Tips for Staying Cool at the Minnesota State Fair

Boy in stroller drinking water: Stay Cool at the Minnesota State Fair

It’s time to get ready for the Great Minnesota Get Together and no matter the weather–wind, rain, or excessive heat, I promise that you can enjoy it. One year I brought my kids on a day that was 90 degrees at 9:00 in the morning. And we ended up staying all day. Here are some tips for staying cool at the Minnesota State Fair that I learned myself and took advantage of to relieve my children, my mom and aunt, and me. I hope that you find it helpful.

2023 Minnesota State Fair Guide


State Fair Gopher doing the splits during a parade at the Minnesota State Fair
image courtesy of the Minnesota State Fair

Tips for Staying Cool at the Minnesota State Fair

  • Embrace it. When it’s hot, you know it’s going to be hot. So prepare yourself. Dress in cool clothes. Tanks and shorts with elastic waistbands or dresses would probably be best. Dealing with a zippered waistband when you are all sweaty is no fun.
  • Bring water and drink it! I think I have finally learned that you bring a big water bottle and let everyone drink out of the same one. For me carrying 40 ounces of water on top of all the other mom gear was super heavy, and I didn’t enjoy it.
  • Plan your day in chunks of time around the fair. We started the day at Little Farm Hands and hung around there for an hour. Then, we spent the rest of the morning in the Kidway and Baldwin Park for the Family Fair/Alphabet Forest and had lunch nearby in the Northwoods. After that, we headed to Carousel Park by the Grandstand and stayed there for an hour and a half. Then, we enjoyed Heritage Square. We ended the day in the Livestock area of the fair.
    Kids playing in the Alphabet Forest at the Minnesota State Fair
    Alphabet Forest
  • Get out of the sun as much as you can. Whenever you need to sit, try to find a patch of shade. Obviously, this doesn’t always work, but do it as much as you can. One of my favorite places to cool down was Alphabet Forest. It’s all shaded and very open to let a breeze through if there is one.
  • Water Break! Refill your water bottle at refill stations around the fair.
  • Take advantage of the misters at the fair. They are placed throughout the grounds. It’s heaven.
  • Go to the Coliseum. They have fans blowing throughout the whole arena and it’s usually sparsely populated so that the breezes hit you and you are able to sit still and let your body cool. Not only that, but around the perimeter (where all the vendors are) they have huge vents blowing cold air down on you. Yes, the Coliseum is my favorite building on a hot day during the fair. Even when all they are doing is showing cows and we don’t get to stay for the rodeo.
  • Water! Hydrate!
  • Visit Crossroads Chapel. Two words! Air Conditioning.
  • Agua! Re-hydrate!
  • Ye Old Mill is dark and cool, so you might want to check that out.

Most buildings are NOT air conditioned. Don’t go looking for relief there. You will find many more misters than you will air conditioned buildings. Make sure you take it slow. Encourage your children to walk slowly and take the least number of steps as possible. When you eat, sit down. Take your time. You don’t have to see everything. The fair will be back again next year. 

state fair smiling kids

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