We just got back from our first of many Indiana State Fair trips this year. I always recommend to anyone going that they check out the program and website ahead of time to make the most of their visit. There are so many free activities and events to take advantage of while you are visiting. Since I had a four-year-old in tow, I was keeping my eye out for ways to keep her engaged and learning all while having fun. So, I wanted to point out a few of maybe the lesser known ways to do just that with your little ones:

  • Indiana Young Farmers Building (just west of the FFA Pavilion) - Not only is there a small playground and magnetic fishing pond here, but kids have the chance to learn about other countries and how they get their food. Once done, they answer a question and get their choice of prize.
  • WonderTrail - There are eleven LARGE magnifying glasses located all over the fair. If you pick up a card and get at least eight correct answers you win a prize! Pick up the kit at the Indiana Farm Bureau Building or at any State Fair Information Booth.
  • BeanGo - Visit the NEW glass barn and pick up your Beango card. Answer the questions and return the card for a FREE hat!
  • Located in the Farm Bureau Building is a new scavenger hunt this year. You answer eight questions that are "hidden" throughout the building and turn them in to receive a free IN Farm Bureau pen.
  • Ball State/Ag Hort Building - Today (and I would assume other days) kids can make a necklace with a piece of corn in it that will sprout while they wear it! Once it does, they can plant it outside. Also, while you are there, be sure and get a picture with the "World's Largest Popcorn Ball!"
  • Right outside of the FFA building (to the east) we stumbled upon a trailer that taught the process of growing plants, photosynthesis and more. Afterwards we were able to take home growing sunflower seeds.
  • Little Hands on the Farm - a huge favorite of ours! Kids get to practice being farmers and at the end can go shopping with what they made at the market!
  • And as always, stop by any Indiana State Police Booth to get some free stickers!

Have fun at this year's State Fair and be sure to check out their website for more planning information!