Summer traditions are important in our family. There are a number of things that we make sure to make time for each year and I love looking back at photos of years past to see how much the kids have grown.
One of these traditions is our annual visit to the state fair. Yes, these kinds of events are often overpriced and overcrowded, but they are also full of cheesy, corny fun that is the stuff the best memories are made of.
While every state and county fair is different, there are loads of similarities. Here are some of our family’s favorite ways to make memories that last a lifetime!
Food – Fair food is notoriously questionable, with everything you can imagine dipped in batter and deep fried, but it’s a fun once-a-year splurge! Every year, my husband and our more adventurous eater find something unusual to try. This year, shark was on their list and it was a hit! And of course, who can say no to a turkey leg!?
Rides – I know that traveling carnival rides can be questionable and dangerous, so I advise you to do background research on the safety record of the company contracted to provide the midway at your local fair. For us, we feel comfortable with what we have seen from the provider at our state fair over the years and let our kids enjoy the amusement park area.
Games – Carnival barkers can be a little overbearing and yes, the games are probably rigged. Even still, we drop a few dollars each year to throw some darts at balloons and toss ping pong balls into fishbowls so we can come home with some cheap stuffed animals and a goldfish or two. We’ve also found free games that kids can enjoy while exploring various displays! *sidenote – Currently in our fishtank, we have 4 and 5 year old goldfish that are from the fair, so sometimes they last!
Contest Displays – At our state fair, there are contests that anyone can enter, as well as buildings filled with 4-H and FFA projects. As 4-Hers, my kids have entered photography projects, food, woodworking, and more into the fair and have come home with ribbons and small cash prizes!
Animals – One of our favorite things to do is to walk through the barns of animals that are brought to the fair to be entered into judging contests. Every year, we leave wishing we could live on a farm and have horses, cows, and sheep – though they can keep those smelly pigs! Another highlight is the petting zoo where you can feed a variety of different animals, including a giraffe.
Free entertainment – Be sure to check out the schedule of events so that you don’t miss the free entertainment that is offered. We always enjoy watching the free circus that is offered, plus finding other fun hands-on activities that are free for kids!
Do you visit your local summer fair? What are your family’s favorite things to do?