The Indiana State Fair runs from August 1st through August 17th at the Indiana State Fair Grounds and is so much fun you’ll want to go for more than one day! Trust me…we usually can only go for one day and I alwaysp want to go back again. Usually the next day. Since my kids are 3 and 5 and tall enough for most rides that was our focus this year…well that and some food. OMG the corn on the cob was awesome! Ahem…like I was saying…the State Fair is filled with so many things to see, do, ride and eat that you will want to go back again and again and with various discount days, coupons and $2 Tuesdays you can!
When we plan out our fair trip we check out the schedule to see what events we want to see and create a sort of itinerary. Now before you go thinking, “who has time for that?” and assume I am THAT organized keep this in mind. Our plans NEVER work out. I mean NEVER it is a miracle we got to the fair when we did and not 4 hours later. In fact out of all the wonderful things to see at the fair we didn’t make a single one. We tried! Well…we adults tried…the kids were more focused on having to go potty at the precise moment we needed to leave to head to the opposite end of the fair or starving or were thirsty.
So we didn’t get to see any of the events like the BMX Stunt Show, Flippenout Extreme Trampoline Show, or the K9 Crew Trick Dog Show BUT we did check out the exhibits going on in the buildings. I think we saw most of them but we didn’t see the animals ones. You would think kids would LOVE to see animals but not mine…they decided that the Fair was a good place to not like the smell from animals. So we skipped those areas but we saw the DuPont Food Pavilion with the cheese sculpture, demonstrations on cooking and they had a fantastic play area for kids. The play area had a floor piano and a floor drum area. That was really cool and the kids didn’t want to leave because they could jump around and run and make music at the same time. I admit..it was fun.
In that same area there was a distortion mirror, a fortune teller that told about the future of your bones and an area for sorting various pretend foods into cans. Nearby was one of many cow statues and of the course the cheese sculpture! We didn’t take the kids in the wine and liquor exhibit but we did check out the Home & Family Arts Building to look at the art and craft exhibits but the kids were not in the mood for art that day. The DNR area was pretty cool though and the kids loved looking at all the fish and wildlife things. They even had a play area in the gift shop.
Keep in mind that we didn’t do all of these right away. We sort of took breaks from rides to check out those buildings and things. When we first got there we got our wristbands and began our adventure by riding TONS of rides! Wristbands are the way to go if you have kids who love to ride, if you don’t have a lot of time or your kids aren’t that into then tickets might be better but our kids LOVE the rides and Midway’s Kiddie Land Midway was PERFECT for us! There were so many rides and my kids could mostly ride them by themselves.My son who is 44 inches tall was fine on all of them and took care of his sister on the ones she needed someone to ride with her. I would have gone but they didn’t want either of us for awhile there. They grow up TOO fast!
Diva was about 40 inches but her hair poofed in its braid to make her 41 inches…which was still not the 42 inches required for most rides. The only time it mattered for her was for the climbing slide, the one where kids climb a rope ladder, cross a bridge and then go down a slide. You had to be 42 inches and couldn’t be taller than 54 inches so my son could go but due to safety rules they wouldn’t let my daughter go. I understood..safety first…but she didn’t quite understand all that yet.Her favorite ride of all time though was the ferris wheel.
I am afraid of heights and will only go on that thing if I am with a kid alone and they REALLY want to go or everyone else wants to go and a child asks…I don’t volunteer. My husband does though and took her up while my son and I rode the one where you lay on your stomach and go up in the air in a circle. In fact that was where I was when I saw my fearless Diva with her head over the door on the Ferris Wheel and about had a heart attack. I was reassured that the doors lock and it was all safe and fine…but I didn’t feel better so when they came towards the ground my husband made sure she was sitting back a bit for my sake. That child has no fear and my son pretends to have fears about a lot of things randomly. Like how he is and isn’t afraid of heights. The kid loves going up in a hot air balloon but won’t go on the ferris wheel…I don’t even try to understand.
He does like the ones that go fast, spin, go up and down but not too high and of course the slide.I cannot even stress how much my kids love that slide. My son can go on it by himself though which means one of us adults gets left out…or rides by themselves which may or may not have happened. There was such a wide variety of rides for kids of all ages. The thrill seekers had the Mega Drop, Speed, Screamer, a new ride called Zero Gravity among the many. I’m sort of disappointed and happy my kids are not able to ride those or even like them yet. My fear of heights really doesn’t want to attempt them but the thrill seeker in me wants to ride them so bad. It’s an endless internal conflict and I think my kids each got one half of that. My daughter will no doubt want to ride them all as soon as she is able and my son will need to be bribed to get on one…or he will outgrow this pretend fear of everything phase and want to ride them too.
Here is a gallery of some of the things we saw and did at the Indiana State Fair 2014.
In any case if you aren’t so thrill seeking or have younger kids the Kiddie Land Midway is perfect! Some of the rides are slow and boring but GREAT and so much fun for 2 or 3 year olds tall enough to ride. With that age kids might not like to go super fast or high and there were a lot of options but if your child likes to go fast and high but isn’t quite tall enough or ready enough for the older kid crazy rides there were a lot of options there too! Last year my kids were both all about the little boat ride that just went around in a circle on water but not too fast, or the trucks, motorcycles or cars that did the same thing.
This year they liked those but were more interested in the middle range of rides. The superman one, there was one that went in a circle but really fast and the track had some “bumps” and then it stopped and went backwards, the spinning dragon one, a roller coaster that went pretty fast and even a boat one that went back and forth and spun and swayed. I admit they were all a lot of fun for kiddie rides. The roller coaster was shaped like a caterpillar and went up a track, around a corner and down really quick 2-3 times in a row. My Diva loved it of course but she is my thrill seeker and my son wouldn’t go on it at all.
In between all the rides and visiting the building areas and exhibits we also found the Little Hands on the Farm, presented by CollegeChoice which my kids loved. Each kid gets an apron and a basket and gets to travel through and perform tasks on a farm. Gathering items, feeding animals, riding tractors and planting seeds were all part of their chores and at the end they got paid $1 for there hard work which they were able to spend on a healthy snack like milk, string cheese or granola bar. It was really cute and helped educate kids (and parents) about farms. Worth checking out! Between all the events, exhibits, awesome rides, and amazing food there were concerts, pony rides, elephant rides and even go karts to ride. Check out our adventure at the fair below!
If you haven’t been to the Indiana State Fair yet you really need to experience it. There is still time to check it out but I would highly recommend downloading the app and if possible planning out your day. You will not want to leave and with all the wonderful things to do, places to rest and the amazing food you won’t have too! At least not until it closes at night. Don’t forget to get your wristbands and share pics with us on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook!