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Our Favorite Things to Do with the kids at the Florida State Fair!

The Florida State Fair returns in 2022 from February 10-21 at the Florida State Fairgrounds with nearly a CENTURY of building family traditions in Tampa Bay! A century, y’all! We’re talking about GENERATIONS of families who have experienced the Fair with their kids.

If you’re new to town or have simply never been, this is the year you’ll want to go! If you’ve been, come back! Sure, there are the things you’d expect at a state fair like farm animals and deep fried everything, but it’s so much more than that.

It truly is a family-friendly event and this year, they’ve got even more FUN in store for you and the kids! There is even an area dedicated just for the little ones with rides and activities just for them like the Giraffe Menagerie and Great American Petting Zoo.

Keep in mind that we are still in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, so some things may look a bit different this year.You’ll also be encouraged to social distance and keep those hands clean! Learn more about the safety measures here.

Here are our 10 favorite things to do with the kids at the Florida State Fair:


Florida State Fair Kid Midway
Midway

1. Visit the Midway

This is the place to go for bragging rights because we all know how kids love to share the BIG things they’ve tried for the first time, like a new ride!
The Florida State Fair’s Midway is the largest midway in North America with more than 90 rides! There are even several rides for the wee little ones and of course the family favorite, the Ferris wheel!

Florida State Fair Giraffic Menagerie

2. Giraffe Menagerie and Great American Petting Zoo

There are so many animal encounters at the Florida State Fair, but this is one of our favorites.

It allows you to get up close to meet an feed Twiggs the giraffe and some of his buddies in the petting zoo! Littles get a kick out of this one!


Live Carousel Florida State Fair3. More Unique Animal Encounters!

The Mooternity Ward is a favorite where you can meet brand new to the world. The Live Carousel with purebred Welsh ponies and Camel Rides will be life long memory makers for sure! Be sure to stop by the Salute to Ag space which features cows, chickens, goats and more! Don’t forget to stop by the Milk Barn too to learn where milk comes from!


Florida State Fair Little Farm Hands

4. Little Farm Hands exhibit

This is an indoor exhibit designed or kids ages 2-7 years old which we LOVE as a way to seek some shade, but the kids might love it even more! This is where they can get hands on with fun farm activities to explore the world of agriculture.


Robot Zoo at the Florida State Fair
Robot Zoo at the Florida State Fair.

5. Explore AgVenture, Robot Zoo and More!

AgVenture is a great place to take the kids so they can take a deeper dive into where our food comes from and the future of farming. And maybe they want to take a step back into history at the Cracker Country museum to learn about the life of a Florida pioneer in the 19th century.

The Robot Zoo is a children’s exhibit where kids can see giant robot animals at work.

Other cool exhibits: Cattle Ranching Museum and Florida Fish & Wildlife Exhibit. Learn more here.


Florida State Fair Circus Hollywood

6. Circus Hollywood and MORE!

Circus Hollywood will be thrilling several times each day with their amazing acrobatics and performances. Just when you thought you’ve seen it all, stop by Gascar’s Crazy Animal Races to see pigs, goats, chickens and more race to the finish line!


Cowboy Bootcamp at the Florida State Fair 20227. Cowboy Bootcamp

Young buckaroos can get hands on in this activity area designed just for kids where they can learn what it takes to be a real cowboy. Find this activity over in the Veranda area of the Fair.


Florida State Fair Hollywood Racing Pigs8. Hollywood Racing Pigs and other animal shows!

The Hollywood Racing Pigs and Disc Connected K9’s shows also have several performances each day and are absolute must sees! If your kiddos love a cold glass of milk, take the to the Milk Barn where they can see where milk comes from! It’ll be a fascinating adventure! And of course, there’s the Giraffe Menagerie and Gascar’s Crazy Animal Races we already mentioned.


 

High Dive Show at the Florida State Fair9. Thrilling shows and live performances!

There are so many awe-inspiring moments at the Florida State Fair like the Great American High Dive Show and Wet and Wild, a jet ski stunt show.
There will also be a live Rodeo and you can can even experience the awe of Cirque Maa’Ceo, a performance with acrobatic stunts by the performers featuring exotic horses.

Florida State Fair 2022 Food Deep Fried Banana Pudding10. The FOOD!

Last, but not least…the Florida State Fair is where you find the most unique fair food and this year, there is a whole new menu to try! One new addition is the Deep Fried Banana Pudding at DeAnna’s Steak Sundaes. You can find a complete list of what’s new here.

 

If you want to map out your foodie adventure, see the map here:

Florida State Fair 2022 Food Map


Learn more about things to do at the Florida State Fair and buy your tickets online here.

We definitely encourage you to buy your tickets in advance because you’ll save more that way. Advance purchase admission is $10 for adults and $6 for kids ages 6-11. Kids 5 and younger are free. If you buy the tickets at the gate, it’s $15 for adults and $9 for kids, so buy ahead of time if you can.

If you know you’ll be riding a lot of rides, you might want to consider purchasing the Arm Band ahead of time which is $30 for unlimited rides for a single day. There’s a Weekday Arm Band for $20 for February 10 and 14-17. In addition to buying your tickets and armbands in advance, we also recommend you bring cash to have on hand for experiences like the Giraffe Menagerie–so you can buy carrots and other giraffe snacks to feed them. The kids will be begging!

Before you head out, you can plug in this address to your GPS: 301 US Hwy 301, Tampa. There are three entrances to get to access Florida State Fair and you’ll see plenty of traffic markers in place to guide you to the right spot: Orient Road, Martin Luther King and US 301. Parking is free for Fair guests. See the map here.

You can map out your day by visiting the calendar of events here for a stress-free visit!

More stories we think you’ll LOVE:

 

 

Laura Byrne
Laura Byrne is an award-winning former television news journalist who spent 15+ years in newsrooms across the state of Florida including Sarasota, Tallahassee, Fort Myers and right here in Tampa Bay where she still freelances on occasion. She covered the political beat, crime beat and every day breaking news during her time in Florida newsrooms, but is now focused on sharing positive news stories and events with families in Tampa Bay. She is a proud mommy of two little boys who keep her on her toes and laughing every day. Her goal is to inspire families just like yours to get out and play and experience all that Tampa Bay and our great state of Florida have to offer! She encourages you to share your stories and upcoming events so we can spread the good news.

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