Insider Tips for Attending the Missouri State Fair


Growing up only twenty minutes away from the Missouri State Fair, I attended the Fair every year, multiple times each Fair. By doing so, I have learned from personal experience how to get the most from attending the Fair. I decided to share my own tips as well as asking Missouri State Fair staff to share theirs! There is no one else that knows the Fair better than the staff that coordinates the Fair every year!

Mark Wolfe, Fair Director

A hidden gem on the Fairgrounds is the Missouri State Fair Museum.

The Missouri State Fair Museum is located in the basement of the Womans Building. This museum shows State Fair memorabilia throughout Missouri State Fair Museum the years as well as souvenirs to remember your 2018 Missouri State Fair trip!

One of the best souvenirs is the annual State Fair Belt Buckle.

Every year a new, unique State Fair Belt Buckle is designed to commemorate the year’s Fair. Check out the 2018 belt buckle while you are visiting the Missouri State Fair Museum!

Nancy Bouse, Director’s Office

An underrated attraction is the Family Fun Center and all the amenities it has to offer.

The Family Fun Center not only offers an air-conditioned building for your kids to play in, but also changing and nursing rooms for mothers. Many people are unaware of the clean, convenient facility and all it has to offer. When you bring your kids to the 2018 Missouri State Fair, make sure to check out the Family Fun Center!

Whitney Pollitt, Business Office

Best Bathrooms to use are in the Agriculture Building.

The Agriculture Building has clean, air-conditioned bathrooms which is something to appreciate when you are out walking in the Missouri heat all day. While you are in the Agriculture Building, check out the largest pumpkin and all the other vendors and contests that are located in that building!

Best Food is always a tough question to ask, but Trucks, McKinney’s, and Jackson’s are a few favorites of Whitney’s

Truck’s offers your favorite home cooked meals, and has tenderloins that are big enough to feed two! McKinney’s offers great fried chicken and Jackson’s pulled pork has the best BBQ sauce. You can’t get this food any other time of the year, so you better check it out while at the Fair!

Kari Mergen, Marketing Director

Start a family tradition at the Missouri State Fair. Take a family photo every year at one of the annual attractions.

The Fair offers so many great photo opportunities. Last year the Main Gate tribute was installed, making a great backdrop for your family picture. Other great photo opportunities include taking a picture with Smokey the Bear, on a bench in the Highway Gardens, or with the iconic Ferris wheel in the distance. This year, new photo booths will be located throughout the fairgrounds. Take advantage of the photo booths and snag a family photo!

Deals, deals, deals, so many deals are offered during the Fair. While planning your visit check the daily schedules, buy admission and carnival tickets ahead, and hit up the daily vendor specials at the Fair.

Going to the Missouri State Fair does not have to be a costly trip for your family. Certain days during the Fair offer special deals for admission prices. Family Value day, Throwback Thursday, and Fair Finale/Half Price day are only a few days that offer special admission deals. Vendors and concessions also offer specials on certain days of the fair such as $2 Tuesday and Youth in Agriculture day. Many of the attractions at the Fair are also free. Our website has all the details so make sure to check it out!

My Personal Tips

Best place to cool down, my family and I always stopped in the Mathewson Exhibition Center at the beginning and middle of our day at the Fair.

When we first arrive at the Fair, we start at the Mathewson and check out all the vendor booths. One of the vendors are bound to have a promotional paper fan. Grab one because you will be glad you did later as you are walking around in the heat of the afternoon!

The Mathewson Center is always a good place to sit down and cool off in the afternoon. It’s free admission and shows are continuously happening. It’s a great chance to reboot before you head back out to enjoy more of the Fairgrounds. (If you visit during the last Friday through Sunday of the Fair, the Draft Horse Shows are definitely a sight to see.)

Sweet treats at the Missouri State Fair are endless, but something I always look forward to is the Tiger Stripe Ice Cream at Mizzou Central.

As a kid I always remembered begging my parents to go get Tiger Stripe Ice cream first. No matter how many corndogs I had already eaten, I would always save room for that ice cream. As a fellow Tiger, I have the chance to enjoy the ice cream year round, but it always seems to taste extra sweet when enjoying it at the State Fair.

When planning your visit to the 2018 Missouri State Fair, plan ahead and see what’s going on that day. The Fair has so much to offer and you won’t want to miss out on anything! Try out the tips from the Fair staff and have the best trip when you Come Home to the Missouri State Fair!