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SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois State Fair always strives to make the fair an enjoyable time for all ages. For our youngest fairgoers, this weekend is the best time to get out and enjoy the fair.  Friday is Future of Kids Day, Saturday is Park District/Conservation Day and Sunday is Family Day.   Here are the top five FREE activities that families with children should take advantage of this weekend.   

  1. Happy Hollow Shows

    Right when fairgoers arrive at the main gate of the grounds they are greeted by the Happy Hollow sign, inviting fairgoers down to explore all it has to offer. Down in the Hollow there is an exotic petting zoo featuring camels, and monkeys. There are also camel rides and zorb bubbles. Free shows are featured daily such as Reptile Adventure and Woody’s Barnyard Racers. These are all fun activities you don’t want to miss. 

  2. Kids Korner

    Located just up the road from Happy Hollow in the south wing of the Emmerson Building is the wacky, exciting, and just plain fun Kids Korner. Kids can get a balloon animal made right outside the doors and once they walk in to the air conditioned area they can get their face painted, play with exciting toys, and watch kid-friendly shows, all for FREE! It’s a great place for parents to sit back and relax while their kids explore.

  3. Farmer’s Little Helper & Kids AG-tivity Tent

    Looking to learn more about Illinois’ #1 industry? Then, head down Brian Raney Avenue to the Gate 2 area to learn about Illinois agriculture. At Farmer’s Little Helpers kids learn by taking part in hands-on activities such as raising farm animals, tending to crops, and taking the harvest to market. When the work is done, Farmer’s Little Helpers sell their bounty for a “Market Dollar” and then spend it at the Grocery Store for a tasty treat! The learning and fun continues at the AG-tivity tent where kids can dig through corn, and play with tractors while learning more about agriculture.  

  4. Special Events Contests

    If you’re looking for a competitive event for your kids to compete in, check out one of the exciting special events taking place tomorrow. Sign up for the longest ponytail contest taking place at 11:00 am at the Shed. If you’re more creative, create a fun diaper for the decorated diaper contest at 3 pm at the Lincoln Stage. Immediately following is an event for the fast crawling kiddos, the diaper derby, where little tots race to the finish line on a safe carpeted area on Lincoln Stage at 4 pm. All of these competitions are free to enter and fun for all. 

  5. Conservation World

    On the far northwest side of the fairgrounds is the shaded, fun, and FREE Conservation World presented by the Department of Natural Resources. Families can enjoy free fishing clinics, and a safe archery and shooting range. It is a cool shaded area out of the sun. It features two ponds and plenty of vendors to enjoy. There are also many free shows to entertain children and families.

    There is so much fun to be had at the Illinois State Fair and it is a great place to spend a day with the family. When planning your day make sure you include these free activities and much more in your visit.

    The 2016 Illinois State Fair is going on now through August 21st. For more information please see our website or download our mobile app at iTunes or Google Play.