Probably the hardest part of 6-year-old Daryl Pope’s day at the Arlington County Fair was trying to maneuver the Euro Bubble. The “ride,” introduced this year, is what a hamster would use to exercise if it lived under water – or at least in a pool.

Daryl gingerly stepped into the deflated plastic sphere. Two fair workers zipped it up and inflated the bubble with a large hose. With one shove off the platform, Daryl – now inside the bubble – floated out into the shallow pool.

At first, the tricky part was trying to walk on water, he later said. But after getting the hang of the Euro Bubble, it seemed falling down was the fun part. In between tumbles and flops, Daryl was able to stand up long enough to wave at his mom.

Once back on dry land, Daryl said he enjoyed his time as a bubble boy, and it seemed he had the chance to play in a pool without getting wet. Throughout the 85-degree day, children filtered in and out of the small pool to try their hand at the Euro Bubble. Sorry, adults: This ride has a 180-pound weight limit.

Kids who want to take a spin in the plastic bubble still have a chance to do so. The fair continues through Sunday. For more information click here.

August 12, 2011