The kind folks at the Minnesota State Fair understand that bringing a family to the fair can really make a dent in your wallet, so they allow outside food and drinks on the fairgrounds. A great way to save money, for example, is to bring your own water. There are refill stations throughout the fair and as we all know, dehydration is a total buzz kill. Second, bring healthy-ish snacks. Heck, bring entire meals. Yep, all those people pulling a rolling cooler behind them are doing so legally. It’s totally cool to bring in your own food and the fair has plenty of shady, out of the way spots to spread out a blanket, feed the kids and take a breather.
There is tons of swag at the fair. Grab a Deals, Drawings & Giveaways Guide, a guide listing freebies or items for less than $1 at the fair. Here are a few yummy options.
The Moo Booth has a counter on the corner (between the Cattle Barn and the Swine Barn) that puts out a generous spread of all things dairy. Sometimes it’s cheese sticks, sometimes tiny cups of yogurt. Last year they gave away sweet tapioca pudding and I may or may not have gone back for seconds. Ok, thirds.
Little Farm Hands is a hands-on farming experience for the wee ones, where they plant plastic carrots and pick faux apples. At the end, they "sell" their produce and choose a free snack or juice from Cub Foods. It’s always different and it’s always fun.
Next to Little Farm Hands is the Kemps "Mooseum," where you can learn all about the history of this Minnesota company. But most importantly, at certain times of the day they give away ice cream. And not just Dixie cups of it, they load you up. Plus, there are coupons.
Each summer, several Touring Promotional Exhibits pull into the fair. In 2016, there will be 14 such exhibits, each staying a day or two. Malt O’Meal will be there for the full run of the fair, sampling 15 varieties of cereal. Partake in pork grilling demos at Pig 3D: All Sides of the Story on September 3-5, and enjoy free samples of grilled pork while you learn something.
Listen up people, this is not a drill. Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co. at the Leinie Lodge Bandshell is pouring beer sampling from 4-6 p.m. each day. Free. Beer. You’re welcome.
Gedney Foods Company celebrates 25 years of the "State Fair" pickle brand by giving away crunchy pickled things, coupons and of course, those pickle hats.