It’s county fair season! And just in time, too. As the start of a new school year looms less than two weeks away for some of us, a good old-fashioned county fair is just the quintessential seasonal activity needed to squeeze some more fun out of the summer break. A couple of have already begun, as I mentioned in the last round-up of weekend activities, there’s one starting today (hello, Arlington!), some of the biggest begin this weekend, and the fun will continue into September. Here are the basics on all of them, and more details can be found on the websites.
Arlington County Fair
What: Check out competitive exhibits, whirl on carnival rides, enjoy the Star Family Circus and other live entertainment, watch piglet races, view outdoor movies, and take the little ones to the Kids Court for moon bouncing, face painting, and more.
When: August 10-14, hours vary by day, so check the schedule here.
Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Center, 3501 Second St., Arlington, VA
How Much: Admission is free. There is a charge for rides and other activities.
Montgomery County Fair
What: Our family attended this fair last year (read a KFDC review of it here), so trust me when I say that there is so much to do, you have to check out the website and download the schedule to get the full scope. Highlights include Monster Truck Madness, an Alice in Wonderland performance, animal races, pony rides, a KidZone with interactive games and activities, tons of carnival and kiddie rides, arts & crafts, and 4-H exhibits and demos, including opportunities to pet some of the animals.
When: August 12 – 20, 8/12: 3pm – 12am, 8/14 – 21: fair runs 10am – Midnight, carnival runs 12pm – Midnight
Where: 16 Chestnut Street, Gaithersburg, MD
How Much: Admission is $10, free for kids 11 and under. A one-day all-u-can-ride carnival wristband is available for $25.
Howard County Fair
What: There are just a few more days left to enjoy rides, Shazam Magic Shows, pig races and pony rides, the Kids & Critters barn, 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. There will be live entertainment a couple of evenings—Richie Fields on Friday and Tori Anderson & Possum Holler on Saturday.
When: August 6 – 13, 8am – 11pm daily, though activity times vary, so be sure to check the schedule.
Where: 2210 Fairground Road,West Friendship, MD
How Much: Admission is $5/age 10 and up, $2/seniors, free for kids under 10. Rides and games are extra.
Prince William County Fair
What: Virginia’s largest annual county fair will include 4-H exhibits, rides, contests (think pie eating and water balloon tossing), rodeo, the Children’s Barn, Kid’s Zone, live performances, and more. On August 17, all rides are just $2.
When: August 12 – 20, Hours vary by day, so check the schedule on their website.
Where: Prince William County Fairgrounds. Get directions here.
How Much: $8/ages 7 and up, $5/seniors and kids ages 3-6, free for children 2 and under. Daily ride wristbands are available, but prices vary by day.
Anne Arundel County Fair
What: Farm exhibitions, rides, lots of live entertainment (including Rodney Atkins in concert), watermelon eating contests, and more.
When: September 14 – 18, check the website for hours.
Where: Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds, 1450 General’s Highway (Route 178), Crownsville, MD
How much: Admission is $6/ages 16 and up, $4/ages 8 – 15, free for ages 7 and under. Rides and games cost extra.