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5 Things You Can Do at the Ohio State Fair That Might Surprise You

Planning to visit the Ohio State Fair this year? With all the fun activities the fair has to offer, these 5 things you can do just might surprise you!

Thanks to the Ohio State Fair for sponsoring this post!

skyline of Columbus Ohio at the Ohio State Fair

Every year my family attends the fair we learn about more and more things the fair has to offer! Once you’re past the admission gate, there are a surprising amount of activities that are included in your ticket price. Last year I wrote about 15 Activities Kids Can Do for Free at the Ohio State Fair, including a petting zoo, a butterfly house, pig races and playing in a big sand box!

As you might suspect, a day at the fair also includes animal shows, rides and carnival games and all the fried food your heart desires. But there are lots of surprises to be had!

5 Things You Can Do at the Ohio State Fair That Might Surprise You:

1. Go Kayaking

kayaking at the Ohio State Fair, Columbus, Ohio

Yes, Kayaking. Make sure you don’t miss the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Park which is full of family-friendly activities like a butterfly house, a train-themed playground, touch-a-truck, a large sand box with construction vehicles, a talking Smoky the Bear who will call your child by his or her name and much more – including kayaking!

Check in at the kayak pond to receive a time slot and take a kayak out on the water! It’s free and life jackets are available!

2. Ride a Camel

Camel Rides at the Ohio State Fair, Columbus, Ohio

Horses, yes, but did you know you can also ride a camel at the fair? Camel Rides are available every day from 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM in the Meijer Kiddieland area and are $7 per person.

3. Drive a Model Train

model trains at the Ohio State Fair, Columbus, Ohio

Tucked away in the Kasich Building are several model train displays furnished by the Central Ohio Model Railroad Club. The intricate towns and countrysides were fun to see and the displays were in multiple scales from tiny to large! If you have Thomas the Train fans, make sure to stop in this building because kids can take turns driving Thomas and Percy around the track!

model train at the Ohio State Fair, Columbus, Ohio

While you’re in the building, don’t miss the amazing homemade cakes that are on display as well as the items that were entered under this year’s Wizard of Oz Theme!

model train display at the Ohio State Fair, Columbus, Ohio

4. Eat Deep Fried Larvetes

larvets at the Ohio State Fair, Columbus, Ohio

Perhaps the biggest surprise of all is that it’s now a thing to eat deep fried cream-cheese Larvets. Larvae. Bugs. Baby Insects. Or as it says on the box “The original worm snax”. Nestled in cream cheese, battered and deep fried, they’re still hard to miss. Not that I tried them.

deep fried Larvetes at the Ohio State Fair, Columbus, Ohio

Kudos to Nikki of SweetlyCbus and Megan of EatPlayCbus for taking one for the team. I’ll pass.

5. Meet a Walking, Talking Robot

walking robot at the Ohio State Fair, Columbus, Ohio

You’re going to have to keep an eye out for this one because there’s no set time or place to see him, but when he’s nearby, you can’t miss him! Rock-It the Robot is a 9 foot talk, singing, walking and talking robot who can interact with the crowd! He’s actually quite a sight to see and it feels like he can really see you. My kids were freaked out – but they still couldn’t take their eyes off of him!

There’s a lot to see, do and eat at the Ohio State Fair! It’s 12 days of fun in the sun! Here are a few tips!

5 Tips for Attending the Ohio State Fair:

ride at night at the Ohio State Fair, Columbus, Ohio

1. Bring a water bottle. Of course water is available for purchase but you’ll be happy to have brought your own on these hot days! Glass containers are not permitted. You can also bring in your own food if you want to save some money and bring a meal or snacks!

2. Bring cash. A majority of the vendors do not take cards. There are ATM machines on the premises if you get in a bind, but: fees. Parking is $5 cash at the get go, so make sure to have plenty of cash on hand!

Ferris Wheel at the Ohio State Fair

3. Consider buying your tickets ahead of time at Kroger or a AAA location. You’ll save $2-4/person that way! Kids 5 and under are free!

4. Check in your child at one of the Lost Kids/Highway Patrol stations to receive a “Lost Kid Tag” to help identify your child if you get separated!

5. There are two family-care stations where you can change diapers and nurse your baby in private. These stations are in Meijer Kiddieland and Taste of Ohio Café. There are additional nursing stations in Kasich Hall and the Bricker Marketplace Building.

Have fun this year at the Ohio State Fair!