The theme of Indiana State Fair changes from year to year making it a definite destination for re-visits. Competitive events, state band days, parades, and enthralling exhibitions will entertain the family over seventeen days.
Fans of demolition derby will love to watch the action on the track. Llamas, alpacas, rabbits and pygmy goats will line up for judgments as to who is the best in show. Taste local Indiana beer, wine, and spirits, and support Indiana-owned businesses as you peruse the vendor stalls. Families with kids of all ages can enjoy viewing the barns. Watch the agricultural competitions and give your vote to the sheep with the best wool.
Camp on the fairgrounds and be close to the action. Retreat to your private oasis after a fun-filled day at the fair. A lively experience awaits those who want to camp and get a taste of state fair life. Enjoy draft horse competitions and antique tractor parades by day and after the lights of the fair go out for the night, settle the family in for a restful night in the comfort of your camper.
Buy advance tickets and save. Prices range between $10 and $15. Promotional days and deals allow fairgoers to tailor their taste to supporting a certain day. For example, certain days will see a portion of the ticket go to cancer research. Another day will see military personnel and their families get in for free. If you want to attend events like the grandstand shows, you will need to pay extra fees. All the information you need is at www.indianastatefair.com.
Setting course for the I-65, I-70 or I-74 will get you there, depending on your start point. Either way, the drive there will be plenty to see along the way. Plan for a picnic by a lake or stop at a museum. Traffic may be busy so keep your eyes on the road and be on the lookout for the fairgrounds staff who can direct you to your parking lot of choice.
Check the website before you head out to the fair to decide on which parking option is for you. See what fits your family’s needs the most and choose from options like E-Z Park right across from the main gate or Park and Ride which includes a free shuttle. If parking on the grounds is your choice, arrive early to secure a spot. ADA parking is readily available, too.
A fun and green option is to bike there; this means of transport can save you money on your admission to the fair. IndyGo offers a safe and easy bus ride; several stops along the route will get you to the fun in a stress-free and economical way.
Camping at the Indiana State Fair is sure to be an enjoyable experience. Campers can choose from full or partial hookup sites on the fairgrounds, tent camping, or primitive camping in the onsite campground. Reservations are needed for all options, be sure to book ahead to avoid disappointment.
There is no shortage of campgrounds near Indianapolis. Lakeside views and plenty of shade can be part of your personal retreat space. The amenities include full hookup for convenience, and many campgrounds have playgrounds for the kiddos. Illinois is full of state parks for those who like a wilderness experience.
The Indiana State Fair is a huge venue. Rent a stroller or wagon to haul the kids and ease tired feet. Scooters and wheelchairs are available to rent, too. Reserve ahead of time for any of these modes of getting around. There is also a shuttle within the park, including an ADA-accessible shuttle.
Take advantage of having an RV for travelling purposes and pack several clothing options for the trip. Attire for the fairground days will best be topped off with a favorite hat. Shorts, t-shirts, and your most comfy walking shoes are a must. You may want to bring a light sweater to the fair in the event of a cool or windy evening. Rainboots and rain jackets are a must on the chance that a day of inclement weather comes along.
Bring along a backpack to tote a water bottle, camera, and perhaps a change of shoes to revitalize your tired feet. Add sunscreen and sunglasses to your bag or purse, too. Other than those items, you won’t need to bring much into the fair except for your ticket and a happy attitude.
Set ground rules from day one for sticking together at all times. The venue will be a packed one; if a child wanders off in excitement and gets separated from the rest of the family, head to the Public Safety Center for assistance. Keep the family well-hydrated and covered in sunscreen.
If you are staying on site at the Indiana State Fair, you will need to plan your menu according to campground rules. Open flame is prohibited although you can use a grill that is elevated off the ground. Foil packets like chicken wings and shrimp make an easy and tasty meal with little cleanup, allowing for more time with the family. Generators are not permitted at every onsite camping area; check the rules with staff when you check-in or before you arrive.
Go for a steak, burger, chicken tamale, smoked meat tray, or slice of pizza if you are hungry for a restaurant meal in Indianapolis. The southwestern food experience is yours for the taking, with options galore to choose from in several directions from the fairgrounds. German, American, Italian, and more nationalities are represented for either dinner or a delectable dessert.
Support Indiana-owned businesses by visiting the vendor booths. Attendees can spend a day touring the exhibit barns and viewing the wares of hardworking locals, young and old. Sample delicious homemade food and marvel at the handiwork of specialized artisans. ATMs are found in several locations over the fairgrounds.
Expect that your bag, fanny pack, or purse may be checked upon entry to the fair. Alcohol and glass items are prohibited. Re-entry into the fair is allowed but get your hand stamped upon exit, or you will have to buy a new ticket to get back in. Marion County in Illinois has curfews for those under 18; check the Indianapolis State Fair website for exact age and time information.
Enjoy the beautiful weather conditions typically seen at the fair. Sunshine and pleasant temperatures abound during the day; if a rain shower does make an appearance, there is still plenty to do. Visit the draft horse barn or pop into the exposition hall. The comfortable evening temperatures make for fun at the campsite, identifying stars or recollecting everyone’s favorite activity of the day.
There are a few first-aid stations at the venue. Ambulance service is available as well. Plan ahead for every event when you pack the RV by making sure the first-aid kit is always topped up. Your prep list should have prescription medications as the first item on the list.