The State Fair of Texas, an annual extravaganza held in the heart of Dallas, is a beloved Texan tradition that draws millions of visitors each year. From thrilling rides to tantalizing fried foods, and iconic Big Tex himself, the fair offers an array of unforgettable experiences. But before you step into this world of excitement, there are some essential things you should know.
These 10 things to know before you visit the State Fair of Texas will make your trip a comfortable, fun, and memorable one. The State Fair of Texas is very large and it easy to get lost. Visiting the fair prepared equips you with the tools to have a good time without the stress. Whether you’re a first-time fairgoer or a seasoned veteran, these insights will ensure you have a fantastic and hassle-free visit.
When does the State Fair of Texas Open and Close?
The State Fair of Texas begins on September 29th, 2023 and ends on October 22nd, 2023. Gates open at 7 am for parking and the fair opens at 10am. Take a look at the State Fair of Texas schedule for more information on their events and shows. The fair officially opens on September 29th, 2022 at 10am. We love going on the first day in the morning. Although you might think that this might be a very busy time, it’s not crowded at all and a great way to check things out before everybody.
Stretch Your Money with these State Fair of Texas Savings
If you plan on visiting the fair often, it would be a wise investment to purchase a season pass. Admission can get a little pricey if you do not plan ahead. There are group rates and a variety of State Fair of Texas ticket discounts available to help save a few bucks. You can buy your tickets in advance online or at Kroger stores. (Read: Ultimate List of State Fair of Texas discounts)
Visit the State Fair of Texas with a Group of Friends
Visit the State Fair of Texas in a group of 20 or more people and you can receive a 39% discount off of your ticket prices. Gather up your family and friends! Want to meet up with your group at the State Fair but don’t know where to meet? Here is a great map to send to your friends to share meeting locations.
Even if you do not plan to buy group tickets, I highly suggest meeting with friends and family to share the food. The food can get expensive so we like to go with a lot of people and split the cost so we can all share food and try a larger variety while at the State Fair of Texas.
Skip the Parking at The State Fair of Texas
You can ride DART to the State Fair of Texas and avoid paying the $15 parking charge. The DART website is a great resource on how to navigate the system and get to the Park without any hiccups. Riding DART means more time enjoying the fair and less time getting there.
Bring a Wagon and your own Ice Chest
If you have kids, bring a wagon for them to ride in and for a place to carry your belongings. Many people don’t know but you may also bring your own ice chest, drinks, and food. The only rule they ask you to follow is that there are no glass bottles, metal knives, or alcoholic beverages. Although the food at the fair is to die for, this could help cut some costs on things like snacks for kids and bottled water.
Rent a Wagon, Stroller or Wheelchair
Spending the day at the State Fair can be exhausting to the young and elderly, make the day go smoother with a wagon or wheelchair rental. The State Fair of Texas offers wagons, strollers, wheelchairs and mobility scooters for rent through HomeTown Mobility. Reservations can be made in advance at www.htmia.com or by calling 1-712-938-2029 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, as well as on weekends during the State Fair. Reservations need to be made at least 24 hours in advance, and cancellations must be made 48 hours in advance to receive a refund, minus a $5 cancellation fee per rental unit. Rental locations are at the Front Gate (Parry Ave.), Grand Ave. (Gate 5), Pennsylvania Pedestrian Entrance (Gate 11), and Pan Am Gate (North side of the fairgrounds).
Purchase Food and Beverage Coupons
All food and drinks can be purchased with State Fair of Texas coupons. You will find coupon booths located throughout the fair or you can purchase them in advance online. A game card is required to play games at the fair. Tickets NEVER expire so keep them for your next visit or to use next year!
Are you ready for some Football at the State Fair of Texas?
There will be two football games played at Cotton Bowl Stadium during the State Fair of Texas – The State Fair Classic and Red River Rivalry. If you purchase a football game ticket, it includes a one day admission to the fair.
The State Fair Classic is Grambling State University VS Prairie View A&M University. It takes place on Saturday, September 30th. Since the 1980s, Grambling State Tigers and Prairie View A&M Panthers have traveled to Dallas during the State Fair to go head-to-head on the grass of the historic Cotton Bowl Stadium. The State Fair Classic is filled with great football for four quarters and a stunning battle of the bands during halftime.
The Red River Rivalry is University of Texas VS University of Oklahoma. It takes place on Saturday, October 7th. More than 100,000 people travel to the State Fair for the Allstate Red River Showdown game between the Texas Longhorns and the Oklahoma Sooners. The game, played in Cotton Bowl Stadium since 1929, is an iconic staple of the State Fair.
Now it is your turn to tell me! What things help you prepare for your visit to the State Fair of Texas?
Looking for State Fair of Texas Discounts? Check this list.