Hot Air Balloon Festival Florida 2022: Latest Update

Make preparations to attend a Florida hot air balloon festival, one of Lakeland’s most unique events.

From Friday, May 6 to Sunday, May 8, 2022, Up Up and Away Florida will be held at the SUN ‘n FUN campus. Luminous colorful balloon glows, morning and evening hot air balloon launches, tethered balloon rides, live music, amazing food and beverage options, vendors, helicopter flights, a kids zone, engaging displays, and fun for the entire family are all part of this 3-day event. It’s also Mother’s Day weekend, which is a nice activity to do with mom!

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The best part is that your entry ticket is good for the entire day, so whether you have kids’ sports, family activities, want to drive to Mayfaire by the Lake, go to brunch for Mother’s Day, or just want to take a breather and run home in the middle of the day, you may leave the event and return later.

We’re giving away tickets to Up Up and Away Florida — see below for more information. Up Up and Away Florida sponsored this content and the ticket giveaways.

Launch of a Hot Air Balloon

Saturday and Sunday launches are scheduled from 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., while Friday, Saturday, and Sunday launches are scheduled from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. If you wish to witness balloons launch, check the timetable; they only launch during the cooler hours of the day, such as before sunrise or before sunset, when winds are often light.

(While there will be balloons on exhibit and tethered rides throughout the day, these launch windows are the ONLY times you can see balloons take off, so plan accordingly.)

Keep in mind that balloon launches and rides are weather-dependent; for a safe flight, the wind must cooperate. For live updates, follow Up Up and Away Florida on Facebook and Instagram, or listen for on-site announcements.

Night Glow of Balloons

Balloons will GLOW in the dark on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings from 8:15 pm to 9:15 pm. Don’t miss out on this stunning sight while listening to live music.

There will be live music

Up Up and Away is also a Lakeland weekend music event! Professional bands will perform live music during the three-day festival, with ten or more bands performing Friday evening, all day Saturday, and all day Sunday, including the Rico Monaco Band. Learn more about the excellent music lineup for 2022 by visiting the website.

Balloon Rides with a Tether

During the event, tethered balloon rides will be available on-site. Tethered balloons are a fun way to see a hot air balloon launch, but they only travel up 30-40 feet in the air, hover for a few minutes, and then descend. Each morning from 7:30-9:30 a.m. and evening from 6-9 p.m., tethered balloon rides are available; however, this activity is weather and wind-dependent. On-site payment of $20 per participant (cash only).

Inflatables + Kids Zone

At the event, there will be a Kids Zone with inflatables and games for the kids. A mobile ax-throwing booth is also available.

Food + Drinks

Up Up and Away offers a range of food vendors for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Adults could visit the Barone Fini wine garden and verify the wine sampling schedule. From 7 a.m. until 11 a.m. on Sundays, parents may enjoy 2 for 1 mimosa.

The Florida Air Museum offers free Admission

On the SUN ‘n FUN Campus is the Florida Air Museum, which is Florida’s Official Aviation Museum. The Florida Air Museum is open all year, and the Ramus SkyLab Innovation Center is nearing completion. It presents a vibrant display of aviation’s best examples, including one-of-a-kind designs, classics, ultra-lights, antiques, and warbirds. Discover the Discovery Zone, which includes interactive STEM games and activities for youngsters. The Florida Air Museum is included in the price of your event wristband.

Rides on Hot Air Balloons

Make a reservation for a hot air balloon ride over Lakeland. All balloon rides must be booked directly with the festival’s FAA-certified commercial hot air balloon pilots, who must sign a release. Balloon rides are $250 per person and must be paid in cash. On Saturday, May 7, 2022, and Sunday, May 8, 2022, balloon rides will be available. Visit learn more about booking a hot air balloon journey, go to the Up Up and Away website.


Stay at Up Up and Away on the SUN ‘n FUN grounds for the weekend. From May 1 to 9, RV and tent camping is offered. For additional information on camping alternatives and costs, go visit the website. (Admission to the event is not included in the camping costs.)


The event will take place at the SUN ‘n FUN Campus, which is located at 4175 Medulla Rd in Lakeland, FL 33811. Follow the parking signs.

When you’re at Up Up and Away, keep these safety tips in mind

Keep an eye on where you’re walking and keep your children close by. Balloonists are delighted to have you watch or even assist them in inflating their balloons, but your shoes can easily harm the delicate fabric of the balloon, or you can become caught in their ropes.
Take the same precautions you would at a theme park or a large crowd event.

Take a snapshot of your children so you’ll remember what they were wearing if you become separated and need to contact security. Make sure your older children have memorized your phone number. Write your phone number on their body or put it inside their shorts for smaller children.

Rain or Shine — Balloon launches are weather-dependent events

Please note that this event will take place rain or shine. Weather affects balloon launches and rides. There are no refunds available. There will be no refunds for entry tickets or camping if the balloons are unable to launch due to weather.

Even if the winds don’t cooperate for one or more of the balloon launches, there will be live music, entertainment, children’s activities, food and drink, and a lot of fun. You can also come and go throughout the day, so if the morning winds are unfavorable, you can return for the evening launch window.

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