I used to try to make it to as many county fairs as possible – the grand poobah of which was the Big Eastern Exposition (known as “The Big E!”) over the border in Massachusetts (if you go, the Maine baked potatoes are MUST-EATS!). But this year, with a newborn, we decided to stay a little more local and eat our way through the Durham Fair, Connecticut!
Eating Our Way Through the Durham Fair, Connecticut
The Durham Fair happens to be the biggest in our state. And incidentally, my aunt and her family also work one of the concession stands, so that was a plus!
Admission Info: Kids under 11 get in free, and adults are $15. You have to park pretty far away and get shuttled in on a school bus – fortunately they allowed us to bring our big stroller, but I should have used a backpack instead of the diaper bag!
Our Favorite Fair Foods!
Although the weather was raw and gloomy, we enjoyed our day with no agenda other than eating as much fair food as possible!
It wasn’t the healthiest of days… We started with pulled pork and reuben sandwiches, so we could sort of say we had a decent lunch.
And then… chocolate covered bacon? Yes!
Deep-fried oreos? Yes!
Fried dough, apple fritters, fried chicken, root beer float?
Yes, yes, yes, yes!
Wash it all down with delicious hot coffee from the Middlefield Library Gourmet Coffee stand (really, the best deal at the fair and quite good! I had two cups!).
I think the only things we forgot were cotton candy and caramel apples! And the giant donut my aunt recommended. And a lime rickey. Oh boy, I think I need another whole day!
Mmmm. Totally terrible for us, but tasted so good!
The Durham Fair didn’t seem to have ANY toddler-friendly food (maybe pizza or a cheeseburger, but that was too messy for us to attempt!). I was hoping to find even a natural fruit smoothie shack or something! Our son, as much as he eats just about anything, really didn’t love fried foods (probably a good thing), so he picked at our food all day (he had a big breakfast!).
Hike the Hill to See all the Thrills!
To counteract all this eating, we trekked up and down the big hill several times, circling through all the fair buildings in a kind of haphazard manner. (No agenda! So unlike me, who usually has an Excel spreadsheet plan for everything!). The view from the top of the hill is stunning as the trees are just starting to change colors! This is a terrible photo because it was a dreary day, but you can see the view!
What to do at The Durham Fair, Connecticut
Did we do anything but eat? Um… oh yes, we toured the llama barn, cattle barn, commercial and craft buildings, saw some old-timey tractors, and giant pumpkins! Baby E? He slept right through the ENTIRE day, waking only to eat and be changed! Wow, he was unimpressed!
I was disappointed with the crafts as I didn’t see many local artists featured. And… I didn’t find the fair to be extremely breastfeeding/baby friendly. There were some rather grungy baby changing stations…. INSIDE THE BARNS!! When I asked if there was a dedicated place for nursing, I was told, anywhere. Which is great, on one hand, that it was so acceptable to nurse wherever. But it would have been nice to have somewhere warm for the baby to nurse in, rather than outside under a cold, damp food tent, sitting on a picnic bench. It’s one reason why, while I support BF-ing in public, it’s not really my favorite.
Our son had fun on the Midway playing a rubber ducky game that won him a little stuffed toy. (Have you noticed the “everybody’s a winner” trend with carnival games?).
And he got to play in the sandbox next to the guy carving a giant sand sculpture. A thoroughly dirty endeavor!
Did I mention the food was great? Ha ha! When it was time to leave, this is how we felt:
The Durham Fair, Connecticut is a great choice, because it’s just big enough to have all the exhibits and events you’d expect at a fair. But it’s small enough to tour all the exhibits in just one day.
My tips for parents traveling with kids to local fairs? Pack some of your own snacks and drinks, bring a change of clothes, wet wipes, and use a backpack as a diaper bag for easier handling if you have to be shuttled back and forth from parking.
VISIT OUR 2013 POST ON THE DURHAM FAIR!
Do you enjoy fall fairs? What’s your favorite part!?