Blogs Family Travel Fashion hot air balloon festival hot air balloons New York Escapes nj family fun nj festival QuickChek summer family fun things for families to do in new jersey Things To Do

37th Annual QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning

37th Annual QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning

Do you know that Benjamin Franklin noticed the primary scorching air balloon take flight in Paris in 1783? Since then, scorching air balloons have develop into lovely sights within the sky, emotions of transcendence, and symbols of hope, new beginnings, and freedom. As the most important summertime scorching air balloon and music pageant in North American, the 37th Annual QuickChek New Jersey Pageant of Ballooning on July 26 to 28 is a summer time occasion to not be missed. Solely about 75 minutes from Midtown Manhattan, the pageant makes the right day journey for NYC households. Happening at Solberg Airport in Readington, NJ, the “pageant of ballooning,” a fancier approach of claiming the “scorching air balloon pageant,” has been designated, for the sixth time, as a Prime 100 Pageant in North America. What’s now greater than 100 sport and particular formed scorching air balloons that take the sky began off as a number of pals who introduced 10 balloons to an area truck cease as a weekend gathering of balloon fanatics in 1983. Now, the 37th Annual QuickChek New Jersey Pageant of Ballooning options live shows, household leisure, arts and crafts distributors, a shopping mall, meals distributors, fireworks, and far more. To not point out the pageant is certainly Instagram-worthy. In the event you’re on the lookout for a approach to uniquely have fun the summer time with your loved ones, take a look at our in-depth information to all that there’s to see and do on the 37th Annual QuickChek New Jersey Pageant of Ballooning!    

Get foolish at this scorching air balloon pageant for all ages! Photograph by Alex Slaughter.


Watching the Balloons

Watching the recent air balloons take off within the sky is the perfect a part of the pageant. And also you need to just remember to’re there to see them blow the balloons up too! You would convey a blanket or garden chairs to unfold out on the grass. I’d advocate garden chairs, as a result of lots of people do deliver chairs, and typically it may be troublesome for the little ones to see all the things in the event that they’re on a blanket. Seize a snack beforehand on the distributors (which I’ll get to quickly), and sit again and loosen up as you watch the balloons soar. In case your youngsters are very lively (as most are), then be aware that they could not need to sit and watch the balloons for a very long time after the novelty wears off. Fortunately, there’s a lot extra to do at this pageant, together with live shows, magic exhibits, amusement rides, and extra. So in case your youngsters are getting antsy to rise up and run round, hop on a journey or head to a youngsters’ live performance. One other concept is to stroll round; as an alternative of sitting to observe the recent air balloons, stroll across the venue for various views. But with the thrilling number of balloons, your youngsters will certainly benefit from the anticipation of ready for the subsequent balloon to return in sight!  

Sit, stand, or stroll round to hint the journey of the balloons from take off to up excessive within the sky!

Balloon Rides

For those who’re in search of a very distinctive expertise on the pageant and your loved ones is just not afraid of heights, think about taking a experience on one of many scorching air balloons. You’ve gotten two alternatives to journey the recent air balloons every day. Morning rides have a 5:15 am check-in and night rides have a 5:15 pm check-in on the Balloon Journey Tent. Should you’re doing a morning journey, make sure you gown warmly, as a result of even within the warmth of the summer time, the morning can nonetheless be chilly, particularly once you’re up within the balloon. Balloon rides are $240 per individual within the morning, $275 within the night on Friday and Sunday, and $295 within the night on Saturday. Needless to say it’s a must to buy a common admission ticket to the pageant on prime of the balloon journey ticket. There isn’t a age requirement, however all riders should be 42 inches or taller. Balloon rides final 20 to 45 minutes. If you would like the expertise of driving a scorching air balloon however are in search of a extra reasonably priced choice, check out the tethered balloon rides on pageant grounds. The tethered rides are solely $20 an individual!   

Take a journey on a balloon for probably the most superb views and a real feeling of transcendence as you take a look at the gorgeous world round you!


Take a look at the tethered balloon rides- you’ll get a style of what flying in a balloon is like!


Lots of of balloons soar within the sky at this pageant, however be sure to’re looking out for the special-shaped balloons. Youngsters particularly love these balloons, as a result of their colourful, distinctive, and sometimes humorous. This yr, maintain your eyes peeled for Excessive Kitty, the 100-foot-tall, scorching pink cat. Excessive Kitty is predicated on a Japanese figurine that’s believed to deliver good luck! To have fun the discharge of Disney’s The Lion King, watch Simba the Lion, the 85-foot tall balloon initially inbuilt Belgium to assist cease the poaching of lions. Kermie the Frog, an enormous, inexperienced frog with cubic footage equal to 105,000 soccer balls will be a part of after touring everywhere in the world. The Keystone Cops, Keystone Willy and Con Air, will take the sky – mustaches and all. These cops made their debut in silent films, and now they’ve been made into iconic scorching air balloons, positive to make you snicker. My last favourite particular formed balloon is the QuickCheck Flighthouse, a 115-foot tall lighthouse, symbolizing summer time and security! 

Belief me- you gained’t miss Excessive Kitty within the sea of balloons! Photograph by QuickChek New Jersey Pageant of Ballooning.

Isn’t this blue canine simply the cutest? He was certainly one of final yr’s particular formed balloons!


Live shows

There are a number of live shows happening all through all three days on the pageant. On Friday, take a look at the Youngsters’ Live performance with Dan Zanes and Claudia Eliaza. Afterward within the day, take pleasure in reside music from nation artist John Cannavo Duo and a 5 pm live performance, that includes Amanda Ayala. The primary act of the day, enjoying at eight pm, is Abba. Take pleasure in stay music all through the day on Saturday, with a lineup of Chuck Schubert, Karaoke with Dave, and Bobby Clark Band. Take a look at the Faculty of Rock Live performance at four:30 pm, and the primary act, The Band Perry, at eight pm. On Sunday, head to the 1 pm live performance with Sam Sims Band and the three pm live performance, that includes The Seashore Boys. Reside music by Oasis may even be at four pm! 

Don’t miss out on the youngsters’ live performance on Friday, July 26 with Dan Zanes and Claudia Eliaza! Photograph by Shaw Leisure Group.

Household Enjoyable Pavilion/Middle

The Household Enjoyable Pavilion and Middle host quite a lot of actions and acts geared in the direction of little ones and their households. Sit up for Flippenout, the trampoline acrobatic stunt present, American Roots Music & Youngsters Jugband, the “Develop up Nice” Cellular Studying Journey, The Superb Michael’s Juggling Extravaganza, Steve Hennessey as Dr. Planet — the enjoyable musical and academic journey via the photo voltaic system – and a lot extra. The pageant is actually geared in the direction of households, they usually have tons of actions to maintain your little ones entertained all through the entire day. Take a look at the day by day schedules to see when all of those actions are scheduled and plan your day accordingly!

There’s infinite household enjoyable at this iconic pageant! Photograph by Alex Slaughter.

Fireworks & Balloon Glow

July four might have handed, however what’s a pageant with out fireworks? In the event you’re planning to attend the pageant on Friday, make sure you catch the Fireworks Extravaganza at 9:30 pm. Saturday night time has one other enjoyable occasion that’s undoubtedly value staying for: the Balloon Glow at 9 pm. The large scorching air balloons will glow superbly towards the night time sky – a sight to not be missed. 

For those who’re planning to observe the 6:30 pm balloon take off, keep for the fireworks present afterward within the night time! Photograph by QuickChek New Jersey Pageant of Ballooning.


Happening a number of occasions all through the weekend, Belmont’s Pageant of Magic’s present brings laughs and smiles to youngsters throughout. The magic present takes place at Magic 98.Three’s “Theater of Magic,” so you’ll want to catch at the very least certainly one of their thrilling exhibits throughout your time on the pageant. 

Amusement Park Rides

The enjoyable really by no means ends at this family-friendly pageant, as a result of along with music, magic, fireworks, and countless actions on the household pavilion and middle, there are many amusement park rides to take pleasure in. Hop on the spinning scorching air balloon ferris wheel or take a experience on the basic carousel. The amusement park rides are a good way to interrupt up your day and maintain your youngsters entertained! 

Scorching air balloons are available each measurement, form, and form- even amusement park journey type! Photograph by QuickChek New Jersey Pageant of Ballooning.

Keep Lively: 5k, Dawn Yoga, Pilates 

On the lookout for a extra lively expertise on the pageant? Join the Operating with the Balloons 5k! You’ll begin on the balloon launch space and end on the coronary heart of the pageant. Take a look at the views of the balloons up within the sky as you run by means of this grass, pavement, and gravel course. This iconic race was featured on the YES Community and Fox Sports activities Regionals for its distinctive expertise of operating together with the balloons. The 5k is ideal for households who need to jog it collectively, however if you wish to actually compete, you will have an opportunity of profitable a free scorching air balloon journey. If you would like a extra low key, but nonetheless lively expertise, take a look at the peaceable dawn yoga or the morning pilates courses because the morning balloons set for take off! 

Get your exercise in on the pageant by operating alongside the balloons in a 5k! #nodaysoff Photograph by QuickChek New Jersey Pageant of Ballooning.



In case your planning on spending the entire day on the pageant, then you definitely’ll certainly work up an urge for food with all of the actions holding you busy. In fact, QuickChek may have their retailer on website with loads of choices for lunch and snacking. Nevertheless, there will even be meals distributors – many meals vans and tents to fulfill your starvation. Final yr, the pageant had a meals truck that served big plates of hen fingers and fries and a scrumptious cupcake meals truck for dessert. The pageant didn’t launch the listing of meals distributors for this yr but, however there shall be plenty of delicious choices on your little ones. Notice that coolers, bottles, and meals will not be allowed into the pageant, so don’t pack a lunch to convey onto pageant grounds!

Who can refuse cupcakes at a pageant? Definitely not me.

Arts & Crafts

Every part from jewellery to ceramics to family-friendly crafts shall be on the pageant so that you can take pleasure in! Participate in interactive arts & crafts or watch the artists work their miracles. The listing of craft distributors for this yr has not been launched but, however final yr, the pageant featured Alex and Ani, Chocolate Moonshine, Collectibles Toy Field, and lots of extra. Get artistic and artful with your loved ones this summer time on the scorching air balloon pageant! 


Along with arts & crafts distributors, there are numerous purchasing distributors. On the Pageant Buying Middle, browse do-it-yourself cat and canine treats, Thai-Asian fashion ladies’s clothes, Dye It Up tie-dye merchandise, the Balloon Present Store, and far more. A useful tip: your youngsters will probably get very excited over all there’s to purchase at this pageant, particularly with the tie-dye shirts and the Scorching Air Balloon Present Store merchandise. I’d advocate that you simply set a restrict on purchasing. Window buying (or on this case, tent purchasing) is all the time enjoyable, however with youngsters, it may well typically be overwhelming. Attempt to gear your pageant expertise extra in the direction of the actions included together with your basic admission ticket. 

All smiles for the balloons, buying, and humanities & crafts! Photograph by Alex Slaughter.

Tickets and Final Minute Ideas/Information


Common Admission tickets grant your entrance to the pageant on any at some point. Grownup tickets are $30 by way of July 24 and $25 on the gate. Tickets for youngsters ages four to 12 are $12 by way of July 24 and $15 on the gate. Youngsters Three and beneath are free! Garden seating for live shows is included in your basic admission ticket.  


Once you’re planning your journey, a useful tip to remember is that balloons take off at 6:30 am and 6:30 pm, so households sometimes both get there within the morning or arrive round four:30 pm. However notice that there can be a whole lot of visitors in the event you plan to reach on the four:30 pm rush. The easiest way to keep away from visitors can be to return earlier, round 2:30-Three pm, and luxuriate in all that the pageant has to supply earlier than the balloons take off. Equally, whereas some individuals keep for the live performance after the 6:30 pm balloon take-off, there’s a rush of people that depart immediately and the parking zone will probably be loopy. I’d advocate leaving earlier than everybody else does. Attempt to make it to your automotive earlier than the push, as a result of in any other case you is perhaps caught in parking zone visitors for an hour. Additionally, once we left the pageant, we have been sitting in our automotive for over an hour, ready to go away the parking zone. What we didn’t understand was that there have been different exits from the parking zone, aside from the best way we got here in. So once you’re leaving, go searching for all exits! 

We’re obsessive about these beautiful balloons. Have the easiest expertise among the many crowds when you’re there, however beat the crowds to your automotive if you depart!

One Extra Cause to Examine Out the Pageant: A Good Trigger

Whereas the pageant is filled with household enjoyable, it additionally helps fantastic causes. Youngsters’s Miracle Community and QuickChek NJ Pageant of Ballooning workforce up once more this yr to profit the Youngsters’s Specialised Hospital, amongst different organizations. The pageant works with numerous native, regional and nationwide non-profits, faculties, and religious-based teams. The pageant raised over $2.87 million in charitable contributions! To hitch in and contribute to the Group Nook, in addition to make household reminiscences alongside lovely balloons, purchase your tickets for the 37th Annual QuickChek New Jersey Pageant of Ballooning!

Join on Fb, Twitter, and Instagram: @njballoonfest 

Photographer: Alex Slaughter is a photographer and videographer based mostly in NJ. His debut music video, Cuando, is out now on WorldStar.


! perform(f, b, e, v, n, t, s)
if (f.fbq) return;
n = f.fbq = perform()
n.callMethod ?
n.callMethod.apply(n, arguments) : n.queue.push(arguments)
if (!f._fbq) f._fbq = n;
n.push = n;
n.loaded = !zero;
n.model = ‘’;
n.queue = [];
t = b.createElement(e);
t.async = !zero;
t.src = v;
s = b.getElementsByTagName(e)[0];
s.parentNode.insertBefore(t, s)
(window, doc, ‘script’, ‘’);
fbq(‘init’, ‘783395065181202’);
fbq(‘monitor’, ‘PageView’);

(perform(d, s, id)
var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];
if (d.getElementById(id)) return;
js = d.createElement(s); = id;
js.async=true; js.src = “//join.fb.internet/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1&appId=646630782065137”;
fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);
(doc, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));

About the author