The Wisconsin State Fair is known for family friendly fun, but if you aren’t doing the fair after dark, you are missing out. My husband and I agree that nothing beats going on a date to the State Fair. From almost a decade of experience and delight, I bring you our best guide to a Wisconsin State Fair Date Night. Get ready to enjoy all the best that Wisconsin has to offer with your favorite person or people – no diapers or strollers allowed.
Eat All the Things!
There are thousands of options for food at the Wisconsin State Fair. While I have my standard favorites (baked potato, anyone?), one of the best lead-ups to our date is checking out the list of new foods including the Sporkies finalists and making a plan to taste the newest, most unique menu items out there. Sharing makes it possible to eat a little bit more and is, of course, so romantic.
Check Out the Livestock
If you’re an animal lover, you can walk through the barns (I advise against heels or flip flops if you plan on this. Sensible shoes are sexy anyway). However, we really enjoy sitting in the Coliseum for a Livestock show. This is where the prize winning livestock is auctioned off to local, high bidders and the funds raised go directly to the hard-working young people who raised the animal. It’s an exciting event and a good reminder of all the blood, sweat, and tears behind the food we eat every day.
Catch Some Live Music
There are many stages all around the fairgrounds and it seems that no matter what night of the week we go, the music is rockin’! We discovered great bands and have fun dancing and singing along to all sorts of music. Check out the WI State Fair website to take a look at all the awesome options for live music available each and every night of the fair. There are always fantastic options on the main stage, but you can make your date night even more affordable by opting to enjoy a beverage and linger by one of the free stages!
Visit Spin City
Whether you are daredevils who like the ride the biggest, fastest, craziest rides and scream at the top of your lungs or if you would rather indulge your inner child in a fun house, Spin City has something for you. Plus, there are all sorts of goofy games you can play where you can engage in some friendly (and maybe even flirty) competition! Impress your date by winning them a prize. We’ve brought home everything from stuffed animals to framed portraits of a wolf howling at the moon.
Take a Late Night Trip Down the Giant Slide
We end our night by going down the Giant Slide after the sun goes down. It’s a great way to laugh together and feel like a kid again…but without all the actual kids cramping your style. Want to level up? Try to sneak in a smooch while you enjoy the ride!
Indulge in Great Local Wine and/or Beer
It’s easy to find a new local libation at the State Fair. I love sampling Wisconsin wines at the Wisconsin Wine Garden. Located on Central Avenue (between Third Street & Second Street), this place is truly one of the hidden gems of the Wisconsin State Fair. The Wisconsin Wine Garden features wines from 20 different wineries from across Wisconsin. Customers can sample, have a glass, or take home a bottle of their favorites. Wines include a diverse selection from dry to sweet and feature grape, honey, and fruit wines. Come, sip, and enjoy in the air-conditioned building!
My husband tries to pick the beer with the nearest-to-empty keg at the Micro in order to score a Keg Killer t-shirt (he has picked correctly twice). Making these stops makes the Giant Slide all the more entertaining.
Shop ‘Til You Drop
I’m not a State Fair shopper, but I have countless friends who cannot resist the Expo Center. Find the next great household tool you can’t believe you’ve lived without!
Eat off a stick. Kill a keg. Squeal your way down the Giant Slide. Steal a smooch on the dance floor. I hope you make a Wisconsin State Fair date night a part of your love story for many years to come.