The Indiana Insider Blog

200 Free Things to Do at the Indiana State Fair


The 2016 Indiana State Fair is less than a month away (August 5-21)! In honor of our state’s 200th birthday, this year’s fair theme is “Celebrating Indiana’s Bicentennial”. In that theme, the State Fair staff compiled a list of 200 FREE things to do at this year’s fair! Some of our favorites are below! You can view the full list here.


1. Take the kids to learn about the life on the farm – Little Hands on the Farm, presented by CollegeChoice 529 – an interactive farming experience from the point of view of a child! 

I took my kids through this experience last year and they absolutely loved it! From milking a cow to harvesting crops, your kids get an idea of life on the farm and even get paid for their work!

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2. Watch The Fray’s concert on the Free Stage (Aug. 11)

This year, the free stage features The Fray, The Happy Together Tour, Maddie & Tae, Blues Traveler, 38 Special, The Bacon Brothers, Night Ranger, the Hispanic/Latino Music Festival, ABBA the Concert, Hunter Smith Band, Laura Marano, Aaron Tippin, Lauren Alaina w/ special guest Claire Dunn, Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Granger Smith featuring Earl Dibbles Jr., the Contemporary Christian Music Fest, Anthony Hamilton, Mountain Dew Gospel Music Festival, and Neal McCoy, so there is a ton of free music from huge acts! View the full free stage schedule here.


5. See the beautiful colors of the Hot Air Balloon Night Glow (Aug. 5)

I love the hot air balloons as the official kick off to the fair each year!

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15. Run with the herd and check out the Bison-Tennial Field Exhibit just east of the Glass Barn

As part of the BISON-tennial celebration, counties throughout the state have artistically decorated fiberglass bison. This exhibit will feature a “herd” of those bison “grazing”, and you can vote for your favorite!

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33. Play Putt-putt in FFA pavilion

Another great spot for kids, you can play 18 holes of miniature golf (primarily indoors) and then play on an indoor playground. This is a great place to visit when the troops need to cool off.

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56. See the all cool builds at the Lego Exhibit in the Visit Indiana Bicentennial Pavilion

We are a little biased, but the Visit Indiana Bicentennial Pavilion will be THE place to visit this year, as the Bicentennial Commision, the Bicentennial Torch Relay, the Bicentennial Mobile Experience and the Visit Indiana booth will also be in this building! The list includes four free experiences in the Visit Indiana Bicentennial Pavilion!


77. Visit DNR Fishin Pond and see cat-fish, bass, and more

That is right! Fishing at the fair… enough said!


102. See the World’s Largest Boar in the Swine Barn (Aug. 5-21)

You can’t visit the State Fair without viewing some livestock! Indiana youth throughout the state work long hours to raise animals worth making it to the State Fair! Visit here for the livestock schedule.


125. View tractors and farm equipment at work in Pioneer Village

Growing up with nothing close to a farm life, my son (and Dad too) loves seeing all of the giant farm equipment in Pioneer Village! It is great to give the kids a glimpse of what makes Indiana a food source to the world!


146. Visit Hook’s Old Fashion Drug Store and see the historical artifacts and exhibit

Like taking a step back in time, my wife and I absolutely love visiting Hook’s each year to buy some rock candy and see what else they have in stock!


175. Watch the llamas strut their stuff at the Llama Limbo Show in the Cheri Daniels Arena (Aug. 6)

You had me a Llama Limbo.


200. Enjoy some fun in the sun celebrating Indiana’s 200th Birthday!

You don’t have to do much but walk around to have a good time at the State Fair!

View the whole list here. Don’t miss the 2016 Indiana State Fair, August 5-21!


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