If you’re looking for a yearly memory maker, don’t miss your area’s state fair. With concerts, amusement park rides, carnival games, and don’t forget fair food, it’s a memorable activity kids will look forward to every year. But, of course, bringing kids along to an unfamiliar place is not always an easy undertaking so check out these tips to prepare ahead of time and help your day progress as smoothly as possible!
11 Tips for Families Going to the State Fair
1. Weekday mornings are generally the best day to go to the fair with children if you want to avoid long lines.
2. Often parks offer special discounts, such as free admission in exchange for donating canned goods or a special wristband price for all day riding on a specified weekday.
3. You can often pick up discount tickets at local grocery stores, banks, travel offices, and more.
4. In addition to the massive parking lot, some fairs have park and ride lots where busses shuttle family members to the fair for free. Check the website for your fair to see if this might be a good way to avoid long walks on the blacktop with tired kiddos.
5. Check your fairgrounds’ policy about outside food. Most fairs will allow you to bring in a diaper bag or backpack that include food, snacks, and drinks. Generally, glass bottles are not permitted however. And bags may be searched at the entrance.
6. Make sure to ask for a map at the door or at least pull one up on your phone so you can get to the family friendly places with the least amount of time and hassle. Some parks sell coupon books at the gate, which usually cost $5, but can save you hundreds.
7. Don’t forget your stroller and/or wagon. Although sometimes there are rentals available, they don’t always have compartments and cupholders that are helpful for an all day event.
8. Sometimes, some ride operators will allow parents to ride free with their children on kiddie rides. If your little one is hesitant, and needs some support, ask the attendant if this is an option.
9. Bring along hand sanitizer, and also watch for hand washing stations, that can be used after touching animals.
10. Wondering which, if any, fair food is healthy? Check out this article from Bustle that lists 10 of the healthiest options at fairs.
11. Don’t forget the concerts and shows scheduled in the evenings. It’s easy to get caught up in the fair food and carnival games and forget that A-list entertainment might be coming to a stadium near you. Fairs often have free entertainment options for families during the day as well. Ask if there will be a fireworks display as well.
Originally Published 7/25/2016