Disclosure: This post is brought to you by our sponsors at the Wisconsin State Fair. Our love of all things Wisconsin, food-on-a-stick, farm animals and deep-fried cheese is completely our own.
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!
2022 Family Guide to the Wisconsin State Fair
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.
Getting There and Getting In
Regular Admission Policies
August 4th – 14th, 2022
There are updated hours of operation for 2022.
|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.
Buildings within the State Fair have slightly different hours than the whole event. See below for the hours for different types of buildings.
|Agriculture Barns||10am – 9pm|
|Exposition Center||10am – 9pm|
|Exhibit Halls||10am – 9pm|
& Outdoor Market Places
|10am – 10pm|
SpinCity Rides & Amusement Hours
Rides and amusement areas within the State Fair have slightly different hours than the whole event. See below for the hours for different rides and amusement areas.
|Ride or Amusement Area||Times|
|SpinCity Amusement Ride & Game Area||11am – closing times vary*|
|WonderFair Wheel||11am – close|
|Giant Slide, SkyGlider, & all other outdoor attractions||11am – close|
|Indoor Attractions||Same as Building Hours|
NEW: Sensory-Friendly SpinCity Morning
Wisconsin State Fair invites Fairgoers who may have special sensory needs to come play games and experience thrills from 11am-1pm on Monday, August 8 when lights, sounds, and non-safety related announcements will be reduced in SpinCity. Please note: Some attractions are unable to be fully silenced and operational noises will be noticeable during this time
State Fair Pricing
|Adults (12 & over)||$17|
|Seniors (60 & over)||$12|
|Military & Veterans with ID||$12|
|Youth (ages 6-11)||$12|
|Children (5 & under)||FREE|
Click here to purchase tickets
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.
Looking for the inside scoop on how to save big at the fair? Check out these Deals & Discounts:
Missed the pre-sale discounted tickets? No worries! Check out these Admission Deals for more info on how to save on regular admission prices. Discounts vary by day. See website for more details.
- August 4th Wells Fargo $5 Day benefiting Hunger Task Force: Get into the State Fair for just $5 when you donate a jar of peanut butter or make a cash donation outside any State Fair admission entrance. You will receive a voucher redeemable at the ticket window for $5 admission on Thursday, August 4 only. Promotion runs 10am-5pm.
- August 5th Celebrate Wisconsin Day: Visiting the great state of Wisconsin? Lucky you! Buy two adult admission tickets for ONLY $17 (a $17 savings) when you present your out-of-state ID at any State Fair ticket window, courtesy of Travel Wisconsin, on Friday, August 5 only. Promotion runs 10am-6pm.
- August 10th Meijer Day: Save $5 on ONE adult admission ticket when you shop at Meijer! Present your Meijer receipt when you spend $45 or more at Wisconsin Meijer stores between July 3-August 10, 2022 at any ticket window on Wednesday, August 10 only. Limit one receipt per person. Promotion runs 10am-5pm.
- August 11th Prairie Farms Dairy Day: Educators are eligible for FREE admission when you present your school-issued ID or name badge at the ticket window, courtesy of Prairie Farms Dairy, on Thursday, August 11 only. Limit one admission per ID. Promotion runs 10am-2pm.
- August 14th Veterans & Military Recognition Day: Veterans, military personnel, and their family members receive FREE admission when you simply present your Military ID (DD214, VA ID, Military Common Access Card, or dependent ID) at any ticket window on Sunday, August 14 only. You and up to three family members will receive FREE admission, courtesy of Wisconsin State Fair. Limit four admissions per ID. Promotion runs 10am-4pm.
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.
MKE Mom Insider Tip:Looking to burn off the funnel cake and corn dog calories? FREE bicycle parking is available in lots near the US Cellular Main Entrance (located on Adler St. near I-94) and South Entrance A (located at Greenfield Ave. & S. 81st St). So if you don’t live too far from the park, buckle up those helmets and hit the road to score the Fair’s best (and FREE) parking spot!
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! Grab your Cream Puff 6-Pack vouchers now through July 29 for only $22. Vouchers can be redeemed at the Original Cream Puff Pavilion or Cream Puff Express locations.
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!
New in 2022 – BMX PROS Trick Team
Your bike-loving kids will love this show! Come see the BMX PROS Trick Team pull off amazing choreographed stunts, both on the ground and in the air. The riders are sure to wow you as they touch the sky rocketing off the huge ramps. The shows can be seen four times daily at 12pm, 2pm, 4pm, and 7pm, located on South Grandstand Avenue.
Milwaukee Bucks Kids Day on Tuesday, August 9
The Milwaukee Bucks will be bringing the energy of Fiserv Forum into State Fair Park with a day of activities that will have you changing “Bucks in Six!” with fans of all ages. Score a photo with the Larry O’Brien trophy, enjoy performances from the Bucks Entertainment Network featuring the Grand Dancers, 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 and purchase some new gear from the mobile Bucks Pro Shop.
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 2022:
Find the full list of NEW FOODS HERE!
Some of the new foods we are looking forward to trying include:
- Fried Pickle Cheese Curd Tacos
- Deep-Fried Mashed Potatoes On-a-Stick (cheddar bacon or garlic)
- Cookie Pie Slice (flavors include Cow Pie Brownie and Cookies & Cream)
- Gummy Bear Brat (bratwurst infused with gummy bears served on a bun topped with a honey mustard drizzle and gummy bear garnish)
- Cinnamon Toast Crunch Latte (nitro coffee mixed with Cinnamon Toast Crunch infused cereal milk served with a cereal crust rimmed cup and whipped cream)
- Brandy Old Fashioned S’more On-a-Stick (milk chocolate-covered brandy old fashioned whipped cream topped with white chocolate, and a dried cherry and orange slice)
- The Sconnie Slugger (deep-fried beer brat and cheese curds topped with “dijonaise,” and German sweet and sour cabbage)
- Walking Banana Explosion (bag of Nilla wafers topped with vanilla pudding, sliced bananas, nutty bar bits, whipped cream, and a cherry)
- …and so many more!
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?!
Milk House is BACK for 2022
It wouldn’t be a Wisconsin State Fair without a Milk House! Stop by for a glass of ice cold milk, available in a variety of flavors. Grab your family one of each flavor for a fun milk flight experience. Milk House is run by the Wisconsin State Fair Park Foundation and 100 percent of the proceeds will fund improvements to the Fair Park – every sip makes a difference!
MKE Mom Tip: Check out Crazy Grazin’ Day at the Fair. On Tuesday, August 9th, you can sample a variety of Fair foods from more than 30 food vendors who offer smaller sizes of your favorite items at reduced prices! Check out the lineup to make your plan of attack!
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 2022 Wisconsin State Fair Daily Schedule to have all this info at your fingertips!
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.
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
Adult Admission (age 12 to 59): $17
Youth Admission (age 6 to 11): $12
Kids Age 5 and under are FREE!
Click here to purchase tickets!
FREE Printable Scavenger Hunt
Make the Wisconsin State Fair even more fun with this FREE Scavenger Hunt!
Print it out or save it to your phone and send the kids on a mission to complete all the squares. Snap photos along the way and share them with us!
We’ve been going to fair since I was a baby and now I love taking my little one each year 😁
Great article!! We go every year and the kids always love it. This year will be a bit trickier since I’m nursing a baby with a dairy allergy (so many delicious foods I’ll miss!) but I’m still excited.
First time going to the state fair and wondering how much it is for elderly people to take one or two rides