Posted: 08/02/2023 | by Tori

Hot Air Balloon Festival Itinerary

Plan a weekend getaway during the 2023 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 Lancaster Balloon Rides, 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.

There is so much fun to have 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 Schoolhouse 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.'

Or take a trip down memory lane with Barry's collection of American muscle cars from the 50s, 60s, and 70s at Barry's Car Barn.


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!

Still interested in trains but can't go for a ride, head out to The Railroad Museum of PA where you can sit in an engineer's seat, explore a caboose, experience a turn-of-the-20th-century passenger station, and inspect a 62-ton locomotive from underneath.

Hungry after all your learning? 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.

Can't contain the little one? Take the for a fun-filled afternoon at Cherry Crest Adventure Farm! They offer over 60 Farm Fun activities for kids and adults of all ages. Learn about farm animals, let your children’s imagination soar in Sproutsville, and burn some energy on our giant slides, jump pillows, or pedal carts.


Open until 7PM, Dutch Wonderland makes the perfect place to go for kids to run free before sitting down for dinner at one of our local restaurants. Enjoy over 35 rides, attractions, and shows at Dutch Wonderland! Cool off in Duke’s Lagoon water play area and make discoveries at Exploration Island, where dinosaurs come to life!

Immerse yourself in the beauty of Amish Country on a tour with Strasburg Scooters. Ride around and feel the breeze in your as you take in all the beauty and history that Lancaster County has to offer. They offer many different tours to fit anyone's interest.

Satisfy your hunger by heading to DJ's Taste of the 50's! This themed restaurant offers tried and true favorites, such as burgers, fries, and shakes. If you're looking for an elevated dining experience then try out The Greenfield Restaurant & Bar, this beautifully restored Pennsylvania stone farmhouse has a romantic setting surrounded by groomed landscape and bountiful flowers.

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.

Get your tickets today!

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the Lancaster Balloon Festival?

The Lancaster Balloon Festival and County Fair is Thursday, September 14th, 2023 through Sunday, September 17, 2023.

Where is the Lancaster Balloon Festival?

The festival is located at 2727 Old Philadelphia Pike, Bird in Hand, PA 17505.

Where can I stay during my trip?

For the top places to stay in Lancaster County click here.

Book Your Stay

How much are tickets to the festival?

General admission tickets are available for each day of the event. Tickets vary in price from $5-$10 per person, daily; or $25-$30 for the weekend pass.

Tickets will be available at the gate but it is recommended visitors purchase passes in advance as the festival is expected to sell out. Click here to purchase tickets.

How much does a hot air balloon ride cost?

Hot air balloon flights are available each day of the festival, weather permitting, are $300 per person and include general admission to the festival. Click here to learn more.

More FAQ's

What else can I do while in Lancaster, PA?

There are lots to see while you're in Lancaster, from visiting our vibrant city to exploring our small towns and riverside.

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