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Our 1st Trip to the North Carolina State Fair

We recently took our first trip to the North Carolina State Fair.  We drove from Charlotte NC to Winston Salem to pick up my son from college and then off to Raleigh NC. The overall drive was about 2 and half hours. It was myself  Ty, Love, Marquise and myself.

We got to the fair around 11:00 am on Saturday. Alot of people already there because the fair opened at 8:30 am but not a huge crowd.  Finding parking was not hard, I actually pulled into the first parking lot I saw (only 2 blocks away from the fair).

The Cost:

  •                $10 for adults and $5 dollars for kids (kids 5 and under were free)
  •                $10 for parking
  •                $20 for 18 ride tickets – I purchased $40 worth of tickets and split it between the kids

This fair is huge. I have never been to a fair of this size. It felt as if it was going on and on. There was food vendor everywhere selling everything from fried Oreos to turkey legs. The fair had rides for every age and size. It was really nice that they had it kind of separated by age group. I was able to stay in the same area with Love for all of the rides and games that were appropriate for her age and size.  Marquise and Ty were able to go off to a different part of the fair to ride different rides.

The crowd was manageable and the lines to the rides were not long.  Love was able to ride 5-6 rides with little to no wait time. Love also played 2 games without any wait time. The boys had the same experience and able to ride with little to no wait.

What we ate:


Candy Apples

Funnel Cake


You are able to bring in food and drinks. I did bring water bottles and the kids ate on the drive to the Winston Salem.

There were shows and meet in greets throughout the fair. We attended the International All-Star Circus show. It was a 30-minute show with everything from juggling, contortion, and fire dancer. Live performances scheduled and different races we’re available.

Overall the experience was what I expected. I was really impressed with all of the vendors, rides, and shows. It was something I wanted to do for years with my kids and happy that we went.

 8 Tips for taking kids to the State Fair

  • Plan for the weather – The weather was really nice around 80 degrees with a breeze
  • Take a stroller for younger kids (also to help you store other things) Love won two prizes and being able to store them in her stroller was a big help. Also if you child is like mine she does not like to do a lot of walking and it was also a way that I could keep up with her.
  • Have cash – I really did not want to use a debit/credit card at each location we went to, so I made sure I had cash on hand. Cash is required at most vendors and at all of the games. There were several ATM’s available.
  • Bring water and snacks. This will cut down on cost with food and drinks. One location was selling lemonade for $6 for a small cup. Plus water is good to have for drinking and washing hands.
  • Purchase admission and ride tickets online. If I would have purchased online I could have saved money on both admission and ride tickets
  • Go early. Did you hear me? Go early. When we first arrived it was a nice sized crowd, but when we were leaving around 3:00 pm we could barely walk through the crowd.
  • Take another adult or teen with you. If you have multiple kids with a big gap in ages like me it will help to let the older kids/teens go off and you can go with the younger kids. (have a communication plan in place and meeting/check-in times established. It will save you time and a headache so you don’t have to run around the fair.
  • Have fun. That is the main purpose is to have fun. Take in the shows, try a new food, and ride some rides.


Hope these tips helped you. I am ready to go to my next fair. Share your fair experience.