Things to Do

5 Fun State and County Fairs Happening Near DC

These family-friendly fairs feature Ferris wheels, carnival games and fried foods.

Photograph by Arlington County/Flickr.

Before summer ends, head to a state or county fair for amusement rides and deep-fried dishes. Here are five fairs to check out in Maryland and Virginia.


Howard County Fair

2210 Fairgrounds Rd., West Friendship

The agricultural event has classic fair rides, horse shows, and a barn for kids to pet the animals. If you have a competitive streak, fairgoers can participate in several contests such as pie-eating and karaoke. Details: August 5-12; $10.  


Montgomery County Fair

501 Perry Pkwy., Gaithersburg

Bring your appetite to this fair: Food offerings include New Orleans-style snowballs, funnel cakes, and chocolate-covered bacon on a stick. Beyond the snacks, there’s a variety of entertainment options, from a comedy hypnotist to a motorsport race. Details: August 11-19; $15. 


Arlington County Fair

3501 Second St., Arlington

Look for slides and rides, plus concessions such as deep-fried Oreos and caramel apples. The kids’ area features games, a bouncy house, and live music. Details: August 16-20; Free entry, ride tickets are $1.25. 


Maryland State Fair

2200 York Rd., Lutherville-Timonium

A giant Ferris wheel is at the center of the fairgrounds, surround by more than 60 other rides. Different shows are presented each weekend, including a lumberjack competition and roving pianist. Details: August 24-27, August 31-September 4, September 7-10; $12.  


Prince William County Fair

10624 Dumfries Rd., Manassas

Virginia’s largest fair has a petting zoo, rodeo, and demolition derby for live entertainment. Check out carnival games and rides for more things to do around the park. Details: August 11-19; Starting at $8. 

Essence Wiley
Editorial Fellow