By Alyssa Green
There is big fun on the horizon! Lace up those running shoes and get ready to move as the 2012 California State Fair gets underway. This year’s theme, Fun That Moves You promises to delight and entertain fairgoers for 18 days running.
Opening at Cal Expo on Thursday, July 12th and closing two and half weeks later on Sunday, July 29th, the fair promises plenty of fun to go around for people of all ages. So grab the kids (and the grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins…) and start making plans to head on out to Cal Expo next week. Here’s a list of family friendly happenings:
Entertainment and Special Exhibits
Birds of Paradise – Enjoy an adventure of a lifetime by wandering into “Birds in Paradise” located in the Floriculture Exhibit area. This lush environment will be full of all kinds of colorful tropical birds in a jungle surrounding. The “Birds in Paradise” is free with fair admission and is appropriate for fair-goers of all ages.
Wizards Challenge – This magical experience is a 10,000 sq. ft. family attraction, which is free to the public and consists of dozens of highly interactive and entertaining exhibits and activities. Kids and adults get to use their hands and minds to explore the amazing world of science and technology. See if you can stay on your feet as you walk through a dizzying 20 ft long rotating dragon’s lair. Grip the dragon’s tail and he tells you the strength of your grip. Leave your body imprint on a huge wall of nails or check out the Wizard’s amazing energy machine, a colorful and animated “Rube Goldberg” contraption. Make music using light beams and enchanted instruments or experience magic cauldrons and mirrors which will morph your image with another. Or dare to enter the Knight’s Training area of competitions and challenges. The Magic of Science show will entertain and delight you, perhaps you’ll be one of the lucky apprentice wizards who will be invited up on stage during one of three performances each day.
Kids Park – Located on the east side of the fairgrounds. Butler Amusements is happy to provide kid-friendly games and rides. For your safety, it is always up to the ride operator to decide if it is safe for you to ride.
Wet-n-wild California – California Department of Water Resources and California of Fish and Game team up on a water and wildlife exhibit designed to educate the public about native animals and how water impacts their habitats. See raccoon, bobcat, bald eagle, rattlesnake and amphibians in enclosures similar to their native habitats. Wildlife presentations with a beaver, turkey vulture, North American porcupine, desert tortoise and hawk at 1, 3, 5 and 7 p.m. daily.
Splash Dogs – Splash Dogs is a nationally recognized dog enthusiast company that organizes and promotes dock jumping events across the United States. Splash Dogs strives to provide a family oriented competitive atmosphere. Splash Dogs is a sanctioning body for dock jumping and dock diving events.
Poppy’s Birthday – Come join Poppy’s friends to celebrate his birthday with free cake, music, magic, and entertainment for the whole family!
The Farm – The centerpiece of the State Fair agricultural programs is the Merrill Award “living exhibit” known as “The Farm”. Presented by Save Mart Supermarkets, “The Farm” is open Monday -Thursday, 11a.m. – 8p.m. and Friday – Sunday, 10a.m. – 8p.m. There are plenty of activities for the entire family to enjoy.
Ag Ventureland – Farmhands Trail Ride, Hitching Post Pony Photos, and more.
Check out the State Fair website for information on the insect pavilion, Aquaculture exhibit, live entertainment, Motorcross, Destruction Derby and Midway of Fun.
Specials and Discounts
Tuesdays – Kids Day – FREE admission for children 12 and under; all rides just $1
Wednesdays – Wells Fargo Wednesdays – $6 admission & $15 wristbands for everyone.
Fridays – 62 & Better Days – Admission $8 for adults 62 & older (before 8pm.)
July 19th – First Responders Day – FREE Admission for active duty military & law enforcement with ID on July 19th only.
State Fair Fun Pack – Costco Members only – $27.99. Includes 2 general admission tickets, 1 parking pass and 1 $10 food voucher. Available for purchase at Costco stores only.
Poppy Pack – $44.95. Includes 4 general admission tickets, 4 midway or monorail tickets, and 1 parking pass.
2012 Season Pass – $29.99. Unlimited admission to the California State Fair and Raging Waters through the duration of the fair.