The Texas State Fair takes place each year from late September through mid-October at Fair Park in Dallas. Amusement park rides, a rodeo, football games at the Cottonbowl, live performances, a petting zoo, a car show, and more. It's an annual tradition that's more than 100 years old and counting.
My friend and fellow Trekaroo mom Cori took our 2 year old and 3.5 year old to the Texas State Fair yesterday. We got there around 9:45am (on Wednesdays you can bring three canned goods and pay only $3 to get in!) and immediately went to the petting zoo. There are camels, zebras, donkeys, Shetland ponies, sheep, goats, pigs, and I'm sure other barnyard creatures I'm leaving out. Oh! and a giraffe. You pay $1 for a Dixie cup of food and you can feed most of the animals. Just as a side note, use the play plastic shovel to feed the zebra. HE BITES.
We then went to the farm area that is all pretend and the cutest ever. Each child gets a basket and a baggie of corn. They then go to a "peach orchard" and pick a peach and put in the basket. As they walk along they pick up wool, other fruits and veggies, plant a sunflower seed in the ground, milk a pretend cow, and ride a bicycle tractor! After they have completed the whole farm "course" they get a fake dollar and can pick out a snack. They had packages of pretzels, chips, cookies, and trail mix.
Much to our surprise and disappointment food and rides did not open until NOON. We went to the greenhouse (also didn't open until noon) lawn that had benches and had snack time and rest time. When the greenhouse opened, we visited it and it did not disappoint. It is full of lush plants and waterfalls and has several train tracks that run through it. Truly magical to toddlers!!
By the time we were done there, we could ride rides! All the kid rides were in one general area which made it easier to choose. I believe the shortest you could be to ride a ride was 32-34". Embry, the 2 year old, was not interested in a ride so Eliot rode two different ones.
All in all it was a fun trip! There are ways not to spend much (the chicken finger basket had four chicken fingers and tons of fries which we could all eat) and we parked on a side street instead of in a lot which is $15.
The state fair is a TEXAS MUST DO! You MUST go, you MUST get your picture with Big Tex and you MUST have a Fletcher's corny dog! So much to do, so much to see (also so much money to be spent). Do make sure you bring cash, and lots of it. A big attraction is the big Ferris wheel and I think it's a must do! Although, it's a pricey ride, you get a great view of Fair Park and downtown Dallas! Also make sure you check out the fried item of the year...the past few years it's been fried butter and fried beer (yuck)!
It truly is a tradition.
The opening night. 5:30 pm.
Park on the north side $10 bucks.
Walk right into the gate right by the Chevy main stage.
30 steps - Bank of America ATM -cash.
35 steps - Ticket booth.
45 steps - food booths.
Now let's go!
We have the printed out list of the new foods at the fair. Fried something!
But first we head to Fletcher's to get our "corny on" with a lot of mustard!
Check out the new cars & trucks. I am a Chevy girl myself.
The kids loved climbing all over the trucks.
Listen to some of the bands at the food court stage (by the stadium).
Head over to see the butter exhibit. How do they do that?
We had to go see Elsie the cow.
Found the fried butter, fried okra, fried cheesecake.
THEN HEADED TO THE MIDWAY.
The Texas Star (ferris wheel) be on it when they are shootin the fireworks. Nice.
Grab the kiddos and head over to the lake to watch the parade.
then down to the Merry go round.
I still miss the "dime game". Where did it go. It was the best!
Just one dime to play......
One dime to win......
The boys loved to win those big ole stuff animals and then pass them out to all the kiddos on the way out....till next year.
The Texas State Fair is well worth a visit if you're in town. I took my 2.5 year old son and my mom last year for the first time and we loved it! Plenty to see, play and eat.
We went on Kroger's Wednesday 3 for $1 where if you bring in 3 cans for the local food bank, you only have to pay $1 for admission versus $15. Don't pay full price for admission, there are tons of discounts and you can find them all listed at the end of this review.
With paid admission, you get access to all sorts of free attractions. My son's favorite was the Helping Hand Farm, where he got to collect eggs from the chicken coop, milk a pretend cow, dig a hole and plant some seeds, harvest, drive a tractor and then sell his goods for moola that he then used to buy some cheese crackers at the "grocery store." There are tons of other free attractions like a petting zoo, puppet show, circus, peewee stampede, parade and light show in the evening.
My son also loved the car and truck show. I had pegged him for a 2-door coupe fanatic, but he totally surprised me with his love for those behemoth pick-up trucks. Maybe it was because we were in Texas.
The food is quite unique with deep-fried butter and deep-fried cheesecake. Certainly not healthy toddler fare, but it's a pretty amazing fair food.
We got to the fair early around 10:15am, so we got great parking and we pretty much had the whole place to ourselves for a couple of hours, It got crowded by lunchtime which I think is when everyone starts rolling in.