There is so much to do at the Central Washington State Fair that it's easy to get caught up in the excitement and dedicate too much time in one area. Or when walking around for the chance to completely miss an exhibit or two. When you go to the Central Washington State Fair, here are five items you shouldn't pass up.

  • 5

    Rock U: The Institute of Rock 'N' Roll

    This year's feature exhibit is 'Rock U: The Institute of Rock 'n' Roll'. There are musical instruments to play from guitars to drums and even more unique instruments including a theremin. There is some Rock n' Roll trivia and interactive games and displays from all types and all styles. Definitely worth a visit.

    Photo: John Riggs
  • 4

    Butterfly Adventures

    The Butterfly Adventures is pretty cool. They've walled out an area inside the Washington State Building and filled it full of butterflies with various flowers and plants for them to land on. The best part is they give you a cotton swab that you can dip in "nectar" (which is probably just sugar water) so you can pick up the butterflies and get a great up-close look.

    Photo: John Riggs
  • 3


    Everyone loves a petting zoo. Instead of letting your kids roam free in a generic plot of land to let them get trampled and get their clothes chewed on, the animals are separated with some great trivia on each type of animal. They're not shy, they'll come right up to you, usually looking for food, but they'll accept being pet all the same. Everything from goats to cows to texas longhorns and more. They have some feed you can purchase if you'd like. They also have live incubating chicks and every so often they bring one of the dairy cows for you to milk. It's a great experience for all ages.

    Photo: John Riggs
  • 2

    A Walk on the Wild Side

    "There is a full sized, live tiger at the fair." was the first thing my wife said to me as she was roaming by herself. Indeed, she was right. This year features some exotic animals including a tiger (that can spray up to 30 feet), a porcupine, a baby wallaby and a few other animals to get an up-close look at. They're free to see, but for an additional $10 you can get your picture taken with a baby skunk, baby bobcat or a baby serval. If you can, I'd say spring for the picture - you'll be glad you did.

    Photo: John Riggs
  • 1

    The Sundome

    Walking in to the Sundome during the Central Washington State Fair is like walking from one infomercial to the next. Some may avoid going through at all as they don't want to be sold on anything. I'm the opposite. I'm looking for a great deal. You're not going to hurt anyone's feeling by politely declining their invitation for more information, but I was able to find a few great finds there. I was interested in that Slushy Magic I see on TV, and they had them there so I was able to save on shipping and handling. There's also a wonderful little area that sells the best Vanilla extract that, if you cook or bake, it's worth picking up. Lots of toys, trinkets, clothing and one-of-a-kind products you won't find anywhere else are inside the Sundome.