We LOVE the State Fair — in particular, the Minnesota State Fair. To be… errrrr fair, we have only otherwise attended the South Dakota State Fair, however once we went to the MN Fair, we haven’t had a reason to go anywhere else!
Our first MN State fair was in 2003. We loved every bit – and over the years created traditions — must have steak on a stick, honey ice cream, taking our photo in the old fashioned photo booth…. Once we had a baby, we couldn’t imagine not going – so in August 2013, with a 7 week old baby we made our way to the fair. We continued most of our traditions and added a few new ones!
While we still love going and continue to attend each year, it hasn’t been without the bumps in the road and “I wish I would have thought about ________”. #RealMomLife / #RealParentLife happens. Here is a bit of what we have learned along the way.
Tips for taking kids to the fair
- Go as early as you can. If your kid is anything like mine, everyone is awake anyhow. Plus, you will avoid the mid day crowd and potential heat. Bonus: Closer parking!
- Pack what you can the night before – especially if leaving early! Start the day with less stress!
- Grab the refillable souvenir cup right away. Makes buying drinks a bit more affordable!
- Make sure everyone drinks enough. This seems obvious however when having fun it is easy to forget to take a moment to relax and rehydrate!
- Take breaks! Find a cool spot to sit and enjoy people watching!
- If you are taking a cell phone, be sure it is charged and have a portable charger / wall charger with you if possible
- Make sure you and the kiddos wear comfortable shoes. Lots of walking will happen and sandals / flip flops will not cut it
- Be ready to change your plans. #RealMomLife again, however the kid will have a melt down, or fall asleep, or change what they want to do. That is okay. Be ready for change.
- Speaking of change and going off script, if there is anything you MUST do, do it right away. Check it off the list to make sure it gets done (for us, this is the photo booth photo!)
- Seek out kid friendly activities! There are several free kids activities that will allow you to sit and rest and the kiddos to play, run, and explore!
- Hats for all!
- WaterBottles – and watch for the water stations around the fair!
- Stroller if your kid uses one/might use one. Even if they don’t, you can use it to store all your stuff
- Light weight bag/backback – especially if not using a stroller! It will help to collect all the things you end up with!
- Stroller Fan. We love the one with foam ‘blades”. A bit of extra safety
- Take extra set of batteries – yeah, don’t want to have a fan that doesn’t work!
- Snacks – crackers, apple sauce pouches, fruit snacks, granola bars, dried fruit – don’t take anything that would melt unless you have a cooler!
- Wet wipes – makes it easy to quick wipe off the cheese, spilled milk, crumbs, ice-cream… you know. All the things.
- Take a photo of your kiddo before leaving the house. This will serve as a very current photo of what they are wearing just in case you get separated
- Age appropriate – check to make sure your kiddos remember your name/phone number
- You can also write your phone number on their clothing or arm/leg under their clothes.
- Review age appropriate safety reminders
- Strangers, staying by family, approaching a police officer or adults with kids, meet up spot if get separated
- At the MN State Fair…
…identification wristbands to help reunite lost children or vulnerable adults with their families or groups are available free of charge at all information booths and at Care & Assistance.
- Wear something that stands out to your kid. A bright colored hat/shirt, or something they will most likely remember and be able to spot you
What tips would you add to this list?
I’m looking forward to another trip to the Minnesota State Fair this year! I’ll be posting #RealMomMoments over on my community page if you want to follow along and share your own #RealLifeMomStories!