10 Things to Do at the 2019 Arkansas State Fair
Are you ready for rides, slides, livestock competitions, swine races, funnel cakes and cotton candy? From Oct. 11-20, families from across the state will stampede into Little Rock to visit the Arkansas State Fair. And it's no wonder why, with all of the family-friendly attractions—here are 10 things to do with your family at the 2019 Arkansas State Fair!
1. Watch the Sea Lions Splash
With non-stop tricks like balancing balls, shooting hoops, performing handstands and dancing, these talented sea lion entertainers keep crowds cheering and laughing! This is the only show in the U.S. that features both California and South American sea lions. Showtimes are 1, 4 and 6:30 p.m. daily from Oct. 11-20. Find them on Hiland Hill just off the midway.
2. Hop On the Midway Rides
Did you really go to the fair if you didn't take a spin on a crazy ride or two? Spectacular rides include the blitzer roller coaster, euro slide, giant wheel, Mach 3 and mega drop. Kiddie rides include balloons race, bumble bees, kite flyer, lollipop swings, spidermania and undersea adventure. And of course, there will be a Ferris wheel for those who would rather skip the adrenaline rush during their visit.
Rides are not inluded in gate admission. But, on Wednesday, Oct. 16, kids ages 6 and under can ride the kiddie rides free from 9-11 a.m. and on Monday, Oct. 14, rides are just $2 all day long for everyone.
3. Mash With the Monster Trucks
For the first time in many years, monster trucks return to the Arkansas State Fair for Monster Mash at Barton Coliseum on Saturday, Oct. 19, at 5 p.m. Doors open at 3 p.m. for a free pre-show “pit party” on the coliseum floor. Headliner trucks include Big Foot, Monster Patrol and King Krunch and the show also includes ATV races and horse show trick riders.
Monster Mash tickets are available online or at the box office. Advance tickets start at $12 for children and $17 for adults.
4. Chow Down on Fair Food
Tis the season to deep fry everything. Perennial favorites such as funnel cakes, cotton candy and corn dogs will be served up. Some of this year’s creative new dishes include fried lasagna, a burger between two funnel cake "buns," chicken & waffle bites, fried crawfish pies and more.
If you're going just for the good, visit Friday. Oct. 11 or from Oct. 14-18 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and get free parking and free gate admission at lunch time.
5. Watch Live Concerts
The best part of all the live music at the fair is that every single concert is included in regular gate admission. Check out the concert lineup: Defrance opens the series (6:45 p.m., Oct. 11), followed by Rick Springfield at 8 p.m. Other performers throughout the fair include the Bree Ogden Band, Craig Morgan, the Oak Ridge Boys, Willowack and others. For the full lineup of concerts (there's a show almost every day of the fair) or to purchase premium seating tickets, click here.
6. Check Out All Kinds of Animals
Livestock competitions showcase some of the state's finest beef and dairy cattle, swine, sheep, goats, poultry and rabbits. The Fair will welcome nearly 4,000 Arkansas 4-H and FFA members and nearly 10,000 animals are expected to be at the Fairgrounds. Livestock competitions will also be held daily on the fairgrounds. Families can also wander through the livestock stalls to chat with the competitors and meet the animals.
The Exotic Animal Petting Zoo is an educational, hands on experience located in the Arkansas Cancer Coalition Family Land. The attraction (included in general admission) features exotic animals from around the world and pony rides for the children.
7. Tour the History Museum
Do you know the fair has its very own Arkansas State Fair History Museum? In just a few minutes, visitors can learn interesting facts about the Fair’s storied 79-year history. The The State Fair Museum is located adjacent to the Farm Bureau Arts & Crafts building and is open 11 a.m.-8 p.m. daily.
8. Visit Lots of Attractions
Take a break from the high-flying rides in the midway to enjoy a few popular attractions, including Reptile Adventures at Hiland Hill. Alligators, snakes, crocodiles, lizards, snapping turtles and more fascinate audiences while their handlers share knowledge and interesting facts.
At the Show Me Swine Races, join the crowd in the grandstands and see racing swine sprint to the finish line for your entertainment and their fanatical love of oatmeal cookies!
9. See What's Happening With Creative Arts
In the Farm Bureau Arts & Crafts Building, visitors will see artists displaying their crafts, hobbies and even cooking skills. Highlights of the 2019 schedule include an Ice Cream Making Contest, the Arkansas State Fair Pie Competition, honey cooking, rice cooking and the Kids Cookie Contest. The schedule for all the creative arts competitions is available here.
10. Cheer On Talent Show & Pageant Contestants
All hail the Fair Queen! The Arkansas Building will be the venue for regionalcompetition for pageant and talent contestants. The pageant finals take place on Saturday Oct. 19 at 5:30 p.m. and the evening concludes with award ceremonies and the crowning of the 2019 Arkansas State Fair Queen.
A Kids Talent Show will take place Saturday, Oct. 12, beginning at 2 p.m. for ages 4-12. The Little Mr. and Miss Pageant will take place Saturday, Oct. 12 at 9 a.m. For the details on all of the talent shows and pageants, click here.
Advance gate admission tickets are $6 for adults and $3 for children and seniors. Advance gate admission tickets may be purchased online at ArkansasStateFair.com through Oct. 10.
Regular gate admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 6-12 and seniors ages 60 and older; fairgrounds parking is $10 per vehicle. Unlimited ride bands are $30 per person or $25 in advance.
Families can also take advantage of daily deals and specials:
- Oct. 14 is Two Dollar Day, meaning admission, parking and rides are $2 each.
- Oct. 14 is Kiddie Day, meaning that kids ages 6 and under can ride Kiddie Rides free from 9-11 a.m. and parents are admitted free during those hours.
- Oct. 15 is Military Appreciation Day, meaning military personnel and immediate family members with a valid Military I.D. get free gate admission starting at 11 a.m.
- Oct. 12 is Power 92 Day, meaning kids 12 and under get free gate admission for 92 minutes, from 11 a.m. to 12:32 p.m.
For more information on all the special promotions and ticket options, visit the website.