I’ve been seeing photos in front of the hot air balloons in Cappadocia, Turkey all over social media recently.
Did they incite some travel jealousy?
Maybe a bit.
But good news for my fellow Texans… once a year, you, too, can gaze upon gorgeous hot air balloons at the Plano Balloon Festival.
This late summer/early fall festival happens in late September at Oak Point Park in Plano, TX.
It showcases a bunch of colorful balloons and so much more!
Yes, it has already happened this year, but save the date for next year- the dates for 2018 are September 21, 22, and 23. Keep reading to see if this is something you’d want to check out next year!
1. What to expect
It’s crucial to note that there are not always hot air balloons in the sky during the festival. Instead, there are two key times of day to see them dancing in the sky. You’ve either got to go really early or in the evening.
For daytime photos, you’ll want to arrive early- like 7am early. This is when the balloon activities are happening, so whether they are just floating or racing, they’ll be in the sky.
For sunset photos, you’ll want to catch the afternoon balloon release at . And if you stay beyond that, they actually light up in the night sky, which is a sight to see!
2. The activities
Other than watching hot air balloons, there is still plenty to do.
You can find vendors at the fair, listen to concerts and performances, meet the pilots when they land, watch dancers, and enjoy the food court.
Feel like running? Sign up for the 5k that happens on the Saturday morning of the fair.
There is also a Kids Fun Zone with games, rides, and art activities.
Want to ride in a balloon? While you can’t get full rides, you can do a tether ride for $25 (or $15 for kids).
3. What to bring
Definitely bring cash for parking & vendors.
Depending on where you park, it’s anywhere from $5 to $20.
This year (2017) the parking attendants weren’t accepting credit cards.
Hopefully that will change for the future, but if not, be prepared with cash.
And definitely bring kids!
The festival is extremely kid friendly with a Kids Korner, Toddler Zone, and more.
Also, don’t forget to print out your tickets if you’ve purchased them online. Buying them online skips the line at the entrance, but is not necessary.
4. What to wear
Just dress for the weather and for plenty of walking.
It’s not necessarily that the festival grounds are that huge, but getting to them from your parking spot can be quite the haul.
But that long haul is quite worth the festival festivities waiting for you!
Check out full details and information at www.planoballoonfest.org.