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Wisconsin State Fair

Your Family Guide To Wisconsin State Fair (2021)

Photo: Instagram, @ngabrysiak

Milwaukee With Kids is a proud partner with Wisconsin State Fair.

The smell of corn on the cob – and manure – is in the air, and so is a sense of pride for all things Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin State Fair is back this year, and it’s a celebration of agriculture, local delicacies, and yes, food-on-a-stick.

Some things will be the same as ever, and other things will be different.

Read on to find out what you need to know this year, plus our suggestions for the best things to do (and eat!) with kids.

THINGS TO KNOW FOR 2021

Dates: The Wisconsin State Fair will run August 5-15, 2021 at the Wisconsin State Fair Park in West Allis.

Updated Hours: This year, the State Fair will open later than in years past. The State Fair is open from 11 AM – 11 PM each day with the exception of the final Sunday, when hours are 11 AM – 10 PM.

Admission: Kids 5 and under are free! At the gate, adult admission is $14. Seniors (60 & over), military/veterans with ID and youth (ages 6-11) admission is $9.

Cashless: Admission and Parking will be a cashless experience. Fairgoers can purchase admission and parking at the gates using credit cards only. Vendors will have the option to accept cash for foods or shopping items.

COVID Protocols: The State Fair has increased cleaning and disinfection practices in accordance with current federal, state, and local guidelines. There are also hundreds of additional hand sanitizing stations throughout the Fair Park. Masks will not be required at the Wisconsin State Fair and individuals are encouraged to follow the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance. 2021 State Fair will not have capacity limits, and takes place throughout an expansive 200 acres.

Family Amenities: There are three air conditioned Diaper Changing & Nursing Stations throughout the Park – in the Guest Services Pavilion, Expo Center, and North Grandstand Avenue. There are also Reconnection Centers for lost children at all three of these areas. You can also get a complimentary ID bracelet at WE Energies Energy Park.

 
Cream puff at state fair

 

Original Cream Puff, Photo by @epichureanchronicles (Instagram.com)

 

Transportation: The Milwaukee County Transit System is unable to provide MCTS Shuttles and Freeway Flyers to State Fair Park during the Wisconsin State Fair this year. Local routes to the Fair Park will still be available.

Parking: Lots will open at 10:30 a.m. It costs $12 per vehicle, is first-come first-served, and is available through the following gates:

Gate 1 – located at S. 79th Street and W. Greenfield Avenue

Gate 7 – located on Kearney Street (I-94 Frontage Road) between S. 84th & S. 76th Streets

Gate 9 – located at S. 76th Street and W. Pierce Street

Carry-ins: No carry-in alcoholic beverages or weapons allowed. Unopened bottled water and food for infants or those with food allergies is permitted.

Parent Supervision: Fairgoers under 18 years of age entering after 6 pm must be accompanied by a parent or guardian 21 years of age or older. Proof of age is required.

Parades / Street Entertainment: There will not be parades this year, but be on the lookout for strolling street entertainers who claim some serious talents from guessing your weight accurately to juggling fire.

Other updates: There will be no eating contests or souvenir cups this year.

10 THINGS TO SEE & DO (WITH KIDS!)

1. ANIMALS

A integral cornerstone of the State Fair is agriculture and livestock. Each year, the State Fair welcomes over 10,000 animals to Ag Village for competitions and exhibitions. You’ll see cattle, horses, sheep, poultry, rabbits, goats, and swine. There are also educational programs, milking demonstrations, and more.

Photo: Instagram, @wistatefair

 

2. COMPEER FINANCIAL DISCOVERY BARNYARD

A must stop for kids and families is the Compeer Financial Discovery Barnyard, located near Ag Village, where you’ll find hundreds of baby animals. Last year, 600 chicks and 21 piglets were born there. You’ll also find a cows and calves, ewes and lambs, dairy goat kids, and ducklings. You can take pony rides nearby on Sue Wetley Court.

 
 

Photo: wistatefair.com

 

3. “NEIGH”BORHOOD CORRAL

Families will love the “Neigh”borhood Corral, and in-depth exhibit focused entirely on horses, complete with grooming demos, educational displays, and more. It’s located in the Farm & Family Building on Sue Wetley Court, across from the Discovery Barnyard.

4. SAZ’S RACING PIGS

Saz’s Racing Pigs are a State Fair staple. Pick your favorite pig and cheer them on during races held throughout the day. It’s located on Second Street and Badger Avenue.

 

Photo: Instagram, @tbuck1415

 

5. THE MILKING PARLOR

The milking parlor is where your kids can learn where the milk you get in the grocery store comes from. There will be cow milking demos throughout the day, plus a special story time with Alice in Dairyland.

6. K-9 SPORTS ARENA

Stop by the K-9 Sports Arena, located in the Big Backyard, for shows and demonstrations like dog dock diving, frisbee, agility courses, Police K-9 units and more.

7. THE GIANT SLIDE

It will be difficult to resist (and hard to miss!) the Giant Slide, which has been around for over fifty years. Hop onto a burlap sack and take a ride down the iconic 200 foot slide for $3 each.

 

Photo: Instagram, @wistatefair

8. WONDERFAIR WHEEL

Near the Giant Slide is North America’s largest traveling Ferris Wheel, the Wonderfair Wheel, which stands 15 stories high and features 36 fully enclosed, brightly colored gondolas. Each gondola has a capacity of six people, and one gondola offers accessible seating. The ride time from start to finish is approx. 10 minutes. You’ll get a breathtaking view of the city, with visibility of over 10 miles from the top of the wheel. Rides on the WonderFair Wheel cost $6 per person. It’s located on Wetley Way at Second Street.

 

 

Photo: Instagram, @wistatefair

 

9. WILDERNESS RESORT FAMILY VARIETY STAGE

For more family entertainment, head to the Wilderness Resort Family Variety Stage, where there will be jugglers, comics, musical fun, magicians, illusionists, and more.

 

Photo: wistatefair.com

 

10. SPINCITY KIDS AREA

For amusement rides with lower minimum heights and exciting games of chance, head to the SpinCity Kids Area on west side of the Grand Walkway in SpinCity.

 

Photo: Instagram, @wistatefair

 

MOST IMPORTANTLY: WHAT TO EAT

When you’ve worked up an appetite, the Wisconsin Products Pavilion offers higher-quality local faire like Door County cherry products and artisan jerky, as well as kid favorites like grilled cheese, pizza, and their famous baked potatoes.

But the more traditional fair food, and the more adventurous options, lie outside. For old favorites, search for corn on the cob, pork chops, and some kind of Food On A Stick. From BBQ-Pork-On-A -Stick to Cheesecake-On-A-Stick, there is something for everyone. Check out a complete directory of Foods On A Stick here.

New foods being offered in 2021 include Blue Ribbon Chocolate Bacon Cookies, Chicken Chips, Cinnamon Roll & Bacon Cheese Curds, Gator Claw On A Stick (you read that right), and gluten free funnel cake. Check out all of the new foods here.

For the true State Fair experience you’ll want to cap off your visit with an Original Cream Puff. Approximately 400,000 are consumed every year. The decadent cream-filled pastries have been sold at the Fair since 1924. You can get them in three or six packs.

Photo: Instagram, @sillyamerica

Real foodies will go crazy for Crazy Grazin Day on Tuesday, August 10th, when you can get deals at over 30 stops throughout the fair.

READER RECOMMENDED!

We asked our Instagram community what their favorite thing to eat at the fair was, and these were their answers:

Baked Potatoes & Island Noodles

Fried Veggies

Maple Syrup Cotton Candy

Hot Wisconsin Cheese

Roasted Corn

BBQ Pork Chop Sandwich

Pierogis

Corn in a Cup

Truffle Tots

Flavored Milk

Mexican Corn

Corndog

Dill Pickle Pizza

Deep Fried Mac N Cheese

Deep Fried PB & J

Chicken & Waffles

Stay tuned to the MKE With Kids Instagram & Facebook page for a chance to win a family four pack of tickets to the Wisconsin State Fair.

Head to the Wisconsin State Fair website for even more information about this year’s fair.

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