So one thing we did last week while I was away on my blog break was visit the State Fair! Nate’s relatives from St. Louis came up to join us for the day and we had a blast. We went on Friday, I love going early on during the run of the Fair – everything is still relatively clean and new looking! On Thursday we kept watching the forecasts and it was threatening rain for Friday, but we kept our plans because it was pretty much the only day we’d be able to go. I went out during Ollie’s nap that day in a bit of a panic and bought rain boots and a rain jacket so I’d be prepared. It must have worked. We woke up on Friday morning and the forecast had changed significantly. Nate came out of the bedroom with his phone that morning saying “it’s a Fair day miracle! No rain today!”
We always buy our tickets ahead of time – not only does it save us money, it saves time at the gate. We set out early, we wanted to make sure we got to the Fair nice and early to spend as much time as possible before Ollie would get tired and need to go home to nap (he isn’t much of a stroller napper anymore sadly). We also planned to park at the Fairgrounds instead of doing the park and ride on the bus, so we wanted to get there nice and early to get a spot and not have to wait in line too long. It did take us a little bit to get in, but nothing compared to some stories I’ve heard of people waiting an hour or more to get in!
First thing we had to do was grab me some coffee and then instead of our traditional crepe, we decided to get beignets instead, we knew Ollie would love them. I made a collage of some of the food we enjoyed throughout the day below here:
We loved the beignets, they were wonderful! We also had a corn dog and a Pronto pup (not pictured) at various points in the day. We both prefer the corn dog, but Nate always has to get a Pronto pup because he grew up doing it. We had to have cheese curds, you don’t go to the State Fair and not eat cheese curds! We tried the Wild Rice Benedict Muffin from Lulu’s Public House – it was one of the new foods this year and I will admit to being a hair disappointed in it. The muffin felt very heavy and I didn’t really taste the wild rice. If you haven’t been to the Fair yet, go for the macaroni and cheese cupcake from Lulu’s instead. My new favorite food this year though was from Sara’s Tipsy Pies. It’s a new booth this year and the woman who owns it used to work at my elementary school with my mom. She’s created a pie recipe using local alcohol and beer and it is SO good. We had the Irish Whiskey apple. Yum. I want more, she has a bakery in Stillwater, so I guess I’ll be making a trip! Finally, we had a deep fried turkey sandwich and we had to share a couple of beer flights from the Land of 10,000 Beers exhibit with Nate’s family.
We had a lot of fun doing some different activities throughout our day as well. Ollie loved the animal buildings, especially the cows, he kept saying “yay cows!” He enjoyed running around the West End Market (formerly Heritage Square) and we let him pick out a wooden toy from a booth called Greg’s Toys that we’ve been buying things from since the summer we were expecting him – he’s getting a nice collection! I also stopped by the I Like You booth and got a new MN beer shirt – which I ended up changing into after Ollie gave my shirt lots of ketchup handprints at one point!
We stopped by the Fox 9 booth during the morning news broadcast but were sad to learn that most of the regular anchors were housed back at their station, they had made the decision to not broadcast live at the Fair the day before because of the threat of rain. We did still meet the weather guy Cody Matz though! He was very nice and took a picture with us! We rode the Skyride – Ollie’s first time! He was a little unsure, but we’ll try it again someday. We met Curious George at the TPT booth, Ollie was pretty uncertain of him as well, but we got at least one good picture! Ollie loved running around the Alphabet Forest, we took a nice long break there and played some games and read some books. We ended the day when Ollie got a second wind up on Machinery Hill – he thought the lawnmowers and tractors were the greatest thing ever, which I’m not surprised about at all.
Overall it was a great day, we missed a few things we usually do, we skipped a bunch of buildings we like to walk through and I’m a little bummed about that, but at the same time I think we did and saw a lot considering we have a very busy toddler! I am pretty impressed that he lasted eight hours! When he hit the wall though he hit the wall hard and we knew it was time to go. He had a blast though and I love being able to share one of my favorite places and traditions with him. I know we’ll continue to make memories in the years to come as well!