Wednesday, November 2, 2011

State Fair

It's that time of year.  The Arizona State Fair is here. So, we decided to take a fieldtrip.  I used to go to the Texas State Fair with my family as a child so I have many happy memories of the fair.  I also grew up watching the movie "State Fair".  So, as I planned this trip, I had visions of children in overalls enjoying the petting zoo, grandmothers entering pie contests, barbershop quartets, grilled corn, and cotton candy.  Actually, this is what I envisioned.

Pretty picturesque, right?  Well, those days seem to be a thing of the past.  I was not going to find this at the Arizona State Fair this year.  But, I did find some really great and educational things to share with the kids and we had a fun day laughing, riding, and eating...and we were thoroughly exhausted at dusk when we left.  Here is a more realistic picture of our day at the fair.

Here is how we do the fair.  

1. We register as a fieldtrip (they even have a special form for homeschool families).  It is free to park and enter the fair when you register as a fieldtrip.
2. We do the ABC 15 Read and Ride.  Each of the school age kids reads three books, writes three reports, and receives three free rides.
3. We pack our own lunch and bring tons of water bottles.

So far, it is basically free!  Yay.

4. We plan our trip on $2 ride day and buy a limited amount of tickets.  The kids know how many rides they get and then choose which ones they will ride.  I like the life lessons that are sure to come as someone uses up their rides and then finds "the best ride" and has to forgo.  Over the years, the kids have learned to look at all the rides first and then choose carefully:)
5. We buy a few different foods to snack on in the afternoon.
6. We take TONS of pictures:)
So, each year is a little different as far as what the AZ State Fair is offering for educational exhibits.  This year we had a blast in the butterfly exhibit.  Here are a few pictures.

Wesley dipped this Q-tip in nectar and then the butterfly landed on it.  We were all amazed.

What little girl doesn't want to see butterflies up close?  Abby was overjoyed with this exhibit.

What amazingly beautiful little creatures that God made for us to enjoy.

Even my older boys were interested in the butterflies and really got into watching them in their natural habitat (if you can call the fair a "natural habitat"...haha).
This is our happy baby boy.  After a nap and lunch, he was ready to go for a while longer:)

Here are a few pictures of the kids on rides.  First, the bumper boats.

It's tough to be the little guy who isn't tall enough to ride with the older kids so, I took Seth on a special ride just for him.

Next were the bumper cars.  Hmmm...there seems to be a theme of "bumper" rides...must be all the boys:)  The bumper cars were definitely the favorite this year.

Do you think that just maybe these boys are having fun?  I love the expression on Wesley's face.

This is not a great picture and yet the expression of glee is so fantastic that I just had to share it.
 When you have all brothers, you have to join in the roughness from time to time.  Abby gave the boys a run for their money in her own bumper car.

This is one of my favorite shots from the day.  I love how they are holding hands...and we didn't even tell them to:)  ...and yes, the orange shirts were intentional and helped us keep track of everyone.

There was a great train area that we could have stayed at for hours.  But the babies wouldn't last (neither would the parents).  

 Just before leaving we watched a little racing and were treated to a great view of an Arizona skyline at sunset.

We then gathered up all the tired kids (and exhausted parents) and headed home to curl up on the couch with a good movie and a bowl of popcorn.

1 comment:

  1. These are great pictures, Allison! And I didn't know about the "nectar on a q-tip trick". Sofia has a butterfly kit and so I think we'll be able to try that when we get butterflies. Glad you guys had a good time!