Top 5 Reasons to Visit the MN State Fair

It’s almost time for the MN State Fair! Can you smell the cheese curds yet? I know some that don’t understand the love, or the need to go every single year. They think it is the same thing every year. That’s like never going into a Target again because you’ve seen it all. Trust me, there is always something new to discover. If you are hesitant to go again, here are the reasons I keep going back.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit the MN State Fair

1. Animals

See the largest and the smallest animals in one place. Start out with the U of M’s Miracle of Birth Barn. This place gets insanely busy so get there early. I am partial to sticking to the side with all the new babies. They have cows, sheep, goats, pigs, chicks and my personal favorite the ducks. Many times volunteers will hold them so you can get a closer look and sometimes get a pet in. If you are interested in seeing the miracle happen live, they have a viewing area and video screens showing an animal giving birth.
After seeing the smallest animal, head over to the different animal booths. Onsite you will see the prize winning varieties in the different categories. Everyone’s favorite is always the biggest pig. Watch your step as you navigate around this part of the fair. They are good at cleaning up after animals, but you never know what is fresh.

Newly hatched Chicks

2. Music

The best entertainment is found at Lennie Lodge. They have good acts running all day long with a bigger act at the end of the night. One of the best parts is the bands will stick around after sometimes to sign their merchandise. The venue seats up to 3,000 people with room for another 2,000 visitors to stand behind. It’s very intimate.

If you want to see a headliner, the grandstand is where to go. They always have amazing acts each night. My family got so into it one year we went to 7 shows. It was a crazy time. After the show, sit back in your chair and watch the fireworks.

Bandshell Tonight the Minnesota State Fair

Photo Courtesy of the Minnesota State Fair

3. Shopping – Great Deals

Most of the merchandise area, you’ll find salesperson pitching they’re As Seen On TV wears. This can be a lot of fun watching the demonstrations and seeing what kind of additional deals you can get. My husband and I have a rule on this one. If you see something you like, tell the other person. Next year, if you can find it again and still want it, go for it. If you can’t find it, it’s not meant to be. It helps us with the impulse buys.

Now if you are looking for something unique or custom made, there are a few places to check out. I always start at the International Bazar. It is located on the south side of Judson Ave between Underwood and Cooper Street. You’ll find international themed merchandise, food, and music. The newest shopping location is West End Market. They recently re-did the venue and have a bunch of one of kind items. Like upcycled, candles and home décor made from factory parts.

International Bazaar at the MN State Fair

4. Games and Rides

The Midway and Kidway hold most of the rides and games. For the little ones, the Kidway is open at 9 am and runs until 10:30. The Midway opens at 10 am and is open until Midnight except for Labor Day when they close at 11 pm. Once the sun goes down, everyone at the fair migrates towards it. Just follow the bright lights and giant stuff animals. Oh, and I forgot to mention that they added a new attraction a 156 foot tall Ferris wheel. The tallest in North America.

Some of my favorite rides are not in the midways. The Space Tower is always a tradition in our family and my kid’s favorite has to be the Giant Slide. Keep your eyes out, and you’ll stumble into something fun.

Kidway Rides

Photo Courtesy of the Minnesota State Fair

5. Food

What is the MN State Fair, without some food? I’ve planned my entire trip to the fair around the food booths before. My personal favorites have to be the Dairy Booth’s strawberry sundaes. I also love The Perfect Pickles fried pickle chips. Stick with the Perfect Pickle if you are just starting out. I know pickles and ice-cream may sound a little odd, but they are on opposite sides of the fair. I wouldn’t eat them together. My husband’s favorite is the Pork Chop on a Stick.

Each year they come out with new foods too, which is another reason why I love the fair. Last year, I fell in love with the Minnesota Dog. They use a custom ground sausage, blueberries, apples, wild rice, maple syrup and cayenne, dipped in a corn dog batter and deep-fried. It sounds like a lot going on, but trust me when I say it was amazing. This year I’m dying to try the Mini Sconuts. A buttermilk scone, filled with chocolate, marshmallow, and Nutella, deep-fried and topped with powdered sugar. They are at the French Meadow Bakery and Café. I got the opportunity to try out some of the other new foods. 2017 List of New Foods at the Minnesota State Fair

Tipsy Pies New Foods 2017 at the MN State Fair

I am just scratching the surface of the excitement that the MN State Fair brings to my family each year. There is so much more to uncover in each of the different buildings and pavilions. Whatever your reason for going, make sure to bring a stroller for the kiddo’s and cover them in sunscreen. If you are like me and forget it, stop by the information booth and use theirs! You are bound to have a great time.

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All the best reasons to go to the Minnesota State Fair and what keeps me coming back each year. And all the new things this year at the Great MN Get-Together

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15 Comments

  • Reply Hayley August 16, 2017 at 11:03 am

    So many great reasons to visit the state fair!

    • Reply Jenn August 16, 2017 at 5:48 pm

      Thanks, have a great time at the Fair!

  • Reply Angela Noel August 16, 2017 at 11:08 am

    I’d love to see your take on the Minnesota Renaissance Faire! Nothing against the State Fair, of course, and you’ve listed some gems that make the trek (and the sweat) worth the trouble. But, I’m a fan of the Faire. I love your tips, so would love to get your thoughts. 😉

  • Reply Holly | Legally Crafty Blog August 16, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    Totally agree with all of these! Can’t wait to go to the fair!

    • Reply Jenn August 16, 2017 at 5:45 pm

      Have a great time at the fair!

  • Reply Alissa Schrank August 16, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    I can’t wait for the fair! Going 3 times this year 🙂

    • Reply Jenn August 16, 2017 at 5:44 pm

      OMG, 3 times sounds like a lot! But then again, I’m the crazy one that did 7x. Have a great time at the fair this year.

  • Reply Erin August 16, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    I just posted about the fair but failed to mention the music or the shopping! I’m so excited for the fair this year. I’m trying to go with a whole new attitude… hopefully it helps with all the crowds!

    • Reply Jenn August 16, 2017 at 5:43 pm

      You’ve got a good list too! There is just so much there, I can never get enough!

  • Reply April Walker August 16, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    As an Iowa girl now living in MN, I’ll admit that I still travel to the Iowa State Fair each yet BUT I have to to Minnesota’s fair. Sweet Martha’s Cookies and the Perfect Pickle have my heart!!!!

    • Reply Jenn August 16, 2017 at 5:42 pm

      I’m dying to get to the Iowa State Fair. I’m so jealous. I’d love to know how it compares.

  • Reply Agness of aTukTuk August 22, 2017 at 9:26 am

    Wow! The MN State Fair seems like an amazing destination, Jenn! When’s the best time of the year to go there?

    • Reply Jenn August 22, 2017 at 11:10 am

      It’s only open for for the last 12 days of summer, ending on Labor Day. This year it’s August 24th – September 4th. Best day is during the week to avoid the crowds.

  • Reply Mary {The World Is A Book} August 26, 2017 at 2:03 am

    We have a county fair in San Diego every summer that we like going to but I’m sure it’s nothing compared to the MN State Fair. I have heard such great things about this particular fair especially the food. I was salivating during a Travel Channel special. I knew there was something great about this fair when a friend who lives in CHicago went up there last year just to attend it.

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