|Indoor Playground where we lost the balloon|
My husband and I have made the Indiana State Fair a family tradition. Each year visiting as many of the exhibits and family areas that we can cram into an afternoon before exhaustion kicks in. So much to do and learn, even for adults! Little tidbit I learned this year was that Indiana is #4 in production for mint - who knew?!
For the kiddos there are definitely more than just rides - in fact we try to avoid that wallet-sucking area as much as we can - that and the food area -- heck, bring a picnic!- with kiddos you are already carting around so much anyways - why not pack a little cooler with hard boiled eggs or sandwiches and chips, etc. And our oldest (almost 4) doesn't even like cotton candy - so no fights for that haha!
So (in no particular order) here's our list of free to-do's each year:
1. DNR Building: The butterfly habitat right outside is a huge hit with our daughter and the lovely cold knee level fountain is mommy's favorite spot to rest and cool her feet off. The building itself is a cooling retreat from the harsh sun and a fun walk through of Indiana aquatic life.
2. Little Hands on the Farm: Featuring a free fun little farm walk through where the children all don aprons and complete farm activities including "egg" and "apple" collecting and you even get to ride/drive a tractor - and wrap up with a visit at the "store" to trade in your "money" for a drink or snack I think...this is a good 20 minute activity so for those waiting with the stroller and sleeping baby outside the activity - hang tight. :)
3. FFA Pavillion: The free putt putt course and shredded-tire playground is a great spot to rest from all the walking. Lots of the buildings also feature a little area where kiddos can color with free printables - we are right at that age where that is a huge hit - take advantage of it if you need to!
|Peeping cute chicks/ pullets|
|Friendly ducklings in the Poultry and Rabbit Barn|
5. Farm Bureau Building: The nice thing about this spot is the bathrooms, A/C and of course the free popcorn!
|Dupont Food Pavillion|
6. DuPont Food Pavillion: One of our favorites! Always a demo going on about recipes (Red Gold, etc) and usually includes a little taste for the audience. Food samples around the building from salsa to honey...and you can watch the cheese sculpture being form and the littles can play in the little interactive area.
|Planting sunflower seeds at Seed Survivor in the Ag/Hort Building|
|Gourd activity in the Ag/Hort Building|
8. Angie's List Garden: full of great free activities and crafts and also a free balloon!....which we promptly lost :( ....and much screaming ensued. Tie that puppy to a hairtie on your wrist next time - oy!
9. Pathway to Water Quality: Great little outdoor walkthrough along a path of shade trees and you can fill your thermos with great cold well water!
|Lactation Tent near the Little Hands on the Farm and Pathway to Quality|
10. Lactation Stations: This for us has been such a great relief. Two different stations at each end of the fair made for moms to step in and nurse or change diapers and grab a cool water and refresh on sunscreen and if you forgot yours they have some as well as some diapers and wipes if you find yourself in a bind. The volunteers for these booths are great - so much so that they inspired me to sign up for a shift this year - loved being able to give back to a cause that made me feel welcome. Of course you can nurse wherever you need to at the fair - but these little areas are a nice place to meet up with other mom's or, like in the RV, get a way from all the distractions so the baby can focus on eating.
|RV Lactation Station - air condition and more private if needed for the distract-ababy|