Hot Air Balloon festival has tons of kids’ activities

Apart from more than 100 balloons taking flight, there is also a gigantic inflatable park, a carnival and much more at this festival

You don’t have to have an interest in hot air balloons to enjoy the annual festival that takes place every August in St. Jean sur Richelieu on the South Shore. Apart from 125 hot air balloons taking to the skies, there will also be a carnival, bouncy castles, concerts and other family-friendly activities.

At the International Hot Air Balloon Festival, kids can stay grounded but have fun at Planète Ballon, which is touted as the world’s largest inflatable park. Children can run, jump, bounce, and slide to their hearts’ content. But the fun doesn’t end there. There will be a photo booth where kids can take pictures in different costumes, a zone where they can squeeze into huge bubble suits and complete challenges, and for the older bunch, a haunted stroll through a giant inflatable monster’s mouth.

For the first time this year, kids can take part in Piko’s Flight School, where they will  learn about the history of the hot air balloon as well as experience the visual and immersive ascension of one by flight simulator.

If kids are seeking some thrills, there is always the carnival – at an extra cost – that includes rides such as the Vertigo or Zero Gravity, and the younger festival goers can try the carrousel or the Circus Train. To unwind at the end of the day, there will be musical performances on Aug. 16, 18, 20, and 21 including the international pop star OMI (Aug. 20).

For parents of younger children, there is an area called Boulevard of Flights with private nursing rooms, changing tables, microwave ovens, access to wash cloths as well as diapers, wipes, baby formula and antibacterial gel.

There will be food trucks on site for the first time this year. The festival takes place from Aug. 13-21. A one-day adult pass costs $22.50 Sunday to Friday and $27.50 on Saturday. It is $12 for kids between 4 and 15, and free for kids under 4.

For more information, visit ballooncanada.com.