Lake George Adirondack Balloon Festival

Sometimes my husband and I take turns doing something special with the children. We each need our own one-on-one time with our son and daughter. Each child also gets that special time with a parent where he/she doesn’t have to compete for attention.

One such special event is the Adirondack Balloon Festival. Since we live outside of Saranac Lake, making the 5:00 am Big Balloon Breakfast at the Floyd Bennett Memorial Airport hanger in Queensbury was no small feat. The biggest challenge wasn’t so much the early drive but getting my son out of bed. He agreed much later on that is was definitely worth the trip.

Touted as the oldest and largest hot air balloon event on the East Coast, the Adirondack Balloon Festival started September 22 and will continue through September 25. 

On Friday, September 23, the event kicks off at 3 pm with craft vendors and live music at the Floyd Bennett Memorial Airport in Queensbury. Later that evening 80 balloons will take flight, including those special balloon shapes my family looks forward to seeing. If there is poor visibility due to weather, there is still plenty to do and see. Pilots still inflated the balloons but keep each tethered because of any fog.

Pilots normally start inflating the balloons on Saturday and Sunday at around 6:00 am so spectators may want to get to the airport around 5:30 am.
The pilots inflate the hot air balloons and fly the balloons where the wind carries them. (Check out the schedule to the right) 
Though the balloons usually fly away as soon as they are inflated, there is still plenty to do on site such as kids’ bounce houses, climbing wall, craft vendors and even kite flying.

The 8 pm Moonglow is a unique treat. Since the balloons don’t have running lights they can’t be flown at night. The pilots will use the burner to light up the balloons and illuminate the night sky. People are encouraged to bring flashlights to add to the ambience of the event.

 The Adirondack Balloon Festival kicks off on September 23 at Crandall Park in Glens Falls with a block party, live music along with 20 other hot air balloons. The event moves to the airport on Friday with the gates opening at 3:00 pm and a craft and food vendors available. The schedule continues at the airport site through Sunday morning. The event comes full circle, concluding at Crandall Park in Glens Falls.  

Photo of Adirondack Balloon Festival launch used with the permission of

© Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Time™ guidebook series. Adirondack Family Time™guidebooks have easy, short Adirondack family hikes for ADK kids, parents, retired, seniors, dog-owners, Adirondack swimming holes, Lake Placid Olympic activities, Adirondack trivia, Adirondack horseback rides, Adirondack snowshoe family trails and more. Look for the Adirondack family guidebooks online or bookstores/museums/sporting good stores. Diane is currently working on the next Adirondack Family Activities™ guide.


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