Experiencing the World’s Largest State Fair

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The State Fair of Texas is recognized as the World’s Largest State Fair with over two and half million visitors in attendance in 2010.  This year’s fair kicked off last Friday, September 30th and we were there on Saturday to enjoy the festivities with toddler, no teenager in tow.  We headed to Fairpark Saturday morning with a bustling two year old ready to conquer the fair.  Given my disdain for crowds, I was trying to convince myself this would not be so bad.  After all, it is early and we won’t be there long.  Right?  So we get off our exit to loads of people in neon yellow vest flagging us into different parking areas… I am thinking… okay, this seems to have some order to it.  Maybe I can handle this.State Fair of TexasWe shuffle into our selected parking area, paid the fee of just $15, pulled out the stroller and headed toward the fair.  Now since we were able to swing nifty tickets for just $10 per person.. of course, toddle tot was free, we were feeling really good until we reached the front gates and my fears started to set in… did I make the right decision?  This world is too crowded for me.  I hear a lady at the entry announcing,  “Enter here for the game.” over and over.  It’s the only line there is and we are not going to the game… we just want to go to the fair.  Oh boy!  For many people, these are non-issues, but if you are someone like me who avoids crowds as much as possible, these situations can be a tad bit stressful.  Ushering the hubby toward the ticket taker to verify we are in the correct area, we are hurried past the gates with a quick body scan/stroller scan with a lovely wand and voila! we have entered the World’s Largest State Fair.We quickly located a stand with maps and brochures of the fair to get the lay of the land.  Of course, we wanted to find food first, but then we notice these little manned-stands everywhere with “Coupons” written all over them.  We figured these must be for the kiddie rides, right?  Wrong.  The State Fair of Texas runs a cashless system.  You need to purchase these tickets to buy food, drinks, play games and more.
Dallas Zoo largest state fairs
1   coupon  = 50 cents
10 coupons = $5
20 coupons = $10
40 coupons = $20
So we purchased $60 worth of coupons to start.  Our first purchase was 3 brisket soft tacos for 25 coupons, vitamin water for 9 coupons and a Coke for 7 coupons.  We took a seat at nearby picnic tables to eat while watching Mexican Folklore dancing.  Afterwards, we strolled around to find the kiddie area, but were sidetracked by a potty break that led us to the Chevy Auto Show area full of cars.  Having our car-loving toddle tot with us, we ended up spending a little more time in the Auto Show then originally expected, but what they hey, we are having fun.largest state fairsFinally, making our way out of the Auto Show and entering the Great Wolf Lodge giveaway we strolled our way to the kiddie area where we were met with tons of little ones having an explosive time.  After riding a few rides, we noticed a sign with “alligators and crocodiles” on it, so our little one had the chance to peer through the thick fence to check them out up close and in person.  Next we watched as a representative from the Dallas Zoo instructed a very well-trained bird to retrieve a $20 bill from a women’s hand.  With absolutely no interest from the toddle tot, we moved on to find a bunch of clowns lurking about… no really… there were clowns, Tenpin and the crew caught his attention for all of 2 minutes.  Now we have been here for a few hours, it is time to eat and depart.  We spent the remainder of our coupons on food and games, then headed out the gates.

What a day!

So what do you need to know:

largest state fairs

  • Tickets:  Regular priced $16 per person over 2. McDonald’s has coupons for $4 off single tickets.  Kroger’s offer tickets for Dart & Fair Entry for $17 (a savings of $4) and a $29 season ticket for the fair.
  • Parking: approximately $15 or you can take the Dart.
  • Cashless system:  You can purchase coupons with cash or credit/debit card.  The coupon stations are in abundance so don’t fret.

There are a myriad of concerts, shows, activities and more going on every day.  For instance, the R&B singer, Miguel, took the stage at 3PM on Saturday, but we opted out.  Whatever your interest, make sure to grab a brochure and plan your day.   We were there for 5 hours and felt as if we did not even get to see very much the fair is so vast.  If you head out to the fair, drop us a comment to let us know how the day went for you.

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This post was featured in the Traveler’s Show & Tell – Occupy Wall Street: A Firsthand Account.

Update: The 2012 State Fair of Texas will take place in Fair Park (Dallas), TX from September 28, 2012 – October 21, 2012.  Visit bigtex.com for event details.  If you attend the 2012 fair, we would love for you to post pictures on our FaceBook page and post a comment about your experience in the comment section below.  Our schedule is a bit full this year with other travel itineraries, we doubt we will be able to make a return visit to give you an update.

Just one little tidbit on this years tickets… according to the official website Big Tex, you can purchase early bird tickets before August 31, 2012 and receive reduced price tickets.  Do you know of other places to procure tickets for this years fair?  Do you know if Dart is going to run another ride discount like last year?  Please share so everyone can be in the know.  There isn’t anything like community working together.  Cheer! We look forward to your comments.


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Abundant Journeys

Maria writes as well as handle guest post articles for Abundant Journeys blog. Abundant Journeys, an independent travel agency affiliated with MTravel CST# California: 1018299-10, blogs about wellness travel for the discerning travelier in three different life stages: Couples, Travel with Kids and Girlfriend Getaways focusing on Moms. We also enjoy blogging about fine foods and great gifts. Live Life. Must Travel. Start your journey today. Find our stories on JustLuxe.com in the travel section.

  1. Sounds like you had fun in spite of your trepidations. :) Thanks again for joining in with this week’s Traveler’s Show & Tell blog carnival. ~Tui

    1. @TuiSnider , thank you for including us. Are you attending the Traveler’s Show here in Dallas next month?

  2. Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article. I will make sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful info. Thanks for the post. I will certainly return.

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