What: 31st Annual New Jersey Festival of Ballooning
Where: Solberg Airport, NJ
When: July 26-28; balloon rides as early as 6:30am and as late as 6:30pm
Why: To achieve new heights in life. Ballooning exists in that special space between flying in an airplane and jumping out of one, and this weekend, the largest summertime hot air balloon festival in North America will commence rising. An hour from NYC, join 175,000 spectators—including Blues Traveler on Friday—as 100 colorful puffed-up shapes take to the sky. While the trip is mostly worth it for the experience of hovering 2,000 feet above the clouds for up to a few hours, there will be plenty of other amusements on the ground, from yoga classes to Air Force skydiving shows to funnel cake, a family fun pavilion, and live music. Get out a pen, cross air ballooning off the bucket list, carry on.
Cost: Day balloon ride/$200; Night balloon ride/$225. Adult festival admission in advance/$20; Children 4yrs+/$10
How to get there: Take the New Jersey Transit’s Raritan line to Raritan Station (check the schedule, you may need to stop in Newark first) then call American at 908.526.0055 for a taxi or Worldwide Limo at 908.906.5011 for a 15-minute ride to the destination. If you’d rather carpool in a rented car, consult oM’s guide to renting Hybrids in Manhattan.
(Balloon Festival, Solberg Airport, 39 Thor Solberg Road, Whitehouse Station, NJ, 800.468.2479, balloonfestival.com)
Photo: Dan Schenker
The co-founder and editor-at-large at offMetro, Lauren is a sustainable travel specialist and freelance journalist with frequent bylines in National Geographic, Bicycling Magazine and Shape. Follow Lauren’s adventures at @laurenmati.