Visiting the Delaware State Fair with Kids

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We love to incorporate travel into our homeschooling days. When I saw the Delaware State Fair was coming up, I started making plans for the boys and I to visit for a day. Whether you live nearby, or are planning a visit over to Delaware, you should totally consider visiting their State Fair!

When I was little, I remember visiting the New Jersey State Fair a few times. I loved seeing all the animals (we even adopted a pet rabbit from one of the 4-H vendors!) and enjoyed the people watching (a highlight of all our travels).

When ads for the Delaware State Fair popped up in my social media feed, I knew I had to take the boys!

Why Visit a State Fair?

If you ask me, visiting a state fair feels like taking a visit into the past. State fairs will often feature competitions for wholesome skills like canning, baking, arts & crafts, quilting, and more. There’s usually a wide variety of food booths set up selling everything from fresh corn on the cob to deep fried alligator bites. Not to be outdone, plenty of liquid refreshments are available from fresh squeezed lemonade to local brews. In addition, there are so many animals to see (and, sometimes, buy) that have been raised by local farms and kids participating in 4-H programs.

That Homeschool Mom and kids standing in front of the Delaware State Fair front gates
We were so excited to visit the fair together!

My “I want more land so I can grow & can more fruits & vegetables and keep a flock of chickens on and maybe a goat or two….or ten” self is in absolute heaven when visiting a state fair. Aside from my love of shopping and traveling, I’m really just a simple lady who’d like to hug goats…and horses…and cows…and pigs…and llamas…and even chickens daily. #isthattoomuchtoask

Matthew learning about archery inside a booth at the Delaware State Fair That Homeschool Family
Matthew really enjoyed learning about and trying archery at the Delaware State Fair!

Aside from “just” having fun, visiting a state fair also provides so many opportunities for hands-on learning and educational experiences!

About the Delaware State Fair

Located in Harrington, Delaware, at the Delaware State Fairgrounds, the Delaware State Fair has been running for over 100 years! Every July, visitors and businesses make the trek over to the fairgrounds for all sorts of fun.

Butter sculpture from the 2022 Delaware State Fair
Butter, anyone? This sculpture had us craving some crusty bread and butter!

If you want/need to stay overnight, there are plenty of hotels nearby (we stayed at the Hampton Inn Milford) or you could even plan ahead and reserve a spot, on location, for a camper.

General parking is free, but they do also offer VIP Parking. During our visit to the Delaware State Fair, we had no issue finding a free parking spot that was within a reasonable walking distance from the entrance, but VIP Parking could definitely come in handy if anyone in your party may have special concerns.

Competition room at the Delaware State Fair
So many competition entries of all skill levels – there was so much talent in this room!

As for fair tickets, prices are super reasonable and, if you time your visit right, you could even score some free or discounted tickets for various members of your party! I planned for our visit to happen during their “Kids Day,” so I was able to score free entry for both my boys. Score!

When it comes to entertainment, you’ll have plenty of options! There are numerous agricultural & animal exhibits, various vendor booths, shows, food & drink booths, and even carnival rides and games.

Our Experience at the Delaware State Fair

Living in South Jersey, the Delaware State Fair is about a 2 hours drive from our home. We totally could’ve make our visit to the fair a day trip, but we wanted to do some exploring around Delaware, too. So, to make the most of our visit to Delaware, I booked a 2-night stay at the nearby Hampton Inn.

We woke up “early” at home, ate breakfast, and got on the road so we could be at the fair soon after it opened for the day.

When we arrived, finding a free parking spot was super easy and was really only about a five minute walk from the entrance.

That Homeschool Family standing to either side of a sign with the history of the Delaware State Fair on it.
Learning experiences are everywhere – you just need to look for them!

Since it was a hot day in July, we brought along our favorite Brita filtered water bottles (one of my top homeschool travel must haves!) so we could stay hydrated and refill at various water fountains throughout the fairgrounds. We didn’t bring any food with us because we were at a fair and, gosh darn it, we were looking forward to alllllll the fair food.

There were so many animals to see! Sam, my oldest, wasn’t very interested in the animals becuase…in the dead of summer, there’s often a particular {ahem} aroma that accompanies farm animals. That didn’t scare Matthew and me away, though!

Young boy in a tie dye shirt petting a freshly shaved sheep at the Delaware State Fair
We could’ve pet the sheep all day long! They were so sweet!

If I’m being honest, we probably spent most of our time visiting the animals. Many of the stalls had a little blurb that told the animal’s history and shared where they lived, so I totally loved that we were all able to learn a bit about the animals. Smaller animals, like rabbits and sheep, were housed in pens or crates that let visitors pet them. (of course, pet at your own risk)

That Homeschool Family child talking to a horse at the Delaware State Fair
He’s a regular Dr. Dolittle, I’m telling ya!

We got to visit plenty of vendor booths and even got to learn from many of them! The boys snagged every freebie they could and participated in any activities booths had.

That Homeschool Family kids holding freebies they got from the Delaware State Fair
They were more than happy to hold and show off all their freebies!

Want to hear something funny? We stopped by one booth that had a sign encouraging visitors to take a Delaware sea life quiz for a chance to win a prize. The boys definitely wanted to participate! Matthew asked the vendor if he could do the quiz and he responded “but the prize is just a magazine.” Matthew responded “that’s ok! I like to read!”

They did the quiz and ultimately won the magazine. I just thought it was so funny that this vendor thought his prize wouldn’t be appealing to kids, but, for my kids at least, it totally was!

That Homeschool Family boys standing in front of a John Deere tractor at the Delaware State Fair
So many tractors!

As a foodie family, we definitely enjoyed the variety of food and drink options at the Delaware State Fair. The boys and I got to have chicken on a stick, fries, delicious sticky buns, and fresh squeezed lemonade and orangeade (so good!).

That Homeschool Family child holding his chicken on a stick meal at the Delaware State Fair
Chicken on a stick!

Whenever we eat out, I try to encourage the boys to choose foods that I probably wouldn’t make at home. I can definitely make fried chicken fingers at home, but I guess there’s just something exciting about having it on a stick! Are your kids the same way? Mine wanted all the “on a stick” items. Too funny!

I was planning on letting the boys go on a few carnival rides, but it started raining a bit in the afternoon. At that point, we were all hot and getting tired/grumpy, so we decided it was time to head out.

Next year, we’re hoping to get some multi-day tickets to the Delaware State Fair so we can have even more fun!

Free State Fair worksheets for kids are great for encouraging learning and making memories before, during, and after your visit to the state fair!

Learning at the State Fair

You didn’t think I’d finish this article without a freebie, didja?!

While I’m totally game for learning through hands-on experiences, I can totally appreciate opportunities for learning through paper/pencil activities. That’s why I made this free state fair printable packet!

It includes worksheets that could be used before, during, and after your visit to the state fair! Just print and go, it’s super easy to include the printables in your state fair adventures.

Now, tell me…are you ready for some fun at your state fair?

Until next time, stay safe and enjoy quality time with your family,

That Homeschool Family in Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World.

Elizabeth Dukart is a proud born and raised Jersey Girl, wife, and mom of 2 human boys & 1 canine boy.

Created in 2021, Elizabeth owns and publishes That Homeschool Family: a free resource for homeschooling parents and beyond! A seasoned blogger, Elizabeth previously published a popular location-specific family resource blog, but decided to “Pivot!” her blogging focus after she started homeschooling her two boys in 2020. In addition to this blog, you can follow Elizabeth’s homeschooling and family adventures on Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest.

When sheโ€™s not busy taking over the world or homeschooling, Elizabeth can be found listening to music (especially The Beatles & Harry Styles!), being silly with her boys, watching movies with family, shopping, or traveling!

Have a question or want to work with Elizabeth? Send her an email!

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