Why are the balloon ascensions at such unusual times - 6:30 a.m & 6:30 p.m?
How do I get to the festival using public transportation?
Click HERE to go to NJ Transit’s trip planner. Enter the destination address 39 Thor Solberg Rd. Whitehouse Station, NJ 08889. The closest train stations to the festival are Whitehouse Station, North Branch, and Raritan. ***You will need to call ahead to arrange for a cab or car service to deliver you from the train station you arrive at to the festival. It will be a 3-5 mile ride.
Can I bring a tent and/or an umbrella?
Tents are not allowed. Umbrellas are allowed but we would like you to be wary of your neighbors, please don't block their view. If our staff sees that you are blocking other peoples view during the ascensions, we reserve the right to ask you to take it down for that time period or move you to the side away from the crowd so everyone can have a great view of the balloons or other events that might be going on around you.
Is the festival handicap accessible?
As with all special events and festivals, The QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning reserves areas closest to the festival admission gates for vehicles displaying the proper handicapped parking tags. (Please make sure these tags are clearly visible, so police and parking personnel can direct you to the proper parking area.)
The main pedestrian thoroughfares (the airport’s runway and taxiway) are paved surfaces, and easily traversed by wheelchairs, people with walkers, etc. However, please be aware that there are a number of important attractions (the balloon launch area, corporate hospitality village, family fun center, etc.) which can only be reached by traveling over stretches of grassy fields. If the ground is saturated with rain, it can make the going a little bit slow.
Sorry, the festival does not offer wheelchair or cart rental. There are a limited number of “customer service” golf carts which are available to transport patrons to the parking lots from various points throughout the festival grounds. The main parking lots are outfitted with “Patron Trolleys” designed to help get people back to their vehicles. All handicap parking areas, as well as senior and handicap courtesy shuttles are made possible by the Festival's great friends at Hackensack Meridian Health. Please visit their website to learn more: www.hackensackmeridianhealth.org
What are my camping options?
While you cannot camp on the festival grounds, there are camping options nearby. Click here for more information.
When is the best time to come to the festival?
Do you know of any hotels in the area?
We are proud to have a list of preferred hotels of the festival. Each hotel offers discounted rates for festival patrons. Please visit our hotel accomodations page to book your reservation or call us at 1-800-HOT-AIR-9.
Are there parking options other than Solberg Airport?
The festival offers the convenience of 80 plus acres of on-site parking.
In addition, on Saturday and Sunday from noon until close, Free Express Shuttle Buses will run continuously between the festival and nearby Raritan Valley Community College. For directions to the on-site and remote parking areas, visit the Directions page. Unfortunately, there is no mass transit (buses or trains) that goes directly to Solberg Airport.
Can I bring a cooler with food and beverage into the festival?
Coolers, bottles and food are not permitted on the festival grounds for safety reasons. The festival provides an assortment of unique foods at our concessionaire stands and in the QuickChek tent.
Can I bring a pet into the festival?
Only service animals (defined below) are allowed on festival grounds. If your pet is not a service animal, please make arrangements to leave your beloved pets at home during your trip to the festival.
Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.
This definition does not affect or limit the broader definition of “assistance animal” under the Fair Housing Act or the broader definition of “service animal” under the Air Carrier Access Act.
Some State and local laws also define service animal more broadly than the ADA does. Information about such laws can be obtained from the State attorney general’s office.
What is a Balloon Glow?
The signature event at a hot air balloon festival, the balloon glow has been compared to Christmas in July or flickering Japanese lanterns. At predetermined signals, the pilots blast the propane burners, which releases a burst of fire into the balloon. The balloons "glow" like huge fireflies, a truly magical scene, and one not to be missed! The balloon glow occurs during the Saturday evening concert beginning at sundown.
Do I have to buy Blue Sky Club membership in order to see the concert?
No. Although the Blue Sky Club provides a seat in the reserved concert seating section, a general admission ticket allows you to see and hear the concert from outside the seating section. It is similar to lawn seating at any outdoor amphitheatre, such as the PNC Arts Center.
Can I take a balloon ride?
Absolutely. A hot air balloon ride is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Perhaps the most awe-inspiring experience is floating along in a balloon surrounded by 125 other spectacularly-colored aircraft. Might we suggest taking a ride during the morning ascension? A sunrise balloon ride is truly magical. The early wake-up call is well worth the trouble. For more information, click here.
How close can I get to the balloons?
What goes on at the festival other than watching the balloons?
The QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning is "more than hot air" because it offers a wide variety of entertainment. There is truly something for everyone! From colorful hot air balloons ascending twice daily to 3 headline concerts, to world-class children's entertainment, to hundred's of arts & crafters, to food vendors from around the world, fireworks, balloon glows and more, to amusement rides, we guarantee non-stop entertainment for the enitre family! Click HERE for a complete list of entertainment.
Where should I go in case I am in need of medical attention at the festival?
If for any reason you feel you are in need of medical attention during the festival, please immediately go to the Advil First Aid Tent where the experienced team of EMS professionals will care for you and provide the help needed. The Advil First Aid Tent is located on the Airport’s Taxiway, halfway between the QuickChek Store and the permanent Solberg Airport Administration building.