6 Favorite Things at the State Fair

We had a wonderful time earlier this week at the California State Fair.  My kids at 3 and almost 2 - for the first time really enjoyed it and didn't want to leave. We spent ALL day there. In the past few years we have only been able to spend a few hours at a time at the fair before they are ready to leave. So this was a big day.

A few notes. I like shade and if you have ever been to the fair - there isn't much of it. So many of my suggestions below involve being indoors and out of the hot sun. Obviously for the kids there are fun rides and fried foods. These suggestions are NOT those.


Check out wine country. This is a great place to get into the shade - grab an adult beverage (I went for wine slushies while the husband had a beer.) and some healthy food. We grabbed a corn on the cob for Gus on the way to the wine area and then ordered a cheese plate (which comes with grapes and bread) and some meatball sliders. It is a perfect lunch break. And the kids get to eat grapes and cheese instead of a corn dog or fried foods. Save that for dinner time if you'll be there all day.


Story time. The Dream Big area in the Expo Center is a great place for the kids to play in the air conditioning. The library does a story time a few times through out the day and if you can catch one it is another great thing for the little kids. Lucille just loved it.

Monorail ride. This one isn't a secret. It can get you out of the sun - and if you've got a train lover (like Gus) you might have to go on it a few times. But at least kids under 4 ride free.


See the animals. While Gus napped, Lucille even asked to go back to see the cows again. I think a key part of going to the fair is for city kids to get a hands on, up close experience with livestock and other animals they don't normally get to see so close. The petting zoo is fun too - Lucille always gets nervous around animals so I was proud of her for wanting to go in and pet the little goats. She didn't want to touch any animals bigger than her though.


Pony rides. Both kids went on pony rides and loved it. Gus wanted to just keep going over and over again. Lucille was hesitant at first but after seeing her baby brother do it - she couldn't say no. Once she was on she had a fun time.


Special event kids stuff. Tuesday is Kids Day. They have special deals on rides but they also have some special stuff going on. This next Tuesday (July 19) the PAW Patrol characters will roll into town and get to walk through a big semi-truck that looks like the headquarters and has interactive things for the kids to do.


The Curious World Tour with Curious George will be there that day too. This is another mobile, fun learning opportunity for your kids - especially if they are Curious George fans. Did you know Curious George is 75 years old this year? Wow.

Ok, those are my recommendations! Hope they give you a few ideas on new ways to enjoy yourself in the heat (and how to escape it!)

Did I miss your favorite part? Let me know, I'd love to explore something new too.




Ellen Martin

I'm a west-coast mama of two little ones, 15 months apart. This is our family story with reviews and recommendations along the way. Thanks for joining our journey.

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