This week, the boys and I visited the San Diego County Fair for the first time. This annual event is held at the Del Mar Fairgrounds and is the largest county fair in the nation!
The fair has a different theme each year, and this year’s theme was “How Sweet It Is!” Such a fun, happy and colorful theme, which gave us plenty of opportunities for photos.
I honestly think this has been our most ambitious outing to date, and I was quite nervous about how our day would turn out! Along with our double stroller, I made sure to pack hats, shoes, lunches (for them), sunscreen and water for the whole family. The boys wound up spending the majority of the time in the stroller, just taking things in. They did not really complain at all throughout the time we were at the fair.
We arrived just after the gates opened at 11 AM, and by the time we parked, walked over, got through the gate and lathered up with sunscreen, the first Pig Race of the day was about to go down!
I managed to get the boys out of the stroller and find us seats in the bleachers on my own. A twin momma’s gotta do what a twin momma’s gotta do! The race was hilarious because only one pig ran to the finish line!
My boys absolutely love animals and so do I, so we made a stop to some of the livestock viewing areas and saw goats, sheep, cows, chicken, turkeys, bunnies and more!
Because of the “How Sweet It is” theme, this year’s fair featured a candy-themed exhibition with the history of candy-making, a candy-themed performance, shopping opportunities and photo opps! It was so cute!
I’m actually not a huge candy person (chocolate for me!) but I thought the whole set-up was ridiculously fun!
After walking around for about an hour, it was time to settle in and find some food. I have visited the Texas State Fair a number of times, and the fair food is a big deal at that event every year. I was slightly disappointed with the lack of information on the fair food at the San Diego County Fair. I had no idea where to go, what was new this year or what was available except for what I could see from walking around.
I really wanted a corn dog, so I stopped at the first stand that I saw that had them. Big mistake. I wound up with a corn dog the size of my forearm that cost $12. I was only able to finish about 1/3 of it and it wasn’t even tasty! Ugh!
I was pretty annoyed by my fair food fail for the rest of the day because I did not have room to sample anything else. Boohoo!
Besides this unicorn leg, I did not see anything else that seemed “special,” in that all of the food was standard fair food. I did hear that there was a ramen burrito somewhere but I did not see it. I was hoping to see more interesting and strange food. Maybe I just missed it. Oh well.
CA Grown Exhibit
The California Grown exhibit focuses on the important place agriculture has in California and San Diego. We found the exhibit to be informative and interesting for both the kids and I.
There were more animals to see, including chickens, cows and llamas.
The boys got to play in a corn sandbox too! Only problem was that they kept trying to put the corn in their mouths!
Flower and Garden Show
The Flower and Garden Show was the last place we visited. They boys loved the model train set, which was also candy-themed.
They also did not seem to mind that I wanted to check out the ribbon-winning flowers and displays.
In total, we spent about three hours at the fair and did not come close to seeing everything, but that was okay. Rides and games are not the top priority for me when going to the fair, and since the boys are so young, those are things that we can save for when they get bigger.
As we were leaving, I had a difficult time finding our car, so we wound up wandering the parking lot for about 10 minutes before we were able to leave. Despite the couple of hiccups that we experienced, I had a really good time at the fair! Hopefully, we can make it back again next year.
- Prioritize what you want to see and do. The fair website has of good information on how to plan your visit.
- There is a lot to see, so don’t expect to see everything in one visit, if you are like us and only plan to spend a few hours versus the entire day and night at the fair.
- Remember what gate you entered through and where you parked. The parking lots don’t have section markers, so I suggest counting the number of rows back you are in and finding a landmark to remember where you parked.
- Bring lots of sun protection! Sunscreen, hats and sunglasses. Also, unopened water bottles are permitted, and empty reusable bottles and sippy cups are permitted. I bought bottled water before we got to the fair and filled my bottle and sippy cups once we got through the security gate.
- Bring wipes and hand sanitizer. You will come into contact with lots of germs, especially if you visit the livestock viewing areas. While there are hand washing stations around the fairgrounds, having wipes and hand sanitizer on me made me feel better, especially since the boys are still putting their hands in their mouths a lot!