Every July, the Red River Valley lights up with carnival rides, food stands, live music, and family fun galore.
Midwesterners take their county and state fairs seriously, and the Red River Valley Fair (from July 10-15) is no exception. It’s especially great for families looking for days of fun outings and things to do with kids.
Kids receive discounted wristbands on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday for unlimited rides. Free gate admission happens every weekday from 11 am – 1 pm (and for kids 5 and under every day except Tuesday!).
Kids Day on Tuesday, July 10
To kick off the week, the opening day of the fair is dedicated to kids.
Here’s rundown of all the kids fun happening that day.
- Free ice cream from 1 pm until it’s gone
- Story time
- Lego & coloring activities
- Face painting
- Canvas painting for kiddos
- Veggie car races
- Bunny miniature golf
As the week goes on, many of these activities happen daily, and family activities like cupcake decorating, a kids’ rodeo, and rubber duck races get added to the mix.
Rides & carnival games
Regardless their age, kids will be able to find a carnival ride that suits them. The Midway opens at 1 pm every day of the week, and noon on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
For younger children, rides like the spinning tea cups, a merry-go-round, a train ride, and a giant slide bounce await, among others.
For those a bit older, the large fun slide, bumper cards, Zipper, Tilt-a-Whirl, fun house, and Ferris Wheel give a bit more of a thrill, with a full list of over 20 different rides.
Delicious food always follows closely behind a Ferris Wheel.
Classic fair foods like mini donuts, SnoKones, cheese curds, Oof-da tacos, cotton candy, and walking tacos (or tacos-in-a-bag, as some North Dakotans call them) are up for eats.
Like any good Midwestern shindig, the fair also features plenty of food-on-a-stick. Corndogs, s’mores, bacon, cookie dough, mac ‘n’ cheese, caramel apples, pork chops, and shishkabobs are just some of the stick-food options.
Indulge in deep fried candy bars, french fries, hamburgers, gyros, sausages, brisket, nachos or funnel cakes as you wander (wandering burns calories…)!
Kids’ shows & activities
Besides the face painting, duck racing, and mini-golfing listed above, these shows and activities will keep the kiddos occupied and having fun.
Everyday, dogs and humans take to the water and land to perform stunt dives, trampoline tricks, and trapeze.
This vaudeville act includes a comic twist, and happens every day of the fair. Family-friendly dialogue, circus thrills, and visual humor will delight all ages.
A real-live version of School of Rock, kids can attend music shows all day Saturday.
Red River Zoo
On Sunday, the Red River Zoo will be on stage with all sorts of animals for kids to see.
For more animal fun, shows happen every day across the grounds and you can walk through exhibits with the kids. Learn to milk a cow, pet some of the goats, or visit the food or art exhibits for fascinating creations.
When the family fun is done, head to the beer garden or the Grandstand and treat yourself to a drink and some great music (all included in the price of your entry!).
Admission, wristbands, & tickets
If you plan to soak up several days at the fair, the Mega Pass (priced at $70) is the best bang for your buck, at $70 for 6 days of unlimited rides, gate admission, grandstand entertainment, and fun.
Standard gate admission varies based on the day and the time you arrive. Check the Red River Valley Fair website for the most up-to-date details.
Special wristband deals can also give you cheaper access to all the best rides, or you can buy a Daily Ride Pass for $30 for an unlimited day of carnival rides, gate admission, and grandstand entertainment.