Can you believe we're just one week away from the start of the Great Minnesota Get Together?!
I can only remember going to the Wisconsin State Fair once when I was a kid, and while I do remember the amazing, ice cold chocolate milk, I don't remember the state fair being a big deal. Upon moving to Minnesota many years ago I've learned that the Minnesota State Fair is a really big deal. And over the years I've grown to be a big fan! So when Alice put out a call for bloggers to attend the Great Minnesota Blog Together, of course I volunteered to go!
After meeting some of the other bloggers it was time to try some of the food. Ahhh... the food! At the event we got the chance to sample seven of the new, family friendly foods for this year's Minnesota State Fair and, honestly, they were all super good! I'm writing this a couple of weeks after and I'm dreaming of trying these items when I get to the State Fair next week (plus, I'm still dreaming of the pretzel cheese curds from last year, ha!).
The food we sampled was a good mix of sweet and savory. My table started with the sweets, Nothing wrong with dessert first, right? I tried the Maple Bacon Funnel Cake from the Food Building and it was amazing, because, well funnel cake + bacon + maple syrup frosting. It would make a perfect dessert for sharing at the fair. The other two desserts were a bit of a surprise for me. I loved Grandma Deb's Snicker Bar Salad from The Blue Barn. Normally, I dislike fruit in my dessert, but I could eat this snicker salad all day. So yumm! I also initially wasn't sure what to think of the caramel puff corn on the sundae, but as soon as I tried it... AMAZING! The puffs were a great, crunchy addition to the sundae. You can get the Salted Caramel Puff Sundaes and Malts from the Midwest Dairy Association Dairy Goodness Bar in the Dairy Building. I would highly recommend a visit! This flavor was chosen through the "Flavor of the Fair" hosted by Midwest Dairy earlier this year. Do you have any ideas for the 2016 "Flavor of the Fair?" Stop by the Dairy Goodness Bar during the fair to submit your suggestion.
On the more savory side, we tried Grilled Venetian-Style Pizza from Mancini's Al Fresco, Mac & Cheese Cupcake from LuLu's Public House, Stuffed Italian Meatloaf On-a-Stick from Green Mill and Tatchos from Boulevard Grill. Of the four, I think the Tatchos were my favorite. Tator tots, cheese, sour cream and bacon. Not only were they incredibly tasty, but they would be perfect for sharing which is great for state fair visits. I also really enjoyed the Mac & Cheese Cupcake and I know Little J will be thrilled to try it when we visit the fair. The Meatloaf On-a-Stick was surprisingly good, as I'm not big on meatloaf, but this had mozzarella cheese on the inside which I love. And really, who can go wrong with pizza?
Really, everything we tried was super tasty and got me even more in the mood for the start of the state fair!
After we were stuffed full of delicious food, we got to learn more about fun for kids and families at the fair this year. One new addition to the fair this year is Math On-A-Stick created by Christopher Danielson of Talking Math with Kids. I'm really excited to check this one out with Miss A and Little J. There will be reptile-shaped tile puzzles, geometric tiles create patterns and designs and a Number Game scavenger hunt among other activities. I'm guilty of focusing on reading and letters with the girls, and not focusing so much on math skills (sorry math teacher friends!) so I'm really interested to see everything Math On-A-Stick has to offer, and get some ideas to take home with us too. Plus, I think this will be a nice, quiet(ish) place to take a break during a long day at the fair. I think we made it over eight hours at the fair last year, and that was with a tiny baby.
Tell me, what are your Minnesota State Fair favorites? What are your tips and tricks for visiting the fair with kids?