This week my Mom and I took the kids to the fair on dollar day. The carnival opened up at 1pm instead of 6pm, with tickets for *only* a dollar (that was sarcasm).
Mom and I had it all planned out. The fair opened at 10am, the expo centers opened at 12pm and the carnival at 1pm. We decided to take the kids for a picnic lunch at the park first. We should have just ended it there. The kids were having a blast playing on the various jungle gyms, slides, etc. and weren't ready to leave. It was a new park for them, so they were thrilled. We were then going to go to the fair and look around at all the booths and animals for the next hour until the carnival started at 1pm. The kids were warned they would only get 2 rides each.
I tried to tell mom we were getting there too early, but she didn't listen to me (it's probably been 10-15 years since she's been to the fair...or longer). We arrived about noon and were among the first 15 cars there. That right there should have been a HUGE warning sign.
Nothing was open. The fair GROUNDS open at 10 am...that doesn't mean there is anything to do! We went to the expo building that had the fruit, veg, canned goods, sewing, etc. As the kids said: BORING! That took 5 minutes. Then we went to go see all the farm animals. We had promised them cows, pigs, sheep, horses...there were 5 cows and 2 sheep; they see more on my parents' farm. Apparently the sale had been the night before and the animals were all gone. We never could find the petting zoo, even though we were told where it was. Just one more thing we'd promised the kids that didn't happen. I told them all about the Conservation building where you get to see snakes and fish and other things...not open. I was really upset about that because I used to work for the Conservation department in the summers when I was in college and had helped catch the fish that would be used in their giant tanks at the fair grounds. The 4-H expo was open, but that lasted about 10 minutes. The only reason we stayed stayed for that long is because some of our extended family was there with the two younger boys competing.
Finally we decided to check out the rides so the kids could know what to pick from. With 15 minutes left until the carnival opened, we were in desperate need of shade and a short rest. Did I neglect to mention that there was a heat advisory and it was over 90 degrees? Oh, and I was carrying around Nephew J, who refused to walk; at almost 3 years-old and 29 pounds, I was worn out! We sat in the shade for a few minutes until the rides were going.
Guess what you get for a dollar ticket? Two minutes of pure carnival enjoyment on a kids' ride from 1974. Seriously...TWO MINUTES!!! There wasn't even a line of kids waiting to ride. Surely they could have gone for at least four minutes...
Nephew L on the motorcycles
Nephew L had first pick and chose the motorcycles. Those two minutes had to be thrilling for a four-year-old who gets to drive a full-sized 4-wheeler around... (note that sarcasm again). Then Nephew J wanted to ride the horses (carousel) and Nephew L rode along. That should have been NL's last ride, but Niece E didn't want to ride and NJ had chosen the cars for his second ride and needed someone to ride with him, so NL got a third ride. We finally convinced NE to ride the baby rides and bought 5 more tickets so the boys could ride with her (she would have never done it by herself, even though she is turning 6 in two weeks...way too sheltered).
On the Love Bugs
This is a kids ride! Shame!
As soon as the kids were done with those two rides, we were out of there and on the way to McDonald's for Ice cream for the kids and giant Diet Dr. Peppers for mom and me!
I'm not sure Mom and I will want to do this again, but I'm sure the kids will. Next year we will know not to show up until just before the carnival opens...because there's nothing else to see! I really wish I could take the boys, especial NJ, to the tractor pulls, but their parents don't let them out that late...maybe in a few years.
* Note: I know my pics are not great, but I chose ones where you can't see my niece and nephews' faces very well. I don't post face shots of my kids. I find it creepy...