What could make a carefree summer night at the Indiana State Fair even better? A date night at the fair with your sweetheart, of course! The glimmering lights, oversized fair food, and carnival games are the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable night. Here are 17 activities to make the most of a lovely evening at the fairgrounds together.
Date Nights Ideas for the Indiana State Fair
The Indiana State Fair runs Wednesday-Sunday each week, July 28-August 20. If you’re looking for kid-friendly fun, check out Free Things to Do with Kids at the Fair.
The Glass Barn is all about modern farming with a fun twist. Hop in the giant combine cab together and harvest those fields. Challenge one another to the uFarm game and see who can score the highest. Share a quick smooch in the photo booth and email yourself that special souvenir. Play the free BeanGo game and snag your matching hats.
Memories at Midway
The Midway made our list for obvious reasons. Here’s where you will find carnival rides, cotton candy, and prizes to win. Break out your competitive side and play against each other or try to score a prize for your date to take home! The Midway is a State Fair classic and an ideal place to begin your date night at the fair.
Enjoy a Concert
The Indiana State Fair hosts a variety of nightly concerts on the Free Stage at 7:30 pm. All you need to pay is your admission to get into the grounds for your date night at the fair. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis, so be sure to get to Celebration Park early.
Take a Romantic Ride
If the carnival-like rides at the Midway aren’t your style, you have three other options available around the fair. The Sleep Number Skyride is an amazing aerial attraction that will take you across the fair 35 feet above the ground. The cost is $6 or 4 Midway Tickets. The most noticeable ride is the 150-foot-high Hoosier Cruiser Superwheel! Enjoy the largest Ferris wheel in Indiana inside a climate-controlled gondola. The cost is $10 per rider. Those still a kid at heart will delight in the Double Decker Carousel just west of the Hoosier Lottery Grandstand
Butterflies in your stomach are thought to be a sign of falling in love. While you are rekindling that on your date night at the fair, don’t miss the chance to see butterflies up close in the DNR building daily from 9 am-8 pm.
Race your way around the mini-Indy track every day from 11 am-9 pm inside the Family Fun Park. Tickets are $6 for a single-seat vehicle and $10 for a double, but we think a head-to-head race is the best way to experience this attraction.
Outside the Purdue Extension Ag/Hort Building is the Indiana State Fair Wine Garden. Take pleasure in the taste of Indiana-cultivated wines daily from noon until 5 pm.
If you can’t make it to the Wine Garden on your date night at the fair, you can experience Indiana flavors at the Taproom located in Grand Hall. From Noon-9 pm, you can taste beer, spirits, and wines while learning about the agriculture that produces these Hoosier beverages.
Taste of the Fair
This list would not be complete without covering some of the unique and yummy food at the fair. Whether you like savory, sweet, fried, or frozen, the fair has something for every taste bud. The Dairy Bar is a great place to start—offering a Buttermilk Wafflewich, Frozen Mocha Coffee, and the well-loved Thin Mint Milkshake. Fried food fans need to try the Cinni Minni’s and Deep-Fried Cheesecake Bites. Meat lovers will want to savor Miss Piggy’s Mac Daddy. Last year’s Taste of the Fair winner, Pickle Pizza, is back again and you have to taste it to believe how good it truly is!
Capture the Night
The Indiana State Fair offers numerous photo-worthy spots. The famous Midway sign, the Giant Wheel, and the latest Flower Wall at the Arts Building are just a few we recommend you snap with your sweetie. You could also consider contacting a local photographer and booking a couple’s session at the fair. We did this for family pictures a few years back; the results were awesome! The bright colors and lights make for a stunning background.
Dress the Part
The Indiana State Fair is almost guaranteed to have some eye-catching fashion. You and your date can join in by dressing up in country attire—flannels and overalls—or your favorite Indiana apparel. Just be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes.
Get your goat fix at Goat Mountain for free from 9 am-9 pm. What’s more adorable than petting and posing with baby goats while on a date night at the fair?
Backyard Brats & Brews
Located on the north side of the fairgrounds is the Backyard Outdoor Bar. This is a great place to chill out with a cold beverage, grab a brat and relax. There’s also live music and yard games. This year, you can challenge your date to a game of basketball during open court times throughout the day.
Indiana Arts Building
Immerse yourself in local Hoosier art at the Indiana Arts Building. You and your date can be the judge of the exhibit entries and decide for yourself who deserves first place. They are also featuring a Quilting Hall of Fame and Indiana Fashion Foundation Marketplace.
Shop at Hoosier Lottery Expo Hall
Buy some State Fair apparel and merchandise at the Hoosier Lottery Expo Hall to commemorate your incredible date night at the fair. You could also knock out some holiday shopping with the various vendor booths. Shopping is open daily from 9 am-8 pm.
In the Corteva Agriscience™ FFA Pavilion, you can challenge your partner to a free round of mini golf from 9 am-8 pm.
New in 2023, you can see the Fair’s sweetest and splashiest animals in an adorable performance at the MHS Family Fun Park. Beginning on August 2, daily shows are at 12, 4:30, and 6 pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and at 2, 4:30, and 6 pm on Friday-Sunday.
We hope this list has inspired you to enjoy your next date night at the fair. With a wide variety of activities to choose from, it will feel like you’re on multiple dates at once! The fair ranges from numerous free options to special ticketed experiences so you can create a night that’s just right for the two of you. Be sure to book your babysitter sometime between July 28-August 20, 2023 this year. The Indiana State Fair is open Wednesdays through Sundays.
Find discounts on admission, food, and midway rides at the Indiana State Fair.
Indianapolis is full of dreamy date-night destinations!