We had a great day at the Iowa State Fair yesterday. 9 hours and several dollar bills later we arrived home and were exhausted!
We got to the fair at 9am and the first thing we did was get a corn dog for all of us while we looked at a map and laid out a plan of attack for what we wanted to do. Originally Charlie and I only planned on being there for 3-4 hours.
After our corn dog we ventured onto the building with all of the baby animals. There were baby chicks, ducks, pigs, cows, goats, sheep. The kids got to see a couple baby chicks coming out of their shells. While there we also got to see a magic show about farmers and where all sorts of different products come from. The kids learned that even lipstick has an ingredient in it that comes from a farm. "Thank a farmer" was the motto for the kids to learn.
We rode the tram around and visited the Agricultural building where we waited in line to see the ice sculptures and the butter sculptures. It seemed that the kids were most impressed with the butter TV. The kids got to see a cowboy doing all sorts of tricks. (The Rhinestone Roper) He had rope tricks, gun tricks and even had two horses that did tricks. One of the horses layed down upside down and let the cowboy sit on top of him. This was a great show of trust and something that I have never seen a horse do. At the end of the show it started raining so we ducked inside for a little while and toured the second floor of the Agricultural building.
We had quite a rain shower the first part of the afternoon so we ducked into the Steer N Stein and were fortunate to find a table rather quickly. We took this opportunity to get lunch, relax our feet and give Christian some time outside of the stroller.
Two of the best parts of our day were "Little hands on the farm" and the "Butterfly Garden". Inside little hands on the farm; the kids wore farmer aprons and a farmer hat. They walked around weaving through the path "harvesting" crops and picking apples from a tree. After all their harvesting they used their corn to fuel up their tractor to ride around to the farmers market to sell their crops back. (even though everything was pretend it was just great to see the kids learning all about farming) The kids earned a dollar that they could spend at the farmers market building to buy 1 item. Caleb chose a cookie and Colton and Ria both got something to drink. They also got to keep their hat as a souveniour.
The butterfly garden was absolutely amazing! I have never seen so many butterflies in my life. The butterflies would land right on you anywhere (your arm, leg, back, shoulder, etc) and just hang out while you watched them. Several butterflies landed on Christian's stroller and one even landed on his blanket. Butterflies are beatiful creatures and even more beautiful up close to enjoy.
The last part of our day we spent going through the Varied Industries Building and checking out the livestock. The kids got to see IPTV's Clifford and give him hugs and "hi fives" We also got our Iowa State Football posters and a yard stick from the University of Iowa (they were all out of posters). We saw the horses, sheep, goats and lastly the big bull. Colton and Ria got to milk a cow. They were both tickled about milking a real cow! It was pretty funny when Colton said "I squirted milk on the cow's leg".
Yesterday was probably one of the best days that I have ever had at the Iowa State Fair and very memoriable for our children. That says a lot since I grew up going to the fair every year and spent several years being there for all 10 days (even working at the fair). I just wish I would have remembered my camera :( I got a few pictures on our cell phone so I will try to post them when I can.