This hot air balloon festival near Ottawa takes you to new heights and has an amusement park

You can end your summer in Ottawa on a high as you watch giant rainbow balloons fill the skyline just across the river.

During the Labor Day weekend, from September 1 to 5, the gigantic FMG – Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival will take place at Parc La Baie. There will be new balloon shapes to keep your eyes peeled, as well as fireworks, live concerts and an amusement park full of games and rides.

Besides the typical oval balloon shapes, you may spot a giant bear, a fish, an alien, and a snail in the sky each day around 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. There will be around 20 balloons to admire at the same time.

The festivities shine in the evening with the Night Glow event featuring hot air balloons, as well as a fireworks display every evening from Thursday to Sunday. The fireworks start time is from 10 p.m. Thursday to 11:15 p.m. Sunday. Friday and Saturday the show starts at 10:30 p.m.

The fun continues with concerts by various Canadian musicians, like Tristan Guay and mindflip. There’s even a silent disco on Saturday and Sunday that will have you dancing the night away to the DJ mixes of your choice from 7-11 p.m.

A carnival-style amusement park is also part of the festival, where you can seek thrills on the Hurricane or Super Shot rides, hang out on a Ferris wheel or navigate the magical maze. For the first time ever, a professional wrestling ring will be set up in the park on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, where you can watch and cheer on your favorite heroes and villains.

Day tickets are $34.99 Thursday through Sunday and $17.99 on Monday. You can also purchase a five-day pass for the entire event for $54.99.

You can also book a flight in one of the hot air balloons, which you can do either by email or by phone at 819-243-2331. Space is limited, so if a hot air balloon ride is on your to-do list, you might want to get on it soon.

FMG – Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival

Price: $17.99-$34.99+ for a day pass, $54.99 for a 5-day pass (28% off until June 12)

When: September 1-5, 2022

Address: Parc La Baie, Rue Saint-Antoine, Gatineau, QC

Why you need to go: You can admire giant balloons floating in the sky or book your place to ride one in the clouds. There will also be amusement park rides and evening fireworks.

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