Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Our 1st Big E experience

We have lived in Connecticut for 14 years and had never attended the infamous New England Exhibition called The Big E til yesterday {Monday}!  We decided to take the kids this year because I have always wanted to go and we haven't done any local fairs in a couple years!  We bought our tickets at Big Y to avoid waiting in lines when we got there, but the lines actually weren't that bad at all.  {But I can see how this tip would be useful on a busy weekend!}

Parking was easy and well organized.
We got the kids bracelets for the rides so we didn't have to worry about tickets or how many times they went on something!  The lines were pretty much non-existent for the kid rides and it was awesome! Colin stayed on one ride 3 times!  haha!
Pop a wheelie!
Poor kid didn't have a clue... He got on the motorcycle backwards!  I laughed so hard!!!  In his defense, it does seem safer to hold that taller bar!  haha!

The people there were friendlier than I remember from any fair I've EVER gone to and they seemed to be more attractive and clean cut too!  haha!  {Just an observation from this people watcher!}  The kids had a good time on the rides and there were many to choose from!
Just some of the rides!  Click photo to enlarge!
The biggest problem we ran into was because of the ages and heights of OUR kids.  Vienna was too tall for some of the kiddie rides.  She was exactly 54" tall {max height for some kiddie rides} so it depended on the ride and operator if she was able to go on.  And poor Colin was too short!  At 4 years old he's on the small size and was 2 inches too short for the fun houses, submarine, or spinning dragons unless he was with an adult!  So he cried and was disappointed.
Vienna was too tall and Colin was too short!
We did our best to manage the rides but I would have preferred going with friends so the kids wouldn't be alone!  {Jay or I could have gotten a bracelet and tickets to go on with him, but there was enough for him to do and we already spent so much money.  It was just hard have the mix of ages as we do.}
My thoughts:  This section of the Big E is ideal for 6-8 year olds!  They are big enough to go on all the rides without an adult and still young enough to enjoy the thrill of the kiddie rides!  Lance was the ideal age!

I went on the dragon with Colin.  Vienna and Lance behind us.
Also just to say... there were a couple fun house operators that let Colin go with Vienna!  They had many of them and I asked at each one with 2 yes's and 5 no's!!!  A couple were just a simple obstacle that a 4 year old could easily do!   I wouldn't let a 2 year old go in with the moving floors but Colin is steady on his feet - just short!!  I thanked those guys a lot!  Totally made Colin's day!

Colin, Daddy and I waited while Vienna and Lance went on the bumper cars.  Lance made me laugh because he just drove in circles!  So fun to watch them try to figure it out!!!  We really enjoyed so many firsts this day!

On the flipside, Vienna was able to go on the bigger rides but she is only 9 and wasn't quite ready to go on them all.  Some scared her and some she wanted us to go with her.  Someone gave us tickets {how nice!} so I escorted Colin on the Dragon roller coaster and I went with V on a fun spinning roller coaster.  Jay went on the Polar Express with Vienna which was a fav of mine growing up!  My Mom loved going on rides and I remember she and I going on this one!
The FAST Polar Express.  Jay in sunglasses with V beside him.
We went to the State Buildings in search for the glorious good food people told me about.  Oh did we eat!  Between us all we had a lobster roll, pulled pork and beans, corn dogs, samosas, cotton candy, whoopie pies, popcorn, fried dough, deep fried Almond Joy, and we shared a snow cone!!  Good thing my smart-always-prepared husband brought water for us to drink!

The Connecticut building had a Lego play area!  The kids really enjoyed that but otherwise they were pretty uninterested in the crowded State buildings.  I can see this being much more fun if I went without kids.

We explored the Farm-a-rama building and I could have stayed in there a lot longer than we did because I love animals!  Colin took a break to watch the veggie show.  Sometimes I forget that we have a 4 year old and he likes stuff like this, whereas the older two don't care as much.  Look how tired he was...

The Newman boys watched the veggie show while Vienna and I walked around to see the piglets and chick hatchery.  It was a great set up but the kids were anxious to play games so we didn't linger in here long.  They ended up bringing home medium sized stuff toys that they were so happy to win!  Vienna got a panda bear, Lance a furby and Colin, a stuffed Lego man!
Lego Man came in handy as a pillow while waiting for siblings on rides!
After the games, we did more rides and then we went to the 7pm circus.  I didn't take any pics so this is from their Facebook page:

The acts were ok and sadly, many people got up and left early.  Jay and I thought thought it was rude but we enjoyed what we could.  I don't attend circuses with wild animals but they had cats and dogs doing tricks.  I loved the acrobats and the funny clown who was throughout the show.  He made us laugh a lot!
pic I took before going to the circus
After we came out of the circus, the Midway was all lit up and pretty!  After spending 8 hours at the Big E, we were pooped and it was time to head home.  I didn't get any pics of the circus or lights because I was carrying Colin who was exhausted!

We had a great family day with lots of fun but overall, I wouldn't recommend The Big E if you have kids the same ages as mine: 9, 7 & 4.  Just do your local fairs til they get older and save yourself some money.  I think it would be a blast to go to the Big E on a date though!  We never made it to the craft vendors or the horse shows and many, many other things they offer!  There is definitely a lot to do and I'm glad we had the chance to check it out!  We needed the family time together and thoroughly enjoyed that!

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Amy said...

Nice! Maybe I'll brave it this year, we've never been either ;)

Steph said...

What a great day! You've made family memories your kids will remember forever!