Midwest, Minnesota

15 Things to Do at the Minnesota State Fair

It’s that time of year again… time for the Minnesota State Fair! And, who are we kidding? Everyone who goes to the fair is there for the food. With new, unique foods added every year along with all of your favorites (cheese curds and pronto pups, anyone?), there is a lot to choose from! Check out my post from last year about what to eat. But, you can’t just sit and eat the whole time. You need to give your body time to digest to make room for the next delicious selection. So, I’ve compiled a list of what you can do in between all of your 10 meals…

Explore the agriculture building and check out the blue ribbon crops and plants

I love smelling all the blue ribbon pine trees, trying to figure out what makes one corn cob better than the other, all while drinking my fresh apple cider. This is one of my favorite buildings at the fair! They have added beer flights in recent years so this building has become even more happening.

MN State Fair Fun - Due Midwest

MN State Fair Fun - Due Midwest

MN State Fair Fun - Due Midwest

While you’re in the agriculture building, check out the seed art!

This is one of my favorite things to look at while I’m at the fair. So many creative uses for seeds that my mind would never dream up.

MN State Fair Fun - Due Midwest

Get your awww on in the CHS Miracle of Birth center

This is where you need to go if you love baby animals. Well, who doesn’t? Be prepared for cuteness overload.

MN State Fair Fun - Due Midwest

MN State Fair Fun - Due Midwest

Release your inner cowboy/girl at the coliseum

The coliseum has lots of different horse shows every day at the fair. You can see anything from barrel racing to mini horses. For the full schedule, head here. You can always see the horses in the horse barn throughout the fair!

MN State Fair Fun - Due Midwest

Wow your inner crafter at the Creative Activities building

From quilts to scrapbooking to woodworking, this building has all the amazing handmade crafts you could ever want!

MN State Fair Fun - Due Midwest

Take a break from eating by looking at award winning baked goods

Don’t come here if you’re too hungry because none of these award winners give out free samples! I love seeing all the different cookies, cakes and jams and trying to imagine what they all taste like. These are also in the Creative Activities building πŸ™‚

MN State Fair Fun - Due Midwest

Feeling fancy? Head to the Fine Arts building to feast your eyes all the photography, painting and sculpture submissions

If you take a shine to something, I believe most of the work is for sale too!

MN State Fair Fun - Due Midwest

Grab a seat for a unique view of the fair

Head over to the SkyGlider and get a birds eye view of the fair. You can start over by the grandstand or up by the Pet Center building.

MN State Fair Fun - Due Midwest

If you need more cute in your life, head to the Pet Center

Lots of different dog and cat breeds just waiting to be pet? Sounds like a dream come true! Plus, you can purchase treats and other goodies for your pal you left at home. For more dog fun, you can check out the all stunts that happen during the day: K-9 cops, high-flying disc catchers, obstacle course runners and even dock divers!

MN State Fair Fun - Due Midwest

Karaoke with all of your friends (and strangers too)!

The Giant Sing Along is such fun! With lots of microphones set up all around, you can join in singing to all your favorite jams. Plus, if you have a bad voice, no one knows it’s you.

MN State Fair Fun - Due Midwest

Go back in time on Machinery Hill

See all the vintage tractors and other farm equipment from days gone by.

MN State Fair Fun - Due Midwest

Get your heart racing without churning your stomach

If you aren’t in the mood for one of the rides on the Midway, head to the slightly more subdued Giant Slide! Riding not your thing? Just stand around and listen to people scream all the way down. The whole slide is mic-ed so it’s pretty funny!

MN State Fair Fun - Due Midwest

Marvel at sculptures…carved from butter

Nothing says the fair to me like going to the Dairy Barn, grabbing a chocolate shake and watching them carve princess heads from butter. Princess Kay of the Milky Way is chosen from daughters of dairy farmers across the state. Each block of butter is 90 lbs and the contestant gets to take their headΒ sculpture home at the end. I would compete in a beauty pageant if it meant I got 90 lbs of butter…

MN State Fair Fun - Due Midwest

Light up the night at the Midway

Sure you can ride rides at any time of the day but my favorite time to be in the Midway is after dark. I feel like it’s more magical at night with all the lights!

MN State Fair Fun - Due Midwest

MN State Fair Fun - Due Midwest

Last but not least, people watch

The fair brings ALL kinds of people from all over the state (and country). So, just grab a seat somewhere and enjoy the show πŸ˜‰

MN State Fair Fun - Due Midwest


Ever been to the Minnesota State Fair? Let me know what your favorite part is down in the comments! This year, the fair runs from August 24th- Labor Day September 4th. For more information, head to the state fair website here!

Due Midwest Guide to MN State Fair

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  • Reply Rosalie

    The Minnesota State Fair looks like so much fun! Unfortunately our Michigan State Fair closed a couple years ago, but I’ve still got such fond memories of all the adorable baby farm animals that would come each year πŸ™‚

    August 16, 2017 at 3:50 PM
    • Reply duemidwest

      Oh, what a bummer! The MN state fair is a HUGE deal around here. Maybe you can come check it out sometime!

      August 16, 2017 at 5:35 PM
  • Reply Kristin

    The Minnesota State Fair looks like so much fun! At first all the animals were my favorite, but the butter sculptures really got me! Can you imagine taking it home and just chopping off a bunch of ‘hair’ to butter your bread?!

    August 16, 2017 at 3:54 PM
    • Reply duemidwest

      Haha no! I think it would be really weird seeing your head in the fridge every day…

      August 16, 2017 at 5:35 PM
  • Reply Maggie

    I love state fairs! Ours just finished here in SoCal. My favorite part is always the animals, they are just so cute! Can’t say I’m a fan of the food but I know lots of people go just to eat.

    August 16, 2017 at 4:43 PM
    • Reply duemidwest

      We have such a wide variety of food at the fair, it’s my favorite part. But, my favorites aren’t the healthiest so it’s good that it only happens once a year!

      August 16, 2017 at 5:36 PM
  • Reply Katherine

    Yes! Since moving to the US I’ve become such a huge fan of county fairs, I think I need to graduate up to state fairs next. I love the seed art!

    August 16, 2017 at 4:54 PM
    • Reply duemidwest

      You definitely should! We take our state fair very seriously around here. MN’s is one of the biggest in the US so you should check it out!

      August 16, 2017 at 5:37 PM
  • Reply Lane & Holly @ With Two Spoons

    I can’t lie, it will always be the food! (See recent Copycat Mini Donut recipe/State Fair Food roundup post!) But I have to admit they usually have good concerts, amazing photography and such talented people taking part in the Great Minnesota Get Together!

    August 16, 2017 at 8:30 PM
    • Reply duemidwest

      I mean, I’m all about the food. At least there is fun stuff to do in between stuffing your face πŸ˜‰ I’ll have to check out your mini donut recipe too!

      August 16, 2017 at 9:03 PM
  • Reply Meghan

    I had no idea about the pet center! Usually competitors don’t like random people petting their show dogs but I will so be that stranger! Love the fair and all the anipals!

    August 16, 2017 at 8:35 PM
    • Reply duemidwest

      Oh the dogs are just sitting there waiting to be pet! It’s the best! To feel less guilty, I buy my dog some treats from there since I come home smelling like so many other dogs πŸ™‚

      August 16, 2017 at 9:04 PM
  • Reply Nausheen

    I love a good fair, and this one looks like so much fun! I’d love to go down that slide right about now:)

    August 16, 2017 at 10:14 PM
    • Reply duemidwest

      The giant slide is so fun! You get to sick on a potato sack too so… can’t beat it!

      August 17, 2017 at 1:33 PM
  • Reply jenn

    I’m always so impressed with the patients that the seed art creators come up with. I don’t think I could ever do that. Great list!

    August 16, 2017 at 10:34 PM
    • Reply duemidwest

      I know! I would probably throw the whole thing on the floor after 10 minutes πŸ™‚

      August 17, 2017 at 1:34 PM
  • Reply Amber

    I love seeing all of the rides lit up at night! It’s totally magical, and they make for great photos

    August 16, 2017 at 11:09 PM
    • Reply duemidwest

      That’s one of my favorite parts too Looks a bit less dirty and more twinkly!

      August 17, 2017 at 1:35 PM
  • Reply Kristen

    Looks like a fun fair! County and State Fairs were a big part of my life growing up in the region I’m from in California. The photos brought back great memories!

    August 17, 2017 at 1:31 AM
    • Reply duemidwest

      I’ll have to check out some of the county fairs in CA. I bet they would be similar in a lot of ways but different too!

      August 17, 2017 at 1:36 PM
  • Reply Candiss

    I’ve been to the California State Fair more times than I can count but I always love seeing what other state’s fairs hold. The seed art and butter sculpture are something I’ve never seen at a fair out here!

    August 17, 2017 at 2:03 AM
    • Reply duemidwest

      Haha well, we do have a lot of cows around here so inevitably someone took that and ran with it.

      August 17, 2017 at 1:36 PM
  • Reply Mena Duarte

    What!? This whole time I’ve been missing out on the Fine Arts Building!

    Incredible that I’ve been out to see butter sculptures but not Fine Art, ha! Photography is one of my major learning projects right now and it is so very connected to every other art form–can’t wait!

    Were you surprised by any of these when you first found out about them?

    August 17, 2017 at 5:40 AM
    • Reply duemidwest

      I think I was surprised by the quality and skill of all the artists that submit their work to the fair. I used to just think cookies and pigs won blue ribbons but I didn’t know there were crafts/art until I was an adult!

      August 17, 2017 at 1:38 PM
  • Reply Fiona Mai

    Wow, so many things to see at the Minnesota State fair. I’m quite impressed with the seed art.The baked goods also would tickle my stomach straight away!

    August 17, 2017 at 6:49 AM
    • Reply duemidwest

      I wish the baked goods gave you the option to try or at least get the recipe!

      August 17, 2017 at 1:38 PM
  • Reply Michelle | michwanderlust

    I’ve never been to any state fairs but this looks like so much fun! Those baby animals… *heart melts*. It’s pictures like these that make me resolve (again) to be meat-free. (And then I promptly fail because it’s so difficult to find vegetarian food where I am!) And I’d be totally up for the Giant Sing Along, haha. Such a great idea!

    August 17, 2017 at 2:57 PM
  • Reply Yvette

    I’m planning on going to this next year!! Thanks for breaking this down- going to big events like this always has me worried I’ll miss out on something special, now I can pick and choose before I go πŸ™‚

    August 17, 2017 at 4:58 PM
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