Take your family to the sky with a hot air balloon ride at the Flying Circus Annual Hot Air Balloon Festival, August 15 and 16. The hot air balloons will launch in the calm air of the early morning and late evening each day at the festival. In the meantime, be sure to stay for the airshows put on by the Flying Circus. $$. Brandy Station, VA. flyingcircusairshow.com

Return to Lucketts' agrarian past with a relaxing day of music, hayrides and countryside fun on August 15 and 16. Little ones will love watching border collies heard sheep and then squishing grapes between their toes before exploring the corn maze and the Reader's Garden. When they're ready for a break, step back in time with a visit to the antique store, or dine on classic fair food. $$ (free for ages 6 and under). Leesburg, VA. theluckettsfair.com

Pet the ponies, try your skills in the cheese carving contest and delight in the two-night Demolition Derby at the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair, August 14 to 22. In the KidZone, kids can interact with farm animals during 4-H demonstrations, dance to the beat of the Junk Rock Band or trudge through the mud bog in a miniature tractor. Bring out your family's creative (and competitive) side with one of the exciting contests, like Toilet Decorating or the Veggie 500 Races. $$. Gaithersburg, MD. mcagfair.com


Arts al Fresco
Family Fun
Planes and Trains
Historic Sites
Water Fun
Unique Museums
Culture for Kids
Animal Encounters
Nature Discovery
One-Tank Trips
County Fairs and Parades