10 Reasons to Go to The State Fair of Texas

Honestly, the first time we headed to the State Fair of Texas, this Marylander wasn’t really looking forward to it. All I’d heard was that there is a ton of fried food (which I wouldn’t be able to enjoy since I’m gluten-free), large crowds (which I can’t stand… I’m a naturally very fast walker, and being stuck behind slow people in a crowd drives me crazy!), and rides and activities for kids.

If you’re not a Texan, you might not realize just how big of a deal the State Fair is. And I used to be right there with you- those Maryland fairs aren’t very big or exciting at all. But here, a lot of workplaces actually give you a half or full day off to go, schools give students a fair day, and so on. It’s a pretty big thing, and it lasts for a full month, from the end of September to the end of October 🙂

Whether you want to have fun on the rides, check out the Texas Auto Show, or visit the Livestock Birthing Barn, there’s something for everyone at the State Fair of Texas.

If you haven’t been, here are ten reasons why you’ve got to make it there!

1. It’s a Texas tradition

Like I said, it’s a pretty big deal here. It’s always held at Fair Park in Dallas, and people come from across the state to attend. The fair makes it worth the drive. Not only is it an all day thing, but a lot of people get memberships so that they can go over and over again throughout the month.

2. The Texas Star

My all-time favorite ride at any place is the Ferris wheel. I’m a sucker for a great view, and the Ferris wheel at the State Fair, called the Texas Star, gives you just that. You can even see downtown from it!

Riding the Texas Star is 20 coupons per person. I’ll touch a bit more on the coupons further down.

3. The notorious food

Most french fries are gluten free, so that is exactly what I got (fun fact: fries are one of my favorite foods).

But most of the foods you’ll find at the fair are deep fried and either sound really weird or really delicious.

There are so many food vendors here! You can get fried butter, fried Dr. Pepper, fried pickles, fried Oreos, fried cake batter, fried twinkies, fried beer, fried chicken noodle soup, fried fruit loops… the list goes on and on! If you can fry it, they probably sell it!!

They even sell deep-fried pho, which won in the best savoury category of the Big Tex Choice Awards of 2023!

Funnel cake bacon quesoburgers sound particularly unhealthy but delicious!! Try one for me 🙂

There are also savories like giant turkey legs and corn dogs, as well as typical food fair like funnel cake, cotton candy, and ice cream!

4. All of the rides and games

The rides section of the state fair is called Midway.

Here you can find the Texas Star Ferris wheel, along with plenty of rides and games. Something to note- you pay for almost everything in coupons ($.50 per coupon), but not the games. For the games, you have to get a separate pass, which you can buy at the fair.

5. The free entertainment

You get live music included in the price of admission!

And some of the performers are big time- like Maren Morris, who performed on opening day the first time we went! Or CeeLo Green, who performed in 2023!

Performances are going on throughout the day, and main performers go on the Chevrolet Mainstage. You’re in for some quality entertainment! You can see the full lineup with more State Fair event info here.

6. You might learn something new

Not only are there live performances to entertain you, but also animal races, educational talks, and exhibits, like the Snakes of Texas exhibit or the Remembering WWI exhibit.

In 2023 they started a Dinosaurs at the Lagoon exhibit, with life-sized dinosaurs!

7. The beer & wine varieties

If all of that fried food leaves you thirsty, first stay hydrated by drinking your water, then (if you’re over 21, of course) try sipping on something fun 🙂

These are two very cool exhibits at the fair: the Magnolia Beer Garden and the State Fair Wine Garden. They feature wines and beers from the world, with a huge variety of types and flavors.

8. Got a significant other? You can make it romantic!

One thing that I love about Fair Park is the swan boat rides on the lake. How romantic is that? When we’ve done the swan rides in the past it has been cash only, so make sure you bring some just in case.

And if you’re not in the mood for a swan ride but still want to be romantic, you can win your significant other a stuffed animal at the games!

9. The childlike joy

Because of the family-friendly environment, I actually wasn’t that excited about going to the State Fair the first time we went. I just figured, well, I blog about local adventures, and the State Fair is crucial if you’re living in Dallas.

But when I stepped onto the fair grounds, I immediately got a giddy, childlike feeling. Yes, the weather was a perfect 75 degrees, I do love Saturdays, and I was with my man. But even so, it was the atmosphere- filled with fun and energy. You’re reminded of going to amusement parks, like Disney World (if you did that growing up), and that same childlike joy takes over at the fair!

10. The beauty of Fair Park

Fair Park is a gorgeous place. When you’re not surrounded by games, vendors, and concerts, you can see lakes, fountains, sculptures, and Roman-style buildings! While you’re there, check out the Creative Arts Building, showcasing all things Texan, including weird sculptures (one year they had a Butter Sculpture competition!), and winners from the annual Texas Creative Arts contest.

The Texas Discovery Gardens are on the grounds of Fair Park, featuring over 7 acres of organic plants and flowers, and a two-story butterfly house!

BONUS: 11. The corny dog

The last reason you’ve got to go is for the corny dog. Fletcher’s Corny Dogs is very popular! Yes, I’m gluten free. And yes, I already included a section on the notorious food. But from what I’ve heard, the corny dogs are in a category of their own. So if for no other reason, go for the corny dog so you can taste for yourself and see what all the hype is about. I hear the long line is worth it!

So now that I’ve convinced you to go, here’s some other stuff to know:

What to bring

  • Tickets if you purchased them beforehand (you can get them here). You can get tickets and coupons at the park if you haven’t purchased them online
  • Cash- some random vendors are cash only. Also, a lot of parking is cash only
  • Water- don’t get dehydrated from all the fun and salty food!
  • Camera- capture all of those State Fair memories!

What to wear

  • Sunglasses/ hat/ sunscreen- protect yourself from that hot Texas sun
  • Shoes you can walk in, because you’re going to be doing a ton of walking
  • Something comfortable- you’re probably going to be at the fair for at least a few hours!

Questions? Comments? There’s plenty of room for that down below!

If you want to read about other great places to visit in Texas (apart from the State Fair!), check out these posts:



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About the author
Picture of Jasmine Alley

Jasmine Alley

I'm a Dallas-based, full-time travel blogger with a serious case of wanderlust! Through my website and Instagram, I hope to help others plan picture-perfect trips to the most beautiful places in the world! When I travel, I like to emphasize nature, hidden gems, and unique places.
Picture of Jasmine Alley

Jasmine Alley

I'm a Dallas-based, full-time travel blogger with a serious case of wanderlust! Through my website and Instagram, I hope to help others plan picture-perfect trips to the most beautiful places in the world! When I travel, I like to emphasize nature, hidden gems, and unique places.
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One Response

  1. thank you for this wonderful post! I often go to Texas where my in-laws reside so I will definitely consider these beautiful spots for my next trip 🙂

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