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Ten Tips for Tackling a Fair With Kids

The The Lake County Fair and the DuPage County Fair are both underway through Sunday. Tackling a fair with little kids can be intimidating, so we're sharing with you here a list of tips compiled by the editor of Little Lake County. It's a wonderful website for young families in -- you guessed it -- Lake County. If you have friends or family in that area, please make sure they know about Little Lake County

This is also great advice if you plan on visiting the Wisconsin State Fair, the Illinois State Fair of the Sandwich Fair later this summer. 

  1. Bring snacks and drinks to avoid waiting in line while your little ones have a hunger meltdown. 
  2. Try to visit the fair on a weekday if your schedule permits. 
  3. It’s been a hot summer, start with outdoor events and visit the expo hall or other indoor attractions to cool off when everyone gets too hot. 
  4. Bring a stroller for little ones who may get tired out quickly from all the walking. (Melissa from Little Lake County says: "I bring both my Ergo baby carrier for the toddler and my double stroller. At the start of the fair my two youngest ride in the stroller, by the end even my 7 year old wants to sit in the stroller! Having the carrier also helps with crabby/tired baby meltdowns.") 
  5. Pay the parking fee to park in a lot closer to the main entrance, preferably one that is paved. Gravelly terrain is not ideal for those with little kids or needing to bring a stroller!
  6. If you can get a map, or scope out the fair ahead of time do it. Melissa says: "We try to avoid the fairway (where the games and rides are) until after we have seen the animals and other things. In Lake County with the new fairgrounds it’s a little harder but if you go through the expo hall or around it (to the right) you can avoid the Fairway almost completely."
  7. Expect to spend more (at least 20%) than you plan on and bring cash. At many fairs, the admission gate and the booths only take cash.
  8. Brings refillable water bottles, and lots of them. 
  9. Look for coupons to save on admission and rides. For the Lake County Fair, you can find some on the Lake County Convention and Visitors Bureau webpage and on the Lake County Fair’s Facebook page.
  10. Check Showtimes – There are usually lots of little attractions and shows going on throughout the fair – in addition to the bigger, headlining shows in the evening.  If you’re interested in catching some of the smaller ones, definitely be on the lookout for show times. They are usually free with admission and can be a nice break for everyone!

Relax and have fun! Yes it can be crowded, and expensive but going to a local fair is a once-a-year event. If you have very young kids (under 5) you can have a great time at the fair by just visiting the animals in the petting zoo, barns and 4H exhibits and playing on all the tractors and visiting the farm bureau activities. 

With a little bit of planning the fair can be a great experience for the whole family!

What are your fair tips? Share them with us in the comments!

Special thanks to Alita Jewel Photography for the button image. This post was a collaboration among the following hyperlocal blogs: Cumming LocalGo West Young Mom, Kidlist, and Indianapolis with Kids.

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    Ten Tips for Tackling a Fair With Kids - Keeping Families West of Chicago in the Loop - Go West Young Mom

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