Family Fun at the Santa Barbara County Fair
This summer, we took our kids to both the Santa Barbara County Fair (located in Santa Maria, California) and the California Mid-State Fair (located in Paso Robles, California). This blog post is going to be all about the Santa Barbara County Fair! While our four older kids went on a camping trip with their grandpa, Frank and I headed to the Santa Barbara County fair with our two youngest boys. They had a blast! When we got there, I pulled out my selfie stick and snapped a few pictures of us before the day started getting busy. It always amazes me how many pictures we need to take before we get everyone (or at least the majority) cooperating for a good photo (ha ha)!
We brought a few water bottles with us (really smart decision as it was pretty hot that day) and purchased our tickets at the gate. At the gate, Adult tickets were $10 each, Children (ages 6-11) were $7 each and Children (under 5) were free! You can also buy the tickets beforehand and get better rates or go on Bargain Days (i.e. $1 Tuesdays). Once inside, we headed for the Carnival Ride ticket booth. I highly recommend purchasing wristbands for the kids to use on rides all day. We would have pre-purchased them before the fair, but going to the Santa Barbara County Fair was a last minute idea. With the wristbands, you can go on any of the rides as many times as you want, as long as you meet the height requirements.
The boys headed straight for what I call the “dragon ride” and had a blast. It was so great because they were able to walk off the ride and walk right back on! There were not many people at the fair yet and it was awesome! They went on a LOT of rides that day! Their favorites were the Dragon Swing, the “Spaceship,” the bumper cars and the Fun House. They had at least two different Fun Houses. One was a spooky one (they said it was lame – ha ha!) and one was a Beach theme.
Now, you’ll notice I included a picture of the Zipper Ride (I think that’s what it’s called?). Thankfully, the boys didn’t want to go on that ride. I have traumatic memories of that ride when I was a kid. I remember the guy who operated was missing teeth, had dirty hair and clothes and an evil laugh (I’m not even kidding)! I remember the cage kept flipping over and over again and wouldn’t stop! I was in tears and screaming for it to stop and then it finally stopped. But then the worse thing ever happened. It started going again, but the opposite direction!! Oh my gosh – that was the worse ride ever and I will never go on it again (unless someone bets me a lot of money to do it – ha ha!)!!! Do you have any rides you were terrified of as a child and won’t go on as an adult?
One thing I love about fairs is the food! There are so many different flavors and kinds of food. I would definitely say to look for coupons on deals at the fair beforehand or split dishes with friends and family as the fair food can get pretty dang expensive! The boys enjoyed lemonade with hot dogs and pizza and Frank and I had beer on tap with Grilled Chicken Shish-kabobs. At the end of day, we had to go for a Funnel Cake. It was so good!!!
After eating, it was time to walk off some of those calories! We headed to the Livestock area and discovered that one of the boys’ friends had won with his goat through 4H. Makes me definitely want to have enough property so we could have our goats or chickens some day!
After checking out the livestock, we walked around the Expo Hall. Before we left, the boys discovered these giant inflatable balls on water that they could go in. We said yes and they loved it! On our way out, we saw a cute little replica of the fair – only it had chicks throughout it! We also saw an old woman on a stilt walker. It was so funny!
We had a great time at the fair!! It was a lot of fun and I can’t wait to go again next year (this time with discounted tickets and wristbands)!!
What is your favorite thing to do at the fair?
Have you been to the Santa Barbara County Fair before?