We have to wait another half year for the State Fair, but as most of you know, the fairgrounds serve as an event location throughout the year. This weekend sounds like a perfect time to just head out there and stroll around; because there are five (5!) events that might be interesting to checkout. So even if something does not appeal to your kids, you just move on to the next thing.
None of these events is specifically directed towards kids, but I think that children with their natural curiosity will be drawn to all these new sights, sounds and smells. Here we go:
Since this is not the State Fair, you can probably park inside the gates; I’d recommend to look somewhere near Dorton Arena (the large round modern building). (A fairgrounds map is available here.)
I would start with a little walk around the flea market, the perfect place to find stuff you never knew you needed. You might be surprised what your little kids are drawn to, and the older ones may make their first supervised attempts at asking for the price and buying a little trinket that they absolutely, positively need to have. The flea market is hard to miss, situated inside and outside the old fairground building called “Education Building” on the map. This is of course free, but bring a little bit of spending money…
And just briefly mentioned on the side, there is also a consignment sale of kids clothes and toys in the Kerr Scott building nearby. Not worth a trip, but if you’re there and have something you need, have a look and hope for a cheap find.
As you get hungry for lunch, head over to Dorton Arena and India Fest. Over 150 acts perform on stage (dance, singing, music) over two days, and they are surrounded by booths selling crafts, clothes, and of course, Indian Food. I’m sure that the colorful saris and the sweet smell will capture your kids interest. Doors open at 11am, $5 admission (cash only) for everybody old than 5, under 5 free.
When you’re done with India, you can choose between dogs and horses. Several local kennel clubs hold the Kennel Dog Club Show in the Graham Building, next door to Dorton Arena. A poorly maintained website limits the information I can provide other than that it also costs $5, but I’m sure it is fun to watch the show dogs parade around in real life. (I’ve only seen dog shows on TV, and I think we all have.)
Maybe better to stick with the horses then, and head over to the Raleigh Spring Premiere Show in the Hunt horse complex (technically outside the fairgrounds, a short 5-minute walk away towards the
RBC Center PNC Arena). Admission for spectators is free, and starting at 1pm, the ‘academy division‘ is showing. Think four-year-old girls riding show ponies in the big arena; excitement, laughter and drama guaranteed. The official website is also pretty bare, and I gleaned most information from a participating stable.