The San Diego County Fair is perhaps best known for it’s featured shows, high-flying carnival rides and unusual and innovative deep-fried treats; but if you’ve never been to the fair with a youngster before, you might have easily overlooked the many fun and wonderful features for the Fair’s youngest visitors.
This year’s theme, Race to the Fair, offers parents many fun and exciting photo ops with their little ones (pose in the Chevy Winner’s Circle or pop your head on a race car driver’s body), while the tykes enjoy checking out and even climbing in and around some pretty amazing looking cars, and even some firetrucks while dad jumps into a real NASCAR simulator. The petting zoo is always a hit with kids, as is checking out all of the Fair’s featured livestock. It’s a great chance to learn to “moo,” “oink” and “quack” along with the real pros! You can even watch pigs race (but get there early, because seats fill up fast and your late-arriving little ones will be stuck trying to sneak a peek from atop their chaperone’s shoulders)!
A quick trip over the bridge to the racetrack Infield will bring you to Kiddieland, a kid-centered amusement park, where any daring and adventurous toddler can jump on a twirling swingset, a flying Jeep or even climb aboard a real elephant for a ride with mom and dad.
Even very young kids will enjoy checking out “The Buzz on Bugs,” where they can check out a live, working beehive, and snack on some delicious, natural honey sticks while learning all about how that good stuff is made. (Parents, take note: right next to the bugs & farm features is a great enclosed playground if you need a chance to sit down for a few minutes in the shade while the little ones burn off some extra energy on the jungle gym and slides.)
And while no parent would brave a big outing without snacks and drinks on-hand, rest assured that there are some healthy, kid-friendly food options at the Fair. If your pediatrician would frown on your two-year-old snacking away on deep-fried Kool-Aid, you can check out the Albertson’s Rejuvination Station Store for some fruit and yogurt parfaits or even snack on a delicious frozen banana (or pick up free delicious, cold yogurt samples for the whole family from the Dannon truck).
While you’re there, remember to check out the safety display, where you can pick up educational activities and craft supplies for your children from many local resources. It’s a great way to teach your youngster about fire safety and first aid. You can even pick up a free child identification kit.
When planning your trip, remember to stock up on sunscreen and hats for the little ones, and check out the map when you arrive to plan for some quieter activities if the hustle and bustle of the Fair becomes overstimulating for your toddler. And remember that children under the age of 5 get free admission and the Fair is a smoke-free venue (except in designated areas)!
Enjoy having fun and have a wonderful time introducing your toddler to this fun San Diego summertime tradition.