The Minnesota State Fair starts in just 4 days – August 24, running through Labor Day, September 4th. Our family are huge fans of the fair, personally I have been every year since I moved to Minnesota in 1999, together, Jeanna and I have attended every year since 2011 and that was no different after Gradie was born.
We know that going to the State Fair is all about eating, after all there are 31 new foods offered this year. Toddlers aren’t always great eaters, heck we have to take the ‘corn’ off of a corn dog so that Gradie can eat just the hot dog.
In the past few years I have found that information on facilities and events available for families with infants and toddlers is lacking. In doing our research over the years we have found that the Minnesota State Fair has a lot of facilities, events and entertainment directed at our youngest family members. Now I am excited to share our tips and tricks to surviving the Minnesota State Fair with your infants and toddlers.
A Mom’s Guide to Surviving the Minnesota State Fair!
Gradie nursed until she was 29 months old – nursing an infant (or a toddler) in a crowded place like the Minnesota State Fair can be challenging and at the end of August it can be HOT. I am glad that we found the nursing facilities at the fair during our first visit with an infant.
The Minnesota State Fair provides nursing and infant care facilities at Care & Assistance, located on West Dan Patch Avenue south of West End Market and north of Mighty Midway, H25 on the State Fair map. They have private rooms that are available on a first-come basis. Hours are 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.
Of course, the fairgrounds are a large place; so it is helpful to know that there are additional nursing facilities offered by the following Twin Cities businesses.
- Health Fair 11, located on the west side of Cooper Street between Dan Patch and Judson avenues (T25 on the State Fair map – map below.)
- myTalk 107.1, located on the west side of Underwood Street between Lee and Randall avenues (R14 on the State Fair map – map below.)
- TPT | Twin Cities PBS, located on the east side of Cosgrove street on the street level of the 4-H Building, outside (V19 on the State Fair map – map below.)
What kid doesn’t love a parade – right? Lucky for us, parents, there is a daily parade that begins at 2pm daily and follows a 14 block route. Featuring a high school marching band competition, floats, animals, specialty units, and more. Guaranteeing a fun afternoon activity for the whole family.
Be sure to check out the map above as well as the daily schedule for the day you visit the fair for further updates.
FREE Kids Entertainment;
A day at the fair can get expensive, that is why we look for ways to keep Gradie entertained for a reduced cost or for FREE. Free is always good in my book.
The State Fair has everything on-a-stick — even math! The Math On-A-Stick experience is a welcoming space where kids and grown-ups can explore fun math concepts at the fair. Play with geometric and reptile-shaped tiles to create designs and patterns. Sort, count and look for what’s the same and what’s different in groups of colored eggs on captivating cards.
Step inside the Alphabet Forest and discover alphabet activities for all ages. Take pictures with Fair Letters, create alphabet Ferris wheels, add your fair words to the Fair Dictionary and more! Guests can meet a different author each day in the Alphabet Forest at the Blue Ribbon Homegrown Author Showcase.
MNHS presents History On-A-Schtick
We haven’t personally attended the MNHS History on-a-schtick performance before but I have heard great things about it and we fully plan on attending this year.
Take a vaudevillian romp through Minnesota’s past with wacky fun, sing-alongs, trivia, prizes and astonishing historical tidbits!
Held each day of the fair at the Schell’s Stage at West End Market at 930 and 1030am.
Saving at the Mighty Midway & Kidway
Rides and attractions in the Mighty Midway and Kidway require tickets which require money, but there are ways to save on these tickets and days and times that you can get discounted rides.
Kidway rides usually require four or five tickets. Mighty Midway rides require from four to six tickets, and games of skill are one to four tickets to play. However, during special discount days you can save on rides and games.
Special discount days run all day on Thursday Aug. 24; Monday, Aug. 28; Wednesday, Aug. 30; and Monday, Sept. 4. Plus, there are early bird specials till 1pm on Friday, Aug. 25; Tuesday, Aug. 29; Thursday, Aug. 31; and Friday, Sept. 1.
To save on purchasing tickets be sure to pick up the Blue Ribbon Bargain Book and save $8 off a $25 sheet for 30 tickets. The bargain book also has discounts for specific rides in each Midway.
One last thing I wanted to share is the listing of Special Days & Events at the Minnesota State Fair. Days such as Thrifty Thursday, Minnesota CooksTM Day, Seniors, Kids & MN State Patrol Day and Military Appreciation Day to name a few. Head over the State Fair special days webpage to learn more.