Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Indiana State Fair - Planning for Day One
Last year, our best day at the Indiana State Fair was me and the kids on Opening Day - and we were there ALL day. If my memory serves, it was a 12 hour day and my kids were awesome.
I'm hoping we can kick off the Fair the same way this year!
First off, if you haven't been to the Indiana State Fair website yet, you need to check it out. It is much improved and easier to use - at least for me.
Now, I think it is important to hit the Fair a couple of times if you can. My main reasons include:
- Things are new and different daily.
- You need to see things in process and then complete like the Cheese sculpture and Canstruction displays and the Habitat for Humanity houses.
- Some things are worth doing multiple times (like visiting animals in barns, eating a corn dog, seeing live entertainment)
So here is a peek at my loose plan for all the things I hope to do with my kids on Opening Day of the Indiana State Fair!
The main plan is to walk the loop and stop in each building to see what is happening. And then there are a few scheduled things we want to be certain to catch!
It can feel almost as overwhelming as planning out a day at Disney, honestly. There is so much to see and do! I can fully enjoy myself just wandering - but for that Opening Day with my kids as we say goodbye to summer break, I want a plan that we can at least kind of stick with!
First thing, we have to head to the DNR Building to grab spots for fishing later in the day. If we hit it early enough, I hope we can get spots at 4:00 or at 5:00.
So here is the (hopeful, loose, totally flexible) plan:
8:45 - 9:00 Arrive
9:15 Sign up at the DNR Building for fishing later in the day.
9:30 Sweet treats and coffee at the State Fair Bakery.
10:00 FFA Pavilion for Putt Putt and to check out the start of the Habitat for Humanity builds, head to Pioneer Village.
12:00 Head to the Timberworks Lumberjack Show in the Family Fun Park. Grab corn dogs and lemon shake ups en route.
12:30 Lumberjack Show
1:00 Head to the Swashchucklers! Comedy Pirate Show. Refill lemon shake up.
1:30 Comedy Pirate Show
Somewhere in there is a visit to Little Hands on the Farm and the Bicentennial Train.
2:00 Swing back to the Farm Bureau Building and Glass Barn and Greenhouse. Popcorn, scavenger hunt, photo booth, live farmer chat, seed kits, etc.
4:00 Possibly fishing at DNR
4:30 TAIKO (drummers) at Celebration park - while snacking on Sati-Babi shish-kabobs (meat on a stick)
5:00 DNR Building to see the fish and visit Goat Mountain
5:30 Head to Ag/Hort Building and the Visit Indiana Bicentennial Pavilion. Stop for roasted corn on the cob along the way. Check out the start/set up for Canstruction displays, Bicentennial Lego Display, Marsh Culinary Stage, Cheese Sculpture.
6:30 Find a spot on Main Street for the daily parade!
Grab grilled cheese sandwiches from the Dairy Bar. And milkshakes. And chocolate milk. Chug 1 chocolate milk immediately and get a refill stat.
7:30 Parkour at the Grandstand Entertainment Lot
Visit animal barns
9:00 Grandstand for Light Up the Night: Illuminated Tractor Parade and Hot-Air Balloon Night Glow
And here's the thing. This doesn't even cover everything. It truly takes 2-3 days to really feel like you have done and seen it all.
My advise from last year still stands:
Here's the "secret" to really enjoying the State Fair - just go with it. Start somewhere, interact with people, ask questions, let loose, and just see where the day takes you.
It's that advise that gave us special moments last year like my kids learning how to use a spinning wheel, meeting one of many State Fair county princesses, being part of an impromptu front porch banjo concert for a couple of old ladies, watching 4H pig judging, meeting characters from Hotel Transylvania, dancing in a cool mist fan, and much more. Those are the moments you can't plan for or schedule - you just have to be open to them!
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