Every year, Reese & I make a visit to the North Texas State Fair & Rodeo in Denton. There are a few reasons we return every year. One, it’s in Denton. Denton is smaller and closer to my house than driving all the way to Dallas. Two, the North Texas State Fair is much smaller & more manageable…I have always wanted to try the “real” Texas State Fair, but it’s just so BIG and intimidating to me.
We have gone for the past three years & will return again next week for our annual fill of carnival rides, corny dogs, & singing the National Anthem!
Some great hints:
- Go on a weeknight. They open at 6pm (see the website link to verify time) and there is parking right across the street for $5 cash. We arrive about 6:00 every time, park the car, and take a walk across the street, directly to the entry booth. Easy peasy!
- Buy an all-you-can-ride midway wristband. Tickets are $20 for 24 tickets, or $1 per ticket (CASH only). Each ride costs at least 3 tickets (gah!) and the ferriss wheel cost 5 tickets! That means taking my boy on just the ferris wheel set us back $10. Ouch…double ouch! Every year, I buy a $20 sheet of tickets and they are gone in no time. This year, we are spending the extra bucks for wristbands ($30 each) for unlimited rides. The way I see it, we can ride and ride and ride, and the more we ride the better value our wristbands become! Heck, three spins on the Ferris Wheel with my boy & they’ve paid for themselves!
- Bring CASH. Some of the food vendors accept credit cards, but the carnival midway is strictly cash, and if I recall correctly, the admission ticket booth also only accepts cash. You can also purchase your admisssion tickets online for a discount.
- There are LOTS of free things to see & do! The petting zoo in the kids’ area is free ($1 for a feed cup), and there are lots of activities in the Kiddie Area that don’t cost anything. They have live music, and of course the rodeo. If you get there close to opening, you can also see the livestock show inside the barns. There is also a great exhibit hall with vendors, more food, and the Creative Arts contest. Reese entered a piece of art this year, & I entered a paper-coil bowl I created as well!
We have always gone on a weeknight, so I don’t know if a weekend evening would have more college kids or not. But every time we’ve gone, it has been a low-key crowd with friendly people and great fun!
So, below, is the post I wrote after our fun at the fair last year. Hope to see you there…we’ll be going on Tuesday night!
Reese & I had our annual date to the North Texas State Fair & Rodeo:
We bought food cups, but Reese didn’t much care for the pushy goats trying to eat. He let me hold the food while he took charge of the petting!
The baby goats loved to chew on his shirt. I was sure we would come home with holes in the shirt, but it was fine! Just covered with lots of goat slobber.
Here, Mommy wanted to take a picture of us with a camel. Except the camel kept trying to eat Reese’s hair. Yes, we’re a little crazy!
During the rodeo part, Reese was more interested in the mud under the bleachers.
The nice Miller Light Beer Girls gave Mommy a necklace. Reese took a self portrait wearing it.
Yes, my dear little boy is sporting the latest MGD Light medallion necklace. Whatev. He had no idea what it said. He liked the big black circle!
Reese’s other favorite part of the rodeo is always the carnival midway. Which I think is a major rip-off. This ride cost about $3. Ugh.
Reese & Mommy rode the real Tilt-A-Whirl! I didn’t even know that ride existed anymore. Oh barf! He loved the spinning, I tolerated it. The wonderful carnival man let Mommy ride for free (no tickets!) since Reese’s ride cost 4 tickets (which equals about $4).
On the way out, the petting park was still open so we made one more stop at the goats. Folks, it was 10:00pm and I was beat! Reese was ready for more though, so we stopped for just. a. minute. All the kids were sleeping…look at this sweet baby!
We’ve never made it to the real State Fair in Fair Park. I like the location & size of this rodeo/fair better. And for Reese, this is plenty of entertainment for one evening!!
Heather writes at Reese’s View Of The World.