Illumination Sensation is an absolute must-see! It is a beautifully orchestrated light show and performance above the water. The talented dancers put on a beautiful show that will wow you and the entire family. It starts every night at 8 PM, but be sure and get there a little early to find a good spot!
Pan Am Arena Shows are always so much fun! There are a variety of shows throughout the day at the Pan Am Arena. Some of my favorites include the all-star stunt dog show and the pig races. Be sure to check the daily schedule so you don’t miss out.
The Midway — Because you can’t go to a fair and not ride some of the fun rides! Tuesdays are best for the rides, because a lot of them are discounted that day. If you’re planning on riding a lot of rides, definitely try and go on a Tuesday! Be sure to check out the Top o’Texas Tower for the most incredible views of Dallas.
Chevrolet Ride & Drive is super fun! You get to test drive nice new cars on a test track and you earn fun prizes. My goal is always to get a t-shirt, because who doesn’t love free shirts? If you take part in the Chevrolet Ride & Drive, make sure you haven’t had any alcohol because they do breathalyze.
Food is one of the main reasons many people love to go to the State Fair of Texas. The craziest new foods make their way to the fair every year. There’s even an annual competition to see which food items make the cut! Here are some of this year’s top picks that you’ll want to try.
- Champagne Jello Hot Shot — A watermelon jello shot with jalapeno and champagne!
- Ruth’s Stuffed Fried Taco Cone — A barbacoa taco in the shape of an ice cream cone.
- Good Ole Creole Boudin Egg Roll — This is exactly what it sounds like, with a side of sweet & sour.
- Loaded Baked Potato Funnel Cake — The funnel cake version of a baked potato.
- Fried Southern Bourbon Bread Pudding — This sounds like heaven to me! Sweet, savory and all around delicious.
- EVERY DAY — Bring a can of Dr. Pepper after 5:00 pm any day of the week to get half off admission.
- TUESDAYS — Bring a Dr. Pepper can for $9 admission. Also, select Midway rides are discounted.
- WEDNESDAYS — Bring 4 cans of food (per person) and get a $4 admission ticket.
- THURSDAYS — Senior citizens over the age of 60 get in for free. Admission on Thursdays is just $9 if you bring a 20 oz bottle of any Coca-Cola product, and every Thursday, select menu items are offered at a discounted price.
- FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11 — First responders, active and retired, receive free admission for themselves and up to 3 family members.
TIPS & TRICKS
- DON’T WAIT TO VISIT — Try to avoid going the very last weekend that the fair is open, it’s always the most crowded. It’s also best to go on a weekday, if you want to avoid crowds.
- PLAN AHEAD — Check out the list of State Fair attractions and shows ahead of time to make sure you don’t miss out on anything you really want to see. Some shows are only done a few times a day, so you definitely don’t want to miss out!
- RIDE THE DART — Parking can be stressful, and it’s usually around $20. Try to ride the DART instead. It’s easy to ride, will drop you off at the fair entrance gates, and you can even get a discount on State Fair tickets with the DART GoPass app. Here are some helpful tips for riding the DART to the fair.
DATES & TIMES
You can head to Fair Park and enjoy the State Fair of Texas any day from September 20 – October 27. It’s open Sunday through Thursday, 10 AM to 9 PM, and Friday through Saturday, 10 AM to 10 PM. While you’re there, be sure to say “howdy” to Big Tex (standing tall along Grand Avenue in the center of the fair).