Here is a must-do list at the State Fair Of Texas for first-timers.
The fair season will soon be upon us! The State Fair of Texas 2023 is September 29 – October 22. And as long as I can remember, it’s held at the historic Fair Park grounds just outside of downtown Dallas. If you’ve never been, you’ll want to know what the must-dos are—we’ve got the scoop on things at the State Fair of Texas for first-timers.
Every year, the State Fair of Texas celebrates Texan pride and prepares a safe, festive fair for us all to enjoy. This year, they’re pulling out all the stops with their signature attractions, including Big Tex himself.
Big Tex is a 55-foot cowboy who greets visitors at the entrance to the fairgrounds. And he’s not just any cowboy—he’s an icon!
This year the fair celebrates 137 years!
State Fair of Texas Hours:
Sunday – Thursday – 10 am-9 pm. Friday & Saturday – 10 am-10 pm.
State Fair of Texas Ticket Prices:
- General Admission – $16-$25
- Child’s tickets go by height and not age. Under 48″ – $10-$18, but two and under are free.
- 60+ Admission is $10-$18; Half price for 60+ is $5 on Thursday
- Texas State Fair Season Passes – $50
Tickets are on sale now. Save $2 and buy your tickets now. They go up to $16 in September.
Season Passes are on sale now and offer a variety of nice perks. There is also a combo pack to purchase.
Food & Midway rides coupons are $50 online and at the gate. Coupons are now good for rides and games.
State Fair of Texas Parking:
Parking is $20 at the official State Fair of Texas parking lots located around Fair Park. There is also public transportation that can take you straight to the gate – Dart, Trinity Rail Express, Denton County A-Train, or use Uber or Lyft.
State Fair of Texas For First-Timers
The reviews say that it promises to have all the original tasty fried food, thrilling rides, and one-of-a-kind shows at the 2023 State Fair of Texas!
If you’re from Texas, you know how huge our state fair is, and we all look forward to going every year – well, some of us.
Whenever there’s a fair in town, there is always room for fair favorites, like the corn dog, funnel cakes, and turkey legs. Skip the diet and enjoy!
I remember years ago seeing The Judges play there. But the last time I was there, my grandson was seven years old, and right off the bat, he played a basketball game and won. I had to carry around a basket the whole time.
Things To Do At The State Fair of Texas for First-Timers
I hope you like fair food …because it’s everywhere!
- Eat the state fair classic – Fletcher’s corny dogs
- Ride the Texas Star Ferris Wheel
- Visit the Midway and ride all the rides.
- Get a selfie in front of the new Big Tex
- See The Texas Auto Show
- Taste Smokey John’s Bar-B-Que & Home Cooking
- Scope Out The Live Music Performances
- Visit the Livestock barns and root for your favorite teenager, showing off their cows, pigs, horses & sheep.
- See the rodeo. There are six events to choose from. The State Fair of Texas Ranch Rodeo is Sunday, October 15 | 2:00 pm
One year at the Texas State Fair, we saw Wynona and Naomi Judge’s live performance. We were up close, standing and dancing while they sang their top songs. It was so good, and we all sang right along with them.
What Are Thrifty Thursdays?
Every Thursday at the State Fair of Texas, you can get the best deals on food. So, if you’re a thrifty person with many family members, you may want to go then. Some vendors will even have their best-selling menu items at a discount. Now you can enjoy more Fletcher corny dogs – that’s what I’d do!!
FYI – On average, a family with two adults and three children spends roughly $300 (that’s an average). Tickets for food items are $1 per ticket (double what it was in past years).
** And don’t forget – 60+ gets in for half price – only $5.
Texas State Fair – Know Before You Go
State Fair Parade.
The fair starts with an opening parade at 7:15 p.m. (Friday, September 29) and goes through the inside of the fairgrounds in celebration of the beginning of the fair. The parade is a big deal and features colorful floats, life-size puppets, stilt-walking performers, animated characters in costumes, and much more.
Food is one of the main attractions at the fair. The food vendors come from all over Texas and sell everything from BBQ to Tex-Mex to Texan cuisine, good ole junk food! If you’re looking for something sweet, there’s also plenty of fried dough, funnel cake, cotton candy & more.
Rides are a big part of any fair. You can find rides of all types: roller coasters, Ferris wheels, bumper cars & more! Popular rides are the Thrillway and the Kidway. Be sure to check out the 1914 Dentzel Carousel.
There are plenty of performances at the fair, many of which are free. The following are a few free live performances at the State Fair of Texas – 2023.
- Outlaw Mariachi – October 11
- Chevy House Party – October 12
- The Powell Brothers – October 12
- X Ambassadors – October 13
Big Tex BBQ & Chili Challenge.
Anyone looking for Texas bragging rights and loves to cook, as of right now, registration is going on now for the challenge. Or, if you love watching people cook food, this is definitely worth checking out! Check the website for more info.
Tips For The State Fair Of Texas
- Your elementary child may bring home one state fair ticket. Mine did, but that was a few years back. Expect long lines waiting for food and rides.
- Go on Thursdays for food specials (see Thrifty Thursdays above)
- A season pass is available for everyone and is on sale now!
- First responders get a discount.
- It’s not in the best area of Dallas, so be prepared.
- Parking is everywhere and not cheap. You may want to park in the official parking spaces.
- Wear comfy shoes.
- Open daily for 24 consecutive days.
- Your bags will be searched upon entry.
- Ice chests are permitted inside the fair.
- You can bring your own food …but what’s the point – fair food is very tasty!
Top Fair Food At The State Fair Of Texas
As I mentioned above – skip the diet and indulge. These are some tasty food you may want to consider ordering because each is so good and made my research list!!
- Ask for two dips of vanilla ice cream, then top it with Reese’s Pieces or peanut butter cups.
- Deep-fried honey bun
- Go for the crisp green apples with a drizzle of hot honey.
- Fried charcuterie board
- Fletcher corny dogs, of course – I’d probably have two.
There are many things to do for first-timers at the State Fair of Texas, so get ready to have fun! If you don’t have enough time to check out everything on this list, I recommend starting with food and rides. The food is delicious, and some may only be available during the fair. As for rides, there are plenty of options for the whole family.
Texas State Fair must-dos, especially for first-timers, are important so you don’t miss out on a thang!! Spread the word and share this article.
Check out other Texas Festivals & Fairs all over the state – there are some good ones!