As a parent with young children, I am always looking for fun, not-too-expensive, close to home things to do as a family.

A couple years ago we took the kids to Harvard's Balloon Fest, and they were fascinated by it. Sadly, Harvard announced last August that they are discontinuing their annual hot air balloon festival, so now we have to find a new one to take them to. I'm pretty sure this one in Galena will fit the bill perfectly.

According to, the Great Galena Balloon Race is one of the most popular hot air balloon festivals in the state of Illinois, featuring a hot air balloon show and glow, live music, art, a car show, balloon rides, food vendors and much more.

The Great Galena Balloon Race will take place June 19-21, 2020 at the North Course Driving Range at 400 Eagle Ridge Dr. in Galena and admission is $5 cash.

For more information on the festival, and for a complete listing of events, go to

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