State Fair

Five things to do with your kids at the California State Fair

What you'll see at the State Fair this year (and what you'll eat)

Last year, each visitor spent about $14 on food and beverages.
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Last year, each visitor spent about $14 on food and beverages.

There’s just over a week until the California State Fair closes for the year.

While the fair has gotten some negative publicity in the opening week, there’s still plenty of things to do and food to eat.

And if you haven’t gone to the fair yet and are planning to take your children, there are plenty of kid-friendly activities that you can do.

Here’s a list of five things you can do with your kids at the State Fair:

1. “Expedition: Dinosaurs” - Expo Building 4

If your child is interested in dinosaurs, you’ll have to make plans to head to the brand-new animatronic exhibit that fills two halls. There are 16 dinosaurs total, and they are newly discovered species that haven’t been featured in other exhibits.

Two of those examples are the largest ever shown in Northern California, according to the Bee’s Debbie Arrington. The exhibit was created by Stage Nine Exhibitions of West Sacramento.

“What we really wanted to tell with this exhibit is the incredible story of early paleontologists,” Troy Carlson of Stage Nine said. “A lot of museum exhibits show dinosaurs or bones. But we found the story of the dinosaur hunters captivating and not told.”

2. Indulge in the fair food—on a budget

On Wednesdays and Thursdays between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., you can get smaller versions of your favorite fair foods for only $2, as part of the $2 Taste of the Fair.

Here’s a list of some $2 deals, which are perfect for kids:

  • California Ice Cream - Mini cup or mini cone of ice cream
  • Chocolate Covered Bacon - One regular churro
  • Funnel Cake Express - Mini sugar funnel cake
  • Hot Dog on a Stick - Half of a hot dog on a stick
  • Milo’s - Half or a small slice of pizza, depending on the location

The full list of items can be found here.

3. TreeCircus Climb - Expo Building 2

If you’ve let visions of nasty falls and broken bones prevent you from letting your child climb trees, the TreeCircus Climb is safe opportunity for kids to do so.

The free exhibit, sponsored by the U.S. Forest Service, helps participants learn how to climb trees “like professionals.” And better news for parents, if you don’t want to join in, there’s air conditioning to provide relief from the heat.

4. Fireworks!

Were your kids mesmerized by the fireworks during Fourth of July festivities? Why not take them to another show?

If you’re at the State Fair on a Friday or Saturday night, there are always fireworks at 10 p.m.

5. Capt’n Jack Spareribs - Family Fun Stage

If you’re more interested in a show-like atmosphere, heading to see Capt’n Jack Spareribs might be an act to check out. He impersonates Jack Sparrow from the popular “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie series.

However, he’s not a one-trick pony. His shows also include juggling, magic and comedy.

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