Seattle's Child

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Tips to visit the Washington State Spring Fair

April 11-14 and 18-21

The Washington State Spring Fair will surely delight families just in time for baby animals and longer days. Located at the Washington State Fairgrounds in Puyallup, it is just a short drive from Seattle and the perfect outing to add to a weekend agenda. Hurry, though–the Spring Fair only runs for two weekends in April. Read on for more tips on how to make the most of your visit.

Admission

The Spring Fair runs on weekends only (Thursdays-Sundays), April 11-21. Tickets are available online or at the gate. There is a slight discount of $1 per ticket if you purchase tickets online in advance, although there is also a service charge if you buy online. Kids up to age 18 get in on Thursdays for free, while children five and under are always free.

General parking is available in the Red, Blue, Green, and Gold Gates on a space-available basis (FREE on Thursdays, $15 on Fridays-Sundays). There is also free first-come-first-served street parking in the area.

Fair Fun: Special events

The Spring Fair is essentially a pared-down version of the larger Washington State Fair that happens each September with most of the same attractions available.

Each day offers a full lineup of events and entertainment. My kids loved watching the pig races, lumberjack show, and fire jugglers during our visit. The fair also features musical performances, comedy shows, magicians, cultural performances, and animal shows, all of which are included with admission.

For additional thrills, consider visiting one of the special events featured at this year’s Spring Fair. Kids, young and old, will be thrilled with Motorsports Mayhem, a multi-event series featuring monster trucks, car drifting, and smashing cars and boats. Tickets to all Motorsports Mayhem shows are available online.

Dino-lovers may want to visit the Expedition: Dinosaur exhibit (open daily during fair hours, tickets are $8 each for ages three and up, or a family 4-pack for $26). Explore the world of dinosaurs with hands-on activities, animatronic dinosaurs, and information stations.

Fair Fun: Things to do for young kids

Head over to Sillyville and Thrillville for rides and carnival games. With classics like a Ferris wheel, roller coasters, and giant slides and a large selection of kid-friendly rides for the younger set, there are rides for every thrill-seeker level. Ride tickets and passes can be purchased at the fair or online, with several savings bundles available.

While you’re in Sillyville, stop by the Sillyville Farm to learn where our food comes from and how it gets to our grocery store shelves. Sillyville Farm is geared toward younger kids up to age 8, but older kids may also enjoy a visit. This interactive experience takes kids through the farming process as they collect items throughout their journey that can be traded in at the end for a special treat. If you’re lucky, you may even witness baby chicks hatching in the Sillyville egg barn, which is the picture of spring fair perfection!

For more animal fun at the Washington State Spring Fair, head over to the animal barns, where you can come face to face (or maybe even snout to nose!) with a variety of farm animals. Highlights include cows, pigs, bunnies, chickens, goats, and horses.

Stop by Millie, a mobile innovation lab from the Puyallup School District, to try your hand at STEAM-powered activities. My kids enjoyed looking through microscopes, making their own stop-motion videos, playing with Snap Circuits, and printing out their own fair selfies as souvenirs.

If you’re feeling peckish after exploring the fair, stop by one of the plentiful food stands for a variety of fair favorites. With everything from BBQ to international cuisine, giant fair burgers to fried everything, you can find something to satisfy every craving. Make sure you save room for a world-famous Fisher Fair Scone (or 2…or 20!). If you have food sensitivities or allergies in your group, visit the food vendor website to find fair food options that meet specific dietary requirements.

More Spring Fair Tips For Families

  • Outside food and drinks are allowed, so bring water bottles and snacks to help curb appetites between Elephant Ears and Slushies.
  • Drinking fountains are available throughout the fair to refill water bottles.
  • Clean restrooms with changing tables are plentiful throughout the fair.
  • Handwashing stations and sinks are also available outside all animal barns.
  • Bring a wagon or stroller for little ones to hitch a ride if they get tired, or you need to book it across the fair to make a showtime.
  • Stop by the fire station near the Blue Gate entrance to get child ID bracelets in case anyone gets separated. While you’re there, you can meet real firefighters and their fire trucks

Whether you visit for the animals, the fair food, or the rides, with these tips you’ll be ready to make the most of your family’s visit to The Spring Fair!

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About the Author

Allison Peterson

Allison Peterson is a former elementary teacher turned full-time driver/chef/tutor/nurse/coach/memory-maker to three children who call her "Mom". She lives in Woodinville, and is always looking for her next adventure!