It’s autumn is Texas, and that means it’s time for the State Fair of Texas. Ah, the sounds of the Midway, the smells of fried food, the corny dogs, the farm animals, and Big Tex himself! This is the best time of the year in Texas.
Here are 12 of Gene & Julie’s favorite things to do at the State Fair of Texas:
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1) Abel Gonzales’ “Big As Texas” Food Booth
The State Fair of Texas is all about food and you haven’t LIVED until you’ve tried Abel Gonzales’ Deep Fried Butter– the item that Oprah Winfrey was crazy about. While you’re visiting his booth, try Abel’s Deep Fried Peanut Butter, Jelly & Banana Sandwich and his newest Deep Fried Pineapple Upside Down Cake. Abel is the Fried Food King of the State Fair of Texas and you can find his booth in two locations:1) right outside the Embarcadero and 2) outside Lost And Found in the Midway.
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2) The Kroger Birds of the World Show
One of our favorite FREE activities at the State Fair of Texas. Our favorite part is when renegade birds decide to fly away and the staff has to chase them out of trees. :) We also love it when the show has a bird fly all the way from a gondola of the Texas Star ferris wheel to the stage during the performance. Our daughter likes to give the bird a $1 tip at the end of the show which it takes with its beak. Don’t forget your hat or umbrella as it gets hot sitting in the sun for this show.
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3) Attending the Dallas Summer Musicals State Fair show.
DSM always brings blockbuster hits during the State Fair… this year it will be one of everyone’s favorites: West Side Story!
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4) Riding the Texas Star ferris wheel
We love this panoramic view of Dallas, you can see forever! The ride is gentle and not scary… our daughter has loved riding it since she was a toddler. There is a convenient ticket booth right outside the entrance, and don’t forget to check the height requirements before you get in line.
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5) Children’s Medical Center Barnyard
Our six-year-old daughter Sophia loves to feed the goats, donkey, giraffes and other critters in this fun animal exhibit. You can walk through and take photos for free, and there is a small charge to buy animal food.
6) Fletcher’s Corny Dogs
One of our first stops is Fletcher’s for yummy, crispy, cornydog goodness. We gotta have it with mustard. Need we say more?
7) Oak Farms Backyard Circus at the Children’s Activity Center
We discovered the Backyard Circus last year and were enchanted! This charming mini stage production comes to life when the children participate as ferocious lions and beautiful butterflies. It’s completely adorable and Sophia loved dressing as a tiger! And it’s free.
8) Big Tex
Every year we have to take a token family photo with the big guy. It’s not the State Fair without Big Tex, and this year he is out of the yellow garb and back to wearing red, white and blue Dickie’s. Free.
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9) Little Hands on the Farm
Ever since she was a toddler, Sophia has loved going through this pretend farm where she plants and harvests food, drives a tractor and gathers eggs. It is very sweet and free.
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10) Stingray Bay feeding at the Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park
The newly renovated Children’s Aquarium (inside Fair Park) is offering up a fun experience this year: feeding stingrays! We haven’t tried this yet, but it sounds like fun adventure for animal lovers. Additional fees apply. $8.00 for adults, & $6.00 for children ages 3-11 and seniors 65 and over.
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11) Butterflies at the Texas Discovery Garden
If your child is crazy about butterflies, the Texas Discovery Gardens and their year round indoor tropical butterfly house. Additional fees apply.
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12) Fried Bubblegum?
Fried Bubblegum is this year’s winner of the “Big Tex Choice Awards” in the Most Creative New Food category. It’s not really bubblegum, but a fried marshmallow that is infused with bubblegum flavor. Hey, if it’s fried and at the State Fair of Texas we’re willing to give it a try. We’ll bring a bottle of Tums… just in case.