Outings + Activities | Family Fun | South Sound

Washington State Spring Fair: Insider Tips

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

Fun on the Midway. Photo credit: Patrick Hagerty
Fun on the Midway. Photo credit: Patrick Hagerty

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

To help families plan, we scoured information about the Washington State Spring 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 14, kids 0–18 receive free gate admission thanks to the BECU Free Kids Gate Admission program. A donation of non-perishable food for the food drive is recommended.

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," says Karen LaFlamme of the Washington Spring Fair. Two areas are dedicated to the younger crowd: Tot Spot and KidZone.

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 and Sale. 

3. There's something new every year

Families should be especially excited about some of the new activities and shows this year, including: 

More in SillyVille: For many kids, the Fair, spring or summer, is all about the rides, and they'll be thrilled that that the ride area of SillyVille has expanded. It now includes a train that goes through a mine-themed tunnel, a giant slide and wild cat rides.

Kids Can Cook: Celebrity chef Dianne Linderman leads this new interactive cooking show for kids, with eight work stations where your child can make simple recipes starring farm-fresh items. Multiple times a day. Location: Pavilion, First floor

TimberWorks Lumberjack Show: Paul Bunyan look-alikes throw axes, roll logs, carve with chainsaws and more while sharing lumberjack history. Mutiple times a day. Location: Midway Blvd., west of Coca-Cola Stage

Mother Goose Magic Show: With lots of audience participation and mixed-up rhymes, kids should love this. Location:Tot Spot, inside Red Gate

4. Free fun abounds (once you pay the admission fee)

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 on the admission fee (unless, of course, you visit on April 14). Below are a few examples. 

Washington Spring Fair. Photo credit: Patrick Hagerty
Get to know livestock at the Washington Spring Fair | Photo credit: Patrick Hagerty

Fun on the Farm: With farm activities, agriculture displays and a petting zoo, the Farm is always a hit. Kids can dig and plant potatoes, play in the corn box and get photos in the Barnyard Cutout Photo Opp. Location: Centennial Building

DockDogs: Who can resist pooches dashing down a 40-foot canine runway and jumping headlong into a large portable swimming pool filled with 27,000 gallons of water? Follow them to the finals. Location: Inside Red Gate

DockDogs. Photo credit: Patrick Hagerty
DockDogs take a leap at the Washington Spring Fair | Photo credit: Patrick Hagerty

Monster truck rides: For $7 a ride, kids can get a taste of what it's like to ride in a big old monster truck. Thursday–Sunday. Location: Grandstand. 

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

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.  

5. Plan ahead for some events

Demolition Derby at the Spring Fair. Photo credit: Patrick Hagerty
Watch the Demolition Derby at the Washington Spring Fair | Photo credit: Patrick Hagerty

If you want to attend some of 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). 

Another event that's often standing-room only: Swifty Swine Racing Pigs. There are multiple races a day, but arrive early to secure a spot.

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