Family Guide to the 2018 Wisconsin State Fair

The Wisconsin State Fair – Families and friends alike look forward to these 11 days of summer all year long.

It’s deep-fried cheese, cream puffs, farm animals, pickles the size of your face, live music, and so much more. People from all over Wisconsin and beyond head to the fair in August each year, and we are lucky to just be a short drive away from Milwaukee! In 2017, more than ONE MILLION people visited the Wisconsin State Fair. Now that’s incredible!

You could spend all 11 days at the Wisconsin State Fair and still not hit every attraction.  So, we’ve got the highlights for you, putting the spotlight on the features FAMILIES will want to know about and our “must-see” fair favorites.


Enter to win one of two 4-pack of admission tickets to the Wisconsin State Fair! 


Simply enter your name and valid email address in the form below. *We will contact the winner via the email submitted. Please also be sure to comment on this Facebook post with your favorite part of the fair! 

Only one entry per person. Duplicate entries will be deleted. Giveaway ends Sunday, July 29th , 2018 at 11:59 pm (CST). We will announce the winner on Monday, July 30th.

Click Here to Enter to Win a 4-pack of Tickets!

Regular Admission Policies

Adult Admission (age 12 to 59) :: $14
Youth Admission (age 6 to 11) :: $8
Kids Age 5 and under are FREE! 

*Parents of older kids :: Fairgoers under 18 years of age entering the Fair after 6 pm must be accompanied by a parent 21 years of age or older. Proof of age is required.

Discount Days
Check out these Admission Deals for more info on how to save on regular admission prices. See website for more details. 

  • August 2nd: Wells Fargo $2 Day 
  • August 3rd: Discover Wisconsin Day
  • August 6th: Kohl’s Family Value Day
  • August 8th: Meijer Day
  • August 12th: Veteran and Military Recognition Day

Classic Fair Hot Spots

Original Cream Puffs: Did you know there is a Cream Puff Drive-Thru? Yup, you can order your favorite fair treat 24 hours in advance and swing by to pick them up from 6 to 8 am inside Gate 6. But sometimes half the fun is waiting in line at the Original Cream Puff Pavilion and watching the famous pastry chefs create these delectable delights right in front of your eyes! 

The Giant Slide: It’s iconic. It’s cheap. Kids and adults alike love it. In 2017 alone, the Giant Slide had 125,000 rides! This year is extra special for Giant Slide fans since this beloved attraction is celebrating its 50th Anniversary!

The SkyGlider: The ultimate in people-watching from a birds-eye view! One-way tickets are $4.50, and round-trip is $7. Tickets are available at each end of the SkyGlider near the Exposition Center and on North Grandstand Avenue.

Fair Food!

Here are just a few of our favorites as well as some of the new options for 2018: 

Cheese CurdsCheese Curds

After all Wisconsin IS the cheese capital of the world! And they serve them up all sorts of delicious ways at the State Fair! Poutine Cheese Curds at Duke’s Poutine. Leine’s Beer Battered Cheese Curds at Saz’s. Beer battered, pretzel coated cheese curds at Tropics at the Fair. The list goes on and on!


Meat on a Stick

Foot long corn dog. Kabobs. Bacon-wrapped shrimp tempura on a stick. BBQ Pork Chop on a stick. Beer-battered, bacon-wrapped Cheddar Sausage on a stick. Seriously….the list goes on and on. The Wisconsin State Fair has a seriously impressive selection of on-a-stick delicacies!


Roasted Corn on the Cob

A trip to the fair just isn’t complete without corn on the cob! 




Milwaukee Bucks Milk House

Make sure you meander over near the Expo Building to check out the new flavors at the Milk House! Kids always love the Root Beer flavor milk, but there always seems to be a new, surprising flavor for you to sample. The line moves quick and this is a great stop for families with small kids! And don’t forget to grab a photo with Bango!


New Foods at the 2018 Wisconsin State Fair

You can find the whole list of brand new fair foods RIGHT HERE, but these creations really have piqued our interest: 

Deep fried turducken on a stick; Ants on a Stick; S’mores Beer Float (YUM!); French Onion Soup on a Stick (apparently you can really put ANYTHING on a stick!); Cran-noli… Again, there are SO MANY more amazing foods to try!!

Insider Tip: Check out Crazy Grazin’ Day at the Fair. On August 7th, you can sample a variety of Fair foods from more than 50 food vendors who offer smaller sizes of your favorite items at reduced pricesCheck out the lineup to make your plan of attack! 

Best Attractions for Kids

Kohl's Activity ZoneKohl’s Activity Zone

The Kohl’s Activity Zone is just full of enjoyable and interactive activities that are perfect for families. A real crowd favorite, this area opens at 9 am, and will close at 5 pm daily. You can find it on South Grandstand Avenue. 

What can you expect at the Kohl’s Activity Zone? 

Insider TipIf you can only make it to ONE DAY of the fair this year, make it Monday, August 6th. It’s Kohl’s Family Value Day, so adult admission is only $6 and kids under the age of 11 are FREE! 

We Energies Park

If you are coming to the Fair with toddlers or young children, make this your very first stop upon arrival. You can pick up a safety wristband to help keep your child safe while you and your family enjoy your day. There will also be fun demonstrations about electricity and teaching kids about energy. Cooking and grilling presentations, gardens, up close and personal encounters with eagles, hawks, owls and other birds and so much more make this attraction on the west side of the Fair Park on Wetley Way at Center Street an absolutely must-see for families. 


Sea Lion Splash

This attraction will teach valuable lessons about marine wildlife and conservation while entertaining crowds of all ages. The sea lions will amaze as they balance balls, shoot hoops and even perform handstands! This is the only traveling sea lion show in the U.S. with 30-minute shows running throughout the day. Find it at South Grandstand Avenue. 

Exploratory Park

Take your family on an adventure through Exploratory Park! This oasis on the south side of the Fair Park features hands-on stations for kids of all ages! UW-Extension will bring you daily activities to spark your creativity, including wildlife education and button making. Learn about state parks, forests and natural areas from the DNR. Plus, you can still get your DNR state parks and trail passes to keep the exploring going all year long!

Have a seat and relax while the kids play on in the NEW Playground area located in the center of Exploratory Park.

Racing Pigs

With races running throughout the day, it’s easy to find a race that fits your family’s schedule. The presenters always do an amazing job of getting the crowd involved! Pick a pig and get cheering! Found at the Racing Animals Arena. 

Barns & Animals

wisconsin state fair animal barns

Introduce yourself to cows, horses, pigs, sheep, goats and more! You can also check out the House of Moo in the southeast end of the Cattle Barn and the Milking Parlor in the southeast corner of the Horse Barn to learn about Wisconsin’s vibrant dairy industry. Milking demonstrations take place daily at 11 am, 1 pm, 3 pm and 5 pm. 

Don’t miss the Discovery Barnyard where the entire family will enjoy discovering animal agriculture and experiencing agricultural exhibits and demonstrations daily from 9 am – 9 pm. Located in Ag Village, east of the Farm and Family Building on Sue Wetley Court and Third Street.

Insider Tip: Visit the barns early in your day. As the temperature climbs outside, the barns also heat up quickly so it’s better to check them out early. 

More Cool Kid Stuff

There are more kid-friendly activities and things to see than we have room to share here. Here are a few more activities and features you might want to check out.

  • Daily Parade, a fair tradition has a new start time and route! It kicks off at 2 pm daily with street entertainers, marching bands, tractors, and more. Visit any Fair Information Center for the parade route.
  • Spin City, with more than 50 amazing rides and attractions, plus a Kiddie Area for the younger fairgoers. Insider Tip: If your kid lives to ride the rides, spring for the unlimited daily rides wristband or you will go broke buying a la carte ride tickets. 
  • K-9 Sports Arena, located in the Big Backyard, features shows and demonstrations hourly on the half-hour on weekdays with additional shows on weekends. See dog dock diving, frisbee, agility courses, Police K-9 units and much more!
  • Pig Slide, located on Wetley Way by the Swine Barn. Everyone knows about the Giant Slide, but there are photo-ops galore at the Pig Slide. Moms and Dads, consider yourselves challenged to do it too. The kids will LOVE it! 

New This Year — Three New Attractions for FREE Fun!

Cheese Curd Eating Championship: The competition will take place Saturday, August 11 at noon at the Associated Bank Amphitheater. Be there for the squeak heard ’round the world!

Cow-Temporary Art Walk: Visit all the stops on the Cow-Temporary Art Walk and take home a prize! Pick up a punch card and prizes in the lobby of the Exposition Center near the Young People’s Art Exhibit.

Lambeau Field Live: Located on the west side of the Fair Park near the Racing Animals Arena, this will be a hit for the whole family.

Wisconsin State Fair – Good to Know

Free Sunscreen
Look for one of three FREE sunflower sunscreen stations conveniently located throughout the Fair Park (in SpinCity, near the Guest Services Pavilion and in front of We Energies Energy Park). 

Free ID Bracelets
Stop by the We Energies Park to grab a safety bracelet to help keep your kids safe throughout your fair experience.

Nursing Stations and Baby Care Areas
Families can visit one of three private, comfortable areas designated as Family/Baby Care Centers; one in the Exposition Center, one in the Guest Services Pavilion and one of North Grandstand Avenue next to Bell Ambulance. Each center offers an area for nursing mothers as well as a diaper changing station.

Stroller and Wagon Rental
If you’d rather leave your stroller at home, it’s easy to rent a single stroller or wagon at the Guest Services Pavilion or Transit Center. 

Fun & Food Finders
Want to find a certain attraction or exhibit? Searching for a specific food? Use the search feature on the State Fair Website or the handy Food Finder tool.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply