I’m always on the hunt for awesome free family activities, and the Park City Hot Air Balloon Festival just rocked my socks.
The Saturday main launch event was scheduled to start at approximately 8 a.m., so I thought we were making good time when we were getting off the freeway exit around 7:55, but I had largely underestimated the popularity of this event. Traffic was stop-and-go from the exit up to the field of the launch and all surrounding parking lots were completely full. My heart sunk a little when after a forty minute car ride, we were watching the balloons rise up from our car windows as we drove past the overflowing parking lot. But we figured we had come so far, why not park as close as we could and walk over anyway? So we did.
After a 15 minute walk, we arrived to the launch site as hundreds of people filed out of the fields, each of them looking at us like, “are these fools just getting here? It’s all over!” But I was determined to see at least one hot air balloon, so we braved the walk of shame.
Now that most of the people had left, there was plenty of room for us to go check out the one grounded balloon that wasn’t going to actually launch. And then something miraculous happened, the balloons began to land. Not all of them, and not terribly close, but close enough. It was actually really nice that we got there so late because we avoided the big crowd, we did get to see the balloons launch (even if it was from our car) and we were able to get up close and personal with a couple of the balloons.
Educational, outdoors, unique, fun and free.
My advice for next year? Get there 30 minutes early so you can get a parking spot and a good view of the balloons, or get there 30 minutes late so you can get a parking spot (after everyone leaves) and a good view of the balloons.