Tons of kid-friendly fun at international balloon festival

Feast your eyes upon 100 balloons from around the world and take part in several kid-friendly activities in St. Jean-sur-Richelieu

International Balloon Festival

St├ęphanie Lachance

Hot air balloons will once again fill the skies over St. Jean-sur-Richelieu during the 36th annual International Balloon Festival.

From Aug. 10 to 18, 2019, you and your family can feast your eyes upon close to 100 balloons from all over the world (with 13 special shapes) while participating in the many kid-friendly activities on site. Book a balloon flight and soar through the clouds, or enjoy a unique view of the overhead parade from the Panoramic Field as you take in the sounds of over 150 international artists. Featured artists this year include Akon, Sean Kingston, Serena Ryder and Walk off the Earth. 

There will be plenty of fun to entertain children of all ages, starting with Tribu, one of the world’s largest inflatable parks.  Kids can bounce, climb and slide as much as they want while parents rest on the sidelines. There will also be table games, life-size games, an arts & crafts corner and a relaxation area. 

New this year, Tyro a Piko is a 400 foot long zip line that will send participants flying over the festival grounds. Also, La course au ballon is a competition in which each player must pedal on a stationary bike connected to a small hot air ballooon to make it rise up to the top as fast as possible. At La Lagune, families can take a ride on a pedal boat. A new tree adventure obstacle course by Arbraska and Imaginarium will be featured as well as skateboard workshops, giant sand boxes and rides.

Two new facilities will be available: l'esplanade is a shaded area where everyone can take a break from the heat and enjoy their lunch or dinner. La buvette is a water station located in the centre of the animation areas where people can refill reusable bottles.

Festival-goers will also get the chance to interact with balloon pilots during daily meet-and-greet sessions. Every day from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on des Envolées Blvd., children and adults alike can learn all about the world of flying hot air balloons from pilots and crew members while getting up close and personal with the balloon baskets.

Younger kids will love a giant chalkboard for them to write and draw on. Older kids who are up for some friendly competition will want to stop by The Shack, a station full of table games like foosball, where they can go head-to-head with other kids. And in the Ride Zone, children of all ages can whirl and twirl on roller coasters, carousels, and trains, as well as the giant Ferris wheel.

When you’re hungry, stop by the Food Truck Zone, which features a variety of different lunch and food options like BBQ, pizza and sandwiches.

Located on the South Shore, St. Jean-sur-Richelieu is a 40-minute drive from Montreal. The festival is offering shuttle bus options to get to and from the site. Admission prices will vary, with family passes costing between $55 and $100. Tickets for children ages 4 to 15 cost between $10 to $20 depending on the day. 

For more information on ticket prices, visit

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