In my household, it just wouldn’t be summer without a trip to the Northwest Washington Fair. In fact, I don’t know if it’s me or my kids who look forward to it more! This year the fair is Aug. 12-17, 2019.
Getting there – Located north of Bellingham, in the idyllic farming town of Lynden, WA, the fairgrounds are in the heart of town. You’ll find plenty of inexpensive parking all around the fairgrounds, plus some coveted shady street parking spots. The Whatcom Transit Authority (WTA) also runs buses to the fairgrounds from Bellingham, saving you money on gas and parking.
Hours & prices – The Fair is open 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day. Gate admission is $14 for adults, $12 for seniors 62 and older and $9 for children ages 6-12. Children 5 and younger are admitted for FREE. On Wednesday, Aug. 14 the Fair is offering free admission to active-duty retired and veteran military personnel, plus spouses and children who are with them.
Carnival rides run from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. The carnival provider is Funtastic Traveling Shows this year. Most rides cost nine to 10 tickets, and each ticket costs 50 cents purchased singly, or ride-all-day wristbands for $38 the week of the Fair.
Parking at the fair is also pretty easy, and free if you park in downtown Lynden. From the downtown, you can catch a free ride to the fair with the Fair Shuttle Bus.
Some of our favorite things
Each person has their favorite attraction: the farm animals, the food, the carnival rides, so we make sure to sample a little of each.
The Small Animal Experience is always a favorite. What parent doesn’t hear “Can I touch it?” from the second you step into an animal barn? Here, you can say yes at a chance to pet kittens, rabbits and maybe even a chicken. Watching the piglets, calves and chicks, fuzzy baby alpacas and noisy geese are always so much fun!
I’m always amazed that my children are fascinated with fiber arts, and look forward to visiting the weavers and spinners located in the sheep and goat barn. The kids love to watch the process of carding the wool, spinning it into yarn and seeing it woven on a loom. Fair visitors can even get a chance to try the spinning wheel themselves.
After eating a Moo-which (a chocolate-chip cookie ice cream sandwich) from the Whatcom County Dairy Women’s booth, and feeling appreciative of ice cream, the kids always look forward to watching milking time in the Dairy barn, and then trying their hand at “milking” in the Agricultural Adventure Area. With fun interactive exhibits such as digging for potatoes, the kids are learning about farming and agriculture without realizing it.
The Northwest Washington Fair always has so many options, it’s hard to fit everything in when little legs start to get tired out. But, here are a few more attractions worth checking out:
- Watching a skilled horse and rider is an impressive sight – and it’s lot of fun to cheer on the riders as they race each other in chariots and more. Free every day in the Grandstand at noon and 5 p.m.
- A great way to cool down and get off those tired feet is the selection of free entertainment on two stages. Of course, the little ones may just get up and dance! Check the Fair guide for the entertainment line up.
The Northwest Washington Fair offers so much more than what I’ve covered here. Grandstand entertainment this year includes: The Demolition Derby, Lynden PRCA Rodeo, Bret Michaels, High Valley, and Jeff Foxworthy.
For an updated list of what’s happening at the Fair this year, click here.