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Washington State Spring Fair: Insider Tips

With fewer crowds and just as much action, spring fairs are simply more fun!

Published on: April 10, 2018

kids on a ride at the fair
Credit: Patrick Hagerty

Get a head start on summer fair fun at a lower key, spring version of the Washington State Fair this April 19–22, with rides, music, pig racing, performing dogs, a demolition derby and more.

To help families plan, we scoured information about the Washington State Fair to find the newest, most affordable and most fun activities for families. Here's what we found. 

1. The Spring Fair is free on Thursday for kids

On Thursday, April 19, kids ages 18 and under receive free gate admission. A donation of non-perishable food for the food drive is recommended. Hours are 2–10 p.m. on opening day.

Another great deal is free parking throughout the Fair. Find more on the deals page.

2. The Spring Fair is more like an old-school county fair

The Spring Fair has a country fair vibe, and offers lots of interactive fun for younger families. KidZone is dedicated to the younger crowd; and there are many other family-friendly activities, from free face-painting to fun on the farm.

While all of the classic fair favorites (food, rides, vendors, animals, free stages) will be on display, the Spring Fair offers its own delights including pig racing, the Creative Kids Exhibit and the Northwest Junior Livestock Show. 

3. So many family-friendly activities

Families should be especially excited about the range of kid-friendly activities and shows this year, including: 

Rides: That's what most folks think of when they think of The Fair. Favorites include the Wild Cat, Giant Slide, C.P. Huntington Train, Extreme Scream and Classic Coaster. Be careful with snacks before and after. 

Aussie Kingdom (new): Kangaroos, wallabies and walleroos, oh my! Interact with native Australian wildlife at various times during the fair. This activity is included with admission.

Cirque Ma'Caeo show: Stunt horseback riding: What could be better? There's choreography, live singing and heart-pounding stunts on horses. Extra fee of $7; kids ages 5 and under are free. Various times.

Monster truck rides: For $8 a ride, kids can get a taste of what it's like to ride in a big old monster truck. Offered Friday–Saturday. 

Swifty Swine Racing Pigs: This popular event is often standing-room only. There are multiple races a day, but arrive early to secure a spot.

Storybook Village: Enter the world of make-believe as you journey through a storybook land of classic fables. Included with Fair admission. 

Brad's Reptile Show: Hatching snake eggs. Need I say more? Oh, and a real alligator.  At various times during the Fair and included with Fair admission.

Pirate Parrot Patrol: Learn all about parrots from pirates. Included with Fair admission. 


girl with duck at the fair
Credit: Patrick Hagerty

4. Free fun abounds (once you're in the door)

Sure, you can spend all your time on the rides or Demolition Derby, but if you want to save your pennies, there are scores of activities that don't cost a dime after you spring for the Fair admission fee. Below are a few examples. 

Fun on the Farm: With farm activities, agriculture displays and a petting zoo, the Farm is always a hit. 

dock dogs
Credit: Patrick Hagerty

DockDogs: Who can resist pooches dashing down a 40-foot canine runway and jumping headlong into a large portable swimming pool? Follow them to the finals. 

Creative Kids Exhibit: This exhibit showcases all kinds of talent from kids, including art baking, crafts, photography and more. 

Fireworks: If your kids can stay up a bit late, bring them to the the Fireworks Spectacular on Friday and Saturday nights. Starts at approximately 9 p.m.  

demolition derby
Credit: Patrick Hagerty

5. Plan ahead for Motorsports Mayhem

If you want to attend the motorsports fun, including the Monster Truck Show on Friday and Slamfest Demolition Derby on Saturday and Sunday, purchase tickets ahead of time as they can sell out (also, you save by buying early).  

If you go...

When: Thursday–Sunday, April 19–22, 2018

Where: Washington State Fair Events Center at 110 9th Ave. S.W., Puyallup

Cost: $8–$10 (online, in advance); $10–$12 (at the gate); kids ages 5 and under free; all kids ages 18 and under are free Thursday, April 19, from 2–10 p.m., with food bank donation; additional fees for select events. 

Tickets: Purchase at the gate, or ahead of time online for discounts. 

Parking: Thursday and Friday it's FREE! Saturday and Sunday, it's $10

More info: Check out the State Fair website

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