Above: Thrills at the New Mexico State Fair. Courtesy Albuquerque Free Images.

Two words: baby animals. Kids love to ogle and coo over the fluffy inhabitants of the Red Barn at the New Mexico State Fair, which marks its 80th anniversary September 6–16 in Albuquerque. Older kids will love carnival games and roller coasters, and there’s plenty of sweet, fried, and oversize indulgences to eat along the way. Also, don’t miss the Southern New Mexico State Fair & Rodeo, September 26–30 in Las Cruces, with carnival rides, livestock shows, and rodeo.

Looking for some screen-free time? Santa Fe’s El Rancho de las Golondrinas hosts two family-friendly events this month. At Fiesta de Los Niños, September 1–2, kids can dip candles and roll tortillas, watch blacksmithing and hide-tanning demonstrations, and play colonial-era games. At the historic site’s Santa Fe Renaissance Fair, September 15–16, kids can ride in a Spanish galleon, explore a fairy village, and pet a unicorn. The old-timey fun continues at Cleveland Millfest, September 2–3, when volunteers start up the 19th-century water-powered mill and show how it helped feed Mora.

The state’s top crop is front and center for the Green Chile Cheeseburger Smackdown, September 8 in Santa Fe. Since the event’s spicy start, New Mexico’s chefs have seared some 32,000 burgers for 4,000 guests to benefit Cooking with Kids. The parade, games, rides, and food at the Hatch Chile Festival, September 2–3, will keep the whole family happy and help you fill the freezer.

Down-home fun is on deck at the Wagon Mound Bean Day, a weekend full of food, festivities, and mud-bog races, August 31–September 3, and at the Pie Town Pie Festival, where kids can compete in a pie-eating contest, September 8.

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Green thumbs will find plenty to add to their collections at the Cactus and Succulent Society of New Mexico’s three-day show. Club members display exotic and fascinating plants, and attendees learn how to care for the spiny, fleshy, hardy, and even edible varieties. September 1–3 at ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden, in Albuquerque.