Monday, September 27, 2010

Destination Fall - County Fair

I don't know what it is like for other people in other parts of the country to go to their local county fair because having grown up in southern California, the LA County Fair is all I really know. And it happens to be the largest county fair in the United States and it also happens to be on the outskirts of LA county, which made it a 15 minute drive from the house I grew up in. It also happens to be something I have very fond memories of doing with my family every year.

And now, even though it is more like a 2 hour drive, going to the county fair is something I look forward to doing with Joe and the kids every fall. So this past Wednesday we pulled the kids out of school early and surprised them with a day at the fair and with the temps not even reaching the 70's, it was a nice change not to be in the blistering heat.

First stop was Fairview Farms where we got to see all the farm animals and gardens. It was a perfect opportunity to answer all the questions the kids have been asking us about where our food comes from. It was also, apparently a great opportunity to get maimed by a rogue goat that couldn't patiently wait for me to give the kids the food to feed him (check out Jake's expression during the whole ordeal):

I thought I was so smart, keeping the cup of food on my head:

Maybe not such a good idea after all:

Also in the farms, Jadyn couldn't pass up the opportunity for a pony ride:

We then headed over to the carnival portion of the fair where we bought a certain amount of tickets for the kids to ration on the rides of their choice. We then decided that next year the kids would be tall enough and old enough that it would be worth it to just get the carnival wrist bands and let them go crazy. Jadyn is quite a thrill seeker, not being afraid of the speed of a roller coaster or the heights of a ferris wheel.

After the rides, it was time to check out the permanent Garden railway, which is a super cool miniature train display. I tried to replicate this picture I took 3 years ago for a compare and contrast but I couldn't quite get him to cooperate:

Here Jake is marveling at the train at age 3:

This year, same spot:

It was then time to go through the Flower and Garden Pavillion, which features gorgeous themed displays followed by an extreme dog stunt show (the kids went ballistic for this and not only did I love the stunts but I also loved that EVERY dog in the show was rescued from a shelter. How cool is that?)

You simply cannot go to the fair without at least one trip down the giant slide:

And what would a fair be without a parade?

By this time we were exhausted. We had spent twice as much time at the fair then we remembered in past years. A good reminder to ourself that as the kids get older, the more there is for them to do at the fair. We still had all the indoor exhibits to go through including the medieval themed "A Time Long Ago" where Jake was able to try his hand at archery and the kids both loved playing in the historic play kitchen:

Then on to Jurassic Planet featuring life size mechanical replicas of several dinosaurs. I took this especially to show Joanna and her son over at Sidewalk Chalk and Sippy Cups but seriously? The kids were so fried by this point they really were not up for cooperating. It is worth the giggle to click on this picture so you can see especially Jadyn's expression:

And finishing off at the Princess Playhouse where Jadyn was able to dress up and play princess in a house full of pretend play toys. Exhausted as she was, we still had to pull her away kicking and screaming. She could have stayed forever.

Literally, this fair is like visiting an amusement park. There is so much to do and see and this year we had the most fun ever. For what it is worth, I managed to refrain from any of the fun fried fair food. I am not sure which was more tempting - the chocolate covered bacon or the fried Oreo but I rather enjoyed my lobster tail at Outback where we stopped for dinner on the way home. Not exactly traditional fair food but we definitely continued the tradition of having fun!


Angela said...

The goat is HILARIOUS. And so is Jayden's face in the dino pic :-)

Joanna said...

Wow, that is the coolest fair EVER! They have everything there. Loved the goat pictures. Loved the train pictures - Jake is so grown up. Loved the princess picture.

Also, thanks for the link love. I'll be showing Michael the dino picture this evening.

Lindsay said...

For us, it's the Texas State Fair which is in Dallas this time every year. I hope we get to go! We skipped the Midway and rides completely last year, but I don't know how long we'll get away with it!