Where do you get carnival rides and games, farm animals, the junk food gamut, live entertainment, pony rides, piglet races, and wares for sale all in once place? The County Fair. And the season for them is about to begin. Get the details on this year’s events around the area and get ready to have some FUN!
Howard County Fair
What: The 72nd annual fair begins this coming weekend, and you have through next Saturday to enjoy rides, magic shows, musical entertainment in the evenings, pig races and pony rides, the Kids & Critters barn, Demolition Derby, a pro rodeo, and more. Most of the rides cost extra, and packages are available, so be sure to check out the website to see what’s available if you plan to go.
When: August 5-12, 8am – 11pm daily, though activity times vary, so be sure to check schedules.
Where: 2210 Fairground Road, West Friendship, MD
Cost: Admission is $5/age 10 and up, $2/seniors, free for kids under 10. Rides and games are extra.
Montgomery County Fair
What: This fair is a family fave. (You can get a glimpse of one of our experiences there and read a review from a few years ago), so trust me when I say that there is so much to do, you have to see the schedule on the website for yourself to get the full scope. Highlights include lots of 4-H exhibits and demos, including opportunities to visit with some of the animals; animal races, pony rides, a KidZone with interactive games and activities, tons of carnival and kiddie rides, arts & crafts, monster trucks and a demolition derby, and much more.
When: August 11-19, Times vary by day so check the schedule for specifics.
Where: Montgomery County Fairgrounds, 501 Perry Parkway, Gaithersburg, MD (Get directions)
Cost: Admission is $10/ages 12 and up, free for kids 11 and under. Tickets for rides cost extra. A one-day all-u-can-ride carnival wristband is available for $25. And note that parking is $10 at the fairgrounds, but FREE parking and shuttle bus service are available from Lakeforest Mall, located at Lost Knife Rd. and Odenhal Ave.
Prince William County Fair
What: Virginia’s largest annual county fair includes 4-H exhibits, rides, contests (think pie eating and water balloon tossing), animal shows, craft demos, the Children’s Barn, Kid’s Zone, live performances, and more. Note that August 11 is Kid’s Night when all admissions are $6. And there are other special days with all kinds of promos, so be sure to check the schedule for details.
When: August 11-19, Hours vary by day, so check the daily schedule on their website (scroll down the page).
Where: Prince William County Fairgrounds, 10624 Dumfries Rd., Manassas, VA.
Cost: Admission is $10/ages 14-59, $5/seniors and ages 5-13, free for ages 4 and under. Be sure to look for daily specials, too.
Arlington County Fair
What: We’ve been and have had a great time. It’s big enough for a fun-filled day, but not so huge that it’s overwhelming, and you feel rushed to get to everything. There are carnival rides for everyone from toddlers to adults, and the kids especially loved the pony rides and piglet races. You can also check out competitive exhibits, enjoy live entertainment, cheer on a variety of racing animals, view outdoor movies, and take the little ones to the Kids’ Court for moon bouncing, face painting, and more.
When: August 16-20, hours vary by day, so check the schedule for specifics.
Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Center, 3501 Second St., Arlington, VA. Get parking/shuttle information here.
Cost: Admission is free. Buy tickets to use for rides and other activities: $1/ticket, $20/24 tickets, $40/48 tickets.
Prince George’s County Fair
What: A variety of entertainment and attractions for all ages — 4-H exhibits magic and dance shows, pig and duck races, a horse pull competition, a chain saw artist, a K-9 show, and much more.
When: September 7-10, hours vary by day.
Where: Showplace Arena in Upper Marlboro, MD.
Cost: Admission is $6/ages 12 and up, $5/ages 6-11, free for ages 5 and under. Rides and games are extra.
Anne Arundel County Fair
What: Carnival rides and games, animal exhibits, monster trucks, pony rides, garden tractor pulls, pig races, pie eating contests, a talent show, live music and much more
When: September 13-17, check the website for hours.
Where: Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds at 1450 General’s Highway (Route 178) in Crownsville, MD
Cost: Admission is $6/ages 16 and up, $4/ages 8 – 15, free for ages 7 and under. Rides and games cost extra.