Yes, I dread the end of summer, but I love the Minnesota State Fair.
It is the bright spot at the end of my August.
This year, we got to go twice!
We woke up early for our first day.
We loaded up the Mundo with two backpack carriers, left the stroller at home, and biked to the Fair together. It was a perfect morning for biking. I love watching the priceless looks that T receives from onlookers as he rides by with all four kids on the bike. The morning sun was shining and there was a cool breeze as we parked our bikes in the free bike corral. It was a perfect day to be at the Fair! Our three big kids marched in together holding hands. Watching them, I was reminded that we have hit a stride as a family this summer. I have loved having everyone home these past three months. Most of all, I really feel that the kids have enjoyed and thrived with each other. This was such a perfect picture crystalizing their relationships together.
We started at Little Farm Hands, because that is our kids' unanimous favorite (we had promised them rides later in the week when MoMo and Papa were along). We hit two farming milestones this year. J-Bear was big enough to farm herself (walking has its perks!), and G-Bear was too tall to ride the tractor. Thank goodness that G-Bear is such a good sport. She helped J-Bear by pushing her tractor instead.
Next on the list were the heavily anticipated Pronto Pups (and a turkey sandwich for E-Bear). T treated the kids to a root beer. A few milks at the milk stand and we were all in heaven.
We were sure to try out the tractors in the tractor yards, visit the cows, color pictures at the Moo Booth, see the Big Pig and the piglets, read a few books in the Alphabet forest and watch the parade. Our favorite new find was the sand, water and nature kids' playground outside the EcoExperience building. This natural playspace was full of fun ideas for me and hours of fun for our kids.
At the end of our first day, we headed home around dinner time, piled on our bikes with sore legs but full of happy memories. E-Bear asked me if my legs hurt from walking, and I replied, "yes, but I am happy to have sore legs in exchange for such a fun day with our family." All the kids had been such troopers on such a long day. J-Bear and Buddy Bear had walked or been carried on our backs all day with no nap, and G-Bear and E-Bear walked the whole Fair day. I was impressed.
Forty-eight hours later, we braved driving rain to return to the Fair for a night of rides and games with MoMo, Papa and Uncle C. We would not be deterred by rain! Between rain storms, we were able to fit in a ton of rides and fun. We made the most of a stormy night!
|G-Bear on the Bumper Boats|
The Bumper Boats were a huge hit.
|E-Bear on the Bumper Boats|
Buddy Bear's smiles said it all.
J-Bear was perfectly content to hang with her dad and watch the excitement. There are so many fun sights and sounds at the Kidway!
Each of the kids got to choose three rides, a gift from Papa and MoMo. They chose the bumper boats, motorcycles, a roller coaster, and soaring gliders. I got to ride the airplanes with Buddy Bear. We had so much fun!
After they had chosen all their rides, Papa offered to take all the kids on the Ferris Wheel. What a treat! They got to see the Fair from the highest point at the Kidway.
T and I are amazed each year by how enthusiastic, delighted and grateful our kids are when MoMo and Papa treat them to the rides at the Kidway. We know these moments are fleeting and won't last forever, so we are soaking up the memories.
We grabbed a milkshake at the cow barn before we headed home for the night, this time on the bus. I said I liked biking to the Fair the best. The kids liked riding the bus. Good thing we went twice.