Valleyfair is growing up.

At least, some of its clientele is.

That’s why the amusement park in Shakopee debuted a new menu on opening day this past weekend aimed at adults.

It’s part of an effort to lure back the people who loved the place in their childhood, when they had no qualms about eating cotton candy and pizza all day. As adults, they might be looking for something more.

“Adults don’t think there’s enough for them,” said Valleyfair executive chef Dave Whitmer. “We want to give adults a reason to come to the park and get an adult beverage, or get a meal instead of just a hot dog. We’re really trying to get those kids-at-heart back.”

While roasted corn elote, romaine salad with shaved cheese and pepperoni, and al pastor tacos are a step up from funnel cake, don’t expect oysters and martinis. The menu still veers into fair-food territory.

You can get chicken fingers and mashed potatoes in a waffle cone, mostaccioli pasta, a pizza slathered with Nutella and Oreo cookies, and a pickle on a stick that’s been deep-fried in Flamin’ Hot Cheetos batter.

And, yes, a hot dog — but topped with lobster mac and cheese.

A bacon cheeseburger dripping with hollandaise is served between two hash brown patties instead of a bun; it’s marketed as gluten-free. Whitmer could barely suppress a giggle when he described it.

“That’s our joke,” he said. “It’s a gluten-free option, but it’s a lot of calories. But we’re an amusement park, so things are fun.”

While “adult” beverages for years meant beers that were relegated to only a couple of out-of-the-way bars, the amusement park has slowly reintroduced alcohol on a wider scale. Now, you can get cocktails from Tattersall Distilling, canned Underwood wine, and craft beer from Surly, Summit and Badger Hill Brewing Co.

In addition to the new foods, the park’s Depot refreshment stand is partnering with local restaurants each month to feature items from their menus. First up is St. Paul’s Handsome Hog. Chef Justin Sutherland’s shrimp po’boy, brisket sandwich, wings, Carolina pulled pork, and side dishes will be available for the month of June. After that, the menu switches to St. Paul’s Groveland Tap in July, St. Paul’s Pajarito in August, and Smalley’s Caribbean Barbeque, formerly of Stillwater, in September and October.

“The idea is to really up our food game,” Whitmer said. “We want to make some offerings that are a little more chef-driven. A lot of ballparks are going that avenue and we want to get with the times.”

1 Valleyfair Dr., Shakopee


Here are the new food items, prices and where to find them: 

Valleyfair Rum Punch with Tattersall Barrel Select Rum ($10.99 16oz)

Locations: Depot Refreshment, Breakers Bay Bar, Catering Events

Valleyfair “Aw Shucks” Cream Ale from Badger Hill ($9.99 16oz)

Locations: Depot Refreshment, Atomic Bar, Chickie’s & Pete’s, Catering Events

Underwood Can Wine Selections; Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir Rose, Bubbles ($11.99 12oz)

Locations: Depot Refreshment, Atomic Bar, Chickie’s & Pete’s, El Taco Mercado, Breakers Bay Bar

Flaming Hot Cheetos Deep Fried Pickle on a Stick ($4.99)

Locations: Wild Thing Pronto Pup

Mostaccioli con Ricotta ($5.99)

Locations: Mama Chetta’s

Italian Chop Salad ($10.99)

Locations: Mama Chetta’s

Dessert Pizza with Cinnamon Sugar Crust, Nutella, Crushed Oreo, Whipped Cream, Chocolate and Caramel (Whole Pizza Only $19.49)

Locations: Mama Chetta’s

Lobster Mac n Cheese Dog ($8.99), Giardiniera Dog ($7.49), Cubano Dog ($7.49) served with our House Pickle

Locations: Route 76 Refreshments

Summit Brewery Selections : Extra Pale Ale, Dakotah Soul and Slugfest Juicy IPA ($9.99 16oz Can)

Locations: Route 76 Refreshments

MN Taco with ground beef, shredded cheese, lettuce and tomato ($5.99 3 tacos)

Al Pastor cooked in the stand on a Vertical Broiler with green salsa, white onion and cotija ($6.49 2 tacos)

Fire Roasted Chicken with corn salsa and queso ($7.49 2 tacos)

Locations: El Taco Mercado

Birthday Cake Cotton Candy on LED cone, Grape Sizzle Cotton Candy with Pop Rocks and S’Mores Cotton Candy ($7.99)

Locations: Games Cotton Candy

House Smoked Pulled Pork Sandwich Basket ($12.99)

Locations: Northwoods Grill

GF Hashbrown Burger Basket ($12.59)

Locations: Coasters

Roasted Elote ($4.99)

Locations: Corn Cart

Surly Brewing Selections – Rose, First Avenue, Xtr Citra, Furious ($9.99 16oz)

Locations: Food Truck