Wednesday, August 3, 2011

No Fair!

No, I am not quoting two year old Lily, or that would be " No fair! Never!!" which is her newest thing... I'm talking about the summer fair.

Yup, it's that time of year again in our city, where the fair comes to town. As a kid, and a teenager, I loved the fair.  Shawn and I would go and enjoy the rides and games, the competitions and displays... all the fun stuff that goes along with the exhibition.  Sometimes, we went everyday the fair was in town! Now, as parents, we usually dig up the cash and take the kids.  They love it, and we grit our teeth and bear the mess, noise and crowds.  But, boy, does it cost!!

Last year, at this time, we were just returning from our big trip which included a stop at Calaway park.  We decided that in comparison, the local fair would not be worth it.  Calaway was so clean, and fun and had so many great age appropriate rides.  And, it cost less!

Gate admission this year is $13, and ride bracelets are $40, tally up the various pieces we'd need for our family of six, and you get a pretty steep hit... and that's not even counting the food and games that one always manages to spend money on.  I know the fair wasn't cheap even when we were teens, but, at risk of making myself sound like a crazy old lady, I swear it's waaaaaay more expensive now!

So, we sat down and discussed it.  We looked at the budget with it's narrow margin for extras.  We decided that this year, there would be " No Fair".  I just can't justify that cost.  As much as I know this decision makes sense, I still feel a little sorry about it.  My kids feel the loss.  When a friend phoned to invite Baden to join him at the fair, I had to tell Baden that we weren't planning on going this year.  He was sad, but we were able to plan a play day with the friend instead.  A day playing at the friend's farm will be more fun anyway ( and cheaper, for sure!).  Still, I can't quite shake the guilt of not taking the kids.  I wish I could afford to take them, but in the end, I know the things I am choosing to pay for instead (piano, ballet, a week at the campground with Grandma and Grandpa) will be enjoyed longer and are more valuable experiences anyway.

Are you taking your kids to your local fair this year?  Did you budget in the cost and plan for it?  If you don't plan on it, how do you handle your kids' disappointment ( if there is any) ?


  1. No fair for us either. In fact we have never taken the kids to the fair and they have never asked. My kids don't really enjoy rides so it seems like a huge waste of money.
    The food is very costly and as I told Andrew. I can make you a corn dog at home and it won't cost me $8.00!!

  2. We've never done the fair either....I can't justify the cost for our four kids, and Duane doesn't want our kids to be there b/c of the 'rough' crowd... :)


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