Children's Minnesota brings State Fair fun to patients and their families

It's been a tough summer for the Bugarin family. Their 8-month-old son, Levi, underwent heart surgery at Children's Minnesota and has been receiving care there ever since. 

"As long as we are by Levi, that's all that matters," said David, Levi's father. 

On Thursday afternoon, they got a short break from the stress, taking time to work on crafts and have some fun with their 8-year-old son, Leonardo. 

It was all a part of the hospital's very own Minnesota State Fair celebration, which was complete with everything from fair foods, games, crafts and live music.

(FOX 9)

"They can't be out experiencing things like the Minnesota State Fair, so we thought we would bring the fun to them," said Kayla Shafer of Children's Minnesota. 

The event is organized by the Child Life and Music Therapy programs, which help kids understand their medical care and reduce stress through play, activities, and music. 

"Some of the patients and families are here for short stays, but others are here for a long duration. We know that comes with its own stressors, so special events like this are really important," said Shafer. 

The fun wasn't just limited to the atrium, as staff took a cart to inpatient units with food, crafts and treat bags. Events like this are supported largely through the generosity of donors, ensuring the fair fun is free for everyone to enjoy. 

"We wouldn't be able to put events like this on without that support," said Shafer.