So I was going to post this earlier… But life happens and we are in the middle of the never ending kitchen remodel…. So here we are, better late than never.

We’re just days away from what is probably the most anticipated event in our household… The Great Minnesota Get Together. So today, I’m offering a few more tips and breaking down some of my favorite parts of the fair. This is mostly for families with young kids, because well, that’s where we’re at right now.

As I mentioned in my last post, 6 Things You NEED to do Before the Minnesota State Fair,  you should have a map if you’re not a State Fair expert (print it off online or pick up at an information booth). Especially for those with young children, having a map handy is key as not all bathrooms are equipped with baby changing stations. Most are, however the moment your little ones’ body decides to say “ F you Mom and Dad,” and they have explosive, runny diarrhea poop squish out of their diaper and all up their back, you will of course find yourself miles away from anywhere to change your distressed, smelly child. (Oh, and your husband and all other people with you will have magically walked away leaving you with a poopy kid, 27 bags of crap you’ve accumulated (where the hell is all this stuff going to go when we get home?!?) and a diaper bag that has also been stuffed full of non-essential items that will spill all over the dirty ground as you try to rummage around to find that change of clothes you brought.) So keep a map handy so you can quickly dart towards the nearest baby changing area.

If you are still nursing your little one, the Care and Assistance facility on West Dan patch Ave has several private rooms with a chair and changing station. As I mentioned before, we brought our son to the fair 4 times when he was just over 2 weeks old – we became fast regulars to this building. It is also nice just for changing the little ones, as you get more room, it tends to be cleaner than the bathrooms, and you can shut the door and not feel the laser beams in the back of your head from the mom behind you, waiting to use the changing station.

In my 6 Things post, I also mentioned the Blue Ribbon Bargain Book. There really are a lot of great deals in this thing. Eating at the fair can get pricey, but we’ll typically bring a few of our own snacks, our own water bottles, and then use the coupons to get a few of those coveted Fair Foods. Here are a couple of the coupons that I thought I’d point out – although I know I’ll be using way more than just these few.

Dairy Bar – $1.50 off one-flavor milkshake  – This is basically a fair tradition for us to get a milkshake at the Dairy Bar.

Farmers Union Coffee Shop $2 off one Frappe – Sometimes you just want a frilly coffee drink, and well this coupon makes it cheaper than having stopped to get one on the way to the fair.

Green Mill Pizza – $2 off one slice or bogo – I figured I had to mention this one – I mean you basically can feed 2 people for $4. You really can’t beat that.

I Like You – $6 off T-Shirt or buy any two get the 3rd Free – They have really cute Minnesota themed T-shirts and jewelry. They also come in kids sizes. We took advantage of this deal last year and there’s a good chance we’ll be back again.

Mighty Midway – $8 off one $25 sheet of 30 ride and game tickets – incase you didn’t pick up a sheet of tickets before the fair or you just need another sheet, this is a pretty good deal!

Roseberry Children’s Boutique $10 off one hand-knit children’s sweater – We got one of these last year – it was adorable and I am so sad our little guy has outgrown it.

And here are just a few of my other favorite things to do with the family

Alphabet Forest

This is a great area for toddlers and young kids. Last year, our little man was only one and had JUST started walking, so he wasn’t quite ready, but this year I am sure he will be much interested in this as he now LOVES books, and is able to comprehend games a little better. There are books, authors make appearances, and they have a cute photo booth.


I love this building as I strive to find new ways we can reduce our carbon footprint at home and always walk away more knowledgeable.  Also, outside the building is a neat “Nature adventure play yard.” Even as a toddling 1 year old, our son loved trying to dig with the shovels, sitting in the tepees, and just playing outside here.

Kemps Little Farm Hands

This feature at the fair is so stinkin’ cute. Kids get to go through the farm and “help” by doing farm chores. There are so many great photo opportunities in here and there’s a “store” at the end where they can spend their earnings.

Animal Booths

The Moo, Baa and Oink Booths are fun for everyone, but it is especially adorable to go through and ask your toddler what sound each animal makes, what they eat, etc. And who isn’t going to hit “Like” when they see a photo on Facebook of your little cutie petting a little piggy for the first time?

DNR Building

I always like going through the DNR building, and I feel like we always almost forget to stop. But last year it was a life saver. Our little guy loved looking at the fish inside, and it is really cool to walk through. But outside the building, there are lots of trees, some benches, and great areas to actually sit down in the SHADE. In my opinion, this is the best spot to sit down for a snack or just relax for a minute and beat the heat.

What are some of your family fair must-dos? Leave a comment!