Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Family Fun at the Franklin County Fair

***The 2022 Franklin County Fair is July 12-17.  Some activities may differ from the 2018 Fair.***

Today marks the official start to one of our family's favorite times of the year, our local Franklin County Fair in Hampton, Iowa.  Yesterday was entry day and last night we were in the parade, so to say that excitement and enthusiasm for the fair is high would be an understatement.

The kids and I all exhibited in the Open Show, our oldest Mr. K has some Clover Kid exhibits and Mr. K and Miss A are showing bottle lambs and feeder pigs this year.  Besides all of our projects at the fair, the kids are also excited for the fun family activities happening daily around the fair.

First, every parents favorite part is that the Franklin County Fair is FREE!  That's right, free parking, free admission, free, free, free!  Now, while you obviously can spend your money on food, some activities, concerts, etc., there are plenty of attractions you can do for free as well.  Here are our Top 7 family activities we are looking forward to doing at this year's fair:

Franklin County Farm Hands

Down by Grandpa's Farm is the Franklin County Farm Hands exhibit, which is ran by all of the local FFA chapters Thursday through Sunday of fair.  Families can walk through several different stations to see how crops are grown and livestock raised, what they are used for, and then they can "sell" their harvest for prizes.  This is a free activity.

Animal Learning Center

In the Pleasant Hill Livery there is a birthing center that is always adding activities to experience every year.  During fair families can check out baby animals being born including chicks hatching, sows (mother pigs) farrowing piglets and a milking parlor.  Be sure to check in everyday to see if there are any new baby animals!  This is a free activity.

Free Shows

Every year the fair brings in some great free acts to their different stages.  For 2021, there will be multiple Swifty Swine Pig Races daily over in the North part of the fairgrounds, music in the Mort's Water Gazebo, free shows and games in the Van Wall Tent and farming demonstrations over at Grandpa's farm.  Check the fair schedule to see times and details for each day's free shows.

Ice Cream in Pleasant Hill

Now, this is one place we do advise you save a couple of dollars and spend some money.  The homemade ice cream in Pleasant Hill is delicious and made fresh all day long.  We end up getting ice cream close to, if not every day of the fair.  You can get a cup of fresh, homemade ice cream for just $2 at the Franklin County Fair!

Extension Kid Activities

Inside the 4-H Building there are lots of free activities for the kids to participate in.  Our kids love doing the cookie decorating on Thursday morning, the Kids STEM Fest Thursday afternoon, the VEGGIE 500 Friday morning, and checking out the Communication Contests Friday afternoon.  All of these activities are free but some do require you to sign up and have a limit of participants.  You can sign up at the 4-H information desk.

Saturday Scrambles

The animal and coin scrambles has become a fair tradition for our family on Saturday afternoon.  Kids of all ages are broken up into different age groups to try to grab a hold of different animals (rabbits, chickens, pigs, etc.) based on their age and then they get a chance to scramble for coins in the livestock show tent.  This is a free event but does require registration prior to the event.

Train Rides and Model Train Display

We always love going over to the Depot to take a ride on the train that goes around the fairgrounds, as well as check out the model train display in the basement of the depot.  This activity is fun for all ages.  Train rides are $0.50 each and the model train display is free.

This is just a taste of all the fun you can have at the Franklin County Fair and we hope you visit this week!  What is your favorite thing to do at the County Fair?  Remember to Comment for a Cause!


  1. YAY for the Franklin County Fair! Have an awesome week!

  2. Happy fair week! I had so much fun with you and Donna that year we all got to do the cake competition.

  3. Fair time is always so much fun! Unfortunately our county fair is relatively expensive to get in to, but we try to go at least once. We love the lemon-shakeups and to see all of the livestock!

  4. Discover insider tips on how to make the most of your fair experience, from must-try treats to the best attractions for different age groups. Follow along as we highlight the charming moments of families creating lasting memories amidst the vibrant atmosphere of the fair.
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