It’s back—the State Fair Meadowlands is a summer staple with thrilling rides, delish food (hello fried zeppoles), rousing carnival games, and spectacular shows that will wow the whole family. This epic 18-day event beginning June 23 at MetLife Stadium in Rutherford, guarantees fun for everyone. Where else can you ride upside down on a roller coaster and cheer on racing pigs? Read on for what to know about the State Fair in NJ, and get ready for a summer day to remember. (featured photo credit: Phil Hoops @hoopsapproved)
Where else can you see incredible shows besides the State Fair in NJ? Photo Credit: State Fair Group
Hop on a ride or play a carnival game
With over 100 rides at this year’s fair, there are enough daring and tame ones to please your whole crew. Ride above the fairgrounds on a colorful ski lift as you take in breathtaking views of Manhattan on the Sky Ride. Head on the Super Slide and Ferris Wheel. For adrenaline seekers, try the thrilling Free Fall or The Himalaya, a speedy, dizzying ride that repeatedly loops you around a track. Got littles who don’t measure up for the faster ones? Spend time at Kiddieland, one of the largest at a fair, with 35 rides catered to the under 10 set. They’ll be thrilled to ride on classics like the Mini Teacups, the Wacky Worm, and Red Baron.
Beyond the rides, challenge the fam to your favorite fair games like water gun races, the sledgehammer, and ring toss. Get ready to win some great prizes as you master all your favorites. If you’re looking for more to do, you can take on new heights on the helicopter tour or head over to the adult boat rides for some grown-up fun.
State Fair in NJ rides are for the whole family. Photo Credit: Phil Hoops @hoopsapproved
See world-class entertainment
With over 10 shows included in your Fun Pass ticket, you can have your pick of amazing acts. One of the top attractions at Meadowlands is “Rosaire’s Royal Racing Pigs.” These silly swine are known to be America’s #1 fair attraction. Pick your favorite pig and cheer them on as they make their way around the track. Fan of Jurassic park? At Jurassic Kingdom’s show, littles can teleport to when Dinos roamed the earth. This exciting and educational attraction offers an interactive puppet show, so kids can pet baby dinos and see real fossils like giant dino teeth.
The whole family will be in awe watching the Cycle Circus, where acrobatics and spectacular freestyle motocross stunts are paired with pyrotechnics. Or get hypnotized by Steve Bayner, where audience participation is definitely on the program (Fun Fact: Over 1300 people are hypnotized at the State Fair in NJ). If you’re looking for a more mellow activity, head to the petting zoo featuring exotic animals like camels and kangaroos. Other attractions include award-winning magic, a pirate tightrope show, and a moving car that turns into a 15-foot robot called “Big Bee Robot.”
Sparkle for the 4th
Still looking for 4th of July plans? You’ll find that at the fair that weekend. On July 3rd and 4th, at 10 PM, there will be a spectacular fireworks display. See the night sky light up with color over the scenic fairgrounds, with rides illuminated to add to the beauty. These famous fireworks are the brightest and the best, bound to dazzle every age. They can be seen from anywhere at the fair, so hop on a ride to watch or take in the view from the roof of your car.
What to know before you go
The State Fair Meadowlands runs for 18 days starting on June 23, and hours during the week are 6 PM – 12 AM. On weekends and on July 4th, hours begin at 2 PM. To enter, you must purchase a Fun Pass online before you go. The pass includes unlimited rides, free shows, entertainment, and the petting zoo for $38.99. For $15, you can upgrade to the fast pass upon entry at the Info Tent to skip the lines on select rides. All children under 36″ will be admitted to the fair for free. The rides have height restrictions to assure your child’s safety, so check those out beforehand.
This year’s fair will have over 50 food vendors with the usual fare, like hot dogs, fried zeppoles, ice cream, and pizza. Or try out one of the many international cuisines, such as Greek, Mexican, or Italian. Healthy food options like salads, fruits, and veggies will also be available. The State Fair Meadowlands is stroller friendly and is open rain or shine (there are no weather refunds). Parking is free.
State Fair Meadowlands
1 MetLife Stadium Drive
East Rutherford, NJ 07073