State Fairs and how to survive one as a dad! #FatherhoodIsLit
There are Carnivals and then there are State Fairs. Both are dope and both need their own set of rules for survival!
As a kid, I would love going to “las machinas” aka the carnivals that would pop up in the South Bronx during the summer.
It was my chance to hang out with my dad for some #PresenceOverPresents time and spend the day on rides that I loved. They were a huge deal and still are but they are nothing compared to a State Fair.
The size alone of most State Fairs really makes the difference apparent. Don’t get me wrong, we still love our local carnivals but to get a real experience, you have to visit a State Fair.
Here’s how I survive a day at the fair!
Find discounts online and anywhere you can think of
State Fairs are affordable but when you have a family of 5 as we do, every dollar saved goes a long way. Everything from admissions to the rides to the food can get expensive if you don’t do it right.
People and organizations offer the best deals online and even offline. Last year we were able to score 4 free admission passes to the NY State Fair through the Girl Scouts of America. Admission Passes were $10 each which wasn’t expensive but by donating that same $10 to the Girl Scouts we saved $30 dollars on our entry.
There are deals everywhere, including the State Fair’s own site. State Fairs usually offer discounted days throughout the week and offer the best discounts on unlimited wristbands. Don’t wait for the day of the event to look for deals though, you probably won’t find one. Start early.
Bring your own food even if you want to try some crazy eats
We love watching Carnival Eats, as a matter of fact, they are the reason we have attended over 5 State Fairs in 2 years. But you can save a ton of cash by bringing in your own food.
Food at a State Fair isn’t cheap and with all they have to offer, you can spend some real cash real fast! Most State Fairs will allow you to bring in your own food and drinks with a few stipulations. You can find their rules online.
The first year we messed up and spent way too much cash on all the deep fried food we could eat. We learned our lesson and with the help of our stroller, we bring in a case of Gatorade, water, and snacks.
We still spend money on food there but now won’t spend a dime on drinks. Who wants to pay $6 for a small Pepsi anyway? I will overspend on that deep fried Oreo tho.
Plan your day, State Fairs are huge!
The main difference between a carnival and State Fair has to be the size of them. They are huge! These things don’t take up a block or two, they take up acres and trying to do everything in one day will burn a dad out. I winged it once and will never ever do that again.
State Fairs offer rides, competition, educational exhibits, shows and more. Plan to attend a State Fair for at least 2 days to make the most of it and to avoid missing out on something.
We like to take a day to focus on rides, shows and simply walking around doing whatever comes to mind. Then we like to have a day that focuses on whatever shows we missed, competitions or checking out educational activities with the kids.
Don’t come decked out in your Sunday’s best!
I did the rookie mistake of attending the York State Fair with white Jordans on. I only took one pair of kicks with me and it happened to rain that day. My kicks went from white to brown real quick. I was so upset and promise you, that will never ever happen again.
We all love to look good for photos, you know you have to keep your Instagram popping but your cool clothes will get messed up.
It might be via your kids or you might drop some food on yourself as you say dammn this was good. It never fails! Wear clothes that you don’t mind messing up and that will keep you comfortable. It’s the memories that count and you don’t want to be thinking about how your freshest gear just got destroyed!
There’s always something from everyone at State Fairs
State Fairs are typically hosted by the state as a way to get the community together. They don’t just offer rides and great food, which is our main reason for going!
They also offer a ton of new things to learn or even try out like Curling or watching the live birth of a baby cow! Everyone will find something to do, that’s what really makes them special.
If you like shows or even the circus, they have that!
Want to learn about animals? Most have petting zoos, exhibits or even competitions geared toward animals. Did you know people buy Chinese chickens that cost up to $100 each, yup we learned that while joking that some of the chickens looked like the rapper 6ix9ine.
You can bring the whole family and every single person will have something to do!
It’s wrap, this is how you survive a state fair as a dad!
State Fairs can be tons of fun but they can also be stressful if you don’t plan ahead.
We do things to make sure our kids are having fun but forget about our own experience. State Fairs, provide something for everyone that attends and you don’t have to break the bank to enjoy them. Look for discounts everywhere, google “discounts” and your state fair to get you started.
Remember to bring your own food, at least drinks and to wear comfortable clothes that you don’t mind messing up. Can’t really help you with parking, just make sure you try to get as close as possible as early as possible. Parking is horrendous at all State Fairs but arriving super early or late in the evening helps.
Ever did a State Fair? What are your tips for survival? Hit me up!
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