I spent six years living in south Texas, and never managed to go wandering up to Dallas for the state fair. Somehow, I’ve managed to go wandering a few times now to the Maryland State Fair since I moved here.
I’m not a huge fan of the state fair – it’s fun enough, I suppose, when you’re going to see one of the concerts or you’re exhibiting, but unless you’re going to go ride rides and pig out on food there, it’s really just a lot of walking and way, way too many people.
(Which isn’t to say that I don’t wish I was going to one of the concerts there, since they usually have at least one show that appeals to me but… I digress.)
Going to the state fair, though, is something that “normal” families do a lot. There’s plenty to see to appeal to children that are the same age as ours, even ones like ours who don’t ride rides. There’s a buttload (yes, that’s a real unit of measurement) of farm animals there, and let’s be honest – both the Monster and R love farm animals, and what’s better than a few hours of wandering up-and-down aisles of cows, sheep, pigs, goats and chickens when you’re in the 5-and-under set?
Plus… today was the Governor’s volunteer day ($2 admission), and since it opened at 10 AM while a lot of folks were in church, it meant that there’d be few enough people there to deal with. Since it was early, we parked in the park-and-ride lot nearby instead of taking the light-rail, and then hoofed it across the tracks with the double-stroller and a bag full of snacks for the kids.
So, aside from the fact that the Monster didn’t want to go near any animals, it felt nice to play at being a normal family. R got to pet a baby chicken, peek at a newborn pig and mooo’d at a couple of cows. (More than a couple…) The Monster seemed interested enough in a couple of the more practical exhibits in the “play” area set up by the University of Maryland agricultural extension over in the main animal shed. And it was probably good for both of them to be out and about and enjoying the sounds of the state fair.
Maybe in a year or two, we’ll even do a couple of rides…