The Kentucky State Fair has the largest indoor space of any state fair in the country. It can be a little overwhelming at first glance, and when you have children of different ages and stages that you are walking all around with on unfamiliar territory it may be just enough to make you sweat, break out in hives, and call it quits.
You really don't want to miss out on the tradition that is the Kentucky State Fair, especially with your kids, so let me be your guide:
South Wing B
This is where you will probably want to spend most of your time in the indoor area of the fair. Here you will find activities, entertainment, and educational opportunities for the entire family.
- Discovery Farm: Here your kids can interact with every farm animal possible like goats, sheep, alpacas, rabbits, a beautiful horse, a calf, roosters, chicken, an intimidating turkey, and experience learning stations like a sow and her litter (which is absolutely adorable) and how baby chicks are born (almost equally adorable). One big crowd-pleaser is the cute ducklings and their water slide. We almost couldn't take our eyes off of them.
- Children's Coloring Mural: This is exactly what it sounds like. A giant coloring mural for your kids to put their own artistic spin on within the mix of others. This isn't knock-your-socks off exciting, but it's a nice change of pace for you and your kids to take a minute to color and relax.
- Giant Corn Maze: Here your kids can explore 160 square feet of a giant, inflatable corn maze. The little ones need to be accompanied by an adult to maneuver their way through the maze, but your older kids will have a blast figuring their way out on their own.
- Fairbears: Fairbear and his female sidekick Fairabear make appearances each day at the fair on the Kidz Biz Stage. You can also catch them walking throughout the fair grounds. I'm sure your children (like mine) will be the first to spot them.
- Health Horizons: This is a great space for educating your kids on health with interactive exhibits from Kentucky's medical community. Something we enjoyed was the KentuckyOne Health heart. An oversized, inflatable model of a heart that had a small maze to walk through where you can talk to your kids about the different parts of the heart.
- Kidz Biz: This is a great area full of all kinds of entertainment for the family. Comedians and musicians will grace the Kidz Biz Stage for you to check out. This is also where they can talk to the Kentucky State Police and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department. Here you will also be able to see police cars and your kids can ride in a replica cop car the perfect size for them, sit in a helicopter, and much more.
- Matt's Family Jam: Matt, Lisa, and their extremely talented children who sing, with the youngest on the drums perform a variety of family friendly music; some you will recognize from country to folk. Your kids have space at the front of the stage to dance, sing along, play the tambourines, and even use the colorful hula hoops that are spread across the floor. This was really a lot of fun for us.
- Safety Town: Here your children get to ride tricycles and follow traffic safety rules as they start driving lessons early around "town".
- Food Court: This needs no explanation, but it's good to know when those kids get hungry where to take them to eat inside. We toured the entire fair grounds looking for cotton candy, and this is where we were able to find the sugary, airy, goodness in blue, pink, and yellow hues that is a staple for the state fair experience for your kids, and maybe even a pinch (or two or three) for yourself.
- Balloon Masters: Try to make it over to the North Wing to check out the awesome display of balloon sculptures. Everyday professional balloon sculptors (yes apparently there is such a thing) seemingly miraculously turn everyday balloons into oversized creations. We saw a candy land and its king, every detail a balloon!
- Country Deep Tour Bus: You and your kids can stop by the tour bus to make their own Karaoke video, add their photo to the "Wall of Stars", and compete for prizes. This is located in the south wing parking lot.
- FMX Stunt Show: Some of your older kids may enjoy the world's most extreme dirt bike stunt riders in an action-packed showcase of routines and tricks, which is also in the South Wing parking lot.
- The Gantry Show: This is a theatrical circus with a modern twist on the circus caravan. Located in the West Courtyard daily.
This is where you need to go to ride the Ferris wheel and all the other rides that are staples to the Kentucky State Fair traditions:
August 18-21 gates open at 2:00 pm
August 22-24 gates open at noon
Wristband Days: Buy a wristband at Midway for unlimited access to every ride and save BIG!
August 18 Military Day $10 wristbands with valid military ID
August 18-22 $20 wristbands
August 23 $25 wristbands
August 24 "Last Blast" $15 wristbands
Midway Express Pass $8 per pass
- Free Parking and Shuttle Service: You may want to take note of this for the whole family. Located at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium Green Lot Friday through Sunday, August 22-24. This begins at 4:00 pm Friday and 7:30 am both Saturday and Sunday.
- Free State Fair Trams: Catch a ride from the parking lot on the free trams, which is ideal for those little feet.
- Information Booths: Get any question answered at any of the yellow Kentucky State Fair Information Booths.
- The Lost Child Center: Hopefully you won't need to use this center, but make sure your children know about it's location before your day at the fair. This center provides a safe place for your child to wait until they are reunited with their families.
- Rock 'N' Relax: This closed-off area provides privacy and comfort necessary to care for your infant children. It's open all day in the Kidz Biz area located in South Wing B.
- Stroller/Wagon Rentals: If you happened to not bring your own stroller or wagon; not to worry, you can rent both outside the South Wing C lobby and at the West side of the front circle. Prices are $10 for strollers (or $16 for two) and $14 for wagons. All prices cover rentals for the entire day. Your driver's license is a requirement for the rentals.
- "You Are Here" Maps: Make sure and grab one of these when you see an information booth to find out where you are and where you need to go.
Check out the fair schedule to plan your day even more efficiently (I know every minute counts when you have your kids in tow).
If you all have any other suggestions for you and your kids please let us know about them in the comment section below, and enjoy all the offering and traditions that is the Kentucky State Fair!