Free fun for the young and young-at-heart at Minnesota State Fair’s Eco Experience

St. Paul, Minn. — Eco Experience is a can’t-miss for kids at the Minnesota State Fair. Join us for free environmentally friendly hands-on activities inside and outside the building! Fairgoers of all ages can learn about the environment and eco-friendly living in a fun, interactive way.

Bring the wild back to the child. One of our most popular exhibits is back this year! The revamped Nature Adventure Play Area, in front of the Eco Experience building, will bring back the wild in the child. Kids will love playing on the multi-sensory playground, composed of plant materials, tree stumps, tree branches, and natural everyday recycled materials. Fairgoers will also see a tepee, a fairy garden and a brand new campsite seating area for parents to take a break while kids play.

YOXO Make-N-Take. Head indoors to play some more! Stop by the information desk and pick up a bookmark to participate in the Eco Experience Challenge. Visit three of the 12 marked stations and receive a YOXO toy. YOXO is a St. Paul-based company, and their toys are made of sustainable and recyclable parts that allow kids to build their own toys by linking shapes made with everyday household materials. Make your YOXO in our play area filled with couches, computer-games and places for parents to take a breather with their kids. Limit 800 toys per day. First come, first served.

Be a citizen scientist. Did you know that in Minnesota there are dozens of programs that train and support thousands of Citizen Scientists? In fact, Minnesota was one of the first states in the nation to have a citizen water monitoring program and it currently has more than 1,300 volunteers that measure the clarity of their favorite lake or stream throughout the summer. It’s a great way to get kids introduced to science as well as spend time together as a family in nature. At this exhibit fair guests can practice being a Citizen Scientist by:

  • Learning three different frog and owl calls and putting their newly learned skills to the test.
  • Using a Secchi tube to measure water clarity and evaluate the health of a local stream.
  • Learning the unique characteristics of Monarch butterflies and distinguishing them from look-alikes.

Go flush yourself. Learn about chemicals that are being flushed down the drain by climbing into our larger-than-life bathroom sink and get flushed down the drain. Fairgoers will get a chance to see what really happens to water as it goes through your sink or toilet and into our wastewater systems. Treatment plants cannot always completely clean water and some chemicals make it through the process, ending up in our rivers and even our drinking water! The exhibit will teach you what chemicals pose threats and how you can save your stream.

Now showing. The Sustainability Stage offers informative presentations and performances on a variety of topics to help you make healthier choices for you and your family. Take a seat for daily presentations on the hour, including cooking demonstrations with samples for your hungry kids at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Don’t miss the best fare at the fair!

Other presentations include sing-alongs, story time, puppet shows, Sewerman (who teaches kids about water quality), and so much more. See a full schedule at the MPCA’s Eco Experience webpage.

The Eco Experience building is full of family-friendly, interactive and informative activities that your kids will love. Come join us to explore clean water, climate change, recycling, air quality, transportation, gardening and healthy food. There are hours of free fun are to be had for the young and young-at-heart at the Eco Experience.

Bring your family, bring a friend and get your green on!