Not eating meat makes going to the state fair challenging. If you want to read my post of what I was looking forward to doing at the state fair you can access it here.
Going to the state fair has always been a tradition. It’s HUGE so it’s appropriately called “The great Minnesota get together”! But, after asking a few people they say they never go. Maybe it’s just the people living in the city who just know it’s crazy and expensive, or they never established the tradition of going to the fair. Each to their own, I say. But a lot of people from all around Minnesota drive to the State Fair Grounds each year. I talk more on that here, this post is all about what we did, what we ate, how much was spent, hours in line, and what it was like for someone who gets overwhelmed in large crowds and could probably have had a culture shock. Here is a Pinterest/printable check list for you!
Depending on what gate you come in you’ll end up in a section of the fair. This time we got to go through the main gates, the more iconic entrance. The fair grounds cover a pretty big area and we covered EVERYTHING. There is definitely a lot of things to do, from rides, to shows, to free music, to big-name performers at the Grand Stand. There are booths with things you can buy, from random stuffed animals, cow boy boots, to hot tubs. We were there in the evening and tried to see all of it, but we didn’t get to see as much as we usually do since the dairy barn closed at 10 pm. But we went to the animals of course to see the largest boar and the baby pigs. We caught a horse show, too. And of course we went to the birthing barn, headed to the education building to get our free pens and walked around the Eco Building. Something new we did was watch a glass blowing demonstration near the Blue Barn.
There are the specifics you always eat when going to the state fair. And eating food is the most important part of the fair, there are new add-ons each year. They even give you a list of new food, food locations, a discount book, and a list of the food on a stick because that’s what it’s all about. Deep fried, of course. I always get my little stuff but try to have a “meal,” something larger than something on a stick. But, since I am not eating meat (I’m still eating fish and cheese) it seemed much harder. I did get walleye on a stick, $5 bucks at a stand in the food building. We then went for the usual Milk Shake at the dairy barn near the farm animals, the only place to get your milk shake! Of course, we get mini doughnuts, especially if you going in the morning. Don’t miss a pickle on a stick from the Fried Pickle stand (it use to be in the food building) now moved down near the French Fries stand (those are a must too). We went to the blue barn because we heard the food is more meal like however there are not many options for none meat eaters so I just picked at my mom’s beans and rice as she ate the pork. This year we did go for the Sweet Maratha Cookies, it’s all the rage at the state fair, buckets full of cookies that a lot of people take home and eat for days. However, as I ate the cookie it wasn’t as good as I remembered, or what I thought would be so good considering the length of the line since EVERYONE gets them.
How much will you spend…
You will be spending money when going to the state fair, especially if you do all the extra things like the rides, the games, buying the carnival stuff, or things from the little shops; plus all of the FOOD. But I brought about 40 and I had 20 left so that was pretty good. There is a lot of free things you can get at the fair, trust me. For me it always was about the free stuff you can get!
When asking people if they were going, if they said no a lot of time it was because of the crowds of people. There are some interesting people you will notice at the state fair, and there are TONS of times where you’re basically inching along when walking. I even ran into a guy because we both were looking a different direction. There are plenty of strollers you’ll likely get hit by, too. But, for me, even though I get easily overwhelmed when there are lots of people around I still like to go. I don’t know why but the state fair is one place where it doesn’t happen, maybe it’s because I’m so focused on where I want to be or staring at the ground so I don’t step in cow shit. I remember when I was younger I always was telling a story in my head when we walked around the fair grounds. So, for those of you who don’t like crowds, take a chance and wander over to the fair. Look around and let your imagination run wild.
Pinterest/printable check list for you BELOW!
Usually we go near the end of the state fair (it goes on for two weeks) and this year I’m going twice! Usually once is all we do, some people do go almost ever day! Like I said, MN State Fair is something you should see and experience.
Vlog of the State Fair: