My Favorite Reason To Visit The State Fair — The Eco Experience


I am the furthest thing from a State Fair expert. I don’t even go every year.  But when I do go, I like to beeline to the Eco Experience. This year, as usual, The Eco Experience will have a lot of fun, family-friendly displays and activities.  You could seriously just do this one thing and fill an entire day.  Below is the run down of of the family fun you can find at the Eco Experience Exhibit.

Kids play at Nature Adventure Play Playground. Image courtesy of Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

One of our favorite parts is the Nature Adventure Play Outdoor Playground. The area focuses on encouraging imagination with a a large sand and water area, a grassy hill with teepee and fairy gardens, and an adventure play construction zone using recycled and natural materials.

At first I wondered why would I pay State Fair ticket prices to sit and watch my kids play at a park? However, it is a little more than a sandbox. The multi-sensory playground is also composed of plant materials, tree stumps, tree branches, and natural everyday recycled materials — all designed to help fight “nature deficit disorder”. Spending some time watching my children play here helped me to design and build my own backyard nature play area, which my kids love and use daily.

Yay! Due to the popularity of the play experience, the Minnesota State Fair requested it become a permanent feature!

Eco Experience 2018

Here’s what’s coming for 2018:

  • Paul Bunyan Eco Zone – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle • A 15-foot Paul Bunyan display explores textile waste and its solutions. 
  • Free Photo Booth • Hamline University’s Adopt-A-Drain Exhibit features  a FREE, kid-friendly, professional quality photo booth with free prints and social media sharing.
  • Water-Themed Arcade Games Also at the Adopt-A-Drain exhibit try out water-themed arcade games, including an air hockey table, bean-bag toss, and iPad games.
  • Kick Gas Safety Town • Children’s Exhibit featuring miniature buildings, vehicles, signals, traffics signs, and sidewalks. The exhibit will teach basic traffic rules and regulations, potential hazards to traveling and the skills needed to walk effectively, appropriately and safety through their community.
  • Climate Bingo • Play Climate Connections Bingo by doing activities throughout the Eco Experience building. Collect a B-I-N-G-O to get a prize.
  • Nature Adventure Play area We’ve already mentioned why we love it.
  • Repair for Reuse  Enjoy demonstrations of repair techniques and reuse projects illustrating clever ways to reuse and re-purpose a wide range of items. 
  • Solar Energy Display  Enjoy the solar fountain and the popular climate bingo light bulb challenge, plus several new solar-powered displays.
  • 2018 Healthy Local Food ExhibitBest if Used • Learn how waste can be prevented and solutions to help minimize waste.
  • Air Quality exhibits • For the car enthusiasts, check out the Tesla 3 and Nissan Leaf and learn about other ways to improve air quality both on and off the road.
  • We Are Water MN exhibit Learn about statewide water quality trends, historical information, and personal narratives at this interactive, kid-friendly exhibit.
  • Climate Change and Lake Superior • Great Lakes Aquarium’s visual display about how climate change can affect Lake Superior.
  • Water Exhibits • Stop at the water bar to sample and compare water from different communities, learn where your drinking water comes from among other water exhibits.
  • Recycle your old cell phone  Bring along old and outdated cell phone to the Paul Bunyan Eco Zone, to be either refurbished and donated to a worthy cause, or be recycled for metals reuse.
  • Metro Blooms and Blue Thumb  Pick up a free packet of Dutch white clover seed to help provide nectar and pollen to bees, as well as draw nitrogen into the soil and keep lawns greener through dry periods.
  • Department of Commerce and energy reduction
  • Tree Care Advisors – University of Minnesota

About-the-Eco

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