Sarasota is about to get a ton more fun with the biggest family event ever! From March 8th through the 11th, they're hosting the Sarasota Balloon Festival and Carnival!

You will certainly want to get prepared for the best family outing of 2018 yet. The Sarasota Balloon Festival includes hot air balloon rides, of course, as well as a large carnival, food trucks and goodies, plenty of arts and crafts, vendors, and entertainment! 

Make sure you clear your weekend to make room to experience this exciting festival! Located at the Premier Sports Campus at Lakewood Ranch, your evening will be nothing short of magical. Doors open each day at 5:00 p.m. and, from there, you will encounter dozens of beautifully-colored and patterned hot air balloons that will fill the skies with their colors and lights at night! The kids will be mesmerized, and it'll be a romantic sight for you and your loved one! 

Along with all the thrilling rides Sarasota's Balloon Festival has to offer, there's also a classic car show each day for all those car-lovers out there as well as craft beers and a wine garden where you can relax and enjoy the lit-up sky full of hot air balloons!

A few of the mentioned retail vendors that will be there include those selling essential oils and LuLaRoe clothing as well as many local businesses and craft vendors!

For the kiddos, the Sarasota Balloon Festival has a section called the KidZone, which includes face painting, a petting zoo, and even pony rides! The festival will definitely be a  promising, fun-filled day for the children!

Luckily enough, this festival doesn't have to be an expensive activity! There are numerous options for tickets. If you want to pay as you go for each carnival ride, tickets cost $1, and a ride is between $3 to $5 tickets. If you plan on hitting every single ride they have to offer, I would recommend getting the unlimited wristband, which is just $20. Parking is an additional: $20 upon arrival or $15 if you book it in advance. So if you know for sure that you will be attending, go ahead and book your parking space to save a little bit of money over at!

If you do in fact want to experience the hot air balloons, not just as a sight but as an experience, the Sarasota Hot Air Balloon Festival has two options for you! You can purchase a tethered ride, which is $20 and great for those who are afraid of heights since you don't go very high. If you do want to fly high, you can purchase a balloon flight, which is $250 per person, and you can choose which day you would like to fly! If the weather keeps you from being able to fly, you will receive a voucher to fly on a different date.

With so many things to do and the chance to ride a hot air balloon, the Sarasota Balloon Festival and Carnival guarantees a great weekend of family fun.

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Cover photo courtesy of Unsplash