Top 10 free and fun things to do at the 2017 Florida State Fair

Fair is open February 9th to 20th
Posted at 2:42 AM, Feb 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-09 16:43:50-05

The 2017 Florida State Fair opens on Thursday, February 9.

Thursday morning Fair officials turned on the lights at the fairgrounds. 

PHOTO GALLERY | The 2017 Florida State Fair



There is a lot to enjoy at the Fair including all the tasty fried fair food, midway rides and games, live entertainment, equestrian shows and animal displays.

Here is a list of the Top Ten free things you can do at this year's Fair:

  1. Enjoy the performing sea lions, canines and bears at the Sea Lion Splash, K-9s in Flight and Welde Big Bear Shows.
  2. Pet a giraffe at the Giraffe Park Exotic Menagerie tent.
  3. Try the jelly bean taste test challenge at the Sweet: A Tasty Journey exhibit in the Florida Center.
  4. Use a nectar-soaked sponge to feed a butterfly at the Butterfly Experience in the Agriculture Hall of Fame building.
  5. Show off your artistic talents by adding to a 28-foot long Fair-themed coloring page near the Steam Engine Museum.
  6. Watch the death-defying globe of death, aerial entertainers, horse shows and clowns perform in the fabulous Hollywood Circus under the red and white Big Top.
  7. See a working antique printing press from the early 1900s in action and take home a souvenir from Mildred W. and Doyle E. Carlton Jr. Cracker Country Living History Museum.
  8. Witness the miracle of life occurring as mother cows give birth to calves in the Mooternity Ward.
  9. Listen to three of America's most enduring country music stars on one stage at the Roots and Boots concert with Sammy Kershaw, Aaron Tippen and Collin Raye on February 20th at 6:00 p.m.
  10. Create a new tradition of fun and memories that can last a lifetime with family and friends.

The Florida State Fair is open February 9 to 20 at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa.

Monday through Thursday the gates will open at 10:00 a.m. with the Midway opening at 1:00 p.m. Admission gates will close between 9:00 and 9:30 p.m.

Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and President's Day the gates will open at 9:00 a.m. with the Midway opening at 10:00 a.m. Admission gates will close between 9:30 and 10:30 p.m.

The Midway will close approximately 90 minutes after the admission gates close, weather permitting.

Ticket prices are as follows:
Adults: $11 (Monday-Thursday) and $13 (Friday-Sunday)
Child (ages 6-11): $6 (Monday-Thursday) and $7 (Friday-Sunday)
Seniors: $9 (valid only February 13-17)
Children ages 5 and under are free

Weekday armbands: $25
Any day armbands: $35

You can purchase tickets at the Fair box office, online at, or by calling (800) 345-3247.

For a complete schedule of fair events, visit