red hot air balloon against a blue sky and green fields

The Best Outdoor Adventure For Your Summer Birthday

Experience the Magic of Summer With a Hot Air Balloon Ride

Reading Time - 6 minutes

Shorts, t-shirts, long summer nights, and the freedom of adventure – summer is a time of boundless possibilities. For those of us fortunate enough to celebrate birthdays during this vibrant season, there's an abundance of opportunity and excitement just waiting to be explored. As you ponder summer birthday ideas, envision basking in the warmth of the sun while embarking on an unforgettable outdoor adventure. Amidst the warm breeze and clear skies, there's one experience that stands out as the epitome of summer celebration: a hot air balloon ride. Join us as we delve into why a hot air balloon ride is not just an outdoor adventure but one of the best birthday experiences to ensure you create unforgettable memories and celebrate your birthday in style.

Key Takeaways

  • Find out what to expect from a hot air balloon flight, including details on ideal weather conditions and the unique experience of soaring through the sky.

  • Discover why a hot air balloon ride is considered one of the best birthday experiences for summer birthdays, with testimonials from satisfied passengers sharing their memorable moments and insights.

What Can You Expect From a Hot Air Balloon Ride in the Summer?

With warmer days and longer nights, summer is the perfect season for hot air balloon rides, offering ideal weather conditions and stunning landscapes to be explored from above.

As you rise above the world, you'll witness lush green landscapes stretching out beneath you, with fields of crops swaying gently in the warm breeze. With the smell of fresh grass and flowers in the air, you’ll feel a sense of calm surround you as you leave the hustle and bustle behind. With no noise except the occasional blast of the burner and the quiet chatter of your fellow passengers, you'll be surrounded by the summery sounds of birds chirping and leaves rustling – creating the perfect soundtrack for your airborne adventure. And with longer days and lighter evenings, the chances are you'll be treated to the magical experience of flying alongside a stunning sunrise or sunset, just adding to the wonder of such a special occasion.

So if you’re looking for things to do in summer that will make your birthday unforgettable, make sure you’ve got a hot air balloon experience at the top of your list!

What Time do I need to Arrive for a Summer Hot Air Balloon Flight?

Arrival times for summer hot air balloon flights vary according to sunrise and sunset times.


Morning Flight

Evening Flight

Mid-May to end May



June and July



Start of August to August



Mid-August to End of August



a man and woman standing in a hot air balloon basket with fields beneath them

What Happens on The Day?

Depending on whether you choose a sunrise or sunset balloon flight, your experience will begin at the times outlined in the section above. Here's a rundown of what to expect on the day:

  • Arrive on site and meet your pilot and crew.

  • Be invited to assist in inflating the balloon, learning about the process as you go.

  • Climb aboard the balloon basket and prepare for takeoff as the balloon gently lifts off the ground.

  • Embark on an hour-long adventure in the sky, enjoying panoramic views and the wonder of flight.

  • Upon landing, you'll have the option to participate in packing the balloon away, it’s a team effort that promises a lot of laughs.

  • Celebrate your sky-high adventure with a prosecco toast, raising a glass to your unforgettable experience.

  • Finally, you'll be chauffeured back to the launch site, reflecting on the memories made during your hot air balloon journey.

How Long Does The Experience Last?

The full hot air balloon experience typically lasts for 3-4 hours. As our launch sites are often nestled in beautiful countryside or vibrant cityscapes, you’ll have plenty of time before or after your flight to add additional adventure and exploration to your day out. Soak in the scenic views, explore nearby attractions, or indulge in leisurely summer activities – the possibilities are endless for making the most of your hot air balloon adventure day.

red hot air balloon and basket filled with people, flying above green fields

Hot Air Ballooning and the Weather

Hot air ballooning is heavily dependent on weather conditions, and the ideal scenario for a safe and enjoyable flight involves clear skies, minimal wind, and stable atmospheric conditions. Summer offers the best chance for hot air balloon flights to take place due to its generally favourable weather patterns. During the summer months, the atmosphere tends to be more stable, with fewer weather disturbances such as storms or strong winds.

Additionally, the longer daylight hours and warmer temperatures create optimal conditions for hot air balloon rides, as the air becomes more buoyant and conducive to flight. At Virgin Balloon Flights, the safety of our passengers and crew is our highest priority.

Rest assured that we will never fly if our experienced pilots feel it is unsafe to do so, ensuring that every hot air balloon flight with us is both thrilling and incredibly safe.

What Are The Ideal Weather Conditions For a Hot Air Balloon Ride?

There are many weather factors that must be considered before a hot air balloon ride can take place. Here’s a short summary:

  • Clear skies with good visibility

  • Light and stable winds (typically below 10 mph)

  • Dry weather without rain

  • Stable atmospheric conditions, avoiding storms or turbulence

  • Comfortable temperatures for flying

Ground Conditions:

  • Firm and dry landing sites, without obstacles

  • Avoidance of soggy or waterlogged fields

Additional Considerations:

  • Our experienced pilots check weather conditions up to 5000ft, which can differ from ground conditions.

  • Wind direction is important, as balloons travel with the wind.

  • Fog can limit visibility, so clear conditions are preferred for safe flight

Where Can I Fly From?

With over 100 launch sites across the country, we offer hot air balloon adventures that cover every county in England. From a hot air balloon ride over Bristol to hot air balloon rides in Kent, our diverse range of launch locations ensures that there's a breathtaking backdrop for every flight. Whether you're soaring over historic landmarks or drifting across serene countryside, our hot air balloon rides promise an unforgettable experience and breathtaking views of your favourite landscapes.

Check out hot air balloon rides near me, for a list of your closest launch sites.

red hot air balloon alongside 2 blue hot air balloons, flying over Bristol

Hot Air Balloon Festivals

Another reason to get excited about summer is the hot air balloon festivals that dominate event calendars throughout the summer months. If you've never been to a hot air balloon festival, then you're in for a treat. These vibrant events take place all across the UK and bring together balloon enthusiasts of all ages, creating an atmosphere filled with excitement and wonder. At certain festivals, you can even fly with us and experience the magic of hot air ballooning firsthand!

Here's what you can expect at a hot air balloon festival:

  • Spectacular hot air balloon launches, filling the sky with a kaleidoscope of colours and shapes.

  • Opportunity to meet and interact with balloon pilots and crew members, learning about the art and science of ballooning.

  • Family-friendly activities and entertainment, including live music, food vendors, and carnival rides.

  • Evening balloon glows, where tethered balloons illuminate the night sky with a stunning light performance synchronised to a playlist of inspiring music.

  • Special events and competitions, such as balloon races and precision flying contests, adding an extra thrill to the festivities.

Bristol Balloon Fiesta

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Devonshire Balloon Festival

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Dorset Balloon Festival

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Customer Testimonials

If you’re still unsure whether a hot air balloon ride is the way to spend your summer birthday, then let our past fliers spill the tea on the magic and excitement that awaits you in the skies with us.

“The experience was AMAZING, the wait was definitely worth it. You get involved in setting up the balloon and the flight is so peaceful and gentle. Great views from 3,000 feet and a landing better than most plane journeys. We even got some brilliant photos and videos from inside and outside the balloon during the flight, pictures to treasure. Well done to Virgin, our pilot Rebecca Cain, and her crew. A fantastic birthday present.” Neil Freeman

My friend and myself got this as a present as part of our 70th birthday celebrations. Our pilot Alex Harvey and crew were amazing and the balloon ride was fantastic. The whole experience was brilliant, and we would do this again in a heartbeat.” - June Parkinson

“This was a gift for my 60th Birthday, we had the most amazing time, our pilot Chris was awesome, so much information given. Once in a lifetime goal achieved. Thank you so much, for making a beautiful memory” - Susan Janet Pidgley

couple wearing red, standing in a balloon basket with fields behind them

So, if you’re eager to make this birthday one that you’ll never forget, there's no better way to celebrate your special day than with a hot air balloon adventure. Whether you're ready to make "a beautiful memory" like Susan or eager to tick off another bucket list adventure, summer is the perfect time to make the most of sunny days, embark on a hot air balloon ride and create memories you'll cherish forever.

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