This Minnesota State Fair guide includes tips and information on food, rides, dates, ticket prices, hours, and accessibility.
Minnesota State Fair Guide
When we were invited by Visit Roseville to attend a press trip in the city and go to the Minnesota State Fair, we literally squealed! We’d always wanted to go and thankfully, now that we’re digital nomads, we were able to work the visit into our schedule.
We spent over five hours at the fair, although you can easily spend all day there. We tried all kinds of food, went on rides, and took in the fun atmosphere.
We wanted to create this Minnesota State Fair guide to show you why this fair is amazing and why you should plan a trip to visit. We also wanted to offer tips so that when you do visit, you’ll have the best day ever!
We also made a video, so it’s almost like you were there with us! It’s at the end of the article. 🙂
Minnesota State Fair Food
The Minnesota State Fair food is incredible, and honestly, the biggest reason why we were excited to go to the fair. We’d heard about all kinds of food that we wanted to try, both from social media and from friends.
What we didn’t realize, however, is that there are about 300 concession stands at the fair and all together they serve about 500 different kinds of food. Also, about 60 of these incredible meals come on a stick! How awesome is that?!
So what were we most excited to try? The fried cheese curds. Ever since we tried cheese curds in Milwaukee, Wisconsin our lives just haven’t been the same.
What were we most curious to try? Sweet Martha’s Cookies. Martha has been making cookies since 1979 and in 2018, their cookies brought in a whopping five million dollars in 12 days. We’d seen this video about Sweet Martha’s Cookies and ever since, we’d wondered if they really were that good.
But besides those two things, we wanted to try as much as we could and I think we were pretty successful. We kept hearing about other yummy treats we had to get as we spoke to people, and by the end of the day, we managed to eat everything that had been on our ever growing list of Minnesota State Fair food to try.
Our first food stop actually ended up being Sweet Martha’s Cookie Jar. There are a few locations strategically placed around the fairgrounds, but we visited the one on the west side of Underwood St. between Murphy and Lee avenues.
It was early morning, but there were already people lining up. You can buy either a bucket of cookies or, if you feel that may be too much, you can buy a cone of cookies instead. So does Sweet Martha’s deserve the hype…??
Yes!! The cookies were so good!! Especially since they are constantly baking cookies, you’ll get them as they’re out of the oven which means they are warm and gooey.
We will say that it’s best to eat them when you first get them. If you save them for later, they get a little hard. But still, a hard cookie is still better than no cookie lol!
Our next food stop was Tom Thumb Donuts. Their cinnamon-sugar mini donuts are great and come with 16 mini donuts per bag for $5.
Next, we stopped at Pronto Pups. Here we tried a Pronto Pup, which is a 6″ flour-battered deep-fried hot dog. It’s similar to a corn dog, but the batter is different, which makes it a “pronto pup” instead of a corn dog.
To be honest, we didn’t taste much of a difference between it and corn dogs we’ve eaten in the past (maybe because their flour-based batter also contains some corn meal, wheat flour, and rice flour). We just know that it tasted great!
Our next delicious food stop was Big Fat Bacon.
Bacon on-a-stick hadn’t even been on our radar, but when we saw it, we knew we had to have it. This 1/3-pound bacon is grilled with maple syrup and ended up being our biggest food surprise of the fair. Seriously guys, it was amazing!
Next, we headed inside the Food Building. Inside there are dozens of food vendors, but we were there for one… Mouth Trap Cheese Curds. There are some other concessions at the fair that sell cheese curds, but we were told by locals that they don’t compare to Mouth Trap.
The line was long, but behind the counter is a well oiled machine. The employees are quick and efficient and within what seemed like seconds, we had our delicious deep-fried cheese curds.
My mouth is watering as I type this…
They were tasty, chewy, and just… yum! We could’ve eaten two servings, but chose to practice self control (it was SO hard) in order to try more of the food that still remained on our list.
As we started heading into our dessert phase, our next foodie stop was Deep Fried Candy Bars. Here they have batter-dipped deep-fried candy bars on-a-stick like Snickers, Milky Way, 3 Musketeers, and even Reese’s peanut butter cups.
We, however, were there for the deep-fried Oreo cookies. We’d had fried Oreos before, so we were excited to have them again. Although we felt like there could have been a little less batter (the batter/cookie ratio was a bit off), it was still pretty good.
Our last treat of the day was at Dairy Goodness Bar inside the Dairy Building. We’d heard their sundaes were the best, but especially the strawberry sundaes so that was what we got. The sundae was rich and creamy and tasted so fresh! We really enjoyed it!
Oh! Before we forget… for those of you that like beer, we recommend you check out The Hanger. They have beer flights and small snacks too.
Minnesota State Fair Rides
Besides food, you’ve also got to check out the Minnesota State Fair rides! There are three main areas where the rides are located: Adventure Park, Mighty Midway, and Kidway (for the kiddos).
All rides are priced individually, so you can just pay for what you want to ride. One of the best Minnesota State Fair tips we can give… keep in mind what you’ve eaten before going on certain rides. The last thing you want is to throw up that delicious food lol!
The Great Big Wheel is a Minnesota State Fair icon and a must-ride. Plus, it’s also the tallest traveling Ferris wheel in North America. It’s 15 stories high!
Overall, we think there are about 40 rides and attractions, so if you’re main reason to visit is to go on the Minnesota State Fair rides, you will not be disappointed.
The ride we were most excited for was the Giant Slide. It’s always been a fair favorite for us, and we were thrilled that the line wasn’t too long. Down we went as we giggled with glee!
Minnesota State Fair Grandstand
There are a few places where you can do some shopping at the fair, but we recommend checking out the Grandstand. There are two levels, with many of the items being locally made.
Pretty much anything you can think of is there, from clothes to kitchen appliances and from makeup to saunas. We even spent a few minutes testing out a massage chair!
Minnesota State Fair Lineup
Want to hear some great music? The Minnesota State Fair lineup is great every year. In 2019 they had musicians like Dierks Bentley, Lionel Richie, and Hootie & the Blowfish, just to name a few.
Some of the concerts you have to pay extra for, but there are also many that are included in the general admission price. These concerts can be found in locations all around the fairgrounds and throughout the day and night.
Minnesota State Fair Schedule
The Minnesota State Fair dates are always the 12 days leading up to and through Labor Day. The Minnesota State Fair schedule for the next few years is…
2020: Aug. 27 – Sept. 7
2021: Aug. 26 – Sept. 6
2022: Aug. 25 – Sept. 5
That should you give you plenty of time to plan your future trips… 😉
Minnesota State Fair Hours
There are a few different hours that we’d like to point out, because they vary depending on where you want to go or what you want to do. The fairgrounds themselves and ticket booths open at 6am.
Most of the buildings open at 9am, except for the Food Building which opens at 8am. For rides, both Adventure Park and Mighty Midway open at 10am and Kidway opens at 9am.
The fairgrounds close at midnight, with the ticket booths closing at 10pm. Most of the buildings close at 9pm, except for the Food Building which closes at 10pm. Adventure Park and Mighty Midway close at midnight and Kidway closes at 10:30pm.
Minnesota State Fair Tickets
We think the price of Minnesota State Fair tickets is relatively cheap; maybe all the other fairs we’ve gone to have been over priced lol!
Adults (13-64): $15
Seniors (65+): $13
Kids (5-12): $13
Children (4 and under): Free
To get even more bang for your buck, the fair also offers discount days such as Military Appreciation Day, Seniors and Kids Day, and even Read & Ride Day which offers discounted admission prices if you show your valid public library card.
We wanted to include an accessibility section in this Minnesota State Fair guide, because it’s important that everyone be able to enjoy the fair. We are happy to report that the fair is wheelchair friendly and deaf friendly!
At the fair you can rent wheelchairs and scooters and they even have designated areas with special electrical outlets for recharging scooters. The fair also provides ASL interpreters for some of their shows and special requests for interpreter services can be requested ahead of time.
Minnesota State Fair Tips
Here are some additional Minnesota State Fair tips that we hope will ensure your day at the fair is incredible…
- We highly recommend downloading the Minnesota State Fair app. It has maps, daily schedules, and lists of nearby food concessions.
- If you want to try a lot of different food, consider sharing with a friend or family member. It will save you money and save room in your tummy for more yummy treats.
- Bring comfortable shoes that you can walk around in all day.
- Check the weather! If its raining, bring a poncho (it’s easier than an umbrella). If it’s super sunny, the fair does provide free sunscreen at their information booths.
- Bring a backpack if you think you’ll be shopping or taking home any snacks. For security purposes, it will be searched when you enter. Keep in mind though, that there are no storage lockers.
- If you are visiting with kids or picky eaters, we recommend bringing a cooler. You are allowed to bring in outside food and drinks (no alcohol).
- There are cell phone charging stations located throughout the fairgrounds, but we recommend bringing your own portable cell phone charger.
- Make sure you’re around for the parade, which takes place daily at 2pm, rain or shine. The bands were awesome!
- We recommend staying at the Courtyard by Marriott Roseville. It’s only 12 minutes from the fairgrounds and has great amenities.
A Day At The Minnesota State Fair Video
We hope you enjoy our video!
Final Thoughts On The Minnesota State Fair
We had such a great time at the fair and would recommend it to anyone that’s in the area at that time. The food, the rides, the atmosphere… it’s all so fun!
We hope that you’ve found this Minnesota State Fair guide useful and that it helps you plan your trip. If you have any questions that we haven’t answered, please feel free to ask them in the comments below. 🙂