What could make a carefree summer night at the Indiana State Fair even better? A date night 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 run Wednesday-Sunday each week, July 30-August 22. 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 night.
Enjoy a Concert
The Indiana State Fair hosts a variety of nightly concerts on the Free Stage at 7:30pm. All you need to pay is your admission to get into the fair. Seating is on a first come, first serve basis so be sure to get to Celebration Park early. This year the lineup includes Mary Mary, Josh Turner, Noah Cyrus, Kenny ‘Babyface’ Edmonds, Casting Crowns, The Beach Boys and MORE!
Take a Romantic Ride
If the carnival-like rides at the Midway aren’t your style you have three brand new options available around the fair. The Sleep Number Skyride is a new 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 new 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 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 10 am-10 pm inside the Family Fun Park. Tickets are $7 per driver and $4 per rider 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 1pm-5pm.
If you can’t make it during the Wine Garden’s hours you can experience Indiana flavors at the new Taproom located in Grand Hall. Daily from 12pm-9pm 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. No matter if 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 Chocolate Salted Caramel Milkshake. Fried fans need to try the new Fruity Pebbles Funnel Cake, Cinni Minni’s, and Deep-Fried Cheesecake Bites. Meat lovers will want to savor Miss Piggy’s Mac Daddy, Outlaw Burger – with a peanut butter and jalapeño no jelly surprise, or the Winner Winner Chicken Dinner you’ll have to see to believe.
Capture the Night
The Indiana State Fair offers numerous photo worthy spots. The famous Midway sign, the gigantic newHoosier Cruiser Super Wheel, and 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 and 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.
Animal Yoga requires an advanced ticket and includes the cost of fair admission. Bring a yoga mat and enter through Gate 12 for a hilariously good time. You can choose between having pig or goat friends join you on your date for $35 per person. Morning, afternoon and evening sessions are available so be sure to register in advance as space is limited.
If you can’t make it to Animal Yoga you can still 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?
Backyard Brats & Brews
Located near the new Hoosier Cruiser Super Wheel in Hoosier Spirit Park 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 from August 11-15 from noon-9 pm.
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.
Taste & Create Sessions
The fair is debuting a couple of new ticketed events for the foodies in the Hoosier state called Taste & Create. These are located at the Normandy Barn in Pioneer Village. During Pairing & Sharing you will learn how to pair a variety of Indiana grown foods with a matching craft beer. This event is partnered with Sun King Brewery and is offered August 13th and 18th from 6:30-7:30 pm. You could also opt for Wine & Canvas at the fair! You and your date will sip Brandywine wines while creating fair inspired art. Two sessions available August 11th and 20th from 6:30-7:30 pm. Advanced tickets are $30 per person per an event and do not include fair admission or parking.
Shop at Hoosier Lottery Expo Hall
Buy some State Fair apparel and merchandise to commemorate your incredible night at the Hoosier Lottery Expo Hall. 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 9am-8pm.
We hope this list has inspired you to take your next date night to the State 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 from July 30-August 22 this year. The Indiana State Fair is open Wednesdays through Sundays.