Minnesota State Fair on a budget: Awesome stuff to do for free (or almost free)

State Fair Bunnies.jpg
Image courtesy of the Minnesota State Fair
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The Minnesota State Fair is finally in full swing, as it opened last Thursday. For those on a budget who still want to take in the sights, smells, and sounds of the event, we've put together a little list of free and cheap things to do. The list includes great free music shows, $1 deals (chocolate milk! shrimp cocktail! bath bombs!), and chances to win something big (cars! iPads! a year's supply of Mr. Bubble!).


Are you planning on buying sampling from a lot of different vendors? You might want to think about spending $5 on a Blue Ribbon Bargain Book. They're filled with freebies, discounts, and other special deals that will quickly add up if you've got a lot on your itinerary. You can buy them at the State FairWear Gift Shops and State Fair Foundation Souvenir Kiosks. You can check out all of the coupons inside here.
Image courtesy of the Minnesota State Fair
Free stuff:

Andersen Corp.
(Cosgrove Street, between Wright & Dan Patch Avenues)

Sling backpack, yard sticks.

Children's Hospitals and Clinics of MN
(Randall Ave. & Cosgrove St.)

Reflector lights, sidewalk chalk, tattoos, bracelets, T-shirts, pails and shovels, and hand sanitizer (which may come in use at the fair).

Custom Remodelers Inc.
(Home Improvement Bldg., center aisle)

Beads, toy fairies, rings, carabiners, car toys, suckers.

Gander Mountain
(Cooper St. & Randall Ave., south of the North Woods)


Jim Hansel Editions
(Lower Grandstand)

Signed art cards.

Midwest Dairy Assn. of MN
(Dairy Bldg.)

Recipe books, trading cards.

MN Department of Transportation
(Education Building)

Highway maps.

MN Farm Bureau Federation
(Underwood St.)

Grocery bags, recipe books, trading cards.

MN Health Fairs
(Crossroads Building)

Hearing aid batteries, ear plugs, bags, candy.

Star Tribune
(North side of Carnes Avenues, between Chambers & Nelson)

Plastic bags, lip balm.

Image courtesy of the Minnesota State Fair
Stuff that costs $1 or less:

All the Milk You Can Drink
(Midwest Dairy Assn. of MN, Dairy Bldg., Underwood St. and Judson Ave. or Judson Ave. between Clough & Nelson Streets)

All-you-can-drink milk (choose between white or chocolate).

Rollergirl Can Koozies
(Underwood Street)

Keep your beer cold for $.50.

Cream Puffs
(Southwest corner of Dan Patch Ave. & Liggett St.)

Caffeinate yourself with an 8 oz. cup of coffee.

Dairy Goodness Bar
(Dairy Bldg., southeast corner)

Order up milk (white, chocolate, strawberry), yogurt cups (strawberry, peach, blueberry), and cheese sticks (cheddar, mozzarella, pepperjack, or co-jack) for $1 each.

(Flora's Dress Emporium, Heritage Square)

$1 per pair.

Lemonade and Shrimp Cocktail
(S-30 Judson Ave. & Underwood St.)

Shrimp cocktail for a dollar? Yup, it's true.

Mr. Bubble
(Wright Ave. at Cosgrove St.)

Bubble bath samples, fizzy bubble bombs, tub coolers, and sock packets for $1.

Peacock Feathers
(India Imports, International Bazaar)

Ride the feather trend with affordable feathers.

Sand Art
(Upper Grandstand)

Create sand art on the cheap.

Cool things to enter to win:

Builders Assn. of the Twin Cities
(Northwest corner of Carnes Avenue & Underwood Street)

Win a limo tour.

Concordia College-Moorhead
(Education Bldg., northeast corner)


KMSP Fox 9/WFTC My 29
(Nelson Street)

Win a Mazda CX5 Sedan.

KQQL 108 FM Radio
(Underwood Street)


Mr. Bubble
(Wright Ave. at Cosgrove St.)

Win a year's supply of bubble bath.

Space Case
(Corner of Cooper Street & Lee Avenue)

Pimp your ride and win a vehicle mural.

ZRS Fossils and Gifts Natural
(Lower Grandstand, northeast quadrant)

Win a crystal lamp. Pretty!

Up next: Entertainment and animals

Location Info


Minnesota State Fair Grandstand

1265 Snelling Ave. N., St. Paul, MN

Category: General

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