Twin Cities Area County Fairs and the Minnesota State Fair!
SUMMER 2023 LIST
It’s time for summer fairs!
Note that the larger fairs will have an admission price, and the smaller fairs will be free. Note that this information is based on each fair’s website at the time of posting and may change.
(See bottom of list for my tips on having a great time with kids!)
Hennepin County Fair: June 16 – 18
19101 County Road 10, Hamel, MN 55340.
Unfortunately, the Ramsey County Fair has been cancelled again for 2023.
Ramsey County Fair: July 14-17. Held in Maplewood. 2020 White Bear Avenue, Maplewood, MN 55109. Free admission! Free parking!
Sherburne County Fair. July 20-23.
Held in Elk River, about 30 minutes west of Minneapolis.
Rice County Fair: July 19-23.
Held in Faribault, about an hour south of Minneapolis.
Chisago County Fair: July 20-23.
Held in Rush City, about an hour north of Minneapolis.
Free admission. $5 daily parking. $30 for an armband.
St. Croix County Fair, Wisconsin: July 19-23.
Held in Glenwood City, WI.
Anoka County Fair: July 25-30.
Held in Anoka.
Admission is $15 for age 13 & older, $10 for ages 4-12, FREE for ages 3 & under. Includes Grandstand shows and parking. Advance tickets are cheaper: $12 and $7.
Scott County Fair: July 26-30.
Held in Jordan, southwest of the Twin Cities.
No admission fee but parking is $15 per vehicle (regardless of how many people – great excuse to carpool!). Parking was $10 last year. Separate costs for Grandstand admission and carnival rides.
Washington County Fair: August 2-6.
Held in Stillwater. Daily admission is $7.00 for adults, $4.00 for ages 6-15 years, FREE for ages 5 & under. Cash/check only at gates. Season passes also available in advance. Free parking.
Dakota County Fair: August 7-13.
Held in Farmington, about 45 minutes south of Minneapolis.
Pricing not yet listed.
Last year – $10 daily parking fee. No admission price for fair.
Previous years – Pay both entrance and parking fees: $5.00 for adults, $2.00 ages 6 – 12, $2.00 senior ages 60+, children 5 & under FREE. ALSO $5.00 daily parking. (We’ve been to this one and had a blast.)
Goodhue County Fair: August 8-12
Held in Zumbrota, 90 minutes SE of Minneapolis. Daily Admission $7, Season Gate Pass $20, and under 12 years FREE.
Steele County Fair: August 15 – 20
Held in Owatonna, 60 minutes south of the Twin Cities. Free admission. Grandstand events are ticketed. The Steele County Free Fair is the largest county fair in Minnesota and welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.
Carver County Fair: August 9-13
Held in Waconia. $8.00 for ages 7 through adult, FREE for ages 6 & under. FREE for all on Sunday after 6pm. Special days for military and senior citizens. Grandstand Season passes available.
Minnesota State Fair! August 24 – Labor Day, September 4.
Held at the State Fairgrounds in St. Paul.
Admission prices are $18 for 2023. But you can get $15 tickets in advance.
Pre-fair discount admission tickets can be purchased online or at Cub later in the summer (we’ve gotten ours at Cub. See their website for more locations and for more ways to save $$.).
Tips for fair-going with kids
1. Bring lots of ICE water! Expect hot temps and lots of sweating. (I should have brought a cold towel to wipe up my hubby’s sweat at the Ramsey County Fair last year!) If you don’t bring water, expect to pay at least $1.00 per water bottle.
2. Bring cash for: rides (typically $1.00 per ticket, where a standard ride is 3-5 tickets), food (I spent $8.00 on lemonade alone, even though I had water, too), games (if you can’t resist), souvenirs, etc.
3. Bring the cameras!
4. If it’s a hot day, try to plan your visit for early morning or late afternoon. Though many activities and shows take place in the middle of the day, you can still have plenty of fun earlier or later. If you do go in the middle of the day (like we did), take plenty of breaks under sheltered areas like tents or buildings.
5. Bring something to use as a personal fan. There was a church that gave out thick paper glued to popsicle sticks that were to used as personal fans, which we did! That was a great idea. Before you go, maybe involve the kids in making “fans” like this to bring along to help keep cool.
6. Bring baby wipes or wet wipes. Your children will be touching a lot of animals. Trust me!
Hope you have fun! -Lisa
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