Parent's Guide to the SD Fair: KIDS ACTIVITIES

June 8, 2019


OK, I'll get right to all the details that (I think) parents want to know. Here's an outline that I'll be updating over the next few days...


INTRO <--click here


TICKETS & DISCOUNTS <--click here

PARKING <--click here 

KIDS RIDE GUIDE <--click here

KIDS ACTIVITIES <--you are here



There are TONS of things to do at the Fair that don’t include rides. I know, try telling that to your kids, ha! I bet your kids will seriously enjoy a lot of these kid-friendly activities. I organized them (of course I did, lol) by “HANDS-ON ACTIVITIES”, “PERFORMANCES” and “CONTESTS”. There’s a lot so scroll down until you get to the section you want to see. Note that some activities happen everyday, while others are only on certain days or on one-day only.


Just some of the fun kid-friendly activities include: Hullabaloo concerts, pony rides, sand art, cockroach holding, digging for treasure, scavenger hunt, sewing, magic shows, animal shows, worm racing, pig racing, pie eating contests, a kid’s veggie eating contest! and sooo many more!! Hey, did you know that if you enter a contest you’ll get FREE ADMISSION to the Fair for that day?! Details below...


I did not include things that MY kids wouldn’t be interested in…like the Kombucha Brewing Contest or the Beer Stein Holding Contest. LOL! But your kids might be interested in things that mine aren’t, so if you want to see the full list, click below and be prepared to spend an hour looking through all of them. If you just want kid-friendly activities, then keep reading. ;)


Be sure to check the daily schedule or online for all of the fair info because sometimes things change or I get my information mixed up, yes it happens. Also, note that there are several booths I found when we were just wandering around the fair that aren’t listed on their website. Those that I found are listed below, but there are probably others so let me know if you find any to add. 


All of this information is from the website:


To Find EVERYTHING to do at the Fair, click here.

-->You can filter the search for “kid-friendly” activities or whatever else you're looking for, but the way they list them takes forever to click through. That’s why I put them all in one big list so you can just scroll down and get all the details without having to click back and forth (like I did to get this information). ;)


You’ll notice these events list the “location”, but it doesn’t mean anything if you don’t have the map to plot it out. Here’s the Fairgrounds Map.



OK, here we go:





location: KIDS ZONE


Face painting


Sand art craft projects, $10


Bible story times, free


Panning for gold, free 

There’s a cost to buy a bag of gemstones (starts at $6) they can put into a water pan for your kids to sift and keep. Or you can use the other gold pans to sift for gold for free, but you don’t get to keep those. 



location: CA GROWN


Pony Rides, $10 for ages 6mo+

Parents can walk with the rider. They do give a refund only if the child does not get on the pony...


Tractor equipment to climb on, free


Corn kernel box to play in, free


Petting zoo, free

There’s a cost to buy food and feed it to the animals, $1/scoop.


Kids Grocery Store Market, free

This is a really cute activity for kids. They pick out a grocery cart and receive a grocery shopping list. They have to pick out items from their list and take it to the checkout clerk. Kids will get a special prize for completing their list! But, no impulse shopping!! 


Bug’s Land "Bugology", free

This is really cool actually! But only if you can stand bugs and other insects. You can even HOLD a cockroach!! Don’t worry, they’re all in their cages and boxes…unless they escape. jk We saw Tarantulas, Scorpions, Stick Bugs, Cockroaches and lots more. There’s even a Butterfly flight house and some cricket Chocolate "Chirp" Cookies that you can buy and eat! Would you?!









when: Everyday, 12-6pm

where: Creative Youth/Best of K-6

what: Join us daily to create a “make-and-take” craft with guidance from our Oz-some CY staff.  You will dabble in felting, corn puff sculptures, finger knitting and more.


SCAVENGER HUNT (earn a patch at the fair!)

when: Everyday, all day

where: Creative Youth/Best of K-6

what: Download a map ( and scavenger hunt questions, or pick one up at any Information Booth or the Creative Youth Exhibit at the Fair. Follow the routes and collect the information, then when you’re done, redeem the completed questions on your map in the Oz-Some Theme Exhibit or at the Creative Youth Exhibit to get a free prize donated by the San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative (while supplies last). Scouts can also purchase an Oz-Some patch for $2 by participating.



when: Everyday, 11-5

where: Creative Youth/Best of K-6

what: Step back in time and experience the pioneer days. Learn rope making, doll crafting, and other handy work, the old-fashioned way. California Living History also provides educational content for elementary schools.


EXPLORATION PLACE (this name seems a little misleading?)

when: Everyday, all day

where: Creative Youth/Best of K-6

what: Explore the rich properties of repurposed plastics, wood and cardboard. Discover shape, color, texture, weight and size in this "loose parts" experience. All ages and abilities are welcome!



when: Everyday, 5pm

where: Creative Youth/Best of K-6

what: The League of Extraordinary Scientists and Engineers presents Pre-K through 8th grade friendly science topics in an engaging class-like format  This year, they explore DNA!

Presentations at the Creative Youth Stage will start promptly. In addition to the science presentations, the League will host a daily observation journal.



when: Every Sunday, 12-4pm

where: Creative Youth/Best of K-6

what: Create your very own bookmark with straight, zig zag or specialty stitches on a sewing machine, with the guidance of a Home Ec Specialist. This is a free make-and-take activity.



when: June 13, 20, 27; July 4 at 11am-12pm AND 1-3pm

where: Creative Youth/Best of K-6

what: With direction and material generously provided by the San Diego Polymer Clay Guild, Fair guests can create a uniquely beautiful bead using polymer clay.

The SDPCG is dedicated to sharing the knowledge and techniques of using polymer clay and has more than 100 members. Artists and instructors have been featured on TV shows, as well as showing exhibits at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C.

This is a free hands-on workshop.



when: June 7, 14, 21, 28 at 12-1pm

where: Creative Youth/Best of K-6




when: June 15-16 at 11am-5pm

where: Creative Youth/Best of K-6

what: Thousands of colorful Lego are provided for you to design a unique creation.  (Creations are not make-and-take.)



when: June 15 & 16 at 12-6pm

where: Creative Youth/Best of K-6

what: Create a special paper craft for dad or another loved one.  Paper, embellishments and a sweet treat will be provided.



when: June 30 at 12pm

where: Creative Youth/Best of K-6

what: Experience the magic of movie making with a "green screen" shared by Media Arts Center San Diego,