The Largest NJ Balloon Festival Returns on July 28-30


Get ready to look up—the biggest NJ balloon festival, the New Jersey Lottery Festival of Ballooning, will happen from July 28 through July 30, 2023, at Solberg Airport in Readington (cue the applause). And this year’s festival is gearing up as one of the best, with those highly-anticipated hot air balloons, concerts with kids’ fave Laurie Berkner and big-name entertainment like Fitz and the Tantrums, lots of delish food, and plenty of fun. It’s the largest summertime hot air balloon and music festival in North America, and it’s a must on our summer bucket list. With all the stunning, soaring sights this tradition has to offer, it’s easy to see why the New Jersey Lottery Festival of Ballooning has earned sparkly titles like The New Jersey Governor’s Award for Best Special Event and is designated among the Top 100 Festivals in North America. For your chance to see these colorful inflatables take flight, read on for the weekend’s lineup of festival fun. (featured photo taken at the New Jersey Lottery Festival of Ballooning)

nj balloon festival

Kids will love seeing the colorful balloons take flight. Photo credit: NJ Balloon Festival

Watch or ride in up to 100 unique hot air balloons taking flight

The fun starts as you approach the field, looking up and around you at the balloons ready to launch. The New Jersey Lottery Festival of Ballooning features 100 hot air balloons flying high above you daily and ascending back to the ground. All the balloons boast a distinct pattern and design, filling the sky with color. You can stay seated on the lawn and watch (bring blankets and chairs to get comfy) — but if your FOMO is at an all-time high, you can also participate in a hot air balloon ride. Balloon rides start at 6:30 PM on Friday, 7/28, and at 6:30 AM and 6:30 PM on Saturday, 7/29, and Sunday, 7/30. The only catch? Tickets for balloon rides aren’t included with general admission, with prices ranging from $275 to $325 per person, depending on which day and time you’d like to ride. Children must be at least 42 inches tall to go up in a balloon. 

Non-stop festival fun for the entire family

If heights aren’t your thing, there’s plenty more entertainment happening at the New Jersey Lottery Festival of Ballooning. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are all filled with scheduled events for families. On opening day, littles will love jamming to kiddie-rock fave Laurie Berkner, and throughout the weekend, plan to listen to other local tribute bands and big-name entertainment like KC and the Sunshine Band and Fitz and the Tantrums. Thrill-seekers will love the amusement ride area, and little kids will marvel at the magic shows, human cannonballs, and fireworks. On Saturday night, you won’t want to miss the magical sight when the balloons get a glow up at the Awesome Balloon Glow. If you’re a fitness-loving fam, check out a free sunrise yoga session at 7 AM on Sunda or get ready to run with the balloons in the 5K at 8:00 AM. That evening, at the culmination of the festival, watch the mass inflation go up and down for one final, jaw-dropping colorful sky. 

nj balloon festival

Up, up, and away with the NJ Lottery Festival of Ballooning. Photo credit: NJ Balloon Festival

What to know before you go

General admission tickets are good for one full day at the festival and include lawn seating for concerts and a magnificent view of the balloons. Tickets are $32 for adults, $12 for children (ages 4-12), and free for kiddos under three when purchased on the day of the festival. 

You’ll want to bring plenty of cash for the food vendors and pack sunscreen for those intense July sun rays. It’s also a good idea to pack lawn chairs and blankets for the hot air balloon viewing to make your experience as magical and comfortable as possible.

For more information, visit the New Jersey Lottery Festival of Ballooning’s website, Facebook and Instagram.

Become an NJMOM Insider! For all the best things to do with your family around New Jersey, sign up for our weekly newsletter delivered right to your inbox each week, and don’t forget to tag your photos #NJMOM and @njmom for a chance to be featured on our social media.

About Author

Venessa is a first-time mom to a baby boy and a writer who loves to document her journey through journaling scrapbooking, and make-shift baby photoshoots. Before writing for NJMOM, she worked passionately as an English language arts teacher for over seven years. At NJMOM, she's searching for the best places to have fun with her family in New Jersey and loves giving other moms the scoop on what's happening in the Garden State. When she’s not writing or reading literary fiction, she enjoys vacationing with her family, jogging, and cooking up new recipes.