Posted: 08/13/2021 | by Olivia

Hot Air Balloon Festival Itinerary

Plan a weekend getaway during the 2021 Lancaster Hot Air Balloon Festival!

The Lancaster Balloon Festival is a one-of-a-kind event in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Hosted in the village of Bird-in-Hand, PA by United States Hot Air Balloon Team, the festival features the mass launch of dozens of big, beautiful balloons, family entertainment, fireworks, delicious food, Amish goods, and even buggy rides! This is a family-friendly event, suitable for all ages with good food and music in the heart of Lancaster Amish Country.

The festival kicks off on Friday, September 17 at 6am and continues through Sunday, September 19 until 8pm. See the mass ascension of balloons each day of the festival during the morning (6am) or evening (8pm) flights. On Friday & Saturday night starting at 8pm, watch the spectacular show of balloons illuminating the sky. There is so much fun to had at the festival and it’s the perfect way to round out a summer of family fun. Add the itinerary below to your festival weekend plans and enjoy an exciting getaway in Lancaster!


Treat yourself to a delicious and affordable breakfast at Bird-in-Hand Family Restaurant and Smorgasbord. Order at your table or go for the smorgasbord, both offerings provide farm fresh ingredients and locally sourced, seasonal options. After breakfast, head over to The Amish Experience at Plain & Fancy Farm. Book a late morning slot at Lancaster’s designated Amish house tour “Heritage Site” with their Amish Country Homestead & one-room School house tour. Guests can also learn all about the history of Amish Culture when they watch “Jacob’s Choice” in the Amish Experience Theatre – complete with multiple screens, special effects, and ghostly images of historical figures.


Take a ride on America’s oldest operating railroad at Strasburg Rail Road. A 45-minute ride in one the various cars is the perfect activity for families, train lovers, and people of all ages. Take in the beautiful scenery that is Lancaster’s countryside. During the Hot Balloon Festival, the historic 611 train will be at the Rail Road. The locomotive is considered a National Historic Engineering Landmark so don’t miss this unique opportunity to see history in motion! After your ride, grab a bite to eat at Speckled Hen Coffee. The cafe features artisan food and craft coffee with locally sourced ingredients. This quaint, and Instagram-worthy spot is the perfect spot to cozy up indoors or enjoy a warm fall day at their outdoor seat area.

If shopping is your preferred activity, you’ll want to head over to Kitchen Kettle Village. There are over 42 shops and restaurants within the Village that are sure to have something you will love! There are unique items such as leather accessories, handmade jewelry and quilts, baked goods, and so much more. If you’re hungry for a small snack, sample the delicious jams, mustards, meats, and cheeses from the celebrated Jam & Relish Kitchen. Guests can even book a horse and buggy ride with AAA Buggy Rides right in the Village.


Saturday until 6pm and Sunday until 5pm, pick your own pumpkins at Barnyard Kingdom! Peruse acres of pumpkins and pick them directly off the vine. Admission includes a special wagon ride and the chance to see adorable farm animals. There are also pumpkins available for purchase at the Country Barn Market located on the grounds of the Barnyard Kingdom.

See an evening show at American Music Theatre! With over 300 performances each year on the state-of-the-art stage, there’s something for everyone here. The festival weekend schedule is as follows:

Friday - 8pm: Blue Oyster Cult
Saturday - 7:30pm: Gladys Knight
Sunday 7:00pm: The Temptations and The Four Tops

Get your tickets today!

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