Twin Cities Area County Fairs and the Minnesota State Fair!
SUMMER 2017 LIST
Note that the larger fairs will have an admission price, and the smaller fairs will be free. Note that this information is based on each fair’s website at the time of posting and may change.
(See bottom of list for my tips on having a great time with kids!)
Hennepin County Fair: June 16-18
Held in Corcoran, west of Minneapolis. Admission prices went DOWN this year! They are $4.00 for ages 6 and up, and FREE for ages 5 and under. (In previous years, prices were $8.00 and $6.00.)
FREE BOUNCE HOUSES
Hennepin Hot Wheels 500! Bring your Power Wheels and may the best time win. Course will include obstacles to maneuver around.
Food, Food, and more Food!
Ramsey County Fair: July 12-16
Held in Maplewood. FREE admission. $3.00 parking. Parade, carnival, marionette shows. The Mitchell Showboat Marionettes are back!
Chisago County Fair: July 20-23
Held in Rush City, about an hour north of Minneapolis. $3.00 parking per day or $7.00 for a 4 day pass. Armbands are $25.00.
Rice County Fair: July 18-23
Held in Faribault, about an hour south of Minneapolis. Free admission. $5 daily parking.
St. Croix County Fair, Wisconsin: July 19-23
Held in Glenwood City, WI.
Anoka County Fair: July 25-30
Held in Anoka. Pricing not yet available for this year – last year it was $9 for age 13 & older, $4 for ages 7-12, FREE for ages 6 & under. Includes Grandstand shows and parking.
Scott County Fair: July 26-30
Held in Jordan, southwest of the Twin Cities. There’s no admission fee but parking is $10 per vehicle (regardless of how many people – great excuse to carpool!). Separate costs for Grandstand admission and carnival rides.
NEW Monster Truck Summer Nationals and Thrill Show, All American Lumberjack Shows, One Man Circus and Fire Shows, and more!
Washington County Fair: August 2-6
Held in Lake Elmo. Daily admission is $7.00 for adults, $4.00 for ages 6-15 years, FREE for ages 5 & under. Season passes also available in advance. Free parking.
Dakota County Fair: August 7-13
Held in Farmington, about 45 minutes south of Minneapolis. Ticket info not yet available for 2017 but in previous years – Pay both entrance and parking fees: $5.00 for adults, $2.00 ages 6 – 12, $2.00 senior ages 60+, children 5 & under FREE. ALSO $5.00 daily parking. (We’ve been to this one and had a blast.)
Goodhue County Fair: August 8-12
Held in Zumbrota, 90 minutes SE of Minneapolis.
Carver County Fair: August 9-13
Held in Waconia. $8.00 for ages 7 through adult, FREE for ages 6 & under. FREE for all on Sunday after 6pm. Special days for military and senior citizens. Grandstand Season passes available.
Minnesota State Fair! August 24 – Labor Day, September 4.
Held at the State Fairgrounds in St. Paul. Admission went up $1.00 per person this year. Prices are $14 adults, $12 seniors (65 & over) and kids (5-12). Children under 5 are free! Pre-fair discount admission tickets are $11 for all ages and can be purchased online now or at Cub later in the summer (we’ve gotten ours at Cub. See their website for more locations and for more ways to save $$.).
Tips for fair-going with kids
1. Bring lots of ICE water! Expect hot temps and lots of sweating. (I should have brought a cold towel to wipe up my hubby’s sweat at the Ramsey County Fair last year!) If you don’t bring water, expect to pay at least $1.00 per water bottle.
2. Bring cash for: rides (typically $1.00 per ticket, where a standard ride is 3-5 tickets), food (I spent $8.00 on lemonade alone, even though I had water, too), games (if you can’t resist), souvenirs, etc.
3. Bring the cameras!
4. If it’s a hot day, try to plan your visit for early morning or late afternoon. Though many activities and shows take place in the middle of the day, you can still have plenty of fun earlier or later. If you do go in the middle of the day (like we did), take plenty of breaks under sheltered areas like tents or buildings.
5. Bring something to use as a personal fan. There was a church that gave out thick paper glued to popsicle sticks that were to used as personal fans, which we did! That was a great idea. Before you go, maybe involve the kids in making “fans” like this to bring along to help keep cool.
6. Bring baby wipes or wet wipes. Your children will be touching a lot of animals. Trust me!
Hope you have fun! -Lisa