It’s that time of year again…the New York State Fair has begun! The fair runs from August 22nd to September 3rd and features all kinds of attractions, exhibits, music, and food. There’s something fun for everyone—including senior citizens. In fact, seniors 60 years and over receive free admission to the fair on Monday, August 27th and Tuesday, August 28th!


Accessible parking is available, as well as trams to take fair goers to and from their parking spaces. For help getting around the fair, wheelchairs and motorized scooters are also available to rent. Features like this make the NYS fair accessible to everyone, even those with limited mobility. You can learn more about accessibility here to help you plan your trip. For additional planning, check out our list of senior friendly activities and attractions below. There’s no shortage of things to do!


 1.     Take a trip back in time with the numerous historical exhibits

  • Check out the New York State Fair History Exhibit located in the Grange building. Learn how the fair began in 1841, and take your loved one on a trip down memory lane.
  • The antique tractor display boasts an impressive collection of tractors—most produced before 1960. They’re on display every day across from the Beef Barn.
  • Visit the Agricultural and Carriage Museums. The Daniel Parrish Witter Agricultural Museum is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year! The Carriage Museum features more than 50 horse-drawn vehicles and live blacksmith demonstrations. Both museums are open daily from 10am to 8pm.
  • We’ve come a long way transportation wise. Visit the historic train exhibit located behind the Horticulture Building, and take a break from walking to relax in one of the restored 1920s era passenger cars.


 2.     Pay your respects at the Veterans and 9/11 Memorial

  • The Armed Forces Day Memorial takes place at 11 am on Thursday, August 30th, with free admission being offered to any active duty member of the military, or any veteran with identification.

 3.     Must-See Sights: The butter sculpture & the sand sculpture

  • Hundreds of pounds of butter go into the creation of the butter sculpture, located in the Dairy Products Building. 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of this long-standing tradition! If your loved one is visually impaired, there’s also a hands-on clay model of the butter sculpture located at the Dairy Princess Booth.
  • The sand sculpture will be at the fair for the tenth year in a row, and can be found in the new Expo Center Building. You can watch as 180 tons of sand is sculpted into a beautiful work of art!


 4.     Take a walk on the wild side

  • Check out some of New York’s most majestic residents at the Birds of Prey Show in the NY State Park. Over 15 birds will be on display daily from 10am to 6pm!
  • If you’re looking for a little excitement, stop by Kachunga & The Alligator Show located in the Times Square area between the International Building and Midway, with daily shows at 1:45pm, 3:45pm, and 5:45pm.
  • Take the grandchildren along for this one! The Coronas Circus offers fun for the whole family, young and old, with daily show times at 1pm, 3pm, and 5pm. You can also take a walk through the Giraffic Menagerie petting zoo, which is open from 10am to 10pm daily.
  • For something a little more low-key, don’t miss out on the SkyRiver Butterfly Exhibit in the Horticulture Building where you can get up close and personal with exotic butterflies from around the world!


 5.     Take a rest at the International Horse Show

  • The Toyota Coliseum provides the perfect place to take a rest and get out of the sun, and features entertainment in the form of all different kinds of horseshows. Thousands of horses from the northeast and Canada come to compete.


 6.     Come for the music

  • Shows at the Chevy Court and the Experience Stage are free with your fair admission! Accessible seating is also available at Chevy Court. The impressive line-up for this year includes everything from classic bands and solo artists, dance performances, and local spotlights. Visit the entertainment section to learn more about each venue available, and the lineup they’re offering this year!

7.     Enjoy the food!

  • We’ve saved the best for last…with so many vendors and options available, even the pickiest eaters will find something they like at the fair! Learn more about the food & drink options available here.



Summer isn’t over yet! Check out our other senior friendly summer activities in CNY. At Loretto, we pride ourselves in providing our residents with activities and events all year around. We’re a leader in comprehensive healthcare services in Central New York, with 19 locations that deliver extraordinary care to nearly 10,000 people of all ages, income levels, and care needs. For more information about our services and facilities, visit us at

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