Hot Tips for a Cool Time at the State Fair

Still thinking about taking in the Indiana State Fair, but worried about taking the kids? No sweat…well, it is August…there will be sweat….but no worries! There is plenty of time and I promise you will have a blast. Here are a veteran mom’s best Indiana State Fair tips.

Get there early!!!

Most buildings with exhibits open at 9am. You can see the animals before that even! I know it is not easy to get up and out, but the pay-off in cooler temperatures, better parking spaces, and shorter lines will be totally worth it – I promise!!!

Pack your snacks…and water bottle.

The Indiana State Fair is famous for fun and frivolous snacks, but all that fried dough and sugar can add up to cranky adults and kids. Pack your favorite fruits and veggies, some cheese sticks and a water bottle in your day bag. We even pack a lunch and find a shady spot to relax mid-day – that way we can indulge in something crazy fun to share and not break the bank…or our diets. The DNR building has a water bottle refill station in the back and the Dairy Bar will sell you a glass of milk for fifty cents and refill baby bottles for free. There are only so many Lemon Shake-ups you can guzzle, people. Trust me.

Do your homework.

Look at the Indiana State Fair website and daily schedules before you head out. There is SO MUCH for families to see and do at the State Fair. Our favorites include Little Hands on the Farm (an interactive outdoor exhibit for 10 years old and younger), The Pioneer Village and the FFA Building playground, putt-putt golf and petting zoo. There is also a Circus this year and superheroes, animals and a fishing pond, a butterfly garden, dog shows, concerts, demonstrations – all the things! Know before you go and have fun when you get there!

Cool off!

There is nothing worse than cranky kids than cranky parents with cranky kids! As temperatures rise and feet get sore, head indoors for some air-conditioned play and rest time. The air-conditioned play area in the Corteva Agriscience Harvest Pavilion is our favorite for taking a cool break. This year’s theme is Superheroes and there is even a different Superhero to meet each day of the fair! Moms with babies can take advantage of cooling off at the Lactation Stations and the First Aid stations at the fair can also offer help for overheated families. (The Pioneer Village store has Giant Freezer Pops for $1 – a very affordable and cool treat for a hot day.)


My number one (er…five) piece of veteran mom advice is GO TO THE INDIANA STATE FAIR! It’s not all fried dough and Ferris Wheels. The Indiana State Fair has so many fun and educational activities – we can never fit them all in on one trip. (You can even get an excused absence from public school if you want to visit on a weekday and are planning to do all the fun learning the fair has to offer.)

The Indiana State Fair is such a fun tradition for our family. We race to the Dairy Bar for milkshakes, we always play BeanGo at the Glass Barn for a free hat and we always end the day screaming our heads off riding The Crazy Mouse under the magical twinkling lights of the carnival. The Indiana State Fair marks the end of the summer for our family and I hope a few of these tips can help your family create memories and traditions of your own at the State Fair this year.

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