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Let's Go to the Fair!

For 125 years the State Fair of Texas aka “Big Tex” has been the pinnacle of entertainment. The Texas tradition brings together everything that is fun and fried for a one-of-a-kind experience. Hop on the Ferris wheel or watch pigs race—there really is fun for the whole family. For once, the kids won’t have trouble finding something to eat at this Texas-size fair. It’s the once-a-year excuse to eat a Fletcher’s corn dog followed by a fried Oreo for dessert. There’s so much to do, see, smell and eat at the fair you could spend days there, but we know as much as your kids plea it’s not gonna happen, so we compiled a brief list of fun activities to make the most out of your family fair experience.

Ready, set, Oink! The kids may snort from laughing too hard as they watch pig races. Three times an evening visitors can “wager” and watch the little piggies go round and round as they race to the finish inside the American Arena. (Free)

He’s known around the fair (even the world) as The Picasso of Pumpkin Carvers, but you can just call him Farmer Mike. Watch as he carves amazing three-dimensional faces into pumpkins and giant gourds at the Greenhouse on the Midway. See him in action 10am–6pm on Fridays and Saturdays and 10am–4 pm on Sundays. Also at the Greenhouse, kids can paint pumpkins and meet the Tree Walker. Mom, you can catch a Southern Living speaker there too. (Free)

If your little ones are over the rides and animals head to the Oak Farms Children's Activity Center for some of their favorite tales told through songs, storytelling, puppets and games. They can also have fun at the Backyard Circus and join the Mother Goose Story Time. (Free)

Look at that dog jump! Smiles won’t leave your kid’s faces as they watch two-time World Champion Frisbee Dog Trainer Lou Mack send his incredible dogs flying high into the air. The gravity-defying pups put on a show full of tricks that will amaze you. Find the Jump! Ultimate Dog Show at The Pan American Arena. (Free)

End your day at the fair with the Reliant Energy Starlight Parade that marches through the park each night at 7:15pm. Illuminated floats, giant puppets and colorful costumes light up the night and the United States Marine Corps Drum & Bugle Corps fills the air with festive music (except Wednesdays and through Oct 16). This timeless tradition is a great way to put a nightcap on a fun-filled day.