5 spots to visit at the 2017 State Fair of Texas

Say howdy once again to Big Tex because the State Fair of Texas is back for another year of tasty fried foods, star-studded concerts and more fun activities for all ages. We’ve rounded up five spots that are not to miss during the 2017 season. See below!

 

Texas Auto Show

Start your engines for the 2017 Texas Auto Show. Many of us repeat Fair visitors know the show has always been an important part of the Fair. Guests can interact with the vehicles and get a sneak peek at next year’s models. From brands like Chevy, Toyota and Volkswagen (plus more!), there’s plenty to see at the Auto Show. And, it’s fun for the whole family.

This 2018 Toyota Tacoma was designed for #HiringOurHeroes, an organization dedicated to promoting the hiring of military veterans. Credit: Texas Auto Show (Instagram)

 

 

Fletcher’s Original State Fair Corny Dog concession stands

This may be an obvious one! 2017 is the 75th Anniversary of Fletcher’s Original State Fair Corny Dogs. To commemorate the special occasion, the Fletcher family has planned a number of surprises and activities for fairgoers throughout the duration of this year’s Fair.

Each Friday of the Fair, all seven Fletcher’s Original State Fair Corny Dog concession stands will give away FREE Original Corny Dogs to its first 75 customers. Fletcher’s will also be selling their Jalapeño Cheese Corny Dog, Turkey Corny Dog and the Veggie Corny Dog at each location. A mural highlighting the successful history of Fletcher’s at the State Fair of Texas will also be featured inside the Tower Building.

Today, the all-meat sausages dipped in a secret-recipe batter and deep fried in vegetable shortening to a golden brown, is considered a staple for many fairgoers, with more than 600,000 Corny Dogs sold last year during the 24-day run of the Fair.

Credit: facebook.com/fletcherscornydogs

 

Credit: My friend Nichole Bennett Charney

Don’t forget to pick up a souvenir bottle from the Fair to wash down those corn dogs and other fried deliciousness!

 

Magnolia Beer Garden

This is one of my favorite spots in the Fair! The Magnolia Beer Garden is THE destination for beer connoisseurs at the Fair.  Enjoy a selection of Texas, craft and international brews.

Credit: BigTex.com

 

See the Fair from a bird’s-eye view at the Top ‘O Texas Tower

The Texas Star sores 212 feet in the air and the Top ‘O Texas Tower reaches 500 feet.  What a fun way to see the downtown Dallas skyline and the entire Fair from the very top!

Credit: BigTex.com

Texas Discovery Gardens

Not all State Fair of Texas ticket holders realize that the Texas Discovery Gardens (TDG) and Butterfly House is open during Fair hours and located just a few steps from the Texas Star Ferris Wheel. TDG offers a change in scenery for those seeking a breather from the bustle.

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Air-Conditioning: An air-conditioned Grand Hall and lobby where guests can cool off while perusing a gallery of live critters and creatures, an art gallery, a gift shop and floor to ceiling windows overlooking the 7.5 acres of botanic organic gardens with native, adaptive and pollinator plants.

Nursing Station: A private and air-conditioned nursing station for all new mothers and their babies. The TDG ‘Bride’s Room’ will be outfitted to accommodate moms who need a quiet, discreet and comfortable area to breastfeed.

Zen & Ikebana: New to TDG during the State Fair are the indoor and outdoor Ikebana exhibits from the Ikebana International Dallas Chapter – Ikebana is the Japanese art of arranging flowers which is known for its beauty but also for its meditative qualities. Guests can take a break from the daredevil Midway rides and recharge here.

Quiet Culture: TDG’s air-conditioned art gallery will feature ‘Silent Dialogue’ by Du Chau throughout the fair displaying the Vietnamese artist’s combined interests in pathology and the visual arts.

Low-priced, Cash Treat: Nola Snowballs can’t be found anywhere but the TDG grounds during the fair, driven in from New Orleans especially for the State Fair of Texas fun. If guests want to skip the coupons and use cash they can try a powdery, fluffy ice treat doused in made-from-scratch syrups.

Butterfly Tag & Release: All ages can have a rare chance to safely tag and release Monarch butterflies before their long migration to Mexico. 10:30 and 3pm daily. 10:30 and 3:00 pm on the TDG front lawn daily (free).

Pollinate Like Mayor Mike Rawlings: The Monarch population has declined drastically in Dallas and 1/3 of the food we eat and 20 billion in products depends on it. Mayor Rawlings dedicated the ‘Mayors Pollinator Garden’ at City Hall in April 2017 with the help of Texas Discovery Gardens. TDG will have vast pollinator gardens on display (just like Rawlings’) during the fair; guests can learn how Rawlings and TDG have partnered to plant a dozen pollinator gardens across Dallas and how they can help increase pollination in a big or small way.

Other activities and sites at TDG during the 2017 State Fair:

Butterfly Release             12 p.m. inside the Butterfly House daily

Critter Encounter             2 p.m. in the lobby

Snake Feeding                  2:30 p.m. Thursdays in Snakes of Texas exhibit

TDG is open daily during the State Fair of Texas only to State Fair goers. Doors open at 10am and the last ticket is sold at 6pm. TDG offers half price tickets during the Texas State Fair equaling $4 adults; $2 children; $3 for 60 and up.

 

Be sure to check out the Fair’s schedule before you head up there to see updates on times, prices, etc.: http://bigtex.com/schedule. The Fair is open now through Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017.

 

(Disclaimer: I was provided with a media ticket to the Fair and all opinions are my own.)

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