The State Fair of Texas is a huge Tradition.
We just love this time of year – Bring on the Corny Dogs and Big Tex!
It’s such a fun time to take the kids and make a fun day out of it.
I’ve put together my top attractions to see at the State Fair of Texas With Kids and have some great ways to enjoy it as a Family and save money too!
This is a landmark. You have to go see Big Tex. If you’ve been around here for awhile you might even remember where you were when the old Big Tex caught on fire. It was awful. Luckily, this Big Tex is good as new and he’s looking good.
He’s been Photo Bombing since 1952, and the whole area around him gets very crowded. He’s also a good meeting area or a place if you get lost. Big Tex is always high on our list!
Yes, they stink and it gets crowded but the kids love feeding them. Visiting and feeding the animals is a huge highlight every year. Go to the inside area and fork over the cash to actually feed the baby animals. The kids will love you forever.
The Fair has always promoted Agriculture, Education and Community Involvement and some of the best Contests and Animal Shows feature highly in most Childhood memories!
If you are a dog lover then go to the indoor dog show. This is a nice treat to be able to sit down in the a/c! This is a great show that is kid-friendly and short and sweet. It does draw a nice crowd so be prepared to wait!
The Big Wheel
Lines are usually long but it’s fun to look at and if you can wait, the views are awesome! I love taking pictures of it too. If you’ve ridden this wheel, how long did you wait in line?
The Fair Park Buildings
This is the largest collection of Art Deco in the country and many have interesting sculptures and exhibits inside too.
Food is actually a highlight of the fair. Did you know some people come to the fair just for the food? They do! We can’t leave without getting a Fletcher’s corn dog. They never taste as good as they do anywhere else as they do at the state fair. We always comment on how many tickets each corn dog is, but they are worth every ticket!! Other food favorites include a funnel cake, turkey legs (I’ve never had one!) and there’s always the food court area to try the winning foods of the fair.
Not just that, but back in 2005, the first iteration of the State Fair Big Tex Choice Awards began. Since then, it has evolved into an Annual spotlight on the best and most unique and interesting dishes you can sample at the Fair.
Although this isn’t the main pull of the State Fair, the Midway is popular with the kids. You’ll need to buy tickets to play and ride, so be prepared to dig into your Pocketbook for those. We try and put this one-off until the bitter end.
Saving Money on your State Fair Visit
On Opening Day (September 28th) Fair-goers can grab tickets for only $9 by bringing a full 20 oz. bottle of Dasani water or a full 20 oz. Coca-Cola product to the gate. Make sure these drinks are unopened! Donations benefit the North Texas Food Bank. One donation per person. This discount may not be combined with any other offers
In addition, in honor of Military Appreciation Day, the Fair will be offering free admission to all active military, retired military, and veterans. Spouses of service men and women with a valid Military Spouse ID and accompanying children under the age of 18 also receive free admission. This deal is in partnership with Texas Lottery Commission.
First Responders Day (October 12th):
The Fair will recognize all first responders and their contributions to the community with a special day honoring their service. The Fair will be offering free admission to all active and retired public law enforcement, firefighters, paramedics, and other emergency service agencies when they present a valid badge or ID from their department or organization. Also, up to three admission tickets will be available for their family members.
Dr. Pepper Half-Price Tuesdays (October 2nd, 9th, and 16th):
Bring an empty Dr. Pepper can and get an admission ticket for only $9. One can per person. This discount may not be combined with any other offers.
Plus, most rides are reduced price on Tuesdays at the Midway. Midway discounts exclude the Thrillway and the Texas Star.
Donation Wednesdays (October 3rd, 10th, and 17th):
Bring four cans of food to the Fair gates as a donation towards the North Texas Food Bank on any Wednesday and receive an admission ticket for only $4. One four-can donation per person. This discount may not be combined with any other offers.
Senior / Thrifty Thursdays (October 4th, 11th, and 18th):
Every Thursday throughout the Fair, seniors 60 years of age and above can enjoy free entry.
Plus, every Thursday, most food items, including corny dogs, cotton candy, and funnel cakes, are between two to seven coupons. Participating food vendors also offer one of their signature menu items, ranging from mini versions to regular-size items. This will save you almost half the cost on most items. You can check back on the official Thrifty Thursdays page for the full list of specials.
Throughout the Fair
Hit the State Fair for half-price any day after 5 pm by bringing an empty Dr. Pepper can to the gate. One can per person. This discount may not be combined with any other offers.
Other ways to save on your visit:
Ride the DART. Save the hassle of finding a parking spot and take the DART train to Fair Park Station. Day Passes start at $3 per person. Plus, purchase your discounted tickets for up to $2 off to the Fair on your DART GoPASS app. Admission tickets are just $16 and child/senior tickets are $12.
Head to Kroger. Kroger offers advance purchase general admission for $16.50 or season passes for $39.
Eat McDonald’s. Before you throw away your McDonald’s leftovers, check the tray liner or takeout bag for a $5 off general admission coupon or for half price off a children’s ticket with the purchase of a general admission ticket. Coupons can be redeemed any day of the fair allowing one coupon per person.
Head to NorthPark Center in Dallas, and purchase advance tickets to the Fair for $15. $4.50 from each ticket will benefit Family Getaway, an organization providing stability and life-changing services to families with children affected by homelessness. Tickets are sold at the NorthPark Concierge located on level one.
Purchase tickets online.
Buy in advance online and save $1.50 on fair tickets for any day of the week. With this discount, general admission tickets cost $16.50 and child/senior tickets cost $12.50.
Get a season pass. If you plan on attending the fair more than a couple of times, look into getting a State Fair of Texas season pass. The pass only costs $45 ($65 for a two-pack) and you’ll receive all of the following:
Single-day bring-a-friend for a FREE ticket (valid Monday – Friday only)
State Fair reusable FREE bag (available to the first 8,000 season pass holders who redeem)
FREE Midway Race Game (water, derby, balloon, or roll-a-ball)
One 10% OFF coupon for State Fair gear at official merchandise stands
Special discounts on Fair food and Midway rides
Are you going to the fair this year with your kids? What are your favorite things to do?
Opening day is September 28th and it runs until October 21st!
This year’s theme is Celebrating Texas Innovation