Every year our kids love going to our local country fair. In fact, my 7-year-old counts down the months, weeks and days until we go, just as if it was Christmas! There are so many great reasons to go the fair, but here are some of my family's reasons. 

They are a lot of fun

If you didn’t guess from my 7-year-old’s count down, we find them a lot of fun. There are rides to enjoy, exhibits to browse, and our fair even has a pioneer reenactment “village” with real tepees, small cabins, a blacksmith, pony rides, and a candle-making station. We haven’t gone in the evening when the rodeo is in full-swing, but many of our friends go to the fair just for the rodeo. 

Here's a picture of my girls making pioneer home remedies as part of the pioneer village tour. 

fun at the fair with Kimi's kids

This year, the highlight was watching a show featuring about eight dogs with their dog trainer. These obviously happy dogs loved what they were doing, and entertained us at the same time! We loved getting to pet the dogs afterwards — they were some of the friendliest dogs I've ever met! In the past, we’ve enjoyed the butterfly feeding exhibit and the exotic animal exhibit. Plus, my girls loved walking through the animal exhibits and getting to pet baby goats, bunnies and even a chicken. 

Your kids may get inspired 

With hundreds of children showing off their 4-H projects, it's a great place to inspire your kids to be producers, not just consumers. We admired various handy work, watched women spinning wool, and met children not much older than our oldest who had raised an animal to show at the fair. 

Side note to parents: This is also a great place to pick up pet rabbits that have been raised by kids (and the rabbits are often very kid-friendly because of it) for a good price! After the judging is complete, many of the animals are sold so that the kids in the 4-H clubs have the opportunity to raise another animal the next year.

Another fun inspiration for our kids is watching some of the different dance studios perform on the outside stages. With my two little girls in ballet, they were enthralled with the dancers who were a step or two ahead of them. 

Whatever your kid may latch onto — whether it’s the result of working on perfecting a craft, cooking the best pie, raising an animal, or working hard for a dance performance — the fair can be an inspirational place.

Eating fun food at the fair

Fun food! 

And of course, I have to mention the wide array of food available! Granted, fair food is not known to be the healthiest, and I certainly saw lots of funnel cakes, elephant ears, and fried apple pies that reminded me of happy childhood memories. But there's is plenty more to be found — grilled corn, gourmet sausages, and even salads at some stands — so that everyone was able to find something that agreed with them. Some friends went for the old-fashioned baked pies, famously made by a local church ladies group. We snacked on some delicious sausages. If you are looking for a treat, the freshly squeezed lemonade found at most fairs is delicious and cooling on a hot day. 

As a last note, while we also enjoy state fairs, we’ve found they can be much more packed (at least, our Oregon state fair was!), which makes it more difficult to take children. Going to a busy and active county fair was a much better choice for us, because it was less overwhelming.

What about you? Do you enjoy taking your kids to a state or county fair? 

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Related on MNN:

3 reasons to take your kids to the local county fair
Have you considered taking your kids to a local fair? Here's why I recommend it.