I learned a few things that day:
- Arrive early. As in, 30 minutes or more before the gates open. We planned it this way, hoping it would pay off and were spot on. Even though we went on a Saturday, the second to last fair day, getting to the lots prior to the gate opening meant we were able to park in the closest lot and had a very short wait once the Star Spangled Banner was finished and the gates flung wide.
- Advance order your tickets, if available. We did not do this simply because we weren't aware of the option. For our fair early bird tickets, for both admission and rides, can be purchased the week before the opening day at a discounted rate.
- Wear comfortable shoes. While our county fairgrounds were meticulously maintained and very clean, we covered a LOT of ground that day. Sneakers were a must. The people sitting on benches rubbing their tired feet from $1 flip flops or high heels (why???) would have been wise to think of this ahead of time.
- Pack snacks for the kids. Lots of snacks. And maybe lunches. If your kids are picky eaters, bring your own food. Fair food is expensive and you do not want to waste $8 on a mini hot dog that will get a mere lick before being discarded. Save that $8 for more rides or fried cheescake on a stick for yourself.
- Bring your patience. Fairs are large, loud and crowded. Kids can get easily overwhelmed and overstimulated by large spaces, noise and crowds. Remember this. Take deep breaths, regroup, think about what it all looks like from the perspective of your littles.