Family Fun

Family Fun at the State Fair

Not only is the Fair fun for all members of the family, it’s educational too! Even the youngest fairgoer will learn about the importance of agriculture here in Texas.

On any given day, there are tons of family-friendly activities and exhibits included in the price of admission. Get up close and personal with animals at Big Tex’s Farmyard and the Children’s Health Barnyard, or learn how food gets from farm to table at Little Hands on the Farm.

Family fun doesn’t end when the sun goes down. Each night at 7:15 p.m. the State Fair presents the Starlight Parade, a lighted procession featuring spectacular floats, lively music, dazzling costumes and a fun assortment of characters. The Mattress Firm Illumination Sensation lights up the Esplanade reflecting pool every night at 8 p.m. with a water and laser show featuring sparkling fireworks, liquid-fire fountains, dancing waters and colorful music.

A few things to know before you hit the fairgrounds:

  • Admission for children under 48″ is $14; under age three is FREE.
  • The State Fair of Texas offers a Safe Kids Program for lost children, sponsored by State Farm. Pick up children’s wristbands at any Information Center around the grounds.
  • The Kidway area of the Midway is a family-friendly environment with scaled-down rides and games for pint-sized fairgoers.
  • Strollers can be rented from an independent concessionaire at three locations in Fair Park – the Pennsylvania pedestrian gate, inside the Parry entrance and the Grand gate.
  • You can bring the following items into the State Fair: wagons, coolers & ice chests and your own food. For more information on items that are allowed in the Fair, see the Frequently Asked Questions.
  • State Fair coupons are used to pay for Midway rides and any food items. Coupons are $.50 each and may be purchased at coupon booths located throughout the fairgrounds.
  • There are hundreds of daily activities and shows at the State Fair of Texas; check the daily schedule or pick up a Visitor’s Guide at entry gates upon arrival.

Daily Schedule


Oak Farms Theater

The Oak Farms Theater is home to two activities geared toward younger children, the Backyard Circus and The World of Magic. The Backyard Circus offers audience members a chance to dress up and take part in the show that features a host of circus favorites. The World of Magic is a new attraction with magic tricks and illusions featuring performances by illusionists and a floating robot.  That’s right, a floating robot.  That’s fun for all ages!

Eight Daily Performances / Nine Performances on Saturday and Sunday

Suitable for toddlers to eight years old.
You’ll find the Oak Farms Theater in the east end of the Creative Arts building. Find the Oak Farms Theater on the map!

Kids’ Boardwalk

The Kid’s Boardwalk is a colorful venue that stretches across the southwestern edge of the Leonhardt Lagoon and features a variety of kid-friendly shows, games and activities, all free with State Fair of Texas admission. For instance, you can find The Ronald McDonald Show at the Kids’ Boardwalk. In line with his wonderfully wacky personality, Ronald McDonald puts on a comical show the whole family can enjoy, filled with magic, juggling, jokes, and music. A few lucky fans will be chosen from the audience and get the chance to join Ronald on stage as guest stars. Kids will also enjoy Mother Goose Story Time, presented by the Dallas Public Library, which includes favorite childhood tales told through songs, storytelling, and games

The Kids’ Boardwalk is open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Presented by McDonald’s.
Find the Kids’ Boardwalk on the map!


Bank of America Discovery Farm

What do you get when you combine Big Tex’s Farmyard, the Milking Parlor Demonstrations, and the Big Tex Urban Farm? The Bank of America Discovery Farm, of course. This new area of the Fair is an excellent way for fairgoers of all ages to learn about agriculture and livestock’s impact on our daily lives. You might even be inspired to turn your backyard into an urban farm!

Open daily from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Suitable for all ages.
New Location near the Band Shell & the lagoon.

Little Hands on the Farm

Kids love this miniature farm where they can plant seeds, gather eggs and drive a tiny tractor before harvesting crops and taking them to market. With earnings from selling their crops, kiddos can purchase snacks in the General Store.

Open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Suitable for toddlers to eight years old.
Located on the east side of the Cotton Bowl near the Coliseum Market Place. Find Little Hands on the Farm on the map!

Kids’ Pedal Tractor Pulls

Kids age four to 12 are invited to test both their tractor driving skills and their leg power as they compete to win prizes while the crowd cheers. Each vintage pedal tractor is weighted so the farther you pedal, the harder it is to reach the finish line. Kids compete to see who can pull the most weight.

Four Daily Sets of Races

Suitable for ages four to 12 years old.
Tractor pulls take place between the Swine Barn and the Horse Barn. Find out exactly where on the map!spon_agpower

Children’s Health Barnyard

Get up close and personal with a variety of farm friends, from giraffes and zebras to pigs and goats. While you’re there, make sure and visit the nursery where sows, ewes, nanny goats and their young are on display.

Open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Suitable for all ages.
Located between the Pan Am Arena and the Swine Barn. Find Children’s Health Barnyard on the map!14_childrenshealth

Pee Wee Stampede and Rodeo

This fun-filled activity allows the littlest of fairgoers to grab their cowboy gear and ride stick-horses while competing in a variety of mock-rodeo events. From bronco busting to barrel racing, kids are the stars of this rodeo.

Three Daily Performances

Suitable for three to six years old.
The stampede happens in the Ranch Arena, near the Children’s Health Barnyard and the Swine Barn.  Find it on the map!