This past Saturday, we took Bella to the MN State Fair. We took her in 2008 when she was only 4 months old, but didn’t take her last year. So it was kind of her first experience there. She got to experience the record breaking attendance day. Between all the people, Bella in a stroller and myself waddling around we took 6 hours to get around the fair once. I was exhausted and Bella fell asleep with about an hour to go.
She LOVED the animal barns. Our first stop was the Miracle of Birth Center. We got there earlier, before it was too crowded to move. So Bella got to pet a baby lamb and see piglets. A calf named Pronto gave her a “kiss” (a lick on the hands). She also got to pet baby chicks.
On our way out, we noticed a lady giving out free tattoos to kids. Turns out it was a tattoo of a pig and said “if lost, please call…” and you wrote your phone number. The funny thing was on the way to the fair, JT made the comment that we should have put our cell number on her somewhere…and here was a way to do it! He was mostly kidding, but we got the tattoo and wrote our number anyway because Bella wanted it. That thing is still on her arm as clear as day 4 days and 2 baths later.
The pig barn proved to be most exciting. We saw the 1450 lb pig which was pretty impressive. Then, as we were walking through the isles of pigs, one got loose! I don’t know if they meant to take it out or what, but all the sudden a grown pig ran by us and a guy was chasing him. Bella was cracking up and it’s one of the first stories she’ll tell you about the fair. We also stood in front of an angry pig who was snorting and squealing pretty loudly because Bella found that amusing as well.
Of course the cows, sheep, horses and chickens were fun as well. But just not as action packed as the pig barn.
After the animals we started walking around. JT and I got a Ruben pretzel from the new French Meadow stand. Bella didn’t like it and ate goldfish instead. We walked through the horticulture building and showed Bella the bees – but it was too busy to really look at anything else. For the 5th year in a row we forgot to bring an apple from the tree in our backyard to figure out what they were.
Then we were on a mission for more food. It was JT’s turn to pick (and nothing else really stuck out to me – weird, I know) so of course it was quite the process. Along our way we passed the kiddie midway and found a ride Bella could ride. Most of the rides she either wasn’t tall enough for or didn’t want to ride. She ended up on a whale that went around in circles and had the time of her life. She was in the front and another girl was in the back who she promptly decided was a “new friend”. I saw her talking to the girl and telling her that they had “5 more minutes” to wait until the ride started…not true, but for some reason she kept saying that. Then the ride did start and she was as happy as could be.
After the ride, JT finally decided on a footlong pronto pup that we shared. Bella was not a fan of the mustard he put on and mostly ate the hot dog part. This was at the same time that we took advantage of the FM107 booth’s kid area. They had slides, puzzles, and other toys to keep kids occupied. While we were playing, Auntie Lissa and Clay Clay showed up! Turns out they had just gotten to the fair and happened to run into us. Bella didn’t seem surprised at all to see them…like she just assumed everyone was at the fair and it was normal to run into them.
After chatting w/ Auntie Lissa and Clay Clay for a bit we kept moving. I got my new favorite – a ginormous beef stick from Smokin’ Joes Smokehouse. We made our way to the dog building…not sure what it’s called…but it was way too packed to see anything.
All throughout the fair Bella had been asking for Ice Cream. I kept telling her “maybe later” since we hadn’t really eaten much for lunch yet. So after the failed attempt at seeing dogs, I told her that if she shut her eyes and took a nap in her stroller for a bit when she woke up we’d get ice cream. It was near her nap time and I could tell she was tired and I was thinking we had a while to go yet, so I wanted to make sure she got some shut eye. She promptly squeezed her eyes shut and I let her cuddle with my sweatshirt…within 2 minutes she was out for real and didn’t wake up at all. I felt kind of bad leaving the fair without giving her ice cream, but I didn’t want to wake her up just for that either. It was nice to have her keep napping in the car on the way home.
But before we left, I got a cream puff which JT didn’t want anything to do with. It went perfectly w/ cold milk. Then we decided we had enough and left.
It was a great family day, but next year we’ll probably leave Bella at home and let her get her fix at the Anoka County Fair. It was just too busy to navigate the stroller, plus next year I’m thinking she won’t want to stay in the stroller and I don’t want to worry about her running off. Nor will I be using a kid leash (although I totally see the benefits of them).