It’s time for the Los Angeles County Fair! This is my favorite time of the year. It is time for family and friends to get together and just let it all go and have fun.
The 2012 LA County Fair opens this weekend with special hours through Labor Day and a bargain basement ticket price of $1 on Friday and until 1pm on Saturday. After that, the fair is open Wednesday through Sunday until September 30. Ticket prices range from $9 to $17 depending on your age and when you go (weekday or weekend) and parking costs from $12 (weekdays) to $60 for a season pass. Get all the details here.
Seriously, deep fried EVERYTHING. But beside the mountains of fried dough, there are turkey legs, roasted corn and even some amazing vegan and vegetarian options as well. Along with the food goes the drink. Everything from sodas to slushies to wine tasting. No one will be left wanting! Ps. The deep fried Kool Aid isn’t as bad as it sounds.
Tip: New to the fair this year is Chicken Charlie’s Deep Fried Cookie Dough. I tasted it the other day and it truly lives up to its reputation. Yes it’s unhealthy, yes you will have to walk an extra mile, but it is worth it.
I have to admit, my kids didn’t know the Fair had rides until they were old enough to go on their own or with their friends. But the grand kids are another story. The oldest rode the giant ferris wheel for the first time at four years old and loved it.
Tip: Rides require anywhere from 3-15 tickets per ride. If you plan on spending the entire day at the Fair, splurge on the $50 wristband, the cost of the band also includes two games.
Yes, it is possible to have a good time with the whole family at the Fair. Yes, some will get hot, some will get cranky, some will get tired. But I guarantee everyone will have a good time in the end and the memories will all be happy ones.
Tip: Need some quiet time away from the hubbub for the kids to wrench it down a notch? Slip in to the Garden Railroad. It is a football field size model train sensation. Kids and adults will be mesmerized and calmed by the 40+ trains and amazing displays.
When I asked others their favorite reason to go to the Fair, one responded that it was a “great way to get in a lot of walking without being bored”. Amen! Last year I wore my pedometer on one visit and clocked in over 20,000 steps! That’s almost 10 miles! That beats drudging along on a treadmill anyday! Of course if you get too tired you can always take the overhead tram.
Tip: Save your quarters throughout the day. When your feet start burning and you don’t think you can walk another step, sit down at a foot massager machine and let it work its magic.
My favorite part of the Fair is walking the aisles of all the neat items for sale. There are your standard everyday toys and household items and then there are your off the wall massagers and “only at the Fair” items as well.
Tip: If you like something, don’t buy it right away. Most vendors are repeated throughout the multiple shopping buildings. Make note of what you want and where it is, then if you find it again you can buy it later (and not carry it around all day) or go back to the original spot.
There is a long schedule of concerts happening at the grandstand, Carly Rae Jepsen, B-52’s and Earth Wind & Fire amongst them, but will cost you extra. But there is entertainment throughout the buildings that are included in your ticket cost, Folklorico dancers, Mariachi bands and even Chinese Acrobats.
Tip: Download the new LA County Fair APP for most smart phones at the App Store or the Android marketplace. There is a complete schedule of all entertainment and exhibitions throughout the Fair. There is even a map that tells you where you are and what the fastest route is to where you want to be.
If you have the little ones with you, you have to make your way over to the petting zoo and farm animals. Yes, it smells funny over there, but your kids will love it. When else in Southern California will they get a chance to pet a sheep? Milk a cow? Fawn over piglets?
Tip: there is hand sanitizer strategically placed throughout the Fair grounds. But to be a little more stringent I find it is easier to have a travel sized one in my bag (or some baby wipes) just in case someone actually does pet something.