DALLAS — The State Fair of Texas is back in town and with it, lots of food options, games and exhibitions to keep you, your friends and family entertained for a few hours.
The State Fair of Texas runs through Oct. 23, so you have some time to plan your trip.
While the fair is fun, it can come with a hefty price tag. Depending on if you want to attend the fair for the rides, the food, the exhibitions, or just the vibe, there are various ways you can plan out how you hope to spend (or not spend) your hard-earned money.
I'm a Digital Executive Producer for WFAA and a first-time State Fair of Texas attendee, so I had been warned about how much one can plan on spending to attend. A visit to Big Tex could end up costing you a pretty penny.
So, I wanted to see how much $105 could stretch as someone who wanted to visit the fair for the food. While everyone goes to the fair with different goals in mind, it's worth noting that this breakdown focuses on how much of the State Fair of Texas' new or noteworthy food was purchased within a $105 budget.
Also worth a disclaimer: This breakdown was for one person, so if you have a child (or many), this may look different for you. Regardless, here's all that I did with $105 at the State Fair of Texas.
Tickets and parking
I'm not accounting for ticketing and parking in this breakdown and here is why.
If you were to take it at face value, ticket prices for the State Fair of Texas vary between $15 to $25 for general admission, depending on the day or time of day that you go.
Beyond that, there are also several ways to get discounted tickets or you could attend on a discounted day, so prices could vary substantially.
As for parking, those prices vary as well. Standard parking costs $20 per space, while premium parking costs $40. There are various lots around Fair Park that you could also choose from and all at different prices.
You also don't even have to drive, with various ways to get to the Fair, including taking the Dallas Area Rapid Transit, using the Trinity Railway Express, Uber or Lyft, etc.
Coupons are king
An important thing to keep in mind when you're at the fair: coupons are how you'll pay for food and rides. You'll need a separate card for playing games on the Midway, which you can purchase at kiosks and booths near there.
Each coupon is worth $1 and you can purchase them at various coupon kiosks or booths located across the fairgrounds. At the kiosk where I purchased my coupons, cash was not accepted, so it was debit or credit only. It also sold coupons in increments of $15, so I wasn't able to purchase an even $100, which is where the $105 comes in.
If you have any coupons from previous years, you can use them and they will be valued at the new $1 denotation, according to the Fair.
Important to note that regardless of whatever amount of coupons you buy, the prices for food and rides vary. The State Fair of Texas said prices for concessions and rides are determined by the people who run or own them, not by Fair officials.
Finally, the food
The moment you've all been waiting for... the food. You can view a map of all of the State Fair of Texas food favorites, as well as the Big Tex Choice Award winners and finalists on the fair's website.
Here's a breakdown of the food I got to try within my budget:
Fletcher's Corny Dogs: 14 coupons for two corny dogs
An iconic State Fair of Texas treat. Fletcher's has several stands across the fairgrounds.
Pickle pizza: 10 coupons for one slice
You either love it or hate it. As a pickle fan, the flavor wasn't overpowering, but the pickle smell was if that's not your thing. Pickle Pizza is new for 2022 and can be found Pizza by the Giant Slice in the Tower Building food court and Pizza, Funnel Cakes & Lemonade near the Children's Aquarium.
Big Tex souvenir cup: 10 coupons for one cup of fountain soda or juice, 3 coupons for a refill
If you want to stare into little plastic Big Tex's eyes while you drink (or if you want to feel slightly judged by an inanimate object while you're eating), this is for you. The cup can be refilled with soda or other fountain drinks at various refill stations across the fairgrounds. Refills are three coupons.
The Motherclucker chicken sandwich: 13 coupons for one sandwich
The Motherclucker is new for 2022. The Nashville Hot Chicken sandwich is offered in three spice levels: not spicy, mild and hot. I personally didn't want heartburn for the remainder of the day, so I went with mild. It still packed a mild punch, so keep that in mind if spicy isn't your thing. You can find the Motherclucker at Palmer's Hot Chicken on the Midway near the Greenhouse.
Fried Soul Food Egg Roll: Seven coupons for one roll
This southern soul food-Asian fusion dish can be found at Dickel's Smokehouse. It's an egg roll filled with chicken and combined with collard greens and mac n' cheese.
Deep Fried Strawberry Shortcake Crunch Roll: 16 coupons for one roll
This was by far my favorite new food for 2022 that I tried. The roll is infused with strawberry purée. The cream cheese icing and strawberry crunch was just the icing on top of a perfect sweet treat. You can find the roll at Gourmet Royale.
La Bluebonnet: 20 coupons for two cups
This refreshing drink was a Big Tex Choice Award 2022 finalist. It was so nice, I had to try it twice. The drink was created by Milton and Grace Whitely and is inspired by Texas' bluebonnets. It's a sweet and tart treat worth checking out. You can find the La Bluebonnet at Milton's Turkey Legs.
Texas Star Ferris Wheel: 12 coupons to ride
While I'm not a fair ride person, would it be a trip to the State Fair of Texas without stopping at the Texas Star? The icon stands at 212 feet tall and gives you great views of the Dallas skyline and Fair Park.
So, in total, I spent every coupon I purchased. Your day might look different, but the food options available are endless. In reality, $105 did not stretch to include a buffet, but by prioritizing what you'd like to try, you could make it last longer than I did.
If food isn't your thing, there are a lot of other things to enjoy at the State Fair of Texas, including several exhibitions, car shows, free live shows, petting zoos and more.