As a parent of a busy toddler, I am always looking for fun new ways to keep her happy, entertained, and engaged. I love doing new things together and watching her experience the world for the first time, which is why going to the fair was the perfect summer activity for us. Before I had a little one, the fair basically meant rides and deliciously fatty foods, but all the animals and exhibits are so fun when you have a kiddo in tow! My daughter is obsessed (seriously, that’s an understatement) with animals. She has been able to identify basically all farm animals for months now, along with many house pets and jungle animals as well. BUT…she had never seen any real-life farm animals! I know we live in Oregon, but we don’t live in the country or anything, so it’s just not something she gets to experience (aside from our own 17 chickens). I couldn’t wait to take her to see the animals at the fair – and the experience didn’t disappoint. Check it out, and then look for a fair in your area – your little one will love it!
Fun with Little Ones: Go to the Fair!
Looking for some summer fun with your little one? Head to the fair! Then click through to see our photos from Fern’s first time to the fair – she was in absolute heaven.
Looks are deceiving
Despite the look on her face, Fern was super excited about our outing to the Santa Barbara County Fair. We spent a good part of two days there and I’m pretty sure she would’ve opted to live there if we’d given her the option. So many fun things to see and do, but her favorite were the animals. This girl is the biggest animal lover there ever was.
My cousin Miranda participates in 4H, and the main reason for our recent trip down to Santa Barbara was to see her show her pig Otis, who she had spent the last year raising. This is him. Such a sweet pig and Fern loved him!
Getting up close and personal
Cousin Miranda helped Fern pet Otis the pig and she was beyond thrilled. It was really great to introduce Fern to all the animals, but also to see the great care that their owners have for them. She got to see feedings and groomings and it was completely enthralling for her.
"Baa! Baa! Baa!"
The sheep barn was pretty loud, but Fern didn’t mind! She stayed at this one pen for a good 15 minutes just checking out this little guy and shouting “Baa! Baa! Baa!” over and over. It was the first time she’d ever made a sheep noise!
So much excitement
You can just see the excitement on Fern’s face in this one. You would think it was Christmas and her birthday and a trip to Disneyland all rolled into one. Getting to pet a sheep? I’m pretty sure it was the best thing in all of her 18 months of life so far.
One of my favorite things about having a toddler is seeing the world through her eyes. Everything is new and exciting and meeting all of these animals was no exception. I just kept thinking about what the experience must have been like for her…the realization that all of the farm animals that she can identify from her puzzles and books are real-live creatures and massively large ones at that. She had never seen farm animals before and I loved seeing her eyes light up with each new animal.
I mean…I can’t even…
Is this real life?
Posing with a little deer friend. Right after this she gave it a big hug. I think the petting zoo was one of her favorite parts of the fair. She just kept running from animal to animal with an overflowing amount of love to share (AKA hugs for everyone). She could barely even contain it!
Pièce de résistance
The crowning moment of the experience was getting to ride a pony. I wish you could hear her ecstatic giggling through this photo. Such a special moment. Basically the fair is magical and you should totally take your little one. In addition to it being a fun way to spend the day, it can also be really educational!