Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Help a Mom: Share your fair tips, must-sees

Posted October 9, 2012 8:45 p.m. EDT

The N.C. State Fair opens Friday! The celebration of North Carolina agriculture, crafts, music and more, with lots of rides, carnival games and food thrown in too, runs through Oct. 21.

The folks at the fair offered some general tips and recommendations here on Go Ask Mom earlier this week. Click here to read the post, which includes details on which rides parents of young kids can ride for free, when to go to beat the crowds and lots of other information.

But what are your favorites at the fair? Is there a contest or booth that you can't miss? Is there food that you always have to eat? Is there a ride your kids can't get enough of? Do you have tips for keeping costs low for those of us on a tight budget?

In my family, we're not big on the rides and games. When we go, we go as early as we can to beat the crowds and mostly wander in and out of the exhibition halls to see the animals and check out all the contest entries. But I have three favorite spots that I won't miss. Here they are:

The Marbles and UNC-TV tent near Dorton Arena. I featured this last year and will have more about what they have this year early next week, but this is a great place for kids 10 and under. The tent features all kinds of free opportunities to have some low-key, Marbles fun and meet UNC-TV characters. I come here with my kids when I need a break from the midway and all of the attractions.

Howling Cow Ice Cream stand. I fell in love with this ice cream during my first visit to the fair many years ago and now, I always get a cone. Of course, I have since learned that you can actually buy this creamy, delicious ice cream year round on N.C. State's campus (dangerous information for me). But I will still indulge in a cone next week too. It's just tradition. You can find it near the Village of Yesteryear, which brings me to ...

The Village of Yesteryear. My older daughter, in particular, has enjoyed walking through to watch the artists and craftspeople do their thing. The lawn around the village also is a nice place to relax (with a cone of Howling Cow). While my kids are finishing their ice cream with their dad, I have been known to sneak back in to buy Christmas ornaments and stocking stuffers.

Share your favorite fair tips and must-see spots in the comments box below. (If you don't see the comments box below, you'll need to log in or sign up for a WRAL account. You can do that by going to the top of the page and clicking on either "log in" or "register").

Help a Mom usually features questions from readers every Wednesday. If you have a question that you'd like to ask Go Ask Mom readers, click here to email it to me.