The Wisconsin State Fair — Families and friends alike look forward to these 11 days of summer all year long.
It’s deep-fried cheese, cream puffs, farm animals, pickles the size of your face, live music, SpinCity rides and so much more. We could argue it’s the best week of the year in the Dairy State. In fact, people from all over our great state and beyond flock to the fair in August, but we Milwaukeeans are so fortunate to have it right in our backyard!
You could spend all 11 days at the Wisconsin State Fair and still not hit every attraction. So, as much as we want to give you the ultimate guide to every single thing our amazing Fair has to offer, including it all would make for pretty much the longest post EVER. Instead, we’ve got the highlights for you, putting the spotlight on the features FAMILIES will want to know about and our “must-see” Fair favorites.
Admission & Hours
- Sunday – Wednesday: 10am – 10pm
- Thursday – Saturday: 10am – midnight
Hand stamps are available for re-entry on the same day, but re-entry hand stamps will cease two hours prior to the posted closing time.
Fairgoers under 18 years of age entering after 6pm must be accompanied by a parent 21 years of age or older. Proof of age is required.
State Fair Pricing
- Adults (12 & over) – $18
- Seniors (60 & over) – $13
- Military/Veterans with ID – $13
- Youth (ages 6-11) – $13
- Children (5 & under) – Free
Parents of older kids: Fairgoers under 18 years of age entering the Fair after 6pm must be accompanied by an adult 21 years of age or older. Proof of age is required.
Can’t Miss Fair Classics
These are the can’t miss stops that everyone talks about – basically, if you don’t check these off the list, you were never really at the Fair.
Original Cream Puffs
One does not simply buy ONE Original Cream Puff. Spring for the 6-pack and never look back. Half the fun is waiting in line at the Original Cream Puff Pavilion and watching the famous pastry chefs create these delectable delights right in front of your eyes!
**Save big on Cream Puffs by ordering in advance!
The Giant Slide
It’s iconic. It’s cheap. Kids and adults alike love it. Trips down this 200 ft slide are only $3! This beloved attraction has been a Fair staple for more than 50 years. It’s so much fun, we dare you to only slide once.
The ultimate in people-watching from a birds-eye view! Tickets are available at each end of the SkyGlider near the Exposition Center and on North Grandstand Avenue.
North America’s largest traveling Ferris wheel features 36 fully enclosed, brightly colored gondolas. Each gondola has a capacity of six people, and one gondola offers accessible seating. For only $6 per ride, you get enjoy start to finish fun of approx. 10 minutes – that means an average of 1,100 Fairgoers can ride each hour!
Milwaukee Bucks Kids Day on Tuesday, August 8
There’s something for every fan, regardless of your age! Enjoy performances from the Bucks Entertainment Network, score a high-five from Bango and the Wisconsin Herd’s mascot Pointer, take home a souvenir craft on-a-stick, put your NBA 2K skills to the test, enjoy music played by the Bucks DJs, and purchase some new gear from the mobile Bucks Pro Shop, too from 10am-4pm.
*NEW THIS YEAR* Cirque at the Fair
Watch incredible acts at Cirque at the Fair — an all-new dazzling free show at the Wisconsin State Fair! Enjoy phenomenal acts including archery and aerial performances like you’ve never seen before.
- Monday – Friday: 1pm, 4pm, & 7pm
- Saturday – Sunday: 12pm, 2pm, 5pm, & 8pm
Located just east of Entrance A on South Grandstand Avenue.
What to Eat
There is so much food to try here that there’s no way to hit it all! There’s a helpful guide to ALL of the food vendors on the WI State Fair website, that even includes a picture of each of the booths!
Did you know there’s even competition called the Sporkies for the best of the best food at the Fair!? You should probably add all of those items to your must-try list for this year.
NEW Foods for 2023:
Find the full list of NEW FOODS HERE!
The Go-To Fair Food Favorites
Foot long corn dog. Kabobs. BBQ Pork Chop on-a-stick. Beer-battered, bacon-wrapped Cheddar Sausage on-a-stick. The Wisconsin State Fair has a seriously impressive selection of on-a-stick delicacies and we can’t wait to sink our teeth into them!! And yes, there is a list.
Roasted Corn on the Cob
A trip to the Fair just isn’t complete without a butter-dripping, husk-holding, tender, roasted sweet corn on the cob. For many families, this food stop is non-negotiable.
Original Cream Puffs
The iconic Original Cream Puff, sold at the Fair since 1924, is the most popular food item among Fairgoers – an average of 400,000 are consumed each year! You won’t want to stop at just one… bring yourself a 3- or 6- pack home with you!
And did you know there is a Cream Puff Drive-Thru?!
Best Attractions for Kids
We Energies Energy Park
If you are coming to the Fair with toddlers or young children, make We Energies Energy Park your very first stop upon arrival. You can pick up a safety wristband to help keep your child safe while you and your family enjoy your day. There will also be fun demonstrations about electricity and teaching kids about energy. Join Schlitz Audubon daily for up close and personal encounters with eagles, hawks, owls and other birds and so much more make this attraction on the west side of the Fair Park on Wetley Way at Center Street an absolutely must-see for families.
K-9 Sports Arena
The K-9 Sports Arena, located in the Big Backyard, features shows and demonstrations hourly on the half-hour on weekdays with additional shows on weekends. See dog dock diving, frisbee, agility courses, Police K-9 units and much more!
Located on the south side of Main Street across from the Original Cream Puff Pavilion, Exploratory Park is the perfect place for you and your family to relax, and recharge. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is waiting to help you find your way to the great outdoors. Plus, Smokey Bear wants you to check out his schoolhouse. Get to “gnome” the plants as you take a stroll through the Master Gardeners Display Garden. Hop on over to one of the hopscotch courts or take a crack at a game of oversized chess with the gang. AND, as if that wasn’t enough, there’s also a playground and sandbox area for the kids to enjoy. This dreamy oasis awaits your visit!
Wilderness Resort Family Variety Stage
Find family entertainment on Wetley Way in the Big Backyard at the Wilderness Resort Family Variety Stage.
This stage features jugglers, comics and more – including Kenny Ahern (Physical Comic), The DolliPops (Musical Fun), Steve Trash (Eco-Entertainer), Nick’s Kids Show (Musical Fun), and more. Check out their website for a daily schedule.
Saz’s Famous Racing Pigs
Saz’s Famous Racing Pigs, presented by the Milwaukee Admirals, are another one of those Wisconsin State Fair staples that you just can’t miss. With races running throughout the day, it’s easy to find a race that fits your family’s schedule. The presenters always do an amazing job of getting the crowd involved and the pigs are just so stinkin’ cute! Pick a pig and get cheering! Found at the Racing Animals Arena.
Barns & Animals
A trip to the State Fair just isn’t complete without visiting the animals. Introduce yourself to cows, horses, pigs, sheep, goats and more! You can also check out the Milking Parlor in the southeast corner of the Horse Barn to learn about Wisconsin’s vibrant dairy industry. MKE Mom Tip: Put your visit to the barns at the early end of your day. As the temperature climbs outside, the barns also heat up quickly so it’s better to check them out early. Kids enjoy watching competitors – many of them kids themselves – working hard to bathe and prepare their animals for competition.
More Cool Kid Stuff
The list just keeps on going! There are more kid-friendly activities and things to see than we have room to share here. Here are a few more activities and features you might want to check out.
- SpinCity, with more than 50 amazing rides and attractions, plus a Kiddie Area for the younger Fairgoers. If your kid lives to ride the rides, spring for the unlimited daily rides wristband or you will go broke buying a la carte ride tickets.
- Pig Slide, located on Sue Wetley Court near Compeer Financial Discovery Barnyard. Everyone knows about the Giant Slide, but there are photo-ops galore at the Pig Slide. Moms and Dads, consider yourselves challenged to do it, too. The kids will LOVE it!
- Milking Parlor: See where the milk you get in the grocery store comes from! View the cow milking demonstrations four times daily at 11am, 1, 3 and 5 pm and goat milking demonstrations noon, 2 and 4 pm. Located in Ag Village at the southeast corner of the Livestock Horse Barn on Central Avenue.
- Cow-temporary Art Walk: Forge ahead in the 4th year of the Cow-Temporary Art Walk, featuring the classic metal cow, oversized barn quilt, and orbiting kaleidoscope. Earn a special ribbon by visiting all 10 art exhibits. Pick up your Cow-Temporary punch card at the Young People’s Art Exhibit in the Exposition Center Lobby or Grand Champion Hall.
Pro Tips and Insider Info
Download the 2023 Wisconsin State Fair Daily Schedule to have all this info at your fingertips!
Free Sunscreen: Forgot your sunscreen? You can still enjoy the sunshine safely. Look for FREE sunscreen stations conveniently located throughout the Fair Park. These sunscreen stations, courtesy of Children’s Wisconsin will be stocked with SPF 30, suitable for Fairgoers ages one year and older.
Bargain Books: Take advantage of hundreds of dollars in savings with the State Fair Bargain Book, featuring over 80 coupons from Fair vendors and partners. Get discounts on food, beverages, gifts, souvenirs and more. Plus, be sure to check out the SpinCity coupon on the back cover of your Bargain Book!
Free ID Bracelets: Stop by the We Energies Energy Park to grab a safety bracelet to help keep your kids safe throughout your Fair experience.
Nursing Stations and Baby Care Areas: Families can visit one of three private, comfortable areas designated as Family/Baby Care Centers; one in the Exposition Center, one in the Guest Services Pavilion, and one off North Grandstand Avenue. Each center offers an area for nursing mothers as well as a diaper changing station. Diaper Changing Stations are located in most men’s and women’s restrooms throughout the Fair Park.
Stroller and Wagon Rental: If you’d rather leave your stroller at home (on account of the livestock barns, perhaps?), it’s easy to rent a single stroller or wagon at these locations:
- Outside the US Cellular Main Entrance
- West Entrance C at Gate 4
- Admission entrance on the northeast corner of Grandstand Avenue and Main Street
How to Get There and Where to Park
Planning on driving to the Wisconsin State Fair? Most parking lots open daily at 9am during the State Fair. All parking is first come, first served. CASH IS NOT ACCEPTED. Purchase your parking in advance HERE.