Minnesota State Fair

Tips For Your First Time at the Minnesota State Fair | Travel

If you have talked to ANY Minnesotian about what you need to do while in Minnesota, you will most likely be encouraged to come sometime at the end of August for the Minnesota State Fair. The Minnesota State Fair is basically Christmas in August for someone like me who can’t GET ENOUGH. I go 2 to 3 times every year with different combinations of people and I mostly go for the food and fellowship. I love the hustle and bustle and greatly look forward to this every year! I have gone at least once for every year I have been alive and will continue to go. This year I finally was able to have my AZ family experience their first time at the fair in only 9 hours and close to 20k steps later. So I thought if they had to go without me what would I tell them for their FIRST experience. I thought I could help you to from someone who goes annually.

Minnesota State Fair Ferris Wheel Target

For anyone who is planning on going for the first time here are a couple of tips before your first visit to the Great Minnesota Get Together.

1) Get Your Tickets Early At Cub

Admission ticket prices just got up to 15 dollars at the gate, which isn’t highway robbery but don’t pay more than you need to. To help you save for all the delicious things you will be eating, Cub Grocery Store offers Admission tickets for a $2 off up until the week before the opening day. If you are going with your whole family or friends save a couple of bucks and treat your team to a bucket of Mouth Trap Cheese Curds. You can also purchase the coupon book here for 5 dollars. Although you never use all of them, you can get a couple of coupons that will save you more than 5 bucks. So you have to ask yourself it is worth it. A couple of coupons we love annually are the Pop Coupon, If you are into Rides they have a 5 or 10 off ride ticket sheets, $1 off cotton Candy, and $5 to $10 dollars off Minnesota Stair Fair Merch.
There won’t be coupons for the new foods that year so be warned.

Minnesota State Fair Marthas Cookies line

2) Use The Envelope System

Using the Envelope system is taking out a little bit of money at a time and storing it in an envelope that you will use the day of! This is something my husband and I do and it works great! The Minnesota State Fair is really a shared experience of eating all the foods you have been dreaming about since the last fair for the regulars. An average food item ranges from $8 to $12 an Item which can add up very quickly. So if you are able to save up in advance this method will look the best on your bank account when the time comes to get your hands dirty in the most delicious way possible. (with Sticky Pink Cotton Candy). Not big into food? Other things to save for would be rides for this kids or merch from all the booths in the Grandstands.


3) Download the Minnesota State Fair App

The Minnesota State Fair is the BEST State Fair in the whole of the United States. I am not just making this up. Much research has revealed this to be true (Google it) Technology has come into play in the best way and you can now download the Minnesota State Fair app right to your smart device. It has cataloged all food available that year and a map of where to find the food with details descriptions. It also has Merchants and Attractions. The app is better than nothing but still can improve. A big change I wish they would add is have a google maps kind of thing where it will lead you directly there on the app. Maybe it will happen in future but for not here it is!


4) Only Way To Try A Lot Is To Share The Lot

All the portions of food are for adult humans. Even for the most trained eater you will only make it to 2 to 3 items if you are eating everything by yourself and make it to about noon on day one. I really see the only way to try a lot of different foods at the Minnesota State Fair is to be prepared to share the food you are buying with your group! It is basically a day of samplers and by the end of the day you can check off all of your foods and events with a satisfied belly.

Minnesota State Fair Cotton Candy foods

5) Bring Your Walking Shoes and Friends

Every year this was a family event. So my dad would pack us all in the car/van and drop us off while he spent the next 30 minutes looking for parking in the surrounding neighborhoods. Now, Marcus and I park and bike in to help save on pre-walking before you hit the gates. You can expect for a full day at the Great Minnesota Get Together to be anywhere from 15k to 20k (or more) on steps. If you do not bring the right shoes you will be kicking yourself mentally later as it will kill your feet. Trust me this will save you a whole day of icing your feet if you just wear the right foot wear! ( I wear my Bzees and have no regrets the next day! Others just do tennis shoes) I have always thought of the Minnesota State Fair as a group thing. It is so much fun to spend a couple of dollars and explore all the booths and buildings with your best friends and people you love. It is a great date for just you and your partner. I am a wedding Photographer and this location is HIGH on my engagement/couple session list.
SO If you and your significant other are trying something new or going for your annual fried pickle fix let me know and we can set up a time to enjoy the Minnesota State Fair TOGETHER!


Minnesota State Fair | Personal

It is no secret that I love the Minnesota State Fair; it holds a love in my heart. A lot of the things in my life that I love are thanks to my Grandma Gertie.  Her love for events like the state fair was so infectious that it is still strong in my family today. Last year I told you the top 3 fair food musts, this year I wanted to tell you some new things I experienced .  


This was the first year that my first nephew came to the state fair. Now I know what your think, " Molly isn't he only 3 weeks old?!" Why, yes, he is and he was passed out for majority of it from all the excitement; he handled like a champ.
The weather this year is hitting Minnesota Records as the coolest state fair with temperatures only reaching mid 70's. It is a weird experience where I am not dieing of heat by the end of the afternoon, but I have to say it was a nice experience. I highly doubt it will ever happen again, but still a new one for me.
The days I went this year were slower days causing there to be not as many people, which made the next thing a lot easier. My mom recently has been having big issues with her knee, so this year she walked for the first two hours and then rented a wheel chair. The only reason she didn't get the scooter is because of the price. ( half day wheelchair $20 | Scooter Half day $40/full day $60) I had a lot of fun rolling my mom around; people generally tried to stay out of our way so they didn't get cut down by the extended feet. There were only two casualties, which I think made for a very successful venture.


Marcus and I have one more day planned for the our state fair 2017. That is one of my favorite parts about the Minnesota State Fair, I can go multiple times and do something different every time. This year they have a new Cricket Ferris Wheel; that is my last thing I am going to try this year! I might have to force Marcus it since he is afraid of heights. I will keep you updated.  

Top 3 Things to Eat at the Minnesota State Fair

"Our state fair is a great state fair, don't miss it don't even delay" - State Fair, 1945
We finally reached the beginning of September which means the end of the Minnesota state fair. Yes,my family is a State Fair family and I wouldn't have it any other way! It is literally one of my favorite times of the year right next to Christmas and my birthday. I don't know how it happened but every major holiday I enjoy got pushed back to later in the year ( birthday, anniversary, Christmas, the fair).

My family always would set a day where we would spend the whole day wandering the fairgrounds surrounded by fried food smells, endless noise of thousands of other Minnesotans, and people trying to sell you things you truly don't need.  This year Marcus and I found out that greyhounds are apparently lazy dogs, which Marcus concluded they were perfect for us.

For those who do not know the biggest past time to the fair is to eat. My favorite things to eat at the fair:

Deep Fried Pickles - I have literally tried deep fried pickles at so many different restaurants to compare to the fairs. NOTHING has come close to what they make. As I bite into their crispy deliciousness I remember every year they are literally the best.
Apple Freezes - in the agricultural building there is an apple section with Minnesota grown apples and they sell a cold tart apple cider freeze. I make it a point to get this every year because it is just the most amazing thing on a hot fair day.
Cheese Curds -  salty deep fried cheese. I know you can taste the calories from there, but let me tell you once you have had them life will never be the same. It is more than just food but amazing memories every year with my loved ones.

I have always wanted to shoot an engagement session at the fair. If you know of anyone who is up for an amazing state fair session next year, LET ME KNOW!!!

Well, until next year Minnesota State Fair. ✌