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Eat Your Way Through the Big E!

Pigs are just one of the farm animals you will see at the Big E!
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Big E
Pigs are just one of the farm animals you will see at the Big E!

It's that time again, Big E time! Three weeks of New England State Fair fun. Personally, this is an event I look forward to every year. The launch of the Big E marks a change in season from summer fun to fall foliage. It's bittersweet to watch summer fade. Somehow, the Big E makes the transition a bit easier.

If you haven't been to the Big E before, here is a basic primer. First, the Fair offers several options for fun. Your primary options are State Buildings, farm animals, carnival midway, crafts and household goods, and shows. I begin every Fair at the State Buildings. 

At the Big E, each New England State has a building. Each building is a tour through that state's best food and culture. Lobster rolls, maple sugar candy, cider, pizza, fresh berries and more scream to be eaten as you stroll through each state. It is very easy to over eat in these buildings- pace yourself.

After a big state meal, we head to the farm animals to walk off some calories. The farm buildings have pigs, cows, goats, sheep, lamas, draft horses (my favorite) and more. It's really cool to see the animals up close and get a feel for the farm culture that hosts these beasts on a daily basis. Very striking are the number of families and kids who masterfully manage the animals with an impressive sense of maturity. 

Still have energy after the animals? Check out the Better Living Center for lots of cool home gadgets, take a ride on the ginormous slide or eat some more! The Big E is easily a full day experience for kids and adults. My family likes to visit 2 or 3 times to get the full experience. 

Hints for parents of little ones: bring a stroller or a wagon. There's lots of walking and even the older kids get tired. Pace your trip and don't beat yourselves up for not seeing the whole thing- there's always next year. Finally, the State Buildings can be crowded and uninteresting for little kids. We like to start at "Farm-O-Rama", eat, and work our way towards the State Buildings. You will pass the midway with lots of cool rides...so you may never get to the State Buildings. With kids, the Big E is a series of asks and negotiations. Have fun! 

Check out the full schedule of events at www.bige.com

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