2022 Guide to the Minnesota State Fair

It’s almost time for Minnesota’s biggest event of the summer. From the Giant Slide to the animal barns to your favorite foods on a stick, there is truly something for everyone to love at the Minnesota State Fair! We have all you need to know about how you can make the most of your family trip to the fair including safety and transportation tips, where to find the best kid-friendly booths, how you can get your hands on the newest fair foods, and more! We’ll see you at the Fair!

Entrance to the 2021 Minnesota State Fair

  • Tickets:
    • Adults (13-64): $17
    • Seniors (65+): $15
    • Kids (5-12): $15
    • Children 4 and under: FREE
  • Bikes: If you live near the fair, biking is the cheapest way to park! Choose from one of three FREE bike lots on the fairgrounds.
  • Express Buses: State Fair Express Bus service features free parking and a direct bus ride to the fairgrounds for a small fee from farther-out suburbs around the Twin Cities. Visit metrotransit.org/StateFair for more information about Express Bus service, regular bus routes and how to purchase bus tickets. Please note the number of locations are limited this year and that face masks are required on buses. 
  • Parking: The fair lots are CASH ONLY! These are the closest proximity to the fairgrounds. However, many homeowners in the area open up their yards and driveways for smaller fees. If you don’t mind walking, these can be a great option. No overnight parking is allowed in the public parking lots.
  • Park & Ride: FREE Park & Ride buses are offered near the fairgrounds. Check out their Twitter account and the hashtag #MSFParking for Park & Ride lot updates.

Sweet Martha's Cookies 2021 Guide to the Minnesota State Fair

  • Butter Sculptures: Because where else will you see a giant head carved out of butter?! The Fair princess, Princess Kay of the Milky Way, gets the honor of having her face carved into a 90lb block of butter each year. Check it out inside the Dairy Building.
  • Sweet Martha’s: You can get a cone of these, but really… just go for the whole bucket. You won’t regret it. You can find Sweet Martha’s at three locations – the first on the North side of West Dan Patch Ave between Liggett St. & Chambers St, the second on the South side of Carnes Ave between Nelson & Underwood streets, and the third at the West side of Underwood St between Lee & Randall Avenues.
  • Fairchild and Fairborne: The mascots of the fair can be seen roaming the fairgrounds.
  • Blue Ribbon Bargain Book: This tiny but mighty book has over 150 coupons to save you some cash at the fair! The books are only $5 – find them at the FairWear gift shops or at the Bargain Book & State Fair poster carts. Click here for a list of coupons.
  • Giant Slide: This fair classic is perfect for kids and adults alike! Grab a sack, pile the whole family on, and have someone take a video as you fly down the slide!
  • Great Big Wheel: One of the tallest traveling giant Ferris wheels in North America is coming to the Minnesota State Fair! The Great Big Wheel carries riders to a height of 156 feet, offering breathtaking views of the State Fairgrounds and beyond! The 15-story-tall Great Big Wheel is equipped with 36 enclosed gondolas each holding six people.
  • Mighty Midway: The rides and games of the Midway are a great place to make memories with your family.
  • Skyride: This is a great way to get from one end of the fair to the other while taking in the sights of the fairgrounds! Starts at Cooper Street and ends near the West End Market off Liggett Street.
  • Space Tower: You will see the 330 foot Space Tower rising above the fair upon arriving. This legendary ride is a great way to get a 360-degree view of the fair!
  • Ye Old Mill: This classic ride is over 100 years old and is truly an enjoyable piece of history at the fair. Take a boat through the dimly lit canals as you look at fair scenes inside. Your kids will get a kick out of saying they went on the oldest ride at the fair!

With 38 new foods at the fair this year, there are options for everyone! Find a full list here. Here are a few we are so excited to try:

38 New Foods to Try

All Quacked Up!: Fried, farm-fresh duck egg from Graise Farm in Faribault atop shaved smoked ham, aged cheddar cheese, tomato and spinach, served open-face on toasted sourdough bread with paprika aioli.

Arepa Bar’s Three Arepas – Pulled Pork, The Queen and Vegan: Baked Venezuelan crispy corn pocket with choice of three fillings (all arepas are gluten-free): The Pulled Pork Arepa is pork shoulder slow-roasted in red wine and vegetables served with shredded cheddar cheese, cabbage, carrots, green onions and parsley; The Queen (Reina Pepiada) is pulled chicken and avocado puree salad topped with mozzarella cheese and fresh arugula; and the Vegan Arepa is house-prepared black beans, fried sweet plantains, cabbage, carrots, green onions and parsley.

Baba’s Two Hummus Bowls – Beauty and the Buffalo and Coco-Nuts: Beauty and the Buffalo bowl features ranch hummus, buffalo chicken, crumbled blue cheese, scallions, buffalo sauce and buffalo dust, served with pita puffs. The Coco-Nuts bowl features hazelnut chocolate hummus, chocolate chips, hazelnuts, shredded coconut and bananas, served with powdered sugar pita puffs. This new state fair food is totally coconuts!

Birthday Cake Paleta: A Mexican frozen dessert on-a-stick made with chunks of birthday cake, sprinkles and a vanilla extract base, specially created by locally owned La Michoacana Rose to celebrate Hamline Church Dining Hall’s 125th year at the fair. Additional paleta varieties are also available.

Breakfast Gnocchi: A bed of potato gnocchi topped with scrambled eggs, bacon, pesto cream, shallots and balsamic glaze.

Buzz’n … Hot Honey Chicken Sausage Kebob: Hot honey drizzled over chicken sausage skewered with cornmeal biscuit chunks and served on a bed of coleslaw.

Celebration Cake On-A-Stick: White cake infused with almond flavoring and decorated with white frosting. This mini version of Mancini’s house cake can be personalized on-site with short text to celebrate a favorite fair fan or special occasion.

Chick N Swiss Sausage: Grilled chicken sausage custom-made with chunks of Swiss cheese and asparagus, ground pineapple, bacon and jalapeño, served on a bun.

Chicken Tandoori Rolls: Chicken seasoned with tandoori spices, onions and peppers wrapped in paratha flatbread, then grilled and served with a side of avocado cilantro lime sauce.

Chilaquiles Breakfast: Fried corn tortilla strips sauteed with guajillo chile salsa and topped with scrambled eggs, pico de gallo, cotija cheese, avocado and crema.

Concha Bacon Burger: All-beef patty with raspberry aioli, lettuce, pepper jack cheese, pickled jalapeños and bacon served on a concha, a traditional Mexican sweet bread roll.

Cotton Candy Float: Cotton candy soda poured over Kemps vanilla ice cream and topped with cotton candy.

2019 Family Guide to the Minnesota State Fair | Twin Cities Moms Blog
{Photo by Minnesota State Fair}

  • All-Star Stunts Dog Show: Get ready to be wowed by dogs as they compete in challenges, dock dives, walking backwards, doing paw-stands and much more!
  • Baldwin Park & Family Fair: This is home to Alphabet Forest, Math on A Stick, & tons of other family-friendly shopping, free entertainment, and concessions.
  • CHS Miracle of Birth Center: This booth located on the south side of Judson Ave between Clough and Nelson Street has something for all ages to enjoy. Watch cows, pigs, and many other animals give birth, pet newborn baby animals, and meet some of the farmers that raise these animals. Every day a new animal is born, so be sure to check back if you head to the fair multiple times to see the latest babies!
  • Little Farm Hands: Kemps Little Farm Hands is an interactive experience that gives children a look into how our food makes its way from farm to market to table. Grab your bucket and apron, “pick” your own produce, and cash it in for “money” at the end, which you can use to purchase a special treat! Kids ages 3-10 will love riding the tiny tractors, milking a cow, and planting crops!
  • Meet the Mascots: Say hello to the State Fair’s mascots, Fairchild and Fairborne.
  • Moo Booth: Moo Live: Kids will be fascinated by cow milkings and learning about cows and their behavior. The Moo Booth holds live presentations and interactive activities for people of all ages!

2017 State Fair Guide | Twin Cities Moms Blog

{Photo by Minnesota State Fair}

  • Baby Changing Stations: These are available in nearly every bathroom on the fairgrounds. *Insider tip: the West End Market has great, newer restrooms that are very clean and have changing tables!
  • Coolers, Bags, & Outside Food/Drinks: While your bags will be subject to search at the gate, you can absolutely bring them into the fair. No need to worry about how you will keep your bottles or baby food cold! Coolers are not permitted in the Grandstand, however.
  • Handwashing Stations: Handwashing stations are located throughout the grounds in the Food Building and at many entrances to buildings in the livestock area.
  • Nursing Facilities: Care & Assistance has nursing areas available, located on West Dan Patch Avenue south of West End Market AND north of Mighty Midway. Private rooms are available on a first come basis.
  • Stroller/Wagon Rentals: Don’t feel like hauling your stroller or wagon along? Swing by one of five HomeTown Mobility booths to get one on a first come, first served basis.
  • Water: Keep your little ones hydrated by bringing in your own sippy cups and water bottles! These can be refilled at FREE water stations located at 4-H Building, Agriculture Horticulture Building, Eco Experience, Education Building, Grandstand, Warner Coliseum, restroom south of Kidway on the west side of Cooper Street, and restroom on the north end of the fairgrounds on the south side of Murphy Avenue.

2019 Family Guide to the Minnesota State Fair | Twin Cities Moms Blog{Photo by Minnesota State Fair}

  • All-Star Stunts Dog Show: Watch dogs of all sizes compete in various competitions.
  • Baldwin Park Family Fair: See tons of kid-friendly shows for free!
  • Bazaar Stage: Located at the International Bazaar, the Bazaar Stage features reggae, R&B, polka, Tex-Mex, Latin, jazz and more.
  • Free stages: The fair has tons of free entertainment stages for you to enjoy!
  • Grandstand concerts: Enjoy an outdoor concert at the Grandstand!
  • Lumberjack Show: Your kids will LOVE watching lumberjacks climb logs, swing their axes, and do stunts of all kinds!
  • Old Iron Show: Get a glimpse of rare, antique farm equipment and enjoy free demonstrations. Perfect for the little tractor lovers in your life!
  • The State Fair Parade: Check out local high school marching bands, floats,  fair royalty and more at this daily parade.
  • West End Market Schell’s Stage: This stage features a wide variety of entertainment in the West End Market area of the fair.
Twin Cities Mom Collective is a locally-focused parenting resource for moms and families. Passionate about parenting and our community, TCMC strives to connect area moms to relevant resources, local businesses, can’t-miss happenings, and most of all — each other!


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