Updated: Dec 10, 2019
Looking for the biggest fair in Texas? Look no more.
I have all the in’s and out’s of the State Fair of Texas right here in this blog.
**Tickets were provided by State Fair of Texas. All opinions are my own.**
When: End of September & Beginning of October
Time: Gates open daily at 7 a.m.
Exhibit buildings, outdoor exhibits, and food concessions are open from:
10 a.m. to 9 p.m. – Sunday through Thursday
10 a.m. to 10 p.m. – Friday and Saturday
What to Wear
You need a hat and sunglasses to shield yourself from the Texas sun. Also, wear your comfy cowgirl boots or your favorite pair of tennis shoes. You will be walking around all day.
What to Bring
You can bring a cooler with water and sodas. Liquor is not allowed. I never saw anyone with a cooler, because it’s a lot to lug around all day. However, we brought a wagon for the kids. It was life savor.
Order your tickets online and you will receive an additional $50 in food and ride coupons.
How to get to the fair.
A) You can drive, then fight the traffic downtown, pay $18 for parking (seniors $16), and walk for miles to get to the fair.
B) You can take the DART for $6 and it drops you off right at the front of the gate.
Coupons are bought at a machine and go towards food and rides. The machines accept only credits cards. There are no refunds on coupons so make sure you order the correct amount. The lines are always long, unless you look next to a Hospitality Center which seems to sometimes have hidden coupon machines that most people do not know about. The coupon machines near gate 3 seemed to have small lines as well.
The hospitality centers are located all around the park. This is where you can get a free map of the fair. Also, if you need to be pointed in the right direction these are the people to talk to.
Texas State Fair Map
You can find this at the Hospitality Center. This map will help you find your way around the park.
Food -Coupons are Required
The Texas State Fair Food Staples
Fletchers Corn Dogs
If you are from Dallas, then Fletchers Corn Dog is a state fair Tradition. The lines are extremely long. Sadly, I was extremely disappointed. The corn dog was bland for my taste, but my kids loved it.
We even tried the jalapeno and cheese corn dog. We really couldn’t taste the cheese nor the jalapeno.
Fried, Fried, Fried
In Texas we can fry anything. You’re Welcome!
Fried Peanut Butter and Jelly with Bananas from Vandalay Ind.
This was hands down my favorite fried item. It was delish. I’m not a huge bananas fan so I was thankful the bananas did not over power the dish. The jelly on top really cut the fried flavor.
It took me over hour to find a place that sells the fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. If you want to experience some unique fried dishes, you need to be prepared with booth names or be willing to search them out. Next year, I want to try a Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Shake.
Can I get an Amen?
**Do your research because you will waste a lot of money on ok food when there is some of the best fried food in the world lurking about.**
PS. This place has some amazing fries. They are nice and crunchy. I’m kicking myself for not trying the pizza fries or garlic fries. Another blogger told me the garlic fries are her favorite item at the fair.
The best place to buy water bottles is at these stations. 1 bottle is 2 coupons, if you buy from a food booth you can expect to pay 6 coupons.
or Hush Hush…. you can go to the Butterfly Garden’s (Texas Discovery Garden) vending machines by the restrooms to get a killer deal. Only 85 cents for soda and water. There is no entry fee required in this area. Let’s just say we stocked up on drinks before heading to our next adventure.
There are some really cool chill spots to hang out while you drink a local craft beer.
You can be cheap like us and get beer’s from the Pineapple Man for 6 coupons each, which is super cheap. It’s located across from the Swan Boats and mini Big Tex. Look for the booth with water misters. You can even score a pineapple filled up with a margarita for 29 coupons at this booth.
Rides- Coupons Required
They have an entire section for adults and older kids ages 6 plus. This is where you will find the famous Texas Ferris Wheel and a huge selection of thrilling rides.
I lost my phone on this ride and someone turned it in. I love Texas.
They even have a massive kid section that had my kids drooling.
You will even find fun houses located in random spots.
This alligator makes for a fun Instagram picture.
Games- Requires a Card
You can purchase the cards from the Game attendants. The wide selection of games is impressive.
You are in luck, because winning a prize is not hard. It’s actually quite easy.
Things to do for free
The petting zoo was my kids favorite part. You can buy a cup of food for $1.00 to feed the animals. Hint: Keep the food until the end and feed the ostrich, which is super fun plus most people aren’t brave enough to feed him.
They have some of the coolest animals.
After you complete the petting zoo, the kids can experience what it’s like to be a farmer. My kids loved it. The kids are given several tasks to complete.
Once they complete the tasks, they are paid with a ticket.
The kids take the ticket to a booth outside where they can pick from any item the tent has. My kids selected mango ice cream.
Texas Auto Show
This is for all the automobile lovers in your family. You will see all the latest and greatest trucks/cars. I think we found our favorite and it matches our red wagon. I do miss being part of the “jeep” club.
The automobile manufactures even have free games where you can win prizes.
Things to do that require money.
Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park- $6.00 a person
We thought this place was small, but we were dead wrong. It’s huge and took about an hour to complete.
My daughter was even able to take a picture with a real live mermaid.
Butterfly Garden (Texas Discovery Garden) – $6.00 a person
This ticket will give you access to roam the massive gardens outside full of butterflies.
Best Instagram spot in the gardens.
They even have a really nice playground that entertained my kids for over an hour.
Afterwards we went inside to check out the exhibits and 3 story butterfly museum.
This is where you are able to see the butterflies up close and personal
Swan Boats- $10 per swan for 20 minutes
We never got around to this, but it looks like a lot of fun.
Before you leave do not forget to pick up Big Tex t-shirt for $25.00
Also, make sure you get a selfie with Big Tex before you leave.
If you’re not too tired from a full day at the fair, then stay for the concert. 98 Degrees was playing the day we attended. I wanted to stay for this concert, but we were exhausted. I 100% regret it, but I’ve learned my lesson. If you want to attend the concert show up a little later in the day so you’re not exhausted by 8pm.
**Tickets were provided by State Fair of Texas. All opinions are my own. **
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