Disclosure: We were provided tickets to the South Florida Fair to facilitate this review and giveaway. As always, all opinions are our own.
It's South Florida Fair time! We are excited to share with you the new and exciting things to do at the fair. Plus, we're giving Newsy Parents readers a chance to win 4 tickets to this year's fair. Before we get to both Newsy Dad & Newsy Mom's perspectives on Palm Beach County's oldest and largest annual event, check out our video about our adventure as a family to the fair!
NEWSY DAD'S PERSPECTIVE:
Let me start off by saying, I'm not a fair person. I grew up in one of the fly-over states in the middle of the country where fairs are really popular. So popular that we not only had a state fair, but each county also had a fair. Fairs are big in middle America because those states are known agricultural states and to me, that is the primary reason for the fair.
I lived in a small town that was surrounded by farms, but we were close enough to the big city that I would consider myself more of a city kid than a country kid. We always went to the fair, either as a family or later in my teens with friends. It was just something to do. Since moving around the country I've been to fairs in several states and each one seems to be the same: rides, food, shows and animals.
This year, however was the first time the kids were tall enough to really enjoy it. We went two years ago, but Lil' Tank was 1 so there wasn't a lot for her to do. But now she is older and wants to do whatever Monkey does. Monkey see. Monkey do. Alright, couldn't help myself.
The fair takes on a whole new experience when you see the excitement of your child's face as you drive up to the gate with all the rides in view. Monkey and Lil' Tank could hardly contain themselves when they saw the Ferris wheel towering over the fairgrounds.
They loved this one fun house called Rumble in the Jungle, running through it 3 or 4 straight times before we convinced them to try something else. They rode on every single merry-go-round type ride, whether it was "Dumbo" the elephant or monster trucks or the carousel itself with all the horses. They also tried a couple kiddie roller coasters and the overhead chairlift that takes you from one end of the midway to the other. Their absolute favorite though had to be the Ferris wheel. They went on it during the day and could see all over the park, but when we went again at night with all the colorful lights, it was spectacular.
NEWSY MOM'S PERSPECTIVE:
I'm really the complete opposite of Newsy Dad. I didn't grow up going to the fair, even though the one in Texas is BIG. Just like the saying goes, everything's bigger in Texas. We never really went because we didn't live in the same city as the fair and my parents who are from another country didn't want to make the drive every year.
So I've tried to make it a point to visit the fair in other places I've lived. Yes, they all have the same structure - rides, food, music, animals and shows. But each is specific to the local community. I love knowing and sharing stories about where I live. I remember when I began my broadcasting career in Yuma, Arizona, I covered the fair every single day. It was the biggest event in town! The other station even broadcasted their newscasts live from the fair. BIG DEAL.
When we moved to Florida and I started working for the Palm Beach Zoo, I established a relationship with the South Florida Fair. That's when we took Monkey & Lil Tank for the first time. Since they were so young and so little, we didn't ride the rides. We visited with the animals and watched the ice skating show. As a former figure skater and coach, I still enjoy those performances. It takes me back. So this year when we arrived at the fairgrounds, we asked the girls what they'd like to do first. As you saw in our video above, the RIDES! They've got some news ones including the Beach Shack, Happy Swing and Monster Trucks, all featured in the video.
Knowing that they're big roller coaster fanatics just by our recent trips to Disney (see how we surprised them here), I wanted to find out more about the unlimited wristbands. While doing a search online, it was hard to find the exact information I was looking for. So I'm now sharing my knowledge with you. Every single person who goes on a ride either needs a wristband or tickets. Every single person. So when it says 36" or 42" with adult, it means that adult also needs a wristband or tickets. The wristband is $25 or you can purchase 25 tickets for $25. But since rides range anywhere from three to six tickets, the wristband is the way to go!
The first thing we did was measure Monkey & Lil Tank to see which rides they were able to ride. We also picked up this handy pamphlet that listed the rides and height requirements, so when we'd see the name of the attraction, we would look it up on our go-to guide to see if they could go on it. I highly suggest picking one up... it's available in the area where you purchase your ride tickets.
As Newsy Dad said, traditionally fairs came into existence as a way to highlight agriculture and farming, so I decided to dress the part. When Monkey saw me, she exclaimed, "Mom, you look like a cowgirl!"
Of course, I wore my Hip Hugger by Petals & Stems, which I previously wrote about here. It's a fantastic and stylish way to be hands-free with the kids!
Walking from ride to ride definitely wears you out. Lil Tank's favorite phrase when she's tired is "my legs are too tired for walking." Then, she stand in front of you and lift her arms up. Thankfully, her sister obliged to carrying her around. So sweet! Meanwhile, I decided it was time for someone to push me around. IN. THE. STROLLER. Not really. I don't get wheeled around, but I do sit in it when the girls are on a ride. You know, for years I always wished I was taller but if it means I can sit in a stroller, I'll take my vertical-challengedness. Is that a word?
As Newsy Dad wrote, we had a blast at the fair. The only time Lil Tank stopped smiling and got really sad (picture below) is when she couldn't go on a ride her sister could. It wasn't even a ride. It was more of a playground that only allowed children 40" and up. It's called MarioLand. You climb up ladders and slide down slides. It really did look like fun. Poor Lil Tank.
But a quick back and forth trip high above the fairgrounds on the sky ride quickly brought back the smile, along with a night-time ride on the Ferris wheel.
If you'd like to visit the South Florida Fair, here's all the information you need to know including hours, admission and even a map of the attractions, gates and parking so you can plan your visit!
We had such a great time at the fair as you can tell by our video and pictures. We can't wait to go back to visit with the animals and see the ice skating show!
But now, we're teaming up with the South Florida Fair to offer one lucky Newsy Parents reader a chance to win FOUR ADMISSION TICKETS to the fair, redeemable for use on or before it ends on February 1, 2015.
This giveaway starts on Friday, January 23, 2015 and will close at 11:59 PM EST on Wednesday, January 28, 2015. Must be 18 years old to enter.
· Visit the South Florida Fair’s Facebook page here and if you'd like, give them a "like".
· Leave a comment on their Facebook page about why you would like to go to the South Florida Fair and be sure to include my special hashtag - #NewsyParents - in your comment.
And, if you'd like to be notified of more Newsy Parents giveaways, connect with us on social media by clicking the icons above and subscribing to our email list here.