to attend this FREE part of the festival.

Philly Balloon & Music Festival – Glenmoore, Pennsylvania

This festival typically happens in early July, and you can count on food, shows, hayrides, bounce houses, tethered rides, family activities, and music all day. The hot air balloons fly together at 6am and 6pm during the festival days. And at 9pm most nights, don't miss the glow event where the balloons return to the launch field and are set up to glow in the dark.

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Hot air balloons in New Jersey Hunterdon Ballooning
Fly through the clouds with Hunterdon Ballooning.

Where to Ride a Hot Air Balloon in New Jersey

Hunterdon Ballooning – Lebanon

With 30 years of experience, these hot air balloon cruises in New Jersey take you over Hunterdon and Warren Counties. You'll see farms, small villages, and residential communities plus beautiful hills, meadows, fields, forests, streams, and rivers. On a clear day, you can see the New York City and Philadelphia skylines and the Delaware Water Gap. Gondolas can carry up to five passengers (~$325/person) and launch from Whitehouse Station. There's also a launch site in Asbury.

Balloons in Flight Over NJ – Clinton

Flying since 1987, these hot air balloon flights take passengers over the rolling hills and small towns of beautiful Hunterdon County near the Spruce Run Reservoir. All flights are followed by complimentary champagne or non-alcoholic beverage tailgate party and cost $250-300 per person.

Dreamworks Balloons – Forked River

These hot air balloon cruises ($240/person) fly over scenic South Jersey in Deptford, Glassboro, and Medford and carry 2-3 people per gondola.

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Hot air balloons in new Jersey Skylands Ballooning
Take a magical ride over scenic Northwest New Jersey with Skylands Ballooning.

Skylands Ballooning – Asbury

Float on the breeze over the scenic northern New Jersey countryside for 40-60 minutes, enjoying panoramic views at various elevations. Flights include a toast and light snacks after the flight.

Tewksbury Balloon Adventures – Whitehouse Station

Launching from Whitehouse Station, this balloon pilot has 50 years of experience. Soar over the green hills of northwest New Jersey, and see farms, pastures, apple orchards, and old estates. Balloons accommodate up to eight people. The cost of the flight is $275 per person and includes complimentary beverages and hors d'oeuvres once you're on solid ground.

Unless noted, photos courtesy of the festivals/venues

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