Twin Cities Area County Fairs and the Minnesota State Fair!
SUMMER 2016 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 16-19
Held in Corcoran, west of Minneapolis. Pre-sale prices are $7.00 for adults, $5.00 for children 5-12. (Otherwise prices are $8.00 and $6.00.)
Ramsey County Fair: July 13-17
Held in Maplewood. FREE admission. $3.00 parking. Parade, carnival, marionette shows.
Chisago County Fair: July 21-24.
Held in Rush City, about an hour north of Minneapolis.
Rice County Fair: July 19-24.
Held in Faribault, about an hour south of Minneapolis. Free admission. $5 daily parking.
St. Croix County Fair, Wisconsin: July 20-24.
Held in Glenwood City, WI.
Anoka County Fair: July 26-31.
Held in Anoka. $9 for age 13 & older, $4 for ages 7-12, FREE for ages 6 & under. Includes Grandstand shows and parking.
Scott County Fair: July 27-31.
Held in Jordan, southwest of the Twin Cities. There’s no per-person fee but parking is $10 per vehicle (regardless of how many people – great excuse to carpool!). Separate costs for Grandstand admission and carnival rides.
Washington County Fair: August 3-7.
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 8-14.
Held in Farmington, about 45 minutes south of Minneapolis. 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 went to this one in 2011 and 2013 and had a blast.)
Goodhue County Fair: August 9-14.
Held in Zumbrota, 90 minutes SE of Minneapolis.
Carver County Fair: August 10-14.
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 25 – Labor Day, September 5.
Held at the State Fairgrounds in St. Paul. Admission is $13 adults, $11 seniors (65 & over) and kids (5-12). Children under 5 are free! Pre-fair discount admission tickets are $10 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