LA County Fair Family Outing
By Megan McClain
A short day at school meant an afternoon trip to the LA County Fair for my family this week. Weekdays are a fantastic time to visit the fair for families, if your schedule permits. It’s quieter, animals are mellower, and it lets you get a chance to ride more rides and catch more entertainment.
We spend most of our day at The Farm, a Fairplex institution since 1922. Did you know the LA County Fair started with a farm? The Farm emcompasses a theme of "Learn, Grow, Sustain" and brings it to life showing how some foods get produced, plus a chance to see many animals that are part of the proccess.
It includes milking demonstrations, petting barns, cold fresh milk and a garden full of fun fruits and vegetables, including some of the hottest on the planet (no picking now).
Honestly? Make sure you time your visit to catch the pig races at the far corner of The Farm. We ran over there after standing in line to get in at the Blue Gate (stroller entry on the far left, FYI) and the boys had a soueeeee-t time watching pigs, turkeys and ducks race. it was hilariously awesome. Our pigs of choice never won, but we did score coupons for free bacon at Ralphs.
We took a snack break under the shade by The Farm kitchen - the smell of wood-fired pizza was delicious - then meandered through the barn nearby to look at baby chicks and eggs about to hatch. Swinging to the left, we found more than the bee display and honey sticks – we stuck around for the blacksmith exhibition, with enthralled the first grader. We also checked out the handmade lye soap and gave our hands a quick wash – a blessing in the middle of a farm.
We tried the petting corral for the goats, but between voracious appetites and a 3-year-old eye level with several of the goats, we had to make an escape. We had better luck trying to rope a mechanical calf and galloping across imaginary prairies on a herd of saddled-up wooden horses. A neighboring barn area was full of crazy fluffy chickens, new lambs and bunnies as far as the eye could see.
We also took pictures at almost every cutout available. There's one for every size, so make sure you get in one, too.
We trucked over through part of the carnival (the souvenir stand by the big petting barn has the nicest guy; we recommend his inflated characters and light-up swords) and through to the Fairplex Garden Railroad. It's free to visit during the fair and on some Sundays throughout the year.
The Farm offers educational opportunities like school field trips, culinary workshops and team-building exercises. Visit the website for more details.
The LA County Fair is open through Sept. 25 at Fairplex. Adult single-day admission (ages 13 – 59) is $20, $14 on weekdays, and children ages 6-12 are admitted for $12 and $8. The fair opens at noon Wednesday–Friday and weekends at 10 a.m. Parking is $15.