The Florida State Fair is back now through February 19 with 325 acres of family fun, including 13 new attractions we know your kids will love!
We went on opening day to check out the NEW and returning attractions to break down some of our favorite family-friendly things to do this year. Be sure to plan out an entire day to attend the Fair, because there are so many things to explore!
Want to find tickets? You can purchase Florida State Fair tickets and ride armbands at participating Publix Super Markets in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Polk and Pasco counties. Ticket prices vary, so learn more here.
We’ll go ahead and start with the ‘celebrity’ appearances (celebrities to your kids, at least). If your kids love Paw Patrol and Rusty Rivets, they’ll be super excited to meet their favorite characters face to face February 8-11 from 10:30 am to 6:00 pm at the Northwest Corner of the Expo Hall. We saw a lot of kids today wearing their Paw Patrol gear in anticipation of this ‘big meeting’.
The best character meet and greets are over in the new WEDU PBS KIDS Fun Zone (also indoors!) Your child can meet their favorite PBS Kids characters like Curious George, Buddy from Dinosaur Train, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Peg the Cat and so many more! There are character meet and greets, story time and character dance parties throughout the day, so you’re never that far away from the next big event! You can also check out the educational apps by PBS Kids in the Mobile Learning Lab on one of several iPads, create art and make masks of your favorite characters. The Fun Zone will be open all 12 days of the Fair.
Once your kiddos have snapped a photo with their favorite characters, they can go explore some of our other favorite NEW attractions like:
Little Farm Hands presented by Mosaic which is designed for little ones ages 3-7. You can’t miss it in the big red barn! The inside has been transformed into a make believe farm where your child can fill their bucket with fruit from the orange trees, veggies from the raised garden bed, eggs from the chicken coop and even milk a pretend cow before they sell their goods at the farmer’s market! It’s a great way to teach your little one about where their food comes from and even a bit of business. It’s alsoa great way to cool off since it’s indoors and air-conditioned.
The new BMX/FMX Freestyle Madness was cool to see, so bring your little daredevils to check out the show!
We LOVED seeing all of the animals! The Mooternity Ward was a favorite where you can meet some of the new additions to the Florida State Fair and feed the goats!
Of course, the highlight of the Fair are all of the rides! This year’s event includes 110 rides like this Super Slide next to the famous Midway Sky Eye! There’s a Kids Zone near the Midway with rides just for kids and no matter where you turn, there are plentiful selections of food and drinks and…deep fried everything!
Another really cool interactive exhibit is the Florida Farm to School Arcade which features interactive games for the kids and it’s only a few steps away from the Insect Encounters exhibit where you can get up close with all sorts of different bugs like these fruit flies that help protect our state’s citrus crops:
Some other highlights you don’t want to miss:
Model Train display in Cracker Country, Giraffe Menagerie, Mini Monster Trucks (2/9-2/10 only), K-9’s in Flight, Sea Lion Splash, Ninja Experience, Racing Pigs, and the Circus!
Florida State Fair Fun Facts:
It was founded 114 years ago in 1904 when Theodore Roosevelt was president and the American Flag had 45 stars!
The Florida State Fair was originally housed at the Henry B. Plant Hotel, which is now the University of Tampa.
That was 114 years ago and today, the Fair returns to Tampa Bay with 325 acres of family fun…including 13 new attractions your kids will love!
Here is the COMPLETE rundown of events from the Florida State Fair (take notes, because there are so many things to do!):
DAILY & GROUNDS ACTS
• HOLLYWOOD CIRCUS – 12:15 PM, 2:30 PM & 5:30 PM, an additional 7:30 PM show Saturdays/Sundays
• HOLLYWOOD RACING PIGS – 11:00 AM, 1:30 PM, 4:00 PM & 6:30 PM
• GIRAFFIC MENAGERIE – All day
• CAMEL RIDES – All day
• K-9S IN FLIGHT – 12:00 PM, 3:30 PM & 6:00 PM
• EXTREME ILLUSIONS & ESCAPES – 2:30 PM, 4:30 PM & 8:00 PM in mall area, an
additional 6:00 PM show Saturdays/Sundays
• WELDE’S BIG BEAR SHOW – 1:00 PM, 3:00 PM & 5:00 PM next to circus
• SEA LION SPLASH – 12:30 PM, 2:00 PM, 7:30 PM, an additional 4:30 PM show on
Saturdays/Sundays located across from Florida Forest Discovery Center
• PROFESSOR SMART – 11:30 AM, 1:30 PM & 4:00 PM next to steam engine
• BMX/FMX FREESTYLE MADNESS – 2:00 PM, 5:00 PM & 8:00 PM at Grand Prix Arena
• THE NINJA EXPERIENCE – 11:00 AM, 3:30 PM & 6:30 PM next to Big Wheel
• FLORIDA FISH & WILDLIFE CONSERVATION COMMISSION EXHIBIT
• LASER LIGHT SHOW – 7:00 PM & 9:00 PM
• CRACKER COUNTRY LIVING HISTORY MUSEUM
• AGRICULTURAL EXHIBITS & SHOWS
• INSECT ENCOUNTER – Florida Ag Hall of Fame
• FARM TO SCHOOL FUN ARCADE – Florida Ag Hall of Fame
• LITTLE FARM HANDS – Red Barn outside of Lykes Arena
• AG VENTURE TENT – Inside Gate 3
• SALUTE TO AG TENT & MOOTERNITY WARD– next to Ag Hall of Fame
• MILKING PARLOR DEMONSTRATION- 11:00, 1:00, 3:00 & 5:00 PM – Charlie Lykes Arena
• PAW PATROL & RUSTY RIVETS – February 8-11 from 10:30 AM To 6:00 PM located in Northwest Corner of Expo Hall
• MINI MONSTER TRUCKS – Friday, February 9 and Saturday, February 10 at 3:00 PM & 7:00 PM at Stampede Arena in the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center
• TRASHY FLASHY FASHION SHOW – Friday, February 9 at 2:00 PM on Coca Cola Stage in Entertainment Hall
• TEEN STARS LIVE – Saturday, February 10 at 2:00 PM & 6:00 PM, Sunday, February 11 at 1:00 PM & 4:00 PM on Coca Cola Stage in Entertainment Hall
• TERRIER DOG RACES CHAMPIONSHIP – Sunday, February 11 at 12:00 PM at Stampede Arena in The Bob Thomas Equestrian Center.
• DEMOLITION DERBY – Saturday, February 17 at 7:00 PM at Stampede Arena
• UNITED STATES LAWN MOWER ASSOCIATION RACE – Saturday, February 17 & Sunday, February 18 at 1:00 PM at Stampede Arena
• DRAFT HORSE PULL – Thursday, February 15 at 12:00 PM at Stampede Arena
• FLORIDA STATE FAIR RANCH RODEO – Wednesday, February 14 & Thursday, February 15 at 3:00 PM & 7:00 PM in the Charlie Lykes Arena
• AMERICAN MINIATURE HORSE SHOW – Tuesday, February 13 & Wednesday, February 14 at 10:00 AM at Stampede Arena
• FLORIDA STATE FAIR DANCE CHAMPIONSHIP – JUDGED BY DANCE MOMS STARS – Semi-Finals on Friday, February 16 at 2:00 PM, Dance Class taught by Gianna Martello on Saturday, February 17 at 12:30 PM & Florida State Fair Dance Championship at 2:00 PM. Judged by Dance Mom’s Stars on Coca Cola Stage in Entertainment Hall
• FAIRLY ODD PARENTS – February 16-19, from 10:30 AM to 6:00 PM in Northwest Corner of Expo Hall.
• VEX ROBOTICS STATE CHAMPIONSHIP – All day on Coca Cola Stage in Entertainment Hall
• MOUNTED DRILL TEAM – Monday, February 19th at 10:00 AM
STROLLING ENTERTAINMENT-STROLLING TIMES SUBJECT TO CHANGE
• PROFESSOR SMART – 11:00, 1:00, 4:00 & 6:00 PM
• ONE MAN BAND – 10:30 AM, 12:30 PM, 4:30 PM, & Saturdays/Sundays at 7:30 PM
• FRITTERS – 11:30 AM, 1:30 PM, 3:30 PM & 5:30 PM
• MAX POWER THE ROBOT – 12:00 PM, 2:00 PM, 4:00 PM
• KEEP TAMPA BAY BEAUTIFUL, TRASHY FLASHY FASHION SHOW, Friday, February 9th at 2:00 PM
• RIVER CITY BOYS – A tribute to the Statler Brothers – February 13-14 at 6:00 PM and February 15 at 1:00 PM
• COUNTRY GOLD TOUR – Wednesday, February 14 at 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM
• ELVIS EXTRAVAGANZA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP – February 13-14 at 6:30 PM and February 15 at 1:30 PM
• CENTRAL FLORIDA RAT PAK – Friday, February 16 at 10:30 AM and 12:30 PM
CRACKER COUNTRY MAIN STAGE
• SOUTHERN EXPRESS BLUEGRASS music throughout the day
• BITS OF GRASS bluegrass band throughout the day
TAMPA BAY TIMES STAGE
• DENNIS LEE BAND – Shows daily at 10:30 AM, 12:30 PM & 4:30 PM, an additional 6:30 PM show on Saturdays/ Sundays
• KAZUAL BAND – Shows daily at 11:30 AM, 2:30 PM & 5:30 PM, an additional 7:30 PM show on Saturdays/Sundays
SLEEP NUMBER STAGE
• VOCAL TRASH – Shows daily at 11:00 AM, 1:00 PM & 4:00 PM, an additional 3:00 PM show on Saturdays/Sundays
• FUEL ON FIRE – February 8-13 Shows daily at 12:00 PM, 2:00 PM and 5:00 PM, an
additional show at 6:30 PM show on Saturdays/Sundays
• SCREAMING ORPHANS – February 14-19 Shows daily at 12:00 PM, 2:00 PM and 5:00 PM; Additional show at 6:30 PM on Saturday & Sunday
LOCAL BANDS EVERY NIGHT
• KENZIE WHEELER – Thursday, February 8 at 7:30 PM and 8:30 PM
• REV. BARRY & THE FUNK – Friday, February 9 at 7:30 PM and 8:30 PM
• ALEX LOPEX XPRESS – Saturday, February 10 at 7:30 PM and 8:30 PM
• PUCHI COLON – Sunday, February 11 at 7:30 PM and 8:30 PM
• BEACH WOLF – Monday, February 12 at 7:30 PM and 8:30 PM
• TAYLOR REED – Tuesday, February 13 at 7:30 PM and 8:30 PM
• SOUTHVIEW – Wednesday, February 14 at 7:30 PM and 8:30 PM
• BEARDED BROTHERS – Thursday, February 15 at 7:30 PM and 8:30 PM
• BRAD MURRAY BAND – Friday, February 16 at 7:30 PM and 8:30 PM
• IMPULSE BAND – Saturday, February 17 at 7:30 PM and 8:30 PM
• ARAMIS SOL CARIBES – Sunday, February 18 at 7:30 PM and 8:30 PM