Park City, Utah…. I had heard about the place but was never really interested in planning a vacation to there since I thought of it as more of a winter destination; and as an island girl I am a little adversed to the cold. However, some years back we bought a Hilton Grand Vacations timeshare and of course they have a resort in Park City. First, I thought…. well… maybe it’s about time to hit the slopes (talking about getting out of your comfort zone, right?) but when I started researching I found out that Fall is a great time to visit Utah too, especially Park City.
I got very excited when I learned about their Balloon Festival. I knew from a previous Plano Balloon Festival (our city Balloon Festival) that my kids are crazy for hot air balloons and as my mom was also in town, I knew I had just found the perfect fall getaway for my family. Lock and load… room booked and plane tickets reserved and off we go!
So, we got a warm welcome as we arrived Sunrise Lodge by Hilton Grand Vacations. If you are an owner, you get to have a free valet parking as a bonus. Beautiful property in a charming mountainside village of the Canyons Resort. You know, if you are a family of 4 or 5 then the space offered by a 2 bedroom suite will just be far way better than to squeeze into a hotel room. This is one reason for buying into a timeshare.
View from room… so refreshing and relaxing:)
On our first night, we went to Newpark Town Center for a balloon Glow. There were a lot of other families with kids and my kids bolted off and left us to make lots of new friends. Yup… they’re not shy at all:)
There was a DJ spinning and my kids had the best time dancing with their new friends. Check out my boy dancing here Our very own Bruno Mars
Mom, Dad and Lola joined as well.
WOW…. what a great night to start the festival!!!
We went to bed that night all excited to see the display of the hot air balloons in the morning; we were preparing for an unforgettable sight!!!
We woke up early the next day to watch the grand launch.
Tip: Bring your jackets because it’s cold in Park City during the wee hours. Come super early and hike up one of the mountains near the field. I bet you will get a picture perfect shot.
WOW…. it was a beautiful sight indeed. Everyone was happy and having tremendous fun:) What I love most about it? It is NOT that a huge event but nice that you get the chance to walk amongst the balloon teams, talk to the locals and the hot air balloon pilots. The event was intimate which you seldom get this kind of events.
Few things we learned about hot air balloon:
- Before the hot air is pumped into the balloon, a fan is used to blow cold (outside) air into the envelope (The actual fabric balloon which holds the air).
- Balloons operate through the basic principles: warmer air rises in cooler air. As air is heated inside the balloon, it rises. As the air cools down inside the balloon, it descends. Kids thought it cool:)
- Hot air balloon is a type of aircraft. So, hot air balloon pilots should be FAA Certified and should hold a current Pilot Certificate.
- Hot air balloon, where air travel really began!!!
On the evening of the first day of the festival, there was a Candlestick lighting on Main Street. It’s made up of 8-10 balloon baskets all roaring by lighting their burners and setting the historic Main Street aglow. It was enjoyable and the kids actually get the chance to light the burners.
We had other activities planned for the remaining days in Park City but that will be for another blog on another day. I’ll end this post by saying we had a beautiful surprise when we woke up the next morning:) I got to see the balloons in the distance while I was drinking my coffee by the balcony. Absolutely priceless. This made my day!
Here are few videos I took … Enjoy:)
Have you been to any balloon festivals? What was your favorite part? Share your thoughts and experiences.
Thanks for reading…