8th Annual Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival-2012

What: Hot Air Balloon Festival; Where: Foley Sportspark; When: June 15-17; Cost: FREE

The Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival is an annual event in Foley, Alabama. It is one of those events that we will make the drive for if we have the time and are in town. The festival goes on throughout the day but our favorite time to visit is in the early evening. The weather has cooled down a little bit (as cool as it gets in June!) and if you arrive as the sun is going down you can see the hot air balloons all lit up.

There is a children’s festival that is open on Friday, June 15, from 2pm to 7pm and Saturday from 8am to 7pm. The children’s festival will include inflatables, children’s interactive entertainment, reptile displays, face painting and more. There will be live entertainment, the Disc Connected K9s and more.

Admission to the festival is free. See the schedule before you go to confirm activities.

Things to Know Before You Go:

  • There is shuttle service from three locations and the shuttles run every 15 minutes. Shuttle fare is $2 per person, per route. See the information page for details. We haven’t been to the festival since 2010 so I can’t speak to the improvements now that they are charging. I can say that you need to be prepared to wait. If it is crowded, you may need to wait at least one or two shuttle runs before boarding. Parking at the festival is limited but depending on when you get there, you might be able to find a space.
  • Pack a cooler for when you get back in the car. It is hot and you will be glad that you have that cold bottle of water in the car. NOTE: You Can Not bring your cooler to the festival. Outside drinks and food are not allowed.
  • Wear sunscreen and comfy walking shoes. You will be outside and there is not a lot of shaded areas.
  • Some of the children’s activities are free but there may be a cost associated with others.
The festival is located in the Foley Sports Park, 18507 Highway 98 West, Foley, Alabama.




  1. We had an AWESOME time when we went several years ago. The whole afternoon/evening was non stop “oohs” and “ahs” from my at the time 4 and 7 year old (somewhere in there). Totally worth the trip!!! Definitely be there as the sun goes down…the balloons look amazing at night!

  2. We went last year and loved it. The kids area was great. They had a bubble machine, inflatables, a dance area with a dj, & free facepainting. Just in case it’s like this again this year, there were inflatables set up outside the kids area, which you had to pay for. We didn’t know until we walked in the actual kids area that they had free ones in that section.

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