Red River Valley Fair family fun guide

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 9-14) is no exception. It’s especially great for families looking for days of fun outings and things to do with kids.

Admission, rides, and wristbands

Free gate admission happens every weekday from 11 am – 1 pm (and for kids 5 and under every day except Tuesday when only kids 4 and under get in free).

Otherwise, tickets cost $5 for kids ages 6 to 11, and $10 for those 12 and up.

If you plan to soak up several days at the fair, the Mega Pass (priced at $65) is the best bang for your buck, at $65 for 6 days of unlimited rides, gate admission, grandstand entertainment, and fun.

Kids Day on Tuesday, July 9

To kick off the week, the opening day of the fair is usually dedicated to kids. You can buy a $15.00 Fun Pass for ages 5 & up that includes a wristband for unlimited rides!

Little girl playing carnival game at Red River Valley Fair

Here’s a rundown of all the kids fun that usually happens that day.

Free ice cream from 1 p.m. until it’s gone
Lego & coloring activities
Face painting
Canvas painting for kiddos
Veggie car races
Kid-friendly shows all day (see the kid-friendly shows & activities section below for more info)

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 of 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 teacups, 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…)!

Kid-friendly shows & activities

Besides the face painting, duck racing, and mini-golfing listed above, shows and activities will keep the kiddos occupied and having fun.

Bug-ology: Kids can see what the world would be like if bugs were giant in a hall filled with larger-than-life animatronic bugs… you can even try a bug for a snack!

The Dollipops: Kiddos will sing, dance, and laugh with this high-energy, interactive kids’ show.

I-FLIP: An aerial show containing bungee, trampolines, a sphere, power track, and more.

Johnny Rockett’s Cycle Circus: This FMX freestyle entertainment show combines action sports with the theatrics of cycle circus.

Kids Celebration: A highly-interactive game show, produced for children and parents to enjoy together.

Kids N Canvas Painting: Families can try their hand at canvas painting with free canvas tiles where kids can let their imaginations go wild.

NW Express Railroad: Ride Engine #9 through the Fairgrounds in your own train car and get a new view of the festivities.

Petro Serve USA Stage: With new entertainment every day starting at 1 p.m., you can see dance school, rock schools, eating contests, shows by the Red River Zoo, and more.


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.

Little girl learning to milk a cow at the Red River Valley Fair

Adult Shows

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!).

The Red River Valley Fair is one of the top family-friendly events in Fargo. We promise you and the kiddos will love it!