Education FAQ

When can my class come on a Field Trip to the Topsfield Fair?

We offer the Field Trip programs Monday to Friday of the Fair each year. The Topsfield Fair officially opens at 10:00am. Groups are asked to arrive on grounds before 10:00am and to leave the grounds no later than 2:00pm. Although we do not officially open until 10:00am, we do our best to open exhibits early and provide entertainment for school groups before the public arrives. We also suggest coming towards the beginning of the week, as we get busier and more crowded on Thursday and Friday.

How much does it cost to bring my class to the Fair?

Children in or below grade 5 are admitted into the Fair free of charge when visiting with a school group. Chaperones are also admitted free on a 4 students to 1 chaperone ratio. Students above grade 5, as well as additional chaperones, are admitted at the discounted price of $5.00 each, which can be paid the day of at the information table by cash or check.

How do I change my group's field trip date?

In the event that you need to change the date of your field trip, please contact Kate O'Brien kate@topsfieldfair.org). Please note that we cannot guarantee the availability of your classes on the new date, however we will do our best to accommodate your group.

What is the Resource Center?

The Resource Center is a room on the Fairgrounds that teachers can visit during their field trip. The Resource Center has a wide array of worksheets that you can bring back to school for your students to complete. The worksheets focus on all of the aspects of the Fair including honeybees, being kind to the environment, history, and more! The Resource Center is located next to the Fair Trade Center which can be located using a Fair Map. We have also have an Education Center in the New Meadows Demonstration Area. The worksheets and educational materials are available in this location, as well.

Where do we park?

All school groups must come to the Fair on a school bus. You can park at the Maple Street Parking Area (Lot D), free of charge. Please note, that if a chaperone comes in a separate vehicle, they are responsible for paying for parking. The Topsfield Fair cannot reimburse or waive the fee for their parking. Also, some smaller school groups choose to arrive in vans instead of school buses. These groups still qualify for Field Trip Admission Prices, but will have to pay the parking fee. Please note that this is not a new policy.

How many chaperones should we bring?

We suggest bringing 1 chaperone for every 4 students attending. With this ratio, your chaperones will be admitted free to the Fair. One of the most common comments we receive from teachers after their trips is that they wished they had brought more chaperones to help with getting students to classes, bathroom breaks/meal times, and navigating the grounds!

Where can I register my school group's field trip?

Please register your school group on our website, www.topsfieldfair.org. If you're an administrator who is trying to encourage your teachers to bring students, please direct them to our website.

When can I register my school group

The Field Trip Registration Form is typically available starting in August. We will accept registrations until the week before the Fair, unless we reach our maximum capacity of buses. Although we can accommodate over 75 buses per day, in 2014 and 2015, Thursday and Friday were filled approximately three weeks before the Fair (mid-September). Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday are typically less-popular days to visit, which means there is typically more class availability on these days!

If my group does not want to take part in a class, do I still have to complete the online registration form?

Yes - to get free or discounted admission and free bus parking, your school must register, regardless of whether or not you are taking part in a class.

What is the maximum number of students per school?

School groups are welcome to bring as many students as they would like, as long as their registration number matches the number of students attending and they arrive on school buses.

How will I know if my field trip is confirmed?

When you submit the online registration form, you should receive an automatic email response (within 72 hours), confirming we have received your request. In September, you will receive a confirmation packet in the mail that confirms all of the details of your Field Trip. This includes your arrival and departure times, if and when you will be taking part in classes, etc. If there are any conflicts or lack of availability, Topsfield Fair will contact you by phone or email to work it out, prior to you receiving the packet.

How do we pay for our trip?

The total cost for your group to attend will be noted on your confirmation packet. Field Trips must be paid for in advance or upon arrival in the Parking Lot. Groups will not be admitted onto the grounds until payment has been received.


In Advance - If you are paying for your field trip prior to arriving, please mail a check to the Topsfield Fair, PO Box 134, Topsfield, MA 01983. If you would like to pay via Credit Card, please call the Administration Office - 978-887-5000.

Upon Arrival - If you are paying for your field trip upon arrival, please bring the exact amount in cash (we cannot provide change), or a check made payable to the Topsfield Fair. We do not accept credit card payments if you are paying when you arrive.

What classes can we do while we're on the Fairgrounds?

We offer numerous free classes for schools to take part in! To see a full listing of what classes are offered, please visit the "Classes" tab on our Education page (http://topsfieldfair.org/education.php).Click the name of each class you are interested in, and it will give you a full description!

How do I find out what days different classes are offered?

To see a full listing of what days each class is offered, please visit the "Classes" tab on our Education page (http://topsfieldfair.org/education.php).

How many classes can I register for?

The Topsfield Fair Education Department allows each school to sign up for a maximum of two classes. Scheduling for three or more classes can be a cause for a more hectic and less enjoyable time for your group. After completing the two classes, students can enjoy exploring the Fair on their own, or taking part in our Activities.

What is an Activity?

Activities are not run by an instructor and allow students to explore different parts of the Fair. Activities are still highly educational, but are not scheduled and can be completed at any point throughout the day. Some activities do require materials such as worksheets or special maps. Please download these from the Education page, copy, and distribute them, prior to attending the Fair. **These Activities do not count towards our suggestion of a maximum of two classes per group.

How long do classes last?

Most of the Topsfield Fair Education Classes run for 30 minutes each, however some run up to a full hour. This will be noted on your schedules.

How many students participate in a class?

There are typically 25 students participating in each class block. This number is flexible depending on the school size and which class(es) you are taking part in.

When do we take part in classes?

The Education Department will schedule your students into each class that you register for. We will include an itinerary with your group's schedule in your confirmation packet.

Lunch on the Fairgrounds

What do students do for lunch on the Fairgrounds?

Groups have a few options when it comes to eating at the Fair. You may choose to use a single option, or a combination, however, you must pre-register for Option 1. There are also designated areas on grounds which have picnic tables, trash barrels, and recycling bins, suitable for large groups. If you have any questions or concerns about your group having a satisfactory lunch on the Fairgrounds, please contact Kate O'Brien kate@topsfieldfair.org).

  • OPTION 1: FREE LUNCH PROGRAM
    The Education Department offers a Free Lunch Program for school groups attending a field trip. You must sign up for this program ahead of time by making the request on your registration form.
  • OPTION 2: ALLOW STUDENTS TO PURCHASE "FAIR" FOOD
  • OPTION 3: BRING LUNCH FROM HOME OR FROM SCHOOL CAFETERIA

We are bringing bagged lunches - where can we keep them?

Unfortunately, we do not have an area for lunches to be stored while you explore the Fair. Due to our enhanced security, any bags left unattended will be discarded immediately. We suggest that chaperones carry students' lunches in larger bags or that school's leave lunches on the school buses and have chaperones retrieve them when students are ready to eat.

What day(s) is the Free Lunch Program offered?

Free lunch is offered on all five field trip days, Monday, October 2nd to Friday, October 6th and is available for schools/districts with a high percentage of students receiving free or reduced price meals.

What does each student get in the Free Lunch Program?

Children participating in the Free Lunch Program each receive a hotdog, apple, milk, and cookies or chips.

Where does the Free Lunch Program take place?

The Free Lunch Program takes place in our Hospitality Tent. The Hospitality Tent is located behind the Arena. Please note that there is no signage directing you to this location - it is a private lunch area that is not available or advertised to the public.

How do I make sure students spend their money on food — not games?

If you are planning on having your student purchase "Fair Food", we strongly encourage you to pre-purchase our Fair Food Vouchers. They cost $6.00 each and can be redeemed for $8 worth of food at select vendors. Vendors sell many kid-friendly foods including pizza, sandwiches, fried dough, chicken fingers, etc. For more information about Fair Food Vouchers, please contact Kate O'Brien kate@topsfieldfair.org.

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Topsfield, MA 01983

Phone: 978-887-5000

essex@topsfieldfair.org

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