State Fair of Texas 2016 Review:
The State Fair of Texas is known Nationally as being one of the largest fairs in the US. It is also known for having some of the most unique fried foods and treats to eat while enjoying games, rides, shows, and more. I was excited to get to take my daughter back to the Fair as two years ago she was just too young to really get to enjoy it, and she didn't even remember going the first time.
I would suggest if you are arriving at the fair mid-day (which we did), make sure to not use the gates closest to the front. They use trams to get you to and from your vehicle so even though you aren't parked close, you don't have to do all the walking you think you do. Once we got inside, we found ourselves next to the agriculture and livestock area.
Our daughter is quite the "Baconhead!" As soon as we got in there we wanted to try to get a "Game plan" of where we wanted to go. But with the heat and the amount of people around we realized it was just best to go with the flow. So we went into the horses holding area, and it was such an awesome sight! In fact, a miniature horse decided he wanted some lovin' from the fair goers, and my daughter got to get up close and personal with him.
If I could, I would've named him...Chunky butt. But he was such a sweetheart and loved being pet on by the people. The funny thing is, the signs say not to put your hands inside but it says nothing of when the horses put their heads out for some affection! They had all kinds of horses, mules, and more for children to see and I really wanted to take more pictures but people were being rather pushy so, we moved on.
My daughter almost as soon as we arrived saw people carrying large Pikachus, Squirtles, and other Pokemon characters so the plan was to get to Midway to win her something. But we got distracted by an awesome puppet show that was starting!
World on a String was an incredible half-hour show with black light puppeteering and marionettes. There was also a talking white board, seriously! I felt awful at first I went to take a picture and my flash tried to go off so I had to immediately hide it on my thigh. Sure enough shortly after, they announced no flash photography so I didn't get as many pictures as I wanted. My daughter LOVED the puppet show except for one moment where Kermit the Frog got eaten. She almost started crying and we had to explain he was really okay!
Ever seen flamingos perform to "Gangham Style"? Well, I offically now can say I have! I think that was my favorite part of the entire show, and I was dancing in my seat while my daughter was just wide eyed loving all the vivid colors.
This was my husband's favorite part, as the ship itself spoke and the head moved. He felt the props were absolutely incredible and looked amazing. The marionettes were hilarious to watch and we loved seeing them perform.
My daughter really wasn't sure how to take Yankee Doodle. She just sat next to him with a bit of unease but he seemed friendly, didn't he?
From there, we made our way to Midway, and went by Big Tex who my daughter just giggled at. His "Big Butt" made her laugh, I was hoping to catch him at a talking point but with all the crowds it was very hard getting around the Fair as people loved to "stutter step" as my husband puts it. To play at Midway, almost all games are "10 credits" for one chance. 10 credits is $5. So if you spend $20, you can play four games. Sadly, that did not make for a very happy daughter. She really wanted the Pokemon but it really seemed only the ball throwing games or shooting games had them. My husband tried three times to win her something at two separate basketball throwing locations and normally he's fantastic at these but this time? Nope. I even got a couple of free tries and it didn't work. But, my daughter got to try her hand at a hackey sack/bean bag popping a balloon and she won! She got to choose herself a small toy and she chose a pink and white cow which she has happily named "Alyssia". I don't know how these families are coming out of the Fair with huge, multiple items I'm guessing they are coming with a couple of hundred dollars just for games.
From there, we moved onto rides for the wee one because the coupons were just too much for us to ride together. We put her on the flying elephants ride, and she loved it! Except for the fact the ride attendant didn't speak English, and sent her in without telling her where to go. She started crying trying to figure out what to do and he finally got her into the seat she needed to be. But then as soon as she got on, and went up in the air that's all she cared about!
Around and around she went, getting to see the fair from up high! She loved it! She also went up a huge pirate obstacle course and the best part of it was the REALLY fast slide down. But she loved getting to do it all on her own with the other kids, and she loves getting that kind of independence now.
Now, the food itself was also difficult to get to and with the heat we didn't feel very hungry, so we decided to try out the new "edible drink"! Yes you read that right! It's an amazing soda that comes in an edible glass! The glass my husband said was like a thick fruit roll up, that hardened the longer the cold drink was in it. We got to try both the candy apple soda, and the cotton candy soda. Between the two? Cotton Candy is DEFINTITELY the winner, in fact someday I will find that soda on the market so I can drink it at home. The cup itself was a bit difficult to bite and eat, but it really does not fall apart so it's definitely worth the 12 coupons!
Considering how warm it was, we could've drank four or five of those in a row and they tasted SO amazing. From there, it was already 6:30 so we headed back to the main area for the parade. Sadly, on the way back, someone spit on my daughter and that put a damper on the rest of the day. She had it all over her right arm, and we had to use purell and a cotton candy cone to clean it as there aren't paper towels or napkins nearby many places. I'm sure it was someone who went to spit and didn't look down but honestly? Who the heck spits in a LARGE crowd like that anyway? But we tried to not let it get to us too much as we sat across from the Texas Museum for the awesome parade!
The floats looked so amazing, they were so intricate with the flowers and the work. The majority of floats were pageant winners, but sometimes you got a really cool looking one!
Oh, and let's not forget the best one of it all:
The beautiful Budweiser horses! They were my daughter's favorite she has really fallen in love with horses thanks to the State Fair!
Then after this, we went and got my daughter her cotton candy. For 9 coupons ($4.50) you can get a cone and the guy that was making it heard me tell her "Big cone!" Next thing you know we had cotton candy the size of Marge Simpson's hair, and almost as tall as my daughter! It tasted amazing, exactly as you'd want from the Fair that familiar sweetened taste to munch.
All in all I have to say if you're going to the State Fair, take a LOT of cash with you. Yes, you can go on a limited budget but it's hard to enjoy yourself unless you're going for all the shows. Also, go earlier in the day and try to have something for your little ones to ride in. We got to the fair (inside) around 3:30 and left at 9pm, and she walked the entire time. We really did not get to see as much as I would've liked because of how slow we had to walk for her and I think she would've enjoyed a lot of the shows and so on. Also, be prepared for large crowd pushing. People do not look up at you or where they are going and yes, there are Pokestops and gyms so the kids are very distracted. But, the food is still good, the rides are fun for the kids, and the shows are still great!
Elizabeth is a wife to her wonderful husband, a work at home mother to her beautiful little girl and a blogger for some time now. When she isn't spending time with her "Livvybug", or laughing with her husband, she is looking for new review opportunities and writing or singing along to classic rock and pop music!