So I've been coming here every year since I was 3. It's an annual tradition. My dad used to take me every year. I don't like rides (only the Scrambler) so I just get a grounds pass. This year, from Mon -Thurs after 5 p.m., the grounds admission is $6. You have to pay extra/buy tickets/bracelet if you want to go on rides. There's TONS to see and do.
First, you need 1. a comfortable pair of walking shoes 2. a windbreaker or light jacket - you're near the lake and it tends to be a bit on the breezy side, esp w the coolish summer we've been having. 3. I prefer to go later in the day/early evening because I find it to be magical when the lights all go on. 4. Bring sunglasses/sunhat if you're going during the day, lots of outdoor stuff to see. Having said that there are TONS of buildings with lots to see do and try inside. I would suggest going to the website before you go and figuring out which shows you'd like to see (almost all are FREE) and their timing and location. The Ex grounds are large and it can take awhile to get from point A to point B, especially when busy. I always make a point of getting a footlong corn dog from this specific corn dog stand (near the corner of the midway, kitty corner to the International Building), seeing the dog show, going to the Farm Building (seeing the baby animals, butter sculptures etc) and Food Building (at least 2 or 3 times). Every year they have some kind of bizarre yet fascinating food (deep fried snickers bars in years past, this year - chocolate fried chicken, Peanut Butter Sriracha Rolls, hot dog surrounded by funnel cake..you get the idea...I always have a great time checking out the International Building (lots of deals you can't find elsewhere during the year), I especially like the British Candy display for my bon bons. The home building has lots of infomercial-like demos, interesting stuff to see and try. All of the buildings are air conditioned and there are lots of clean washrooms available. It's fun and memorable. I never regret going! Bring an empty water bottle as they have free water bottle refill stations all over (and you save $5 from the crappy, overpriced, owned by Coca-Cola Dasani water that's the only water available in the entire place). Bring a backpack for the free samples you'll get - this year, toothpaste and tums!
These reviews are the subjective opinions of ChickAdvisor members and not of ChickAdvisor Inc.