Games with a Country Fair Theme
Where I grew up, going to fair was the big event of the summer. This theme can also use many of the ideas from the Western theme and many more ideas from the Carnival Game Ideas page can be adapted to fit your Country Fair theme.
at the races
Make a "racetrack" with six lanes. You can make a sturdy track out of wood and paint the lanes on, or just use a long sheet of the wide paper used to cover bulletin boards and draw the lanes on with a marking pen. Divide each lane into about 8-12 spaces, as shown below. We have big foam dice and a giant foam die available in our Catalog.
You can have up to six players at one time with this game. The player places their horse (or vehicle, animal, etc.) on a lane. The operator throws a die (the jumbo foam ones work well for this) and the player whose lane number comes up gets to move forward one space. You can also use a pair of dice, one to determine the lane that moves and the other how many spaces to move. The first player to the finish line gets a prize.
blue ribbon pies
Try to find some good sports among your teachers or principals who will act as targets for shaving cream pies.
cake (or cookie or pie) walk
Players walk in a circle of numbered squares while music plays. When the music stops, the operator chooses the winning numbers. Players standing on a winning number get a prize. Check with local codes if home-made goods can be used, otherwise use prizes like Hostess Cupcakes, Twinkies, Fruit Pies, or packaged cookies.
Decorate an area as the "jail" and have volunteers dress as sheriffs. A person is arrested when a "friend" pays one ticket to have them jailed. They then have to pay one ticket to get out. This game works better with older children and teens.
I once won a live duckling at a fair, but you'd better stick with the plastic kind for your carnival. Player selects a duck from the wading pool "pond," the number on the bottom of the duck determines the prize. We have weighted ducks and an inexpensive pool for this game in our Catalog.
Dunk tanks are always fun and fit well with this theme. "Reverse" dunk tanks are also available where the water pours down from above rather than the person dropping into the water.
feed the cows (or pigs)
Use a backboard with pictures of a pig or a cow for a target for beanbags. The player tries to throw beanbags through holes in the target. You could make the beanbags to look like corncobs, or use dried or plastic corncobs.
Volunteers wear colorful aprons with lots of pockets and circulate throughout the carnival. Each pocket holds a different prize. Player gets to choose the pocket.
line dancing/square dancing
From the parents down to the little ones, everyone has fun with this. Keep the dances as simple as possible so no one feels intimidated. Hire a professional caller if you can't find an experienced volunteer.
milk bottle knockdown
Stack six wood or aluminum milk bottles (available from carnival suppliers) in a pyramid. Each player gets to throw one to three rubber baseballs at the bottles. You can decide if they must knock down all or just a few bottles to win a prize.
on the farm ring toss
Build a target frame that consists of rows of dowels sticking up from a plywood base. Attach different prizes to the dowels and the player wins the prize they "ring." Use bendy plastic farm animals as one of the prizes. We have wood ring toss rings in our Catalog.
Set up specially made carnival break-a-plates in front of a picnic cloth background. Player throws three rubber baseballs to try and break a plate. Don't forget to add some plastic ants for atmosphere.
Check your yellow pages to find a pony ride operator in your area. If you are very lucky, you may have a willing horse or pony owner in your group who will volunteer. Also see Pony Rides.
prizewinning pumpkin or hog calling
Player throws a hula hoop to try and ring a pumpkin or a plush pig on a stand. Hoop must be completely around the pumpkin (or pig) and stand to win.
put up the pickles
Player tries to toss plastic pickles into glass jars. You could color-code the jars to determine the prize, or just give different prizes for getting one, two, or three pickles in. We have imitation pickles in our Catalog.
While a lot of work all on its own, a student talent show would be a fun addition to your fair.