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state fair :: in pictures

September 2, 2010

We’ve been going to the Minnesota State Fair as a family for the past five years.  It’s become a little tradition.  Every year we seem to enjoy it more and more, and now with the addition of Sam to our family, it makes things like this even more fun!

This year we were debating whether we should go to the State Fair or the Renaissance Festival.  The State Fair won since Sam wasn’t really old enough to enjoy the fair last year.  The Renaissance Festival will just have to wait until next year.

We had a wonderful time at the Fair this year!  It was our favorite visit so far.  We always try and strategically plan when we will go, because hot weather and massive crowds is not our idea of fun.  We always abide by a couple of guidelines to make the trip more enjoyable:

  • We always go on a weekday night. The weekends are crazy packed.
  • We always go in the late afternoon into the evening.  The weather is so much cooler and the crowds seem much smaller.  This year we arrived around 3:00 PM and stayed until 8:00 PM.  The weather was perfect- not hot at all.
  • We usually go on “Library Day”, we show our library cards and receive a discount for our tickets.  Another perk is stopping by the Children’s Library booth and picking out a free book and music CD for your kid.
  • We break the rules and try to eat before we go- it really does save a lot of money.  This also helps us beat the temptation to turn into Templeton and roll around in all things fried.  We do, however, save room for a couple of our fair favorites.

Our first stop is always the Swine Barn.

I love how reserved Sam is in this picture, just taking his sweet little time warming up to the pigs.  His memory served him well from his first trip to the zoo.

Um, Mama- I think I like these pigs better…

Next stop, Cattle Barn.  My favorite.  I fell in love with this dairy cow.

I wanted to sneak her into the back of our SUV, keep her in our garage,  and get fresh milk every morning.

Don’t give me those eyes, Bessy. Fine! I’ll be back for you tonight.

We then headed to the Roasted Corn booth…

My oh my!  Best sweet corn.  Ever.

After filling up on roasted corn, we took Sam over to their gigantic slide and both him and Joe slid down on a little carpet.  I filmed (and prayed) while the boys played.  The two of them are sliding down on the far right side of the slide…

Sam was feeling pretty proud of himself after that little feat…

We can’t leave the fair without stopping by Sweet Martha’s Cookie Jar and loading up on their freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.  We opted for the small cone, as opposed to the $15.00 bucket!

Sam, enjoying his first chocolate chip cookie!

What good are chocolate chip cookies without the milk?  The Fair even has a booth where you can buy all-you-can-drink white and chocolate milk for a dollar.  Not bad.  Not bad at all.

Joe then thought it best to flip Sam upside down to make sure that the cookies and milk settle well in Sam’s stomach.  Thankfully, Sam didn’t seem to mind!

After visiting the fine arts building (which we loved), we made some stops to see the prize-winning corn crops, apples, grapes, etc.

This really got us excited for apple picking this Fall.

It’s amazing to see the things that your child appreciates most about a new place.  Of all the State Fair attractions, Sam could have spent every minute playing with the John Deere riding lawnmowers.  Figures.

Future mechanic?  Good.  We could use one.

We always have to make a stop at the State Fair Talent Show.  It is hilarious.  Some of the acts are really good, others not-so-much.  Sam thought he’d put on a little show of his own for the audience.

Our trip to the fair always ends with a stop by the Horse and Sheep Barns and the Miracle of Birth Center.  Sam got to watch little chickens hatch this visit.  We love that he is now at the age where he points at new things.

By the end of the evening he had completely warmed up to the animals, which is a good thing because his mother pulled a little cownapping and he’d have to share the backseat with her on the way home.

Until next year…

(In other news, who else thinks it is time for Joe to get a new hat?  I mean, seriously?!)

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. becky crowell permalink
    September 2, 2010 11:55 am

    What a great day Jen!

  2. September 2, 2010 1:39 pm

    so fun. hat’s fine, but i think you need to let him take a picture of YOU once in awhile, jen! seriously?! get in a picture, why dontchya?

  3. September 2, 2010 1:44 pm

    Oh, Midwest… your colors are brighter, your air is crisper, your apples fresher, your corn sweeter… I miss you!

  4. September 2, 2010 1:51 pm

    And I’m with Jenna- Seriously! And she gets to see you every week!

  5. September 2, 2010 1:56 pm

    Great post. How fun to have all those Fair traditions. We LOVE the roasted corn & Sweet Martha’s, too…yum! I agree about eating some ahead (or at least bringing your own food — at least snacks for the kids). This year I packed a few things from home & it proved to be quite handy!

  6. therigneys permalink*
    September 2, 2010 1:59 pm

    Girls, girls, girls…you know how I am about people using my camera! Kidding. Joe actually did take some pictures of us and we got a GOOD laugh at them when we got home. A little mixture of Sam’s eyes closed in every picture and Joe’s, um…special photo-taking skills…they were awesome, let me tell you!

    However, Joe agreed last night to start learning how to use the camera so I can actually be in some! We are also going to have family pictures taken soon (we think) so that will help!

  7. therigneys permalink*
    September 2, 2010 2:01 pm

    Nikki, yes! We did that too! Packed lots of (healthy) snacks for the little guy.

  8. Jenn A permalink
    September 3, 2010 8:33 am

    Looks like loads of fun! I’m with the others about getting a little of Mom in the picture, although I get why it doesn’t happen much. =)

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