The perfect fit for early birds, hot air balloon festivals offer families a chance to watch colorful balloons float into Colorado’s blue skies at sunrise. Head out to these festivals for a glow—when the balloons inflate and pilots fire up their burners, illuminating the balloon in the dark sky—and lift off, and stick around for the abundance of family fun. All festival entry is free, but parking and some activities may have fees.
Colorado’s northwestern-most county is known for its stellar stargazing. The Balloon Festival will have families looking to the skies for another reason. Watch 25 majestic balloons launch at 6:30 a.m. each day all weekend, and take part in inflatable fun for kiddos, a 5K race, a classic car show, duck racing, and a glow-up on Saturday night. Live music and local food vendors will be on hand all weekend. Loudy-Simpson Park, Craig.
August 30-September 1
Every Labor Day weekend, the town of Creede lights up with hot air balloons. Watch as 10 balloons lift off each morning at 7 a.m. and grab your chance to take a ride in one of them. Creede’s family fun comes alive on Saturday, with a glow at 6 a.m., a pancake breakfast, a children’s carnival, games, and an outdoor movie. Mineral County Memorial Airport, Creede.
August 31-September 2
At this year’s three-day festival, 70 balloons take flight over Memorial Park. Peek at wakeboarding exhibitions, rent a paddleboard at Prospect Lake, and enjoy live entertainment, skydivers, donut eating competitions, and live music all weekend. The balloons will glow at dusk each night. Memorial Park, Colorado Springs.
August 31-September 1
Approximately an hour north of Denver, Windsor’s Harvest Festival features a balloon rally with 10 balloons that launch at approximately 7 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Festival events take place after liftoff each day, including live music, a pancake breakfast, arts and crafts, kids amusement rides and games, and fireworks. Eastman Park, Main Park, and Boardwalk Park, Windsor.