Bring the family out for high-flying fun at the 2021 Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival, slated for May 7-9, 2021, in Foley, Alabama.

This year’s festival will be held at OWA in Foley, which is just a few miles north of Gulf Shores beaches and right around the corner from popular Tanger Outlets Foley.

Admission to the festival is completely free, and there is no cost to watch the balloons fly or to watch the balloon glows in the evenings. Kids’ activities, exhibits, and food vendors are also located on site.

Balloons fly early in the morning around dawn and late in the afternoon around dusk. All flights are dependent on weather since balloons can only fly in perfect weather with wind speeds of 7 mph or less.

A popular festival activity is tethered rides. Several hot air balloons will offer evening tethered rides to ticketholders who have paid for a ticket. The balloons are tethered to the ground and rise up to 35 feet in the air. Rides are dependent on weather. Tickets may be purchased online or at the on-site ticket booth, where a limited number will be available. Masks are required on tethered rides. Full balloon rides are not available during the festival.

Musical headliners will perform at various times during the festival. In 2020, performers included Red Clay Strays, The Chee-Weez, The Defrosters, This Side of 49, Yeah Probably and Category 6. Performers for the 2021 festival had not yet been announced.

A two-bedroom condo in Gulf Shores is ideal for a family of up to six people to use as a home base for attending the 2021 Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival in May. Here is a list of family- and budget-friendly vacation rental options to consider for this vacation.