Can you smell the food yet? It is that time of year already, the Great Minnesota Get-Together! The state fair offers a variety of food, rides, animals, shops and more. The Minnesota State Fair has been around since 1859, making it a family tradition for many. I hear stories all the time about what a fun date idea the fair is, but what about when we add kiddos to the mix? The stories tend to change to the time their child became too hot, became too tired, were overwhelmed by all the different sensory input, got lost in the crowd, etc. If the state fair is something you truly enjoy and a tradition you want to continue with your own children, we are here to offer some tips to help make this an enjoyable time for your whole family!
· Go early (less people/crowds)
· Bring a wagon/stroller with umbrella (to help with the heat and when kids get tired)
· Bring own snacks and water bottle
· The Coliseum is a great place to take a rest break to watch horse shows/competition (it’s cooler in there and less crowded)
· Get a hand stamp if they need to leave and come back, don’t try to overdo it
· Bring walkie talkies if kids don’t have cell phones
· Pre plan what you want to see and do that first or make a route so that you don’t miss stuff or argue
· Bring a first aid kit
· Bring sunscreen and apply before arrival
· Dress comfortably (clothes that can get dirty) with good walking shoes
· Check out transit instead of finding parking: https://www.metrotransit.org/state-fair-shuttle-service or https://www.metrotransit.org/state-fair-shuttle-service
· Use temp tattoos/stickers/tags with name/phone number/diagnosis
· Have family emergency plan/Safe spot to meet if get lost
· Bring headphones
· Take frequent rest breaks
· Make a social story about what to expect (maybe can find one online if they look)
· If they get overwhelmed by all of the smells, bring one of their blankets or stuffed animals for them to smell
· Bring sunglasses
Daily schedules: https://www.mnstatefair.org/general-info/daily-schedules/
Guide suggestions with dates, times, and pricing: https://twincities.citymomsblog.com/2018-family-fair-guide
50 Ideas for Families https://www.familyfuntwincities.com/50-things-to-do-at-the-minnesota-state-fair/
• August 23rd: Thrifty Thursday. $12 adult admission, $9 for kids (5-12), $12 for seniors.
• August 27th: Seniors & Kids Day. Senior and kid (5-12) tickets are $9.
• August 28th: Military Appreciation Day. Military members and their families get tickets for any age group for $9.
• August 29th: Ride & Read Day. Save $2 on adult admission; $3 on kid (5-12) and senior admission who present a valid library card.
• August 30th: Seniors Day. Seniors get in for $9.
• September 3rd: Kids Day & Last Chance Day. Kids get in for $9.