The Washington State Fair held in September each year is a major event in Western Washington, and locals flock from all corners of Western Washington to attend. But the fair has a smaller sister event each spring that’s a lot of fun, but a whole lot smaller and more approachable. The Washington State Spring Fair is an ideal family event and is especially perfect for families with small children. Ride the rides, eat some fair food and don’t miss all the baby animals!
Here are 10 reasons the Washington State Spring Fair is worth a visit.
01 of 09
All the Fun of the Fair in a Smaller Package
The Washington State Spring Fair is a whole lot like the state fair held in September…but smaller. A good deal of the south side of the fairgrounds is closed for the Washington State Spring Fair. You’ll find fewer large animal barns and fewer hot tub and shed kind of vendors, but the rides, stages and exhibitor areas like the Showplex, Pavilion, and Expo Hall are all open. Still, because of the slightly smaller size, the spring fair can feel a little less hectic and crowded.
02 of 09
While many events get more expensive every year and can start to approach being unaffordable for the average family, the Washington State Spring Fair is quite a bit cheaper to do than the full fair. Tickets are usually under $10 for adults and, if you buy tickets online in advance of the fair, you’ll save a few dollars over buying at the gate. Parking is also free!
03 of 09
Where the Washington State Fair in September is huge and busy, the Washington State Spring Fair is smaller and a little more approachable. The smaller footprint area means less walking for little ones. There are often fewer people who attend this fair, too, so if you’re not a big fan of keeping track of the kids in big crowds, this is the fair for you. Watch for special family activities, like Tot Spot for young children, Kid Zone where older kids can learn about nature, science and more, and even a kids cooking show.
04 of 09
While the September fair pulls out all the stops in the rides department, the spring fair has just enough rides to keep things interesting (including the rollercoaster)! For adults and teens, there are enough midway rides to shake up your scones. For kids, Sillyville (a collection of rides for younger children) is out in full effect starting in 2016 –opening up even more reasons why the spring fair is great for families.Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09
Spring means new life and the Washington State Spring Fair celebrates this with baby animals! There are plenty of grown-up animals too, but keep an eye out for baby bunnies, chicks and ducklings as their cute factor is in full effect.
06 of 09
If you stay at the spring fair until later at night, you’ll get to welcome in spring with some fireworks. The shows usually start about 9 p.m. The fireworks are set off from the Grandstand and you can see them from most areas of the fairgrounds, so long as a building isn’t in your way.
07 of 09
The spring fair doesn’t come with a concert series like the state fair does, but there are plenty of smaller shows to catch. Kick back to watch some dancing horses, pig races, magic shows and other free performances on stages throughout the fairgrounds. Stages to check include the Coca-Cola stage near Hobby Lobby, an outdoor stage near the front entrance as well as stages inside the Pavilion and Expo Hall.
08 of 09
If you can’t wait all the way until September for fair scones, elephant ears, funnel cakes and other fried delights, never fear! You can get your fair food fix in April at the spring fair. Most of the very same foods are available, but not quite all. Still, the important thing is – there are scones!Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09
The Washington State Spring Fair has a number of fun contests to join in, both before and during the fair. Before the fair, follow @wastatefair on Instagram or Twitter to keep up with contests where you could win free tickets or other prizes. During the fair, watch for contests too. For instance, in 2016, there’s a Duck Count where someone will win prizes such as high-end pillows and free gate admission for the Washington State Fair.