Tons of kid-friendly fun at international balloon festival

Feast your eyes upon 125 balloons from around the world and take part in several kid-friendly activities in St. Jean-sur-Richelieu



International de montgolfières de Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu

Stéphanie Lachance

Hot air balloons will once again fill the skies over St. Jean-sur-Richelieu during the 32nd annual International Balloon Festival.

From August 12-20, you and your family can feast your eyes upon 125 balloons from Canada, the United States, France, and Brazil 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 this year is singer/songwriter and former Fugees member Wyclef Jean, as well as local comedians Rashid Badouri and Stéphane Rousseau.

There will be plenty of fun to entertain children of all ages, starting with Planète Ballon, one of the world’s largest inflatable parks. This year, the playground is introducing ten new slides. Kids can bounce, climb and slide as much as they want while parents rest on the sidelines.

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 the boulevard des Envolées, 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 Piko’s Flight School, where they’ll be taught the history of hot air balloons through arts and crafts. There will also be 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. Youth day passes for those aged 4-15 cost $21 and $22 for those aged 16 and up, while family packages vary from $55 to 70$ depending on the day.  

For more information on programming and ticket prices, visit ballooncanada.com.

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