Here’s a riddle for all you Indiana State Fair aficionados: Where can you give your kids a lesson in how to milk a cow, plant vegetables and the value of a dollar, all in one place? Answer: The Little Hands on the Farm exhibit!
Located in the Riley Fun Park on the northeast side of the Indiana State Fairgrounds, this exhibit is designed for kids ages 3-12, although my 2-year-old was in toddler heaven while we explored it. You’ll be greeted by one of the friendly staff, who will provide your child with an apron and a basket. Simply follow the path, marked by chicken footprints, all around the farm and complete certain tasks. My son’s favorite was apple picking in the orchard.
Once you finish all the activities, your kids will hand in the goodies they picked up along the way (like plastic vegetables and sheep’s wool), and earn a dollar that they can spend in the market. My son is never one to turn down a juice box, so of course that’s what he chose.
Touring this exhibit was a real highlight of my family’s morning at the fair. It opens at 9 a.m. while the rest of the Fairgrounds is just beginning to come to life, so you can make it one of your first stops. I love that it teaches kids a few of the many lessons that are learned on a farm: hard work, a love of animals and plants, and an appreciation for where many of the things we use in daily life come from.
Little Hands on the Farm is just one of the many kid-friendly areas to check out if you visit the Fair with young children. I also wrote about a few others and some tips that will help make your visit to the Fair with babies and toddlers easier and more enjoyable.