After I’d told N we’d be going to the Banbury Michaelmas fair, I couldn’t work out what he was saying. Well, you know toddlers!

‘Going to the bear?  N, we’re going to the fair, f-air’

‘Going to the bear’.  Hmm, ok then.

I love the fair, just the atmosphere of being there, even if you don’t go on any rides.  Obviously it’s very different going with a toddler compared with going as a teenager with friends.  No exciting rides for me. And having to go in daylight does remove some of the fun and excitement.  

Banbury Michaelmas Fair has changed a lot since I went as a teenager. Mainly because it’s more spread out thanks to the extension of the shopping centre development.  There’s no longer room for all the rides where it used to be, so some rides are a bit further out and right up at Banbury Cross for the carousel and a couple of other fun house types.

I didn’t really want to be trekking round with the pushchair, so we left it in the car…a bit of a mistake as N mostly wanted to be carried.  Fridays after nursery, he’s always tired, so it probably wasn’t the best time for him.  Luckily, he’s ok at going on my shoulders, which is much easier for carrying him.

He wasn’t too sure about the fair at first.  He likes the lights and looking at the rides (even the fast ones), but I think the variety of loud music blaring out was a bit of a surprise and a bit scary.  It wasn’t that busy at the time we were there being just after school time, so I had thought it would be ok, but it really must be noisy for a toddler.  A snack of raisins helped, although he still wasn’t keen to walk.

Once N spotted the children’s rides, he perked up though.  He’s a big fan of any merry go round style with vehicles, so was straight on those.  Happy to beep horns and have a nosy round at the same time.

car fairground ride
Beep beep

People moan about the cost of the fairground rides now, and the large rides can be very pricy at £4+ each, but I thought the toddler rides were good value with most being £2, the most expensive N went on was £2.50.  The local paper print 50p off coupons so we used those and I thought we got a lot of rides for our money.

planes ride
Why are those planes so high?

I’d heard about the planes ride, and N seemed eager to try it.  He was a little confused to see all the other planes rising up – he’d not worked out that pulling back the ‘joystick’ would rise his plane up.  The ride went on a bit long for him, and he wanted to get off earlier than the ride stopped.

N really wanted to go on a motorbike ride, and we spotted one, so he was up on it like a shot.  The bike was really a little large for him but he coped really well.  I’m not sure he was that happy on the ride because it wasn’t as comfortable as some of the others.

motorbike riding
Not too convinced by the clowns!

He was soon back spotting the other rides that were more his thing.  A favourite was definitely the vintage merry go round – we had to go back a second time to ride that one.

riding the vintage merrygoround

Luckily he’s quite cheap on outings like this as there’s no wanting to have a go on ‘hook a duck’ or similar side stalls.  He was after some candy floss (I’m not sure what he thought it was), but we refrained and opted for takeaway fish and chips on the way home.

It was a lovely trip out, and hopefully in the future I can train him to be more like me on rides than his father (who turns green, if you can even drag him onto a ride).  That’s the only downside of being there with a toddler…no way of going on the cool rides.  It is looking promising as he was trying to drag me on an extremely fast ride and was watching the rotor disco spinning round.  Maybe there is hope!

The King fairground ride

Lots of people dislike the michaelmas fair coming to town, with shops losing trade, 2 car parks lost, and the potential for trip hazards, overexcited youths, loud music etc, but for someone living outside the town, for a few days only, it’s great to see it arrive again.  Roll on next year for the Banbury Michaelmas Fair.

You can read about a more recent visit to the fair.

Do you have a fair in your town?  Do you enjoy going?

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