Rocking the Minnesota State Fair with kiddos!

I don't know about you- but I'm pretty obsessed with the Minnesota State Fair! Maybe it's because I'm Minnesotan and I've only ever missed a handful of fairs in my (nearly) 30 years, but I just love the great Minnesota get-together!! Matt and I always enjoy going on a date day with just the two of us, even if we end up going with family or friends later on. We have our "usual" things we do every year, but that kind of changed when Summit came along. Going to the fair with kiddos is a WHOLE new ballgame! It can be super fun to see your child love the fair and then it can be really annoying once everyone gets hot and beyond the point of no return. You know what I'm talking about, right?

I thought I would round up a few of my favorite things to do at the fair with Summit. Some items on this list we've done before and some we are hoping to do this year! Since he's two and now fully mobile, we are really hoping to stay at the fair longer this year, but only time will tell...

  1. People watching: one of my most favorite things about the fair is the amazing amount of people watching. There's no judgement at the Fair, people- everyone is watching everyone and it's the best. Summit definitely loves people watching too, especially if there's a baby or another kiddo around- it's basically better than TV for him!!
  2. Try some new food: having a kid in your group basically means there's another person to share food with- score! I love trying some of the new food items every year but I really don't want to eat everything myself. Going along with Matt and Summit is perfect because we can all try something together. Sometimes things Matt and I don't like, Summit will love and vice versa.
  3. Catch some free music: there are so, so, so, so many FREE things to do at the fair! Should I write a whole post just on that? Maybe?! This year there are a lot of fun acts popping up at the Family Fair Stage in Baldwin Park. Shows are a great option for midday once everyone is getting tired. Grab some food and rest while watching a free show! Bonus- a lot of the seating area at this family stage is covered from the sun :)
  4. Visit the Butterfly House: ok- I've been obsessed with this since I was little!! Seriously- it's so cool! I know, many people will say: you can see that many butterflies at Como or the Minnesota Zoo... Yes that's true, but you can't touch them there and that's the best part at this place! Some of my favorite memories of Summit over the last two years at the fair were in here, including the time he tried to eat a butterfly last year. Spoiler alert: I stopped him before it happened! Only $3/person for a ton of fun! Butterfly House
  5. Tour the animal barns: bring along a nose plug and tour those animal barns! The smell can be rough, but most kiddos love seeing the animals in action. There's so much to see in the animal barns: horses, cow milking, sheep, pigs, ducks, llamas dressed in costumes- you name it- they have it at the fair! They also have a lot of free animal shows. You can check out a listing of shows each day on the Minnesota State Fair website.
  6. Pretend to be a farmer at the Little Farm Hands booth: we haven't yet tried this with Summit, as the recommended age is 2-10, but we are hoping to get there this year. Kiddos get to pretend to be a farmer on mini-tractors, gardening and all kinds of cool farm-realted stuff. We can't wait to check it out!! Little Farm Hands
  7. Scream down the Giant Slide: this slide kind of gives me nightmares, but Matt and Summit absolutely love it! For $2.50/person, enjoy riding a potato sack down a super slippery and high slide. Need I say more?
  8. Play in the Great Big Sandbox: there's a lot of other sandboxes around the Twin Cities, but when your kiddos need a break from the action and want to play- bring them here! What's better than a big sandbox filled with toys? Literally nothing to a 2 year old! Great Big Sandbox
  9. Watch Paul Bunyan in the Timberwoods Lumber Jack Show: we may have a slight Paul Bunyan and Babe obsession over here, but still this lumberjack show sounds awesome! Ax throwing, log rolling, tree climbing? What more could you want from a free, live action show? This year the shows are at 12, 3pm, 5:30pm and 7pm. Timberworks Lumberjack Show
  10. Ride and play at the Mighty Midway: I don't think this needs much of a description. Kids love rides and games! Summit can't really ride much yet because he's still pretty short ;) but we hope to try some out this year! Don't forget you can use your Blue Ribbon Coupon Book for a discount on ride and game tickets or come to the fair on August 27, 29 or September 3 when there are special deals at the Midway all day long!


New Ulm Broadway Horse

Hey there- I'm Hannah, a 20 something wife and mom living in the Twin Cities, MN. I'm married to my wonderful husband, Matt and we have one little guy named Summit. We love exploring in the Twin Cities and beyond. I'll be sharing our road trip adventures here on this blog, along with any other fun things we do as a family :) Hope you enjoy reading about our experiences!


Do you know about a fun place we should check out in the Twin Cities and beyond? Feel free to contact me- I love hearing about your ideas!