There are a few things we can count on during summer in the DC-metro area—code orange heat, oppressive humidity, a few tree-bending thunderstorms, and a bunch of county fairs. And while the kids don’t seem to mind the first few as much as us parents, I think we can all agree that the fairs are, by far, the most welcome.
How can a kid not love the county fair? In one place they get farm animals, carnival rides and games, the junk food gamut, live entertainment, pony rides, outdoor family movies, even piglet races. As long as those other aforementioned summer regulars subside a bit, it sounds like a guaranteed good time.
So, there is a county fair going on right now, two kicking off tomorrow, one starting next week, and a couple more rounding out the season in September. If you and the kids plan to enjoy the festivities (come on, you know you want to see those piggies run), here’s what you need to know.
Howard County Fair
What: There are just a couple of days left to enjoy rides, magic shows, pig races, pony rides, the Kids & Critters barn, and more. Most of the rides cost extra, and packages are available, so be sure to check out the website to see what’s available if you plan to go. There will be live entertainment a couple of evenings—Richie Fields on Friday and Mindy Miller on Saturday.
When: August 7 – 14, 8am – 11pm daily
Where: 2210 Fairground Road,West Friendship, MD
How Much: Admission is $5/10 years and up, $2/seniors, free for kids under 10. Rides and games are extra.
Montgomery County Fair
What: There is so much for the family to enjoy that you have to check out the website to get the full scope. A few highlights include a monster truck show and rides, animal races, a KidZone with interactive games and activities, carnival and kiddie rides, arts & crafts, and family movies every night.
When: August 13 – 21, 8/13: 3pm – 12am, 8/14 – 21: fair runs 10am – Midnight, carnival runs 12pm – Midnight
Where: 16 Chestnut Street, Gaithersburg, MD
How Much: Admission is $10, free for kids 11 and under. A one-day all-u-can-ride carnival wristband is available for $25.
Prince William County Fair
What: The folks in Prince William are “Celebrating Bounty in Our County” at their 61st annual fair. The fun will include 4-H exhibits, rides, contests (think pie eating and water balloon tossing), rodeo, the Children’s Barn, Kid’s Zone, live performances, and more. On August 17, all rides are just $2.
When: August 13 – 21, Hours vary by day, so check the schedule on their website
Where: Prince William County Fairgrounds. Get directions here.
How Much: $8/ages 7 and up, $5/seniors and kids ages 3-6, free for children 2 and under. Daily ride wristbands are available, but prices vary by day.
Arlington County Fair
What: Check out competitive exhibits, whirl on carnival rides, enjoy a Rainforest Rescue show, watch piglet races, view outdoor movies, and take the little ones to the Kids Court for moon bouncing, face painting, and a 30-foot long monster mural.
When: August 18 – 22, hours vary by day, so check the schedule here
Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Center, 3501 Second Street, Arlington, VA
How Much: Admission is free. There is a charge for rides and other activities.
Anne Arundel County Fair
What: Farm exhibitions, rides, lots of live entertainment (including Arundel Idol), watermelon eating contests, and more.
When: September 15 – 19, check the website for hours
Where: Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds, 1450 General’s Highway (Route 178), Crownsville, MD
How much: Admission is $5/ages 16 and up, $2/ages 6 – 15, free for ages 5 and under. Rides and games cost extra.