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9 Cool Green Fun State Fair Stop Spots

Outdoorsy Fair Highlights 2014

While born and raised in the land of 10,000 lakes, I’ve also lived in Washington, North Dakota, and Hawaii.  A family trip to the Minnesota State Fair proves again that Minnesotans know how to GET OUTSIDE!  Despite a stormy morning, puddles on the ground, and air thick with humidity fair-goers were dressed for the weather and ready to hike, eat, and play.  I’m sure there are plenty more (please share!) but here are eight green, cool, fun places at that my family found this year at the “Great Minnesota Get-Together”:

1)   Before you go, know that Water refill stations are scattered throughout the fair.  Our reusable water bottles came in handy!

2)   We were surprised to find even more great hands-on games, experiments, and demonstrations at the Eco-Experience Building this year.  Oh, and usable freebies like Peace coffee samples, seeds, and a tire pressure gauge.

3)   Just outside the Eco-Experience building is a Natural Playground with a fairy house, construction zone, rain garden, and digging spots.  If you need a spot for your kids to dig while you dig into fair food, there is also a giant sandbox across the street.

4)   Just down the road is where MELSA (Metro Libraries) has the Alphabet Forest and ABC activities where great games and crafts are set up in a shady spot.  Kids the chance to meet and greet a real, live author.


5)   Need a break?  The coliseum was a free, cool, peaceful place to watch horses and sit for awhile.  It’s not AC, just thick concrete walls keeping the space naturally cool.

6)   Piglets were being born and the calf we pet just took it’s first breath twelve hours earlier at the Miracle of Birth Center.  Animal barns, Agriculture building exhibits, “Grow A Farmer” talks/games/demos aim to better connect Minnesotans with their local food supply and the farmers working to supply it.

7)   Composting is cool.   Look for the bins where natural materials are being collected to be turned back into soil.  Near the grandstand special bins are set up to collect corn cobs and napkins.

8)   The DNR fish pond has many species to watch and learn about.

9)   While you’re in the neighborhood of the fish pond, check out the boats being built by kids with the Urban Boatbuilders program and the litter-sculpture-of-the-year made from trash found on the banks of the Mississippi.

Have you noticed Minnesota’s get-together growing greener and cleaner over the years?  What local foods did you taste?  Who shared with you ideas about energy, animals, or water quality?  What are your family favorites at the fair?

Play. Learn. Love.

August 2014