Sunday, October 5, 2014

Field Trip: The Big Fresno Fair

We went to the fair yesterday.

I love everything about the fair because I grew up going to it with my dad, and I had such a great time yesterday, taking my three-year-old to the fair for the first time with her Grandpa.

We started in the Gems and Minerals hall. We walked through the fluorescent rock display - a must-do on my fair list. (Here is a link about fluorescent minerals.) The hall is filled with geological specimens (including geodes), lapidary work, metal craft, and fossils. As a child, one of my favorite fair souvenirs was a $1 drawstring grab-bag of polished rocks. I also loved this...
My three-year-old "won" a necklace.
I don't remember where it was, but there was always a display of rocks that resembled food. There was a rock that looked like a slice of bacon and a rock that looked like coffee being poured. A whole breakfast table of rocks. I love that breakfast table, but I didn't get to see it this time. Next year.

The second exhibit we visited was the Livestock Pavilion.
Baby chicks

Baby pigs

The Livestock Pavilion now has a feature that wasn't there when I was little, and I think it is awesome. It's called "Ag"ventureland and it's all hands-on and perfect for three-year-olds. And their grandpas.

First, you can milk Betsy...
"Do NOT drink cow water."
Then, you can build a scarecrow...

Next, you can "See how fun it can be to clean this pen!" at the Super-Duper Pooper Station...

She scooped...
and scooped...
and scooped some more.
The sign was right. Cleaning this pen is fun!
Here is Grandpa applauding all of that scooping.
Making music
Driving a tractor
At one of the stations, children can gather eggs, count out a dozen, and sell them at the Farmers' Market. When we asked how much a carton of eggs were, my three-year-old told us it was $700.

Roping a steer
How about this for a sensory experience? A cornbox!
 Then we watched cows being milked.

Don't forget to wash your hands.
On our way to the Agriculture building, we stopped to see the giant snakes.
My three-year-old was completely unfazed by the 23' long, 260 pound reticulated python.

Inside the Agriculture building...
We saw sugar cane, cotton, giant pumpkins, and...
bees making honey.
After rocks, livestock, and fruit, it was time for the kiddie midway.

Then it was time for lunch. Growing up, another must-see on my fair list was the BBQ stand's whole pig roasting on a spit. This visit, there was no pig. I was mildly disappointed. The pork ribs were AMAZING as always.

Another feature that wasn't there when I was little, but is there now is the Table Mountain Rancheria park. It's Swiss Family Robinson treehouse meets Wild West village, with a pirate ship, a catfish tank, a reptile house, and slides. One of the many fun things to do is pan for gold at Miner's Town.
Little ones can take home a tiny bag of tiny gemstones they find in the gravel.
My daughter was in a good mood the whole four hours we were there, even in 97 degree heat. In the years to come, I look forward to taking her to all the exhibits we did not get to see: Kids Town, Fur & Feathers, the Greenhouse, the Junior Exhibits (a favorite of mine as a child because everything was made by kids), Commerce & Industry (shop for gadgets), Home Arts (baking, quilting, etc.), and Fine Arts & Photography.

And if anyone is wondering about the fair food photo collage, no I did not let her eat all of that. In fact, now I wish I had taken her photo with even more fair food items (fried Oreo, fried gator, a giant turkey leg). In actuality, the snow cone melted before she was half done (it was 97 degrees remember), and she only ate one-sixteenth of the hot dog because I told her she had to have a bite of it before she got to play in the Rancheria park. (It's what she wanted for lunch and it was the first time she's tasted a hot dog. I don't think she'll be ordering one again any time soon.) She did, however, eat all of the hot dog bun. Dessert was three or four bites of cotton candy from Grandpa's friend Phil. And what's a fair without cotton candy?


  1. She went down a slide in the tree house complex that no three year old should be brave enough to slide down alone but she did it. It was amazing.