Paddle to watch hot air balloons launch or dress up like a pirate and paddle for treasures. There’s also a free pedalboard demo, trail running, handbalancing workshop, family-friendly outdoors festival, and a chance to do yoga with farm animals.

For the weekend of August 17-19, 2018:

Paddling to the Great Falls Balloon Festival. Shannon Bryan photo

Great Falls Balloon Festival

Friday-Sunday. Simard-Payne Memorial Park, Lewiston.
The Great Falls Balloon Festival boasts plenty of festival fun – the food, the rides, the really cool-looking hot air balloons in all kids of shapes and designs. If you’d like to watch the balloons launch from the Androscoggin River, you can do that, too. Put your kayak, SUP, or canoe into the water from the Festival Plaza boat launch or the Pulsifer Street boat launch in New Auburn and paddle over and watch the balloons launch overhead. Launches are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. (weather permitting).

Life Happens Outside Festival photo

2nd Annual Life Happens Outside Festival

Friday-Sunday. L.L.Bean’s Discovery Park, Freeport. Free.
The Life Happens Outside Festival starts Friday with a film festival at L.L.Bean and Community Pint Night at Gritty’s. Saturday, check out vendors and activiites like paddling, biking, rock wall climbing, and more. Sunday, enjoy free family hiking, biking, and paddling, as well as a storytelling series in Discovery Park. (Full disclosure: I’ll be telling a story! Stories begin at 2 p.m.) The festival is free and benefits Teens to Trails.

Members of the Trails Runners of Midcoast Maine (TRoMM) run group after the 5K Relay at Mt. Chase Lodge.

Wild Maine Weekend & 5K Relay

7 a.m. Saturday. Mt. Chase Lodge, Patten. $15-$60.
Explore the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument by running through it. Choose from a 5k or 10k and follow the course on logging roads along the East Branch of the Penobscot River. Compete on your own or as part of a team. That evening, there will be live music and a BBQ at Mt. Chase Lodge – so stick around.

Penobscot Pirate Paddle

9 a.m. to noon Saturday. Launch from Lincoln Regional Airport. $10.
Enjoy a day of piracy on the Penobscot aboard your canoe, kayak, or SUP. (And by piracy they mean “friendly paddle where people dress like pirates and paddle to find treasures and no one actually steals or pillages anything.”) Decorate yourself and your watercraft to win prizes, too. This is a family-friendly event, so bring the whole pirating crew.

Handbalancing instructor Sierra Nicholls. Courtesy photo

Handbalancing Workshop

11 a.m. Saturday. Metta Studios, Biddeford. $30.
Got handbalancing goals? Learn some solid techniques to build on during this workshop with The Circus Haus and instructor Sierra Nicholls. Learn how to do a handstand or build on inversion skills you already have.

Hobie Pedalboard and Kayak Free Demos

11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Long Lake, Harrison. Free.
Try a pedalboard! Sebago Sailing and Watercraft is hosting a free demo at Long Lake in Harrison, where you can try a Hobie Mirage Eclipse pedalboard – they’re like stand-up paddleboards, but you pedal them instead of paddling. They’re really stable and a ton of fun on the water (I got to try one at a demo a few weeks ago). There will also be Hobie pedal kayaks to try and some demo boats will be for sale, too, if you’re in the market!

Craft Brew Races photo

Craft Brew Races

Noon Saturday. Payson Park, Portland. $60 in advance, $70 day of.
Gotta love these words: “relaxed 5K.” Walkers welcome at the Craft Brew Races, which will take participants on a course around Back Cove. More importantly, the race is followed by a beer festival in Payson Park, with upwards of 40 craft breweries present. Beer fest-only tickets are also available, as well as tickets for those who want to run but not drink.

Trust Trail Fest photo

Trust Trail Fest

9 a.m. Sunday. Kennebunkport Conservation Trust, Kennebunkport. $20-$30.
Run the trails in Kennebunkport. The Trust Trail Fest has three distance options – 5K, 10K, or half marathon – depending how how bold your legs are feeling. Afterward, enjoy live music, food, beer tent, and games for the whole family. There’s another trail race in the same spot on Oct. 13 (it will be fall then)!

Tri-Sport Challenge: Swim, Paddle, Run

9 a.m. Sunday. Camp Winnebago, Fayette. $25 in advance, $30 day of.
The Kennebec Land Trust is hosting their fifth annual tri-sport challenge. This fun and casual challenge at Echo Lake includes a quarter mile swim, half-mile paddle, and 5k run. Compete as an individual or as part of a team.

Some of the animals at Graze in Peace, a sanctuary for farm animals.

Graze in Peace Flow

10:30 a.m. Sunday. Graze in Peace, Durham. $20.
Perhaps you’ve done goat yoga or kitten yoga before. But have you done pig-sheep-chicken-llama yoga? Hustle and Flow is hosting a yoga class at Graze in Peace – a farm animal sanctuary in Durham – where you’ll enjoy an outdoor yoga flow and then get to hang out with the animals.