Michigan Challenge Balloonfest at Howell High School

Howell hosts this hot air balloon spectacle June 22-24, 2018, and it's sure to delight southeast Michigan parents and kids.

It’s a different kind of championship: One with hot air balloons! Head to Howell for the 2018 Michigan Challenge Balloonfest to enjoy all kinds of intense aerial hijinks and hot air balloon competitions. It’s all happening June 22-24, 2018 at Howell High School.

This 34th annual event boasts being a premier June event in Michigan – and has proven it time and time again with a plethora of fun events and activities that take place high above the ground.

This year, kids will be amazed as they watch skydiving stunts, aerial fly-ins and, of course, hot air balloon launches. It’s more than that, though. This event is first and foremost a competition to see which balloon is the biggest, baddest and most beautiful.

For that reason, balloon rides aren’t offered at Balloonfest, but there are plenty of carnival rides and games and an art festival and marketplace – plus a Family Fun Tent, courtesy of Gilden Woods Early Care and Preschool and the Livingston County Family YMCA, meet-and-greets with pilotsbatting cages, a photo booth and more.

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If you can’t make the full fest, Saturday evening is a must for families because, at dusk, more than 20 hot-air balloons will inflate on the launch field to create an awe-inspiring scene.

Times vary for each activity, but the carnival hours are as follows:

  • Friday, June 22: 2-11 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 23: 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
  • Sunday, June 24: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Balloons launch 6-8 p.m. Friday and 6-8 a.m. and 6-8 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Meanwhile, the arts festival opens at 4 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday-Sunday. Admission to the festival is $15 for a day pass or $25 for a weekend pass (this covers admission for everyone in your car and parking). Ride wristbands are $25.

For more information on the 2018 Michigan Challenge Balloonfest, and other upcoming family events in metro Detroit, see the Metro Parent calendar.

This post was originally published in 2016 and is updated regularly. 

Photo from the Michigan Challenge Balloonfest Facebook page